April 2024-Volume 63, Issue 4
SVR AutoCross School
Photo Collin Fat

From The Editor
Mike Willis

Thanks to our Advertisers for YOUR
continuing support in 2024

Welcome Back Our Adverser 2 Shores. See Ad for for a new form of care. e

From the content of this issue looks like you can be busy each weekend and then some. Thanks to everyone that is supporting SVR by putting on the events for all of us to enjoy.

When sending me a video it needs to be on a webpage (link) or a file not to exceed 5MB. Also images have the same limit. (I am able to resize most of them).

So this month we have a reprint from 2003, this would have been fun to include in it original printed version of the drifter. But WAIT this new electronic version of the Drifter just allows me to "copy & paste ( versus trying to fit "pages".

Please note text that is blue text is a link.
Also some of the event ad are also linked

When we use MSR (Motorsport Registration) all of those events advertised are linked to the specific registration. If the ad is an image then the click on it for the link.

This issue contains the following as you scroll through.
Also all advertisers are linked to their web page.

Editor Comments
President's Column
Vice President - Calendar Information
Tour Chair Update
Brookfields Monthly Breakfast
SVR Share The Wealth
Poker Run Tour
Foot Hills Journey TSD Rally
Porsche 935 At Le MansS
ElTapatio May Dinner
Bally Keal Estates Winery Tour
2024 Pacific Grove Tour
Zone 7 Concours Judging School
Caffeine & Porsches - Elk Grove
SVR 2024 Concours
Rivercats Baseball & Porsche Parade
Porsche Juniors
2024 SVR Autox Schedule
Spring Flowers Rally Coverage
4th of July Parade
SVR Autox School Coverage
My Sport Car Journey
SVR Membership
SVR Member Spotlight
In The Zone
SVR Classifieds

Rik Larson, Proof Reader/Tickler
Skip Quain, Contributor

 Rik Larson, SVR President
PDK (Pretty Darn Kwik)
April 2024

Sharing God’s Bounty
·      Dick MacFarlane was very pleased with the turnout of SVR members at this special charity effort to feed the less fortunate at St. Philomene Catholic Church Gym on March 26th .John Lanting took many photos (seen elsewhere in this DRIFTER).
·      Look for future volunteer efforts in the future for this worthy cause.
May DRIFTER ---- it will be later than normal
·      We will be distributing the May DRIFTER around the middle of the month.
$10 more
·      Your PCA annual dues are going up effective with renewals made on or after May 1, 2024. This increase will support PCA’s continued future growth.
·      It has been 13 years (January 2011) since there was a dues increase.
·      Since the last dues increase, PCA membership has almost doubled.
·      Costs for mailing for monthly PANORAMA have increased significantly in 2023.
·      The region will see an increase of $3.37 (to $18.87) as part of the region refund from each primary member renewal.
$25 for dinner
·      What a deal.
·      This will be held on Wednesday, May 8th
·      Check out the flyer elsewhere in this DRIFTER
Zone 7 awards
·      The awards banquet this year included recognizing the winners in the AX series, the Concours series, and several special awards.
·      Picking up an award in the 2023 Zone 7 AX Series was John Leet.
·      In the 2023 Zone 7 Concours Series we saw Al Price III, and Jim and Linda McMahen pick up awards.
·      And finally it was announced that Collin Fat has been added to the Zone 7 Wall of Fame plaque.
·      The Lifetime Achievement Award was made to Larry Sharp.
·      And the Zone 7 AX Committee is reserving the use of the #1car number at Zone 7 AX events to the previous year’s overall AX winner as a way to recognize the many years of AXing excellence of Terry Zaccone of Golden Gate Region.
·      When at an autocross look for the #1 car. In recognition of the Overall PAX winner, the previous year winner will carry the Terry Zaccone #1 car number. Congratulations to Himanshu Patel for earning that award in 2023 and to carry the Car #1 in the 2024 events.
·      At the February Board meeting, SVR Vice President John Leet made a presentation regarding Objectives and Key Results for the region.
·      As a result of that presentation, John solicited input from the board and chairs and ranked the responses (top 3) as follows:
o  Continuity/Effectiveness of Leadership
o  Recognition/clarity for SVR as part of a larger community of car clubs in Sacramento
o  Increase participation from underserved segments of membership
·      At each board meeting we will be expanding on these objectives (with key results usually having a metric [date, timeline, measured])
·      The first objective will be visible very soon as we move forward with establishing a nominating committee for our upcoming election (November 2024).
Porsche Sacramento Center
·      Expected opening is May 1st
·      This will be the 2nd Porsche operation owned by the Niello Company.
·      The Porsche Sacramento Center will carry the “Classic” designation, one of only 19 such centers in the United States.
·      The facility is of the Gen 5 designation. The exterior features an aluminum façade and elevated glass as well as red LED lighting.
·      I did some quick checking (actually GOOGLED the Porsche website) and discovered that the “Classic” designation covers many more models than the 356 series, 912, 914, 924/944/968, 928, and ‘older’ 911 series. According to the Porsche website the “Classic” covers: Cayennes (2010 and older), Caymans (2012 and older), Boxster (2012 and older) and 997.2 models (2012 and older). It will be interesting to see if there will be a moving window that covers cars more than 12 years old.
2024 Formula E
·      The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E team performed very well in March.
·      The Sao Paulo race on March 10th saw Porsche take the pole position (Wehrlein) and Da Costa start 8th on the grid. Wehrlein finished the race in 4th place with Da Costa in 6th.
·      Then the 5th race of the season moved to Tokyo (first time in the Formula E series that a race had been held in Japan) on March 30th. Da Costa and Wehrlein finished 4th and 5th after starting 8th and 6th respectively.
·      Wehrlein leads the series after 5 races (16 races in the series) with 63 points, 2 points ahead of Nick Cassidy of the Jaguar team.
·      There are 3 races in April: April 13th and 14th in Misano and then a race at Monaco on April 27th. This will put them at the halfway point in the season (which ends in July). There are two races scheduled for June in Portland.
·      Trying to find live TV coverage of the races this year is tough. How good are you at getting some foreign TV networks? Some sources say to try CBS Sports Network, TNT, Paramount Plus. Good luck.
Name Badge
·      Remember to wear your SVR name badge to events.or our events.

