- 1st Annual Gary Bell Rally 2019
In honor of a long time BRR-PCA member and rally enthusiast we held our first Annual Gary Bell Rally. The rally was planned by Bill Hume and Gary Templeton with input from others. The event began with the requisite waiver signing, safety briefing, and rally overview. The 14 cars plus the lead and chase cars were staged at the release site, the Sportscar Clinic in Roanoke, Va. and set off on the course in approximately 2 minute intervals. The route traveled through Roanoke with the navigators guiding the driver, finding stopping point to capture images, and noting answers to rally questions. A fun route through Roanoke and Franklin County took the group to its first stop – the Homestead Creamery in Wirtz, VA. After the brief stop, where most participants were seen enjoying the homemade ice cream, the navigators guided their drivers through the back roads of Franklin and Pittsylvania counties before meeting at our final destination, the Smith Mountain Dam Visitors Center. Following a tour of the center the rally results were announced and awards were given out.
Scenes From The Rally
- 40th Anniversary a Success!
With much planning and hard work from a few people our 40th Anniversary Celebration, though a year delayed, was held on October 14, 2021. The turnout was great with 94 attendees including several of our founding members, a few of our past President’s, several new members.
A number of members commented that it was a great event! The Vinton War Memorial was quite the upscale venue and facilitated socializing, dinner, car show, and silent auction. Our dinner was catered by our own Steve Williams and his staff from Professional Catering, Inc. More than a few attendees said the food was awesome with one saying it changed his mind how good food can be at a large social event. Of course, no celebration is without mementos and each attendee departed with an insulated tumbler and each registrant was provided a dash plaque.
The event began with a show of members’ cars in the parking lot with entries organized in 3 classes. This was a “peoples choice” show with the votes placed through tickets purchased by attendees in the quantities they desired. While there were strong contenders the winners were:
CLASS WINNER VEHICLE 2-Door Porsche Marc Wilson 1991 Porsche 944S2 4-Door Porsche Dawn Michelsen 2021 Porsche Cayenne