Parade 2006 - Portland, OR.

Cannon beach - one of Oregons many scenic beaches.

The PCA Registry meets in the Pacific Northwest

by: Keith V of CA

PCA Parades in general

For those of you who have never attended a Porsche Club of America Parade - you're probably wondering what all the fuss is about.

The most common reaction to PCA Parade from non-attendees is “I don't have time to spend a whole week messing around with my Porsche with a bunch of people I don't know.” Well ..... simply put, you really don't know what you are missing.

I'm pretty sure that you must have heard by now, from people who have attended, that it really is a lot of fun. How much fun? Well that depends to a large degree on you - as the old adage goes garbage in equals garbage out”. What I mean by that is .... if you do decide to go to Parade, then really go for it! Attend as many events as you can; do not miss the banquets - in fact, I recommend that you buy the banquet package which includes a ticket for every organized meal - including concours and rally lunches. These banquets, with featured speakers, are a huge part of the camaraderie of Parade. Hearing Vic Elford tell in his own words how he was at full bore in a Porsche 917 on the Mulsanne straight at LeMans when another driver's mistake left him with no option other than “to pass him on the grass at a little under 250 mph” or to hear Peter Porsche tell of how at one Parade he was loaned a member's 356 which had an engine problem while he was driving it and at one point he had to push it off to the side of the road to fix it - only to come down for breakfast the next morning to find numerous poster-sized images all over the headquarters hotel showing him pushing the car with the caption “Porsche stands behind its products.” I believe moments like these are not to be missed because you decide to save money and not go to the banquets.

Team RSA parade-06
The corral at the concours.

You have probably attended some PCA events in your local region - some of which are more enjoyable than others, but if you go with an attitude of “what the heck ... let's give it a try and see what everyone raves about” you will be surprised how many interesting people you will meet and how many fun things are offered. This approach pays off in spades at a PCA Parade.

PCA Regions hosting Parade go to a great deal of trouble to ensure that there are many activities to suit as broad an attendee base as possible - whether you are a full-on track racer, a concours clean freak, a competitive rallyist or a first-timer who just likes to cruise and drive his or her Porsche in a relaxed non-competitive environment. Most Regions focus on giving you a sample of the local area whether it be recipes and food, lifestyle, scenery, culture or a mix of all of the above.

Examples of memorable moments from this year's Parade include chasing a line of Porsches through some twisty roads in the pine forests to turn a corner and see a clear view of Mount Hood towering 11,000 feet above you; standing on a cliff and seeing the Oregon coastline spreading out beneath you with its stacks of rock just offshore; walking a narrow pathway behind a 177 ft. waterfall, or snaking along the road beside the Columbia River Gorge in a line of Porsches watching windsurfers keeping up with you.

Each Parade has a different flavor, but at all of them truly memorable, pleasurable experiences abound.

If you enjoy Porsches, meeting people with similar interests and exploring new areas and activities ..... you owe it to yourself to give Parade a try.

I just happen to know that the next Parade is going to be one to remember for a long time ... how do I know this?

Well, because the 2007 Parade will be 4th of July week right here in San Diego, CA!

... and so to Portland 2006.

In line with PCA National's decree to make Parades more appealing to non-parade goers, the Portland Parade was of reduced length i.e. only six days. This meant that it began Sunday evening with the welcome banquet and finished Friday evening with the 2006 Victory banquet.

In between were far too many events to mention but the ones I attended were as follows:

Day Daytime Activity Location Evening
Monday Concours & Paddock Heron Lakes Golf Course Concours Banquet
Tuesday Rally Mount Hood/Columbia Gorge Rally Banquet
Wednesday Tours Silver Falls State Park Free evening
Thursday Autocross Portland International Raceway (PIR) Autocross Banquet
Friday Workers' Lunch & Zone Challenge Headquarters Hotel Victory Banquet

This table shows the activities I chose to participate in throughout the week - but is far from a complete list of those available.

The Concours

The RSA corral.
Registry members in the 964/993 Porsche Paddock on Concours day.

The concours at Parade is where only the very serious concours experts (or the naieve) put their cars up for infinite scrutiny. I may be in denial about the real condition of my Porsche, but I view competing in a concours as the ultimate expression of “I have a very nice Porsche and I challenge you to find something wrong with it!” ... and believe me - they will.

In addition to catering to the die-hard concoursistas, there was also a Porsche Paddock - which is basically parking organized by model with no judging except by the public for People's choice.

There were discrete Paddock parking areas set aside for 914 and 914/6s, 924/944/968s, 928s, early 911s (to 1974), 1974-1989 911s, 964s and 993s, Boxsters and the newer 996/997s - so in order to be sure I was involved in the placing of the on the field, I volunteered to run the placement of 964s and 993s. This meant coordinating with Faryl A, the Concours Paddock chairman, on the Sunday evening and heading over to the golf course where we planned the general layout of the Paddock.

The beginning of the line of 964s and 993s started out with the and then formed a long crescent around the edge of the fairway which contained 65 cars.

In addition to the concours cars that were competing, there was a historic display of significant Porsches including a 965 RSR plus several historied race cars including 924 Carrera GTS, a 924 GTR and numerous other rare exotic racers

There was also a guest custom 996 which had been seriously modified - not for performance or handling, but to create the basis for a cartoon car. After having the windshield significantly raised upward, and the wheelbase shortened, this little beauty was scanned into a computer graphics database from all angles and went to make up the character Sally Carrera from the new Disney/Pixar movie “Cars.”

