at the Ventura CA German Auto Fest.
13th September '03

by: Keith V of CA

Photos by Jon P, Al P, Sean C and Keith V.

..............let the lapping begin!!
6 registry members met at the German Auto fest in Ventura
- the lineup was impressive because each
present was an exceptional example.

On Sat 13th September '03, members of the PCA registry met once again - this time at the German Autofest in Ventura CA. As its name implies, this 2-day event is all about German Autos, more specifically Porsches.

Of the six present, four were from the San Diego region of PCA. Two (Keith V and Don T) caravanned up together along with San Diego Region President Tom Brown in his “other” car (one of Bavaria's finest). To make freeway driving more interesting we brought along Motorola radios and were able to talk to each other on just about every subject including alerting the others whenever one of us spotted the California Highway Patrol.

RS center caps may not be factory stock ... but somehow look right on an RSA.

With some careful coordination by cell phone, we met up with Jon P of Los Angeles in his beautiful Midnight Blue Metallic RSA on the freeway at the 405/101 merge. A few miles later, the three were cruising at around 75mph when “officer friendly” came flying down an on-ramp behind us in his black-and-white and immediately disappeared among some large trucks in the slow lane. Once the CHP alarm had been raised, we just kept cruising with a wary eye on our mirrors. After a few miles, the CHP officer caught up with and passed our little convoy, slowly pulling up alongside the lead car where he looked at us, nodded, and then took the next freeway exit. We relaxed for a while until the at the back of the convoy alerted us that the CHP officer had come back on the freeway at the same exit and was now approximately a mile behind us. We kept our speed constant and watched carefully as the officer cut through the slower traffic behind us until he got close, then he lit up all his flashing lights ...... and pulled over a Ford Probe, leaving us to keep on cruising.

We met Brent K on the 101 a few miles before Ventura in his Grand Prix White , so we entered the German Autofest together and staked our claim to a grassy area near the main exhibition hall. We lined up in echelon formation and immediately started comparing cars.

A short while later we were joined by two other registry members, Warren G from Fremont CA with his fabulous one-of-a-kind, color-to-sample Maritime blue example and last, but by no means least, Tom E from Los Angeles of “glossy guards red ” fame.

Can you spot the interloper? (the bumper is the clue).
6 tails ......... plus a “wannabe” !
Can you spot the interloper? (The clue is the bumper overrider.)

There was a surprisingly large variety of modifications made to the 6 present, ranging from subtle changes like switching stock wheel center caps for ones with the “” script, to more obvious ones like updating the wheels to the 993 Turbo twist wheels on Don T's .

We spent some time discussing just about every aspect of ownership and sharing information on things such as wheel sizes, wheel spacers, tire choices including optimal sizes, suspension options - springs & shock absorber upgrades, mass airflow sensors, engine control management computer chips, brake upgrades, lowering the car (Jon P), steering alignment to reduce understeer, sway bars, intake/airbox mods, exhaust mods/upgrades, the advantages of headers and primary Vs secondary muffler by-pass pipes, seam welded tubs, harness bars, part sources, cleaning methods and materials and much more.

Maritime Blue in all its glory.
Warren's Maritime Blue car definitely appeared to change color as the light changed throughout the day.

Once again Warren G proved to be a fountain of knowledge on all things and showed that he had “insider knowledge” of the workings of Porsche having picked up his special order Maritime Blue new from the factory and then immediately taken it across the road to Werks I - the facility where Porsche embody the “Sonderwishes” program, which consists of “customizing” new cars to owners personal specifications.

Six noses!
6 noses in a row.

Warren had several upgrades and improvements embodied onto his car before he put any miles on it. For example, he chose to have a Porsche crest in embossed leather on the top of the shift lever in lieu of the regular gearshift diagram, plus the fitment of a Euro shift lever and linkage which affords significantly more positive shifting. Additionally, at Warrens request, Werks I welded in racing harness attach points on the rear parcel shelf and the floor under the seats, plus he had them make him some Euro tri-color seats with body color seat backs and a tri-color matched 3 spoke steering wheel (non-airbag) which is extremely, extremely rare. While he was there he also opted for some weight reduction items such as an aluminum front hood and, of course, a set of magnesium wheels from the European 964 Carrera . Altogether a pretty nice little custom package for what was already a one-of-a-kind, limited edition 911.