John Leet
Vice President
You may have noticed that we have been much more active on social media lately. Huge shout-out to Kent Langendorff for helping us out with that! If you would like to see something posted, please send it to socialmedia@svr-pca.org.

Thank you to the 20 or so members who came out to St. Philomene for Sharing God's Bounty helping serve dinner to the needy. This was an important and fulfilling event for everyone.

A few items to highlight for April:
The Poker Run has sold out. This will be a great tour with a chance to win some good wine, and end up at Moonraker Millhouse for some great beer!

Our autocross team is hosting the first Zone event of the season on April 13th at Thunderhill.

Porsches and Pints will be at Oak Park Brewing. This will be an awesome event, where we will have a permit to reserve street parking, and OPB will open their side patio for on-site parking.

And, our Rally team will wrap up the month with the Foothills Journey Rally with Rallymaster Andy Stocker. Not to be missed!

Do you have an idea for an event you would like to host? Reach out to me at vicepresident@svr-pca.org and we can talk through the details and get it added to the calendar.
2024 SVR Master Event Calendar

Message from the Tour Chair
By Rick Duste

By the time you are reading this we will be getting ready to run the sold-out Poker Run/Tour on April 7th. Registering early both assures you of a spot as well as helps the organizers plan for the required number of run groups.    

Next up will be a tour to the Bally Keal Estate Winery north of Fairfield. The flyer is elsewhere here in the DRIFTER.  This approximately 85-mile tour will depart from Riverpoint Marketplace in West Sacramento, paralleling the Sacramento River north on Old River Rd before traversing various Yolo County rural roads among the orchards and farm fields enroute to our first stop near Winters.  

Next a change of scenery as we pass Monticello Dam on Lake Berryessa and drive through the vineyards and forest lined Highways 128 and 121 through Napa County. We turn south at Wooden Valley Rd to descend to the 82-acre Bally Keal Estate Winery north of Fairfield where we will enjoy box lunches, an opportunity to view their classic car collection, and sample their handcrafted wines from grapes grown and bottled onsite.   

Again, we will run spirited and non-spirited groups.   We moved the Old Historic Highway 40 tour from Granite Bay to Donner Pass to June due to the late and heavy snow fall. 

The new date is June 22. Watch for details in the May DRIFTER, as well as on the club website and Facebook page.  

By Mardi Quain

Long, long ago, when the Drifter was a paper printed magazine, a fun way was devised to help offset the expense of it’s publication: Share the Wealth (STW) was created. Member donated items are raffled to dinner attendees,
and those proceeds were then credited to Drifter publication expenses. But the Drifter is now an online publication only, without the previous printing expenses. 
So, the question, what to do with Share the Wealth proceeds?
At the March Board meeting, the Board approved contributing the 2024 proceeds to this year’s Christmas Charity Ride to Walk. This organization is a therapeutic horseback riding program founded in 1985 and certified by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH). They serve children with disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, attention deficit disorder, head trauma and sensory processing challenges.

And there is an SVR member connection with Ride to Walk. Rob Pane’s son Kody, has been a part of the program since age three years, and the relationship continues as part of Kody’s life improvement and sport activity.
STW is typically done at all monthly dinners during the year, except for the Annual Planning Meeting in November and the December Christmas Party.
Tickets are priced at $1 each or $5 for eight tickets. If a member brings a STW item, another ticket is awarded, plus an additional ticket for wearing their name tag, for a potential total of 10 tickets for $5.
Members contribute their own items of abundance or creation. The best prizes are Porsche goodies, i.e., parts, books or manuals, posters, memorabilia, etc. Also appreciated are cookies, brownies, and other kitchen creations (we have some excellent chefs in the club), house plants, garden bounty, bottles of wine and craft beer. During arrival and social hour the tickets are sold. When the dinner starts, ticket sales stop.
Share the Wealth has been a fun tradition for SVR members and now continues to fund worthy causes.
By Skip Quain
I started my Vintage racing in 1973 with the purchase of a 1962 Lotus 23 Sports racer needing full restoration. During this period, I came to know Bob Garretson, owner of Garretson Enterprises in Mountain View CA, through his servicing of my 1976 Porsche Targa. As he worked on the Targa he gave me restoration advice on the Lotus 23 race car.

Garretson Enterprises was a major competitor in international endurance sports car racing at Le Mans, Daytona, Sebring, and other international endurance events.

Garretson’s crew was comprised of several professional mechanics, and they were supported by a team of volunteer members from the Porsche Golden Gate Region Club (GGR-PCA)
Le Mans October 6, 1979
Garretson Enterprises was supporting two Porsche 935s for Dick Barbour Racing, with sponsorship by Tropicana Juices at the 1979 Le Mans event. The car numbers were #70 and #72. 
The drivers for the #70 Porsche were Le Mans veteran Rolf Stommelen, car owner Dick Barbour, and multiple SCCA champion Paul Newman (Butch Cassidy himself). Newman got the ride in the Barbour #70 Porsche 935 because he was a proven winning driver with multiple SCCA championships. His Hollywood star status was irrelevant.

After leading by three laps going into Sunday morning, the # 70 Barbour Porsche 935 came in for its scheduled pit stop. Inspection found that a wheel nut was locked tight and had to be sawed off. A complete hub had to be replaced taking 23 minutes to repair.

Stommelen took over the 935 #70 and pushed hard, but with just 20 minutes to go, a holed piston caused him to creep around for two more laps, pulling up just before the finish line. He kept the motor running to avoid disqualification. Then the leading Kremer Porsche 935 K3 #41 crossed the finish line winning the race. Stommelen then crossed the finish line placing 2nd overall and 1st in the IMSA class, as he pulled into the Barbour pit.  
The second Dick Barbour Porsche 935 #72 car was driven by Bob Garretson, Skeeter McKittrick and Edwin Abate.

