There are few tuning companies in the world who are universally entrusted with the enviable (and sometimes unenviable) task of making a Porsche car better than it was when it came from the factory. E-Motion Engineering LLC, a California-based Porsche Tuning Specialist, is one such example.
The prospect of achieving the status that comes with this territory will make just about any wide-eyed and ambitious tuning shop—even an already-reputable one—salivate. Optimism is important, but that’s easy enough to have on tap and certainly not all that’s truly required for such an undertaking.
These kinds of opportunities are only revealed to those with the necessary arsenal and experience to pursue perfection. Having the audacity to pull something like this off needs to be rooted in something tangible, and in the case of Joey Seely—owner of E-Motion Engineering—he certainly has the required credentials to have a crack at it.
While I’m not going to comment on the politics rampant within automotive tuning culture (as if I’m in the know, which for the most part, I’m not), my personal experience with the Porsche community—particularly for 911s—is that it is a predominantly cooperative entity.
Tuning companies around the world often collaborate successfully with each other, releasing products or packages that are compatible with—and complimentary to—one another. It’s nice to see, especially in a world that seems to be succumbing to widespread tribalism.
Building a Legacy
This communal approach to enhancing our love of P-cars even has the manufacturer’s blessing—so much so that Porsche is paradoxically active in this arena, despite what figures like Dr. Frank Walliser and Andreas Preuninger may light-heartedly remark about this particular relationship on occasion.
In fact, the legitimacy of it all was recently cemented when Porsche announced that long-time tuning outfit and racing partner Manthey Racing would become part of the Porsche Tequipment catalogue. Suffice to say, there’s real meaning behind pursuing a career in tuning Porsche road cars, as it could extend above and beyond just catering to customers who want to individualize their vehicles.
Circling around to my earlier point; very few have the resumé required to pull this off in any case. But if there’s anyone else who can achieve this rank, it’s Joey at E-Motion. He’s even said as much, revealing that he would like to be regarded in the same camp as the RUFs and Mantheys of the Porsche world one day.
E-Motion as an entity actually precedes Joey’s reign, with the tradename and premises previously owned by Jeff Zwart—another big personality in the automotive scene, particularly as it pertains to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. As you might suspect, the two were already familiar with one another before everything changed hands, with Joey having been the brains behind Jeff’s Pikes Peak winning 911 GT3 Turbo.
Significant as that transaction ultimately was, Joey’s path into his Costa Mesa, California base of operations began long before any of that was in the works. To understand this, we have to trace Joey’s steps as far back as his days with Peterson Motorsports—a racing team which competed in ALMS, IMSA and 24HLM—where he was an engineer who worked on their championship-winning 996 GT3 RSR (aptly referred to as “White Lightning” for a number of seasons in the early 2000s).
Joey earned his keep and staked his reputation on being a suspension-tuning guru, and would eventually take those very transferrable skills to the production car space. First he would have a stint with BBI Autosport (another California-based tuning company), before setting up his own shop in what we know today as E-Motion Engineering. Over this time, while continuing to be regarded as a suspension specialist, E-Motion has also been gaining distinction for their complete builds. The rest as they say, is history.
An Insider’s View
Or is it? A tour of the shop (lots more on that in the video below) would suggest otherwise, as it’s thefuture of Porsche street car tuning—through Joey’s eyes, of course—which looks to be the main headliner here. As a former photography studio, the space continues to be impeccably kept up and is unusually spotless, as if it continued to serve the goals of its previous tenant (who may as well have been a medical surgeon, too).
The pristine and white-lighted disposition inside the building is certainly conducive to a well-functioning operating room—for all things organic or otherwise—which makes it difficult to fathom whether or not a car has done anything except been parked there, if even that. Rest assured, there’s real work being done on some very real cars, all of it is in plain sight, and Joey is more than happy to show you around if you’re so inclined.
Let’s face it: words alone were never going to do justice for what needs to be seen with your eyes. For those of us not able to make the trip in person, Larry Chen—internationally renowned automotive photographer/vlogger—has you covered with the video below:
At the moment, you can expect a composition of mostly Porsches, the majority of which are 911s—modern and vintage—and the occasional oddball (but equally delightful) build thrown into the mix. The one pictured below is a great example.
Here are some of the company’s most notable projects:
This amicably-named red Porsche 964 also happens to be Joey’s personal car. The origins of this project date back to Joey’s time at BBi Autosport, evolving into what has become his reliable (albeit wild) daily driver. Stanceworks did an awesome feature on the car, which you can read here. Or, if a video is more your thing, check out the one below:
Pikes Peak Porsche 935-19
This is Jeff Zwart’s current Hill Climb car. While it no longer has a completely exposed carbon body—it has since been wrapped in Martini livery—it is as impressive a machine as one could ever hope to pilot. This 935-19 was even featured on Porsche’s official newsroom in 2020, with specific mention being made to Joey and E-Motion Engineering’s role in overseeing the operations.
Porsche Cayenne Overland Builds
Between building the ultimate street car for his clients and providing Jeff a platform from which to dominate at Pikes Peak, Joey still finds time for projects that are a little less ‘ordinary’. That being said, you can still expect the same quality, attention-to-detail, purpose and dedication that any other car that comes through the shop would receive. These Porsche Cayenne Diesel Overland builds just ooze charisma, so some would argue that they got more love than any other of E-Motion Engineering’s projects.