Turbo twist wheels reflected in Maritime blue.
Don T's Grand Prix White with its turbo twist wheels reflected in Warren G's Maritime blue .

After about an hour we decided to branch out and explore the multitudes of other things that the event had to offer that were not purely related.

There was something to please the taste of just about every Porsche enthusiast at the Autofest - from a large full concours competition featuring the majority of Porsche models, to two exhibition halls full of companies specializing in Porsche products and services.

Inside the exhibition halls were vendors both large and small displaying their wares, which ranged from Porsche dashboard instrument service/overhaul/repair/renovation, thru custom body design shops, restoration/renovation shops to performance upgrades of just about every description for your 356 up to 996 GT2.

Don T's RSA shows that the look of a white car with black trim is hard to beat.
Don T's Grand Prix White car looks like it's spinning its wheels even when it's parked.

Outside the exhibition halls there were parking areas reserved for several registries or special interest groups, including the R Gruppe, the 356 registry, the early 911S registry and a large area cordoned off for around 60 Porsches in the concours. Some of the cars on show are in far better condition now than they were the day they left the factory brand new. I guess this proves beyond all doubt that there are advantages to being “anally retentive” about your Porsche.

Glossy Guards Red
Tom E's Guards Red is famed for its remarkably glossy finish.

A memorabilia and literature swapmeet was held in a separate hall. It featured several of the “stars” from the annual Porsche literature meet held at the LAX Hilton such as Prescott (or is that “Press kit”) Kelley, Wayne Callaway, Jim Perrin, Bruce Hollander all the way from FL and the ever present Paul and Ingrid Lang from the bay area. Each had tables laden with Porsche “jewels” for sale, just waiting for the right buyer to discover them.

In yet another hall, Karl Ludvigsen, author of the famous book on Porsche entitled “Excellence was Expected,” gave a talk on the history of the 911 and debuted the second edition of his book which was being released that day for sale through Bentley publishers. After Karls talk, the book was for sale at a discounted price and Karl was taking the time to sign and dedicate copies if buyers so desired.

Jon P's Midnight Blue RSA was spotlessly clean.
Jon P's recently acquired immaculate midnight Blue Metallic .

The special feature at this year's event was a Boxster Fest which was a fun but fairly informal gathering of Boxsters with equally informal judging and awards being given for such things as dirtiest Boxster or best kept interior.

At around 1pm we gathered back at “base camp”, and took a few more pictures trying to make the best of the overcast day and the resulting poor light, and then we headed out. Tom E departed separately in the Guards Red car, Warren G was heading north later on, which left Brent K and Don T in the GP White cars, Jon P in the Midnight Blue Metallic car and Keith V in “old yeller” to caravan south towards LAX.

Maritime Blue tail.
Maritime Blue is a striking color on any Porsche ... but on an ....WOW!

As we got back onto the 101 freeway, we were joined by Jon P's younger brother Al and a buddy in his 944 Turbo with his digital camera. As our convoy sliced through moderate freeway traffic, Al was shooting pictures while hanging out the sunroof or the windows of the camera car. We later found out that there was a problem with the camera that meant only a few of the images were usable, but even so, it was good to be part of a squadron of on a sortie patrolling 101 southbound.

Spot the lowered RSA.
On the caravan home, Jon P's Midnight Blue metallic car with its “off road” suspension setup
enabled him to see for miles over the top of other traffic.

It seemed the majority of chatter on the Motorola radios was about how the Midnight Blue car was much higher than all the other . We decided that Jon must have some kind of “off-road” suspension setup with what seemed like at least a foot of clearance between his fenders and his tires. We also decided that he was safer than the rest of us, because he could see further ahead by looking over the top of all the other traffic, plus, whoever was driving behind him had a clear view of the traffic ahead by simply looking underneath his car. We didn't tease him about it ............... much!

...and then there were three.
.... and then there were 3.

One by one drivers departed the group leaving Don T and Keith V to complete the journey back to San Diego uneventfully.

This event was a heck of a lot of fun and needs to be publicized well ahead of time next year such that the squadron can show up as a “force majeure.”

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