Through a friend working as a volunteer Porsche Club Golden Gate Region volunteer member of Garretson’s 1979 Le Mans crew at this event, I learned the following stories.

Between Le Mans practice sessions, a rep from Ray Ban sunglasses came into Barbour’s Tropicana pit and walked over to “PL” (Newman was known as “PL” in the racing community) announcing “Ray Ban would like to give you this beautiful pair of sunglasses Mr. Newman.” PL looked at the Ray Ban guy and responded, ‘I don’t take anything the guys don’t get’. The Ray Ban guy responded ‘That’s a lot of sunglasses. PLs retorts ‘I am not the one asking’.

The Ray Ban guy left to relay PLs response to the Ray Ban brass. The rep promptly returned with a large box of Ray Bans. PL passed the box of sunglasses around to all the guys. When all the guys had their sunglasses, PL picked up his pair, and with the crew, they donned their Ray Bans as one. This is one of the many story’s racers tell about Newman’s dedication to racing.

PL also showed his appreciation for the volunteer Porsche GGR crew by being a racer and not a movie star. While the guys thrashed on the Barbour Porsche 935s between Le Mans practice sessions and during the 24-hour race, PL cooked them BBQ. PL would talk racing for hours. He embraced being a racer!

Another friend working as a volunteer Golden Gate Porsche Club member, was the acting Crew Chief for the #72 Barbour 935. That car finished 8th overall and 6th in the IMSA class in the IMSA.

Think of this! An unpaid volunteer from the Porsche GGR region was the crew chief for the Barbour # 72 935K3 that finished 8th overall in the 1979 Le Mans, International Event, and 6th in the IMSA class.

As the 24-Hour Le Mans race was coming to an end Bob Garretson walked into the empty #72 Barbour pit to take his final stint in the Porsche 935. With his back to the track Bob was discussing the status of the #72 with his GGR volunteer crew chief when a sad sounding Porsche 935 came by. Bob turned to the Crew Chief and said “I sure would not want to be that guy! The Crew Chief responded to Bob with “in a few minutes you will be that guy!” After another lap around the #72 limped into the pit.

The Barber 935 #72 finished 8th overall and 3rd in the IMSA class.
The Barbour Porsche 935 #70 finished 2nd overall and 1st in the IMSA class.
At the end of the 24-Hour race, Newman mounted the Winner’s Platform and was introduced as finishing 2nd Overall and 1st In the IMSA class. PL received the largest applause.

After the 1979 Le Mans event PL did not race in another Le Mans event. The crowds around the Barbour Tropicana pits were over whelming. (See photo). The pits close to the Barbour Tropicana area were also caught up in the Newman frenzy. After the 1979 Le Mans race Newman declined any further requests to race at Le Mans. 
Skip’s PL Story
In July 1980 at an IMSA event at Sonoma Raceway (formerly Sear’s Point) I was walking through the pits, when the same friend who told me the Ray Ban story came walking by with Paul Newman. PL was driving his SCCA championship Datsun 280ZX in the weekend’s IMSA GTU race. Mark introduced us, ‘PL this is Skip, a vintage racer’. I responded with an awe struck ‘hello PL’. I remember the incident, “PL”, I am sure, didn’t.
Memorable Times!
Skip Quain
1962 Vintage Lotus23 Sports racer. (1983 to 2014)
Author’s note:
Wikipedia and other resources used to verify facts in this article.
Roy Schauben, PCA Zone 7 Concours, Co-Chair
650 444 010


Time to sign up for the 2024 Zoom Clinic and the “Hands ON” Judging Schools.

All PCA Zone 7 members are invited to attend the 2024 Concours Judging School. In order to ensure the continued strength of the series and consistent judging from event-to-event, we need trained judges. And we are always happy to see new faces at series events. If you’re new to the Series, have had limited or no judging experience, and are interested in understanding how judging works, please join us.

The school will provide instruction on what to look for as a judge (and, conversely, what judges look for as you prepare your Porsche for judging), the “do’s” and “don’ts” of judging, and hands-on judge training. There will also be time for Q&A, both before and after the hands-on judging, so here’s your chance to ask the things you’ve always wanted to know about judging in or preparing a Porsche for the Zone Concours Series.

The Concours School will be held in 2 phases with the
first phase held virtually on Zoom from 9 am to 11 am.
April 6th, the Hands on Clinics OR
April 20 @ High Tech Auto in San Rafel OR
May 5th @ Porsche of Stevens Creek or OR
May 19 at the Nelson Residence in Single Springs, CA.

Caffeine and Porsches Elk Grove
May 27, 2024
Laguna Creek Sports Club
9570 Racquet Club Court
Elk Grove, Ca. 95768
Join your fellow SVR friends at an informal gathering of Porsches at the Laguna Creek Sports Club in Elk Grove on May 27th, Memorial Day.

The event will be held in conjunction with the club’s grand opening of their pickleball courts and the club is looking to add some eye candy to help celebrate. In appreciation for displaying your car, the sports club will provide a free buffet lunch, and access to their facilities to use their tennis courts, workout facilities or the new pickleball courts.

If not, you can share your pride and joy with fellow SVR members and engage in some socializing. There is no cost to participate but please pre-register on MSR at the following link: http://msreg.com/CarsCoffeeLagunaCreek.