Sally Carrera from the movie “Cars”.

Sally Carrera was sporting a color remarkably similar to the Azzuro California blue of the Limited Edition 997 Club Coupe and was a big hit with kids of all ages at Parade.

Registry members in the corral

Ned L of WA

Ned L of WA's beautiful Midnight Blue Metallic with polished Fikse wheels and
RUF chin spoiler.

Susan G of Canada

Susan G 2006 President of PCA West Canada Region's equally beautiful Midnight Blue Metallic

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Dick L of WA

Dick L of WA with his recently acquired complete with brake cooling ducts in conjunction with fog lights.

Fred S of TX

Fred S of TX with his purple heart license plates - one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet.

Old Yeller

Keith V of CA - first car in, last car out.

The Rally

Some people take rallying very seriously. The basic premise of a TSD (time/speed/distance) rally is that if you follow the instructions exactly, you will (theoretically) end up at the next check point exactly on time. You are “awarded” one point for every one hundredth of a minute you are either early or late to the checkpoint. Rallying is therefore like golf - in as much as your goal is to achieve as low a score as possible. Others, myself included, enjoy participating in a Parade rally simply as an excuse to drive your Porsche on some interesting local roads.

For first timers, there should be a mandatory warning regarding falling into the trap of taking rallying too seriously because marriage guidance counselling fees can be exorbitant. As hard as it may be to believe, tension levels in the car have been known to reach boiling point in less time than it takes a Carrera GT to go from zero to sixty.

Some couples use rallying as relationship validation in that if no one is bruised or bleeding by the finish line, then the relationship is a little stronger.

At the start point of the Rally beside the Columbia river, two lay in wait.

After hours of studiously following rally directions through twisty tree-lined mountain roads all around the Mt. Hood area,
we finally looked up to find this truly breathtaking view of a white Ford pick-up truck.

To relieve the stress of missing an instruction during the rally, Ned L of WA treated us all to his version of Luciano Pavarotti performing the third act of Il Traviata.

This just in ..... people may have laughed at Ned's aria on the rally ...... but whatever he did, he managed to get 12th place in a rally of over 240 entrants! - Congrats to Ned and BJ from MO!!

The Tour

There were several tours set up during Parade, some to the spectacular Oregon coast and others to the Silver Falls State park just east of Salem. We went on the Silver Falls tour which headed towards Salem and then up into the mountains.

Even with the large number of tour participants, it was still enjoyable to cruise along the country roads and to have fun on the sweepers as we headed into the mountains.

The South Falls at Silver Falls State park - those tiny white dots? They're people on the path behind the falls which are 177 feet tall.

The tour included a trip through Oregon's oldest covered bridge called Gallon House bridge. It is so named because during the prohibition, whiskey was sold from a nearby house in gallon jugs.

Gallon House bridge is the oldest covered bridge in Oregon.
We then found some great twisty roads up into the mountains and had fun picking up the pace a little until we reached Silver Falls State Park where we had a catered lunch. Some of the group then went on a hiking tour called the “Trail of ten falls” where you explore the ten waterfalls within seven miles in the local area.

The less nature-oriented of us decided after a couple of hours to head out of the rain forest to explore more of the twisty roads on the way back to Portland.

The Autocross

The autocross was set up starting on the main straight with a series of cone gates and then on “unencumbered” so-to-speak to turns 4, 5 & 6 at PIR. This made it especially interesting as it made it possible to do some high speed drifting coming off the apex setting the car up for the straightline braking and turn in for the next apex.

I think that some found the high speed track portion a little intimidating, but after you had done your laps the adrenaline was high and as you relaxed you realized that you probably could have carried a little more speed.

Bob White of IL in his RUF RCT that began life as an takes off for a lap of the autocross starting on the main straight.

In class P10 (in which non-showroom stock compete against all 964s), the winner was Keith V of CA.

In class P10L (ladies) where non-showroom stock compete against all 964s, the winner was Martha M of CA.

So for overall class results, were 1st and 3rd in the mens class (with Fred S just missing 2nd place to a 964 C4) and 1st and 2nd in the ladies class.

Team RSA parade-06

drivers Keith V and Martha M of CA, Susan G of Canada and Fred S of TX.

Scenery at PIR

Midnight Blue Metallic at 1 o'clock low

Susan G of Canada's Midnight Blue proves once again that it is photogenic from any angle.

Midnight Blue Metallic at 5 o'clock low

The same car from a slightly different angle looks a completely different color when the sun hits it and brings out the blue.

Which brings us to Parade 2007....

For 2007 the PCA Parade will be in San Diego over the 4th of July week, so mark your calendars.

It is entirely reasonable that with the high number of Porsches in Southern California, that if the Registry were to make a concerted effort, that we could exceed the world record number of gathered in one place, which is currently the 30 cars who attended the 50th PCA Parade at Hershey, PA.

All it would take is a commitment to meet at the Porsche Paddock at the concours site on Monday July 2nd 2007.

Do you think you can handle getting yourself there? I'm counting on it!

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