Chuck Stoddard

Born : 1930
Deceased : October 14 2019

Biography Chuck Stoddard

Chuck Stoddard was born in 1930. In 1950, as a student at MIT, Stoddard bought car magazines on a regular base. In one of the magazines, he noticed the picture of a Porsche. Immediately, Stoddard was impressed by the car : an aerodynamic car with an aircooled engine in the rear, reaching almost 100mph with just 44HP.  That day, Stoddard swore to himself that one day he would find out about the guys that made that car.  

Stoddard Imported Cars

The Stoddard Imported Cars dealership in the 1960s
The Stoddard Imported Cars dealership in the 1960s

From 1954 to 1955, Chuck Stoddard served the country in the Airforce where he worked on aircraft piston-engine reliability and service protocols. In 1956, Stoddard began racing in a Siata Spider. He bought the car engineless, but installed an overhead-cam Crossley 750cc in it. In June 1957, Stoddard founded his company “Stoddard Imported Cars”.  He rented the premises of a disappointed Tucker dealer. Later he bought the building.

Introduction to Ferry Porsche

One of his credo’s was that the Service Department was the heart of the company. In 196, Chuck Stoddard won 2 SCCA National Championships in an Alfa Romeo Giulietta. The Italian factory noticed that, and offered Stoddard a ticket to Italy. Once in Italy, Stoddard rented a Fiat 600, and drove all the way to Stuttgart and presented himself at the factory doors. Since Stoddard didn’t master the German language, he was directed to the Tourist Delivery Office, where he met Evi Butz, the secretary of Huschke von Hanstein who would soon become the wife of Dan Gurney. She introduced Stoddard to Ferry Porsche

Chuck Stoddard in Porsche 550A-0141 at the 1962 Elkhart Lake race.
Chuck Stoddard in Porsche 550A-0141 at the 1962 Elkhart Lake race.

It was only in 1962 that Chuck Stoddard race a Porsche for the first time. He acquired the Porsche 550 Spyder that Ernst Vogel drove in the 1958 Austrian hillclimb championship, that he won. In the meantime, Stoddard Imported Cars was franchised dealer for , among others, Alfa Romeo, Audi, Porsche , …. He always believed that whatever car they sold, they should be able to service it. When the Porsche 911 was introduced, it became more and more difficult to source Porsche 356 parts. Stoddard decided to buy every single part he could find, no matter where.

Manufacturing the parts themselves

Later Ferry Porsche granted Stoddard to make their own Porsche 356 parts. At a certain time, about 50% of the employees of Stoddard worked in the parts department. In the 1980s, when Peter Schutz took charge of Porsche, he offered to buy the Stoddard company. First, Chuck Stoddard refused, but a few years later he sold the business to Porsche.  What Chuck Stoddard never wanted to sell, was his impressive personal car collection, that included Porsche 917-018, a Porsche 356 Gmünd, a Porsche America Roadster, a Porsche 904 Carrera GTS, a Porsche 907 to name just a few.

Brad Ripley and Chuck Stoddard at the 356 Registry East Coast Holiday 2016
Brad Ripley and Chuck Stoddard at the 356 Registry East Coast Holiday 2016 (picture courtesy Road Scholars)

After Chuck Stoddard sold his company, he still remained active in Porsche circles. He couldn’t resist to be part of the large Porsche community in the USA, ad was always willing to share his knowledge with other enthusiasts. In November of 2004 SIC Ownership returned to the USA through the efforts of Bruce Schwartz. March 1, 2011 saw the sale of the Audi and Porsche Automobile Franchises to the Penske Automotive Group.The Vintage Porsche Parts Business  continues, under the Stoddard Banner. Schwartz continues as President and owner of the Parts operation. October 14 2019, at the age of 89, Chuck Stoddard passed away.

Pictures courtesy unknown and Stoddard.