Display cars are limited to the first 20 cars.
SUNDAY, JUNE 23rd 2024
First Pitch 1:05pm
Bring the family, your friends, kids, and anyone who enjoys baseball. A great afternoon of fun in the reserved upper- level Solon Club area.
30 special Porsche drivers will parade before the game and then park in a secure area. Family and friends can park their vehicles in general parking, then join Porsche folks in the Solon Club area. There will be pre-game activities for pre-adult fans. The Solon Club has a full-service bar, standup tables, and shaded area. Stadium seating is accessed from the Solon area. Food is available for purchase throughout the stadium from food trucks and concession stands. Due to security, outside food and drink not allowed.
Raley Field
400 Ballpark Drive
West Sacramento, CA 95691
Ticket price per person for Porsche Parade, $28.00 plus fee. Limited to 30 cars.Ticket price per person for No Parade, $28.00pp plus fee & $15 parking per vehicle.
Click the link below to register for your tickets and receive further details. Contact Mardi Quain at social@svr-pca.org or 650-504-4866 for more information.
SIGNUP EARLY TO BE PART OF THE PORSCHE PARADE! Registration opens May 1, 2024.
We hope you can join us for an event focused on your Porsche Junior! This will be a fun-filled day of touring your Porsche with your Junior(s), lunch and gaming at The Apex at Red Hawk.

Register at: http://msreg.com/ApexTour24
On August 11th, we will meet at 9:30 and depart for the tour from Town Center Starbucks in El Dorado Hills at around 10:00am. Our tour will include some nice twisties and take approximately one hour to arrive at Red Hawk at around 11:00am.

The Apex at Red Hawk offers 18-lane ultramodern bowling, a Virtual Reality Arcade, Golf Simulator, Multi-Level Indoor Karting Track, Sports Bar, Apex Grill and more! This portion of the day is not affiliated with Porsche Club and family choice as to which activities you would like to try. Many of us will challenge each other with Karting, and we will have awards for the fastest juniors! If you are interested in participating in this non-PCA portion of activities, you will need to sign up separately and complete the Apex karting waiver. Please coordinate with John Leet at john.p.leet@gmail.com.
More information, and the waiver, can be found at https://www.redhawkcasino.com/apex-at-red-hawk-casino/

Once there, your spouse and other juniors and friends are welcome to meet up with us, in case your Porsche is not able to carry the whole crew. Your PCA Junior is welcome to bring friends on the Tour and/or meet us all at Red Hawk. Any child should be a PCA Junior or 'guest' of a Junior. A pizza lunch and sodas are included with your registration. Gaming cards and karting will be paid by the participants at the Apex.

If your junior under 18 years of age is NOT currently registered as a PCA Junior, get them signed up and join us! Any child under age 18 who is registered by a current PCA member can participate in the program. It is free of charge and you can easily sign up online at:
Spring Flowers Rally
By Brad Call

The Sacramento Valley Region (SVR) held the Spring Flowers Rally on Saturday, March 23rd about a month after offering a Rally School to teach the basics of Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) rallys. This was the first of a series of six TSD style rallys planned for 2024 that are open to all contestants, not just members of SVR.
Eleven teams (driver and navigator) entered, with 8 competing on what turned out to be a cool and rainy day. Despite the weather, the rallyists enjoyed a scenic route that began and ended in Folsom. They initially traveled south through Latrobe and to the foothills east of Plymouth, before turning north into Placerville.

After a lunch break they continued north along Mosquito Road down the dramatic canyon leading to the old one-lane suspension bridge crossing the South Fork of the American River. Next they climbed the canyon and traveled west towards Georgetown, then south to Lotus, and completed the timed portion near Green Spring Ranch. From there the rallyists transited back to Folsom for a post-event gathering at Skipolini’s Pizza where everyone enjoyed some refreshments while discussing the rally.

The Sacramento Valley Region is using the Richta electronic checkpoint scoring system for all TSD rallys. The system uses an application on the competitor’s phones to track their progress on the course and it determines their time as compared to the “ideal” time calculated by the event organizers. TSD rallys are an exercise in precise driving while following written instructions, but always within posted speed limits.
Six of the finishing teams were in the Novice Class with one additional team in Senior Class. The overall winning team, with a score (total error in seconds) of 379, was Gennet and Robert Paauwe, the only entry in Senior Class.

The first place Novice Class award went to Bill Figan and Steve Long with a score of 497. Second place in Novice Class was Dave Comerchero and Nav Gill with a score of 532, while third place went to John and Kimberly McCarthy with a score of 593.

The next SVR event is the Foothills Journey TSD rally that will take place on April 27 and it starts at the Brookfields Restaurant in Roseville and finishes at the Round Table Pizza in Lincoln.
Click on the image to contact Robert

2024 Porsche Rocklin Autocross School
By Collin Fat, SVR Autocross Chair
Photo by Steve Nieslony
SVR’s 15th annual autocross school was held on March 10th with the exercise portion of the class held on March 16th at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows. This was the 15th consecutive sell- out of this event since its inception in 2009. With capacity for only 30 students, my team reported that all of the students raved about the program and what they were able to learn and take away from the 2 day program.

For most of the students who participated in the program, this was their first experience with learning performance driving techniques and the amazing handling of their vehicles. I would say that the skid pad and braking exercises on day two of the school was an eye opener into what their Porsches are capable of in a track environment but also in an emergency situation on the street.

I would like to congratulate the following students who completed the 2 -day program:
Phil Ales
Manuel Alvarez
Matthew Aquino
Bradley Call
Dave Comerchero
Jon Davis
Kenneth Dawson
Doug DeVetter
Rick Dorris
Richard Duffy
David Flanary
Jordan Flanary
Roper Furr
Marcell Gibbins
Eyal Graif
Chandler Holt
John Kirlin
Michael Klein
Robert Lawrence
Jerry Martin
John Mohr
Alexandra Monez
Chris Morin
Gary Norgaard
Jim Pozar
Greg Reeves
Ronnie Saini
Jeffrey Sheehan
Matt Steeves
Ted van der Linden
Lex Warner
Barry West
Mike West
Derrick Wilkins
Alexander Wu
I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of all the instructors who without their help the school would not have been possible:I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of all the instructors who without their help the school would not have been possible:
I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of all the instructors who without their help the school would not have been possible:
David Borden                                                   Ryan Messersmith
Marry Borden                                                  Joy Nieslony
Grady Carter                                                     Steve Nieslony
Matt Deter                                                        Stacy O’Connell
Daneil Garcia-Estuesta                                 David Schnitzer
Charlie Kurlinkus                                            Mike Willis
Kent Langendorff                                           Greg Zajic
John Leet
Martin Messersmith
My Sports Car Journey #8
The Volvo 1800E
By Jim Robison
Redwood Region-PCA
We were stuck in the service area with an overheated coil in the Volvo 142 rally car. Our solution was what came to be known as “Jim’s water-cooled coil”.  We used zip ties to secure wet shop towels around the coil, and applied more water just before our start time. It worked, and we finished the rally; dead last but finished, DLBF.
With a new coil, we completed many more rallies, but we always had a long drive to get to them. We traveled to Southern California, Oregon, Nevada, and Idaho. There were no stage rallies in Northern California. I decided to rectify that problem.

I remembered my first stage rally in the Mendocino National Forest 35 years earlier (Story #7) so that was a good place to begin. But I soon learned that racing was no longer allowed in national parks. However, they told me that the Bureau of Land Management, BLM, would allow racing and, in fact, managed several “off-road vehicle parks”. With a quick search, I found the South Cow Mountain Off-Road Park east of Ukiah in Mendocino County. I visited the BLM office in Ukiah and asked if I could rent the entire park for a day. They agreed if I would provide adequate insurance.

To be continued ….
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Create a great offer by adding words like "free" "personalized" "complimentary" or "customized." A sense of urgency often helps readers take an action, so think about inserting phrases like "for a limited time only" or "only 7 remaining!"

Steve Long
Membership Director

Phil & Patricia Hill
Richard Wetzel


By Christopher T. Carey
This is a reprint of 1999 Drifter Article.

The following two pieces were written in 1999 for 'THE DRIFTER' while a member of the local Sacramento Region Porsche Club and still possessed of my white 1976 914 2.0 liter (see picture below).

Note the phrase "Sportscar Menopause" found in the second article reprinted below (which was originally titled "The time has come", the Walrus said, "to talk of 914s..."). Most recently (like this past week), I appear to have succumbed to a sportscar menopause relapse and bought a bright red 1975 Porsche 914 1.8 liter. I am now well on my way to rediscovering the delights of owning and driving one of these beautiful little air-breathing beasts, despite the increasing round-the-clock traffic gridlock that has now seized the Greater Sacramento Urban Area and practically made the 4 or 5 speed manual transmission functionally obsolescent.

Clearly, a bit of explanation is in order; although I am in spirit an arch environmentalist who hates what the United States' (more specifically, California's) pathological car culture has done to degrade our air and overall quality of life, part of my dual nature still retains a propensity for appreciation of seductive machines (such as classic automobiles). That having been said, those who were not part of the late 60s and 70s era may have trouble understanding what it is exactly about the 914 that has such a strong attraction for me. Part of that answer you will find below, under "The time has come, the Walrus said...", but first let me give you a little more background on the 914's origins.

The Porsche 914 is an unusually interesting sports car for many reasons. First of all, its looks engender distinctly unambiguous feelings--you either love them or you hate them; no one who has seen a 914 remains completely ambivalent about its looks. To the uninitiated, the 914 may appear at first sight to be the ugliest thing on the road, but to those of us who have a somewhat broader understanding of both the car and the historical context of its era, the clean, minimalised, and functional Gugelot Design GmbH (a well-known German design firm) styling of the 914 has stood the test of time quite well and if anything, grows on one with passing years.

The story of how this remarkable "Volkswagen-Porsche" 914 sports car came into being is worth relating. In the late 60s, as the price of Porsche's flagship 911 continued to climb, Porsche felt it would be prudent to develop a new sports car that would provide an economical, affordable entry into the sporty car market that younger people could more realistically consider. To make a long (and fascinating) story short, Volkswagen and Porsche entered into an informal agreement to develop between them a cooperative project for a sports car using the Volkswagen Type 411 engine. Two models of the new design were visualised: a basic 4-cylinder model using the 1.7 liter Type 411 VW engine, and a higher performance and higher-priced model using the 6 cylinder 2.0 liter engine used in the Porsche 911T. Both cars would have bodies made by the Karmann Coach Works, and while the 4-cylinder model would use almost exclusively VW parts, the 914-6 model would be made principally from Porsche manufactured parts and components. The 6-cylinder 914 model--sometimes referred to as the 914-6--was conceptualised as a replacement for the Porsche 912 model that used a 4 cylinder engine, and the 914-4 would conveniently serve as a fitting replacement for the Volkswagen/Karmann Ghia sports car.

Owing to a complicated number of factors and influences (it makes for fascinating reading, for those who care to look a bit more into this subject), the 914s were marketed under two different systems. In Europe and everywhere outside the USA, the 914-4 was called the "Volkswagen-Porsche 914" and came with the VW Wolfsburg crest on it, instead of the Porsche Stuttgart crest. In the USA, both the 914-4 and the 914-6 were marketed by Porsche-Audi and were emblazoned with the Porsche crest.

As a midengined design, with the powerplant placed amidships (ahead of the rear axle), the 914 inherited the proven race-winning characteristics of Porsche's international midengined sports car racing experience, thus endowing the basic design with loads of potential in terms of excellent handling capabilities. Regrettably, the early 70s were a time when the US dollar was weakening dramatically against the stronger German Mark, resulting in uncomfortably (for Porsche) higher retail prices for both cars (the 914-4 and the 914-6). Further, as the 70s continued to unfold, the growing environmental pollution restrictions being instituted in the USA to curb internal combustion engine emissions resulted in drastic encroachments upon power output and performance of the air-cooled VW and Porsche engines. In 1972 the top-of-the-line 914-6 was discontinued and in fact, none of the small handful of the 1972 model year 914-6s made were even imported into the States. Further, the basic 914-4 model underwent a series of progressive displacement upgrades (from 1.7 liters to 1.8 liters in an effort to offset power losses attributable to draconian smog regulations) from 1972 through 1976, and a new 4-cylinder 2.0 liter engine was also introduced to the 914-4 line to help make up for the loss of the 914-6.

In May of 1976--midway through the model year--production of all 914s came to an end (between 4075 and 4100 of the 1976 models were produced, all of them actually manufactured in late 1975). At that time a total of 115,596 4-cylinder 914s had been produced from 1970 through 1976, and only 3,360 of the more formidable 914-6 versions had been made between 1970 and 1972. Among a few one-off special variants of the 914 design was the Type 916 proposal of 1970, which was a very spectacular car indeed. Regrettably, only 11 of these refined and formidable prototypes were produced. The decision had been made by that time by Porsche to use water-cooled engines exclusively in future and the 914's replacement was to be the unfortunate (in my opinion) Porsche 924.

One more long-lasting controversy lingering over the 914 after its demise in the minds of "Porsche purists" was this: was the car really a Volkswagen, or was it in fact a legitimate Porsche? For many years the more effete of the blue-blooded 'Porscheophiles' ardently debated this question, completely losing sight of the fact that that the ORIGINAL Porsche sports cars first made by Herr Dr. Ing. Porsche in the very late 40s were cobbled together from Volkswagen parts. Thus, the fabled early Porsche 356 coupes and the VW-Porsche 914-4 have far more in common than the 914's seemingly humble status would seem to enable, at first glance. Today, that rather silly question of the 914's 'legitimacy' has been put to rest once and for all, and although today's sports cars increasingly resemble sophisticated fighter jets in their use of advanced technology (and cost!), we fortunately still have the wonderful 914-4 to remind us of those earlier days, when sports cars were more basic and the connection with the driving fun they provide was more direct and uncomplicated.

There is a wonderful book written by one Patrick C. Paternie (How to Restore and Modify Your Porsche 914 and 014/6, MBI Publishing Company, 1999, ISBN 0-7603-0584-6), in which he sums up the 914's story with a most delightful and whimsical statement (or words to this effect): "The 914, in the free and open spirit of the 70s, was a true 'love-child' of that era, mothered by Volkswagen and fathered by Porsche..."

Although the sophisticated (and EXPEN$IVE--at about $65,000 a copy) Porsche Boxter-S of today presently represents the current sports car 'state of the art' with its water-cooled mid-engine design, the lineage of the Boxter derives far more directly from the VW-Porsche Type 914 midengined design of the 70s than it does from the horrifically expensive and esoterically refined Porsche 911 flagship of the present day.

As if this all weren't enough to endear the machine to my history buff's heart, the 914 is also small, efficient, functional, economical, and is above all great fun to drive. It fits E. F. Schumacher's ideal of 'human-scale engineering' beautifully and so it is that I have come to develop a life-long fondness for this particular car (as personified by my 'new' 1975 Porsche 914 named "Putsch", which is German for "revolt" or "overthrow", of course....heh-heh).
Like many of our members I am sure, during the winter months when fog and rain are constant components of the daily weather matrix, I keep my beloved little German air-sucker safely tucked away in the cavernous but dry depths of the garage. At risk of its being labeled a Hanger Queen by those who don’t parlez aviation lingo well enough to know what that sobriquet really means, the fact that it has pride of place in our three-car carriage house is nevertheless well known by those whom I regard as cronies.
During the week and in fact for most of the wintertime it sits quietly hooked up to its electrical life-support umbilicus, peacefully sucking up watts as it slumbers in ursiform hibernation. Outside the garage, Buster the ever-patient 1979 Honda Civic station wagon that is my preferred multiple-purpose beast of daily burden squats resignedly like a plow horse awaiting the yoke. I am certain that Buster is secretly envious of the privileged life my Porsche leads, but to Buster’s credit, it patiently maintains its duties with a sort of reliable élan and an unflappable capability to accomplish any task I might have on the immediate agenda. Of course, Buster has all sorts of hair’s-breadth adventures on the highways, being a small and inoffensive machine which larger American vehicles seemingly love to disdain, that I am equally sure the Porsche doesn’t envy, safely encapsulated in its customary protective habitat.

While I respect and value Buster for the economical, no-nonsense transportation that it provides through good weather and bad with equal aplomb, every now and then in the middle of a typical Sacramento wintertime tule fog bank I find my thoughts slipping away from the inherent danger of those semi-truck-and-trailer headlights that are relentlessly and balefully bearing down on Buster’s rear quarter and wistfully imagining how serenely pleasant it would be to be sitting in the Porsche, absorbing all the proprioceptic vibes that only a beautiful sunny Spring day and one’s nether extremity firmly bucketed in a German sports car can provide.
At the risk of unleashing all sorts of sexist havoc, Buster and the Porsche might be considered analogous to a wife of many years and a mistress (hypothetical exercise in free-floating philosophy, here, you understand). One loves and respects one’s wife for all those steadfast, supportive, and admirable qualities that a life-partner and mother ideally brings into a marriage....but it is invariably the mistress who pushes the key desire buttons. OK. Poor analogy and one that is liable to evoke black clouds of flak from scores of wives who aren’t married to habitually free-spirited, arm-chair philosophers. Without going on further with that unfortunate simile, the fact is, however, I may appreciate and respect Buster but it is the Porsche I lust after.

Fortunately, amidst the perpetually alternating tule fog and chill rains which characterize the Sacramento Valley in our winters of discontent, there are occasionally those beautiful, pristine and sunny breaks in the Pacific storm fronts that manage to coincide with one’s weekend and it is then that I purposefully turn to the garage where the Porsche silently waits for such a rare, golden California winter respite.
Just a few weeks ago, after several weekdays of dodging 18-wheel monsters in the Honda, Saturday dawned bright, calm and pregnant with promise: clearly, it was time to taxi out to the freeway and light both burners in a run for the sun.
After detaching the battery trickle-charger and starting up the engine, I let the cold machine warm up after its prolonged hiatus, enjoying the splendid cacophony that only one of Dr. Porsche’s fabulous air-cooled pushers can create as the cylinder head and oil pressure temps came up to the mark for roll-out. Hell, it was great just sitting there at rest, listening to the car come alive again...and believe me, I am normally not that easy to please.
Finally, we were out on the road, the shifter fitting my driving glove like an aircraft’s stick (as a curious tangential sidelight, the shifter in my Porsche is in fact the hand-grip from a Mach II Convair B-58 Hustler nuclear bomber) as we roared up the freeway on-ramp to join the sparse weekend stream of traffic. V1... V2... rotate! Although my body was strapped in to a four-wheeled Strassenfahrter, my mind was already vectoring in on the nearest imaginary TACAN. I was more than ready to let the trucks eat a little of my dust for a pleasant change.

It was in this sort of glorious mood, for which Porsches are principal codependent facilitators, that I spotted a magnificent hawk flying swiftly above and slightly to the left of me on almost an exact parallel track. My expansive frame of mind immediately seized on the spiritual purity of the bird’s coursing flight and I suddenly found myself embarrassingly imbued with the perfectly glorious symbolism of a natural and serene moment that seemed right out of Ma Nature’s handbook on spiritual illumination. Amazingly, the hawk maintained course with the steady precision of an experienced wingman, as if closing on some unseen target in the bright blue infinity beyond. I was truly boggled by this fascinating encounter, already substantially high on the enjoyable clatter of my Porsche’s air breathing propulsion system.

Fortunately for amateur philosophers (who would probably otherwise end up irredeemable poets as well), nature has a cute way of perpetually reminding all blithe spirits whose winter-bound Central California souls are momentarily floating off to some happy Nirvana that their wheels are still solidly stuck in the muck and mire of Sacramento Valley mud.
For just as I was at the apogee of this sine-wave trajectory of elation in observing the hawk, it suddenly dipped a wing and banked to port directly over me, on its way to a new course of 90 degrees. In the twinkle of an eye it was gone, but in that same twinkle an unbelievably colossal blob of what was undoubtedly some seriously egregious hawk effluent appeared dead center on the windscreen, directly in my field of view. Friend hawk, doubtlessly acting on orders from some celestial FAC, had instantly brought me back to reality from my Porsche-induced stratospheric high. Talk about a bipolar moment!

Looking back on that instant much later, as the tule fog gathers round poor Buster’s dim outline outside, I am impressed by the pseudo satori that was proffered me in my encounter with the hawk. Mulling it all over, I have no doubt at all that an Alan Watts wanna-be would have probably passed out from the sheer kozmik illumination of it all. As it was, I settled for engaging in a somewhat less impressive secular scrub of the Porsche’s besmeared windscreen before tucking it back to bed, while making a mental note to remind myself to eschew further avian wingmen on future solo flights between Sacramento fog banks.
I am sure the Porsche, for its part, was probably not very nonplused by the whole affair.
THE TIME HAS COME, the Walrus said, TO TALK OF 914s... (1999)
Sportscar Menopause. I first saw the phrase in a book of the same name written by Page Stegner, back in 1977. At that time, I was 31 and far from entertaining dolorous reflections about impending middle age. Today, in 1996, I have just turned 50...and frankly, Scarlet, it scares the pahootie out of me to think that I am a half-century old.

Sportscar Menopause is that time in every man’s life when he starts grabbing on to fleeting vestiges of youth as hard as he can, knowing that that inevitable date with the Universal Whatever isn’t all that far off. It usually involves trading the family wagon in for a Porsche 356B at the very least, although even genuine Speedsters aren’t out of the possible range of these desperate types. Frankly, I have always lusted after the old 356s but reason has managed to gain a firm grip on my wallet (in the thinly veiled guise of my long-suffering wife) and I have settled along the way for several different, but less costly but almost as “sporty” four-wheeled machines.
Back in 1976 I had the worst yearning for a 914 you could ever imagine. I was working in the East Bay at the time (San Francisco) as a medical technologist, and my credit rating was typical of a carefree bachelor--marginal. Consequently, the Porsche dealer turned me down for a loan sufficient to buy a VolksPorsche (about $7500 out the door) and in desperation I turned to the similarly midengined Fiat X1/9 ($6500 only). (Yeah, I know...I can see you all cringing at the mere word FIAT...but hang on a minute. It gets better.) Although my X1/9 was one of those rare units turned out by the Bertone Works when the Italian auto workers weren’t on strike (and therefore a reliable, fun machine that gave me almost no problems--unlike most Fiats) and I kept it until I first went to work in the Middle East (1983), my secret love was still the midengined machine which the “real” Porsche owners regarded then as if it were some sort of Volkswagen bastard. So how did I end up with a Typ 914? I’ll tell you how it came about.

You see, after getting out of the Air Force in 1968 (I’d really had it with the impersonal nature of dropping 1000-pound bombs on rice paddy workers from B-52 bombers), I had returned to the San Francisco Bay Area and started to work in hospitals. In 1969 the Typ 914/4 and 914-6 were debuted. I was interested, but still too poor to realistically consider such beautiful toys. However, in 1972, while going with a hemodialysis nurse at Herrick Hospital in Berkeley (who drove an orange 240Z), I virtually ran smack into this outrageous friend of hers whom I was fated to develop a life-long affection for. Her name was J and she drove this bright red 1971 914/4 as if it were on fire. J was also a dialysis nurse, originally from Noo Yawk, and she affected that attitude of breezy confidence that I found absolutely captivating. J had long brunette hair, naturally beautiful light olive skin and displayed her lithe Greek heritage in a manner that was irresistible. My gawd! She was all leg from the chin down. Well, to make a long story a bit briefer, I fell ferociously in love with 1) J, and 2) with her red 914.

The 914’s name was “Big Red,” a sort of characteristic moniker that made it seem more formidable than its 1.7 liter engine and notchy rear shift linkage would otherwise justify. However, in her hands its RPMs sang like a vintage Stradivarius at full cruise. Wow. I was hooked! J had innumerable adventures in Big Red and because she was a beautiful nurse who could turn the charm on or off like a faucet, she always managed to talk her way out of the speeding tickets the police invariably felt she deserved. Cops melted like butter when she turned those hot brown eyes on and spun the usual tale about being on call and coming back to the hospital for an emergency.

Well, meanwhile, after years of close encounters with beautiful J I finally managed to get into a different relationship which eventually folded and led to me joining the Saudi Arabian Foreign Medical Legion. Subsequent to a few years treating valvular heart disease in Bedouins I returned to California and moved to Santa Cruz (Surf City). This was after spending half a year learning Chinese in Taiwan, virtually none of which remains with me today. Having long since sold the Fiat (whose name was X-Lax, by the way), I came across a beautiful, lime-green 1972 Datsun 240Z which I ended up buying. I found it, curiously enough, by virtue of the fact that I was a runner and every day on my usual route I passed this beautiful, clean and yellow-green Z-car sitting weirdly by itself in an empty horse pasture with a “For Sale” sign on it. The Z-car ended up being named Boojwa-Z (recall that I am, after all, an old Berkeley radical through and through...) and it served me well through several years of SCCA involvement as a Turn Marshall and medical/emergency worker for San Francisco Region races at Sears and Laguna.

It wasn’t until this year, however, exactly 20 years almost to the day after I was turned down by the Porsche Dealer for a loan, that I finally managed to purchase the VolksPorsche of my dreams. I had returned from another sojourn in Saudi Arabia (this time replete with Gulf War for entertainment) with a fair stash of booty and one day spotted a strange advertisement in a local paper. Actually, I had been looking around for an old 356 B or C, but the ad stated “1976 Porsche 914, 2 Liter, white/black, stereo, alarm, Konis, everything new, very, very clean, must see, etc.” What caught my attention about it was that the photograph appearing over the ad was that of a 924, a Porsche design of a different color (so to speak) that I truly don’t care for at all. Piqued by curiosity, I made an appointment to go see this 914/924.

Simply put, one glance at this beautiful machine (it was a 914) and I was instantly transported back to all those youthful adventures tied so inextricably with J and Big Red. I had the cheque written out even before I was through looking at the machine. However, recalling hip VW guru John Muir’s sagacious advice on how to select a VW Bug with good karma, I meditated a second or two with my hands on the car’s roof and sure enough...the heavens rolled and a fanfare of trumpets announced, somewhat in the manner I would imagined Morroni had revealed the Mormon promised land to Brigham Young, that THIS WAS THE CAR!

That white 914/4 is today named HeissWeiss and it is all the sportscar I shall ever need...Sportscar Menopause be damned! It gives me so much pleasure just sitting in it and tooling along sedately that I don’t even feel the need to wind it around an occasional lamppost simply to assure myself that my adrenals still work properly. With its perfect combination of “love it or hate it” styling, which I have grown to love (it is an acquired taste, after all), and impeccable road manners that only improve on a tight ‘number 10 pucker factor’ mountain hairpin, I have now gotten entirely over my vaunted former quest for the perfect old 356!

It makes me chuckle to think that it took me 20 years to finally get the 914 VolksPorsche I first fell in love with back in 1972, and nearly bought in 1976. Now is that requited love, or what? If we ever have the opportunity to meet on some 914 get-together someday, you’ll be able to tell who I am in the happy crowd of 914 owners--I’m the one with the 'F106A' vanity plate and the big satisfied grin.

Obviously, Page Stegner had never encountered a 914 back in 1977, in the course of writing his book about Sportscar Menopause, while teaching at UC Santa Cruz (he was only 41 at the time). If he had, he would never have finished the book and I wouldn’t be able to chuckle today over the title of it as I break through the dreaded Sonic Wall of the Baby-Boomer generation in my favorite ‘76 model VolksPorsche.

Whatever happened to J and Big Red, you ask? Big Red succumbed to what I term Birkenstock Syndrome, some years ago. So called, because J in all her youthful innocence had chosen to drive to the beach one day, wearing her Birkenstock sandals. As she came to a stoplight on Pacific Garden Mall, her right Birkenstock slipped off, wedging itself between the accelerator and the rear of the center console. Zoom! Big Red shot full bore across the red light and buried its nose-badge and everything else behind it in the side of a big, impervious Chevy Suburban tank (fortunately, J escaped with scratches only). Requite im Pace, Big Red!

J, for her part, although undoubtedly still as unique as ever, was driving a Subaru XT the last time I saw her. My peak emotional experience in life, 25 years ago, she remains one of my oldest and dearest friends today.
Obviously, nothing lives forever...neither youthful romances nor bright red 914s. Fin de siècle, Dr. Ing. F. Porsche. Prosit, wherever you are, Big Red! This quart of Mobil 1 Synthetic is for you...!

Note dated February 2024: The above three short stories were originally written for and published in the Sacramento Valley Region (Porsche Club of America) magazine, ‘THE DRIFTER’ in three separate issues dated 1999. That would make them quite dated by now, but perhaps you’ll enjoy them despite that fact. My love affair with the ubiquitous Porsche 914 continues today (in my late 70s), as do certain ‘other’ loves of my life.

I have had several 914-4s in the past, as well as a splendid red 1970 914-6 that I foolishly sold to a Japanese businessman who had a Yen for it, some 15 years or so ago. That was the worst move I ever made, given the rep that the 6 has today among enthusiasts. But realistically, I would probably end up in the County Poorhouse just trying to keep it properly maintained, since every time a Porsche of any model type hiccups or backfires, one can hear a virtual cash register go “Ka-Ching-Ka-Ching” somewhere), so perhaps it is happier over there!
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The above as mentioned by Rik Larson just so you know. This is something that has been in the PCA RPM (Region Procedures Manual) since at least 2019 and is now appearing at more and more PCA events (social media driven).

Obviously we have been exposed to being photographed and videotaped for years (the red light cameras for example), stores where you shop, when you use an ATM, etc.

So SMILE when attending one of our events.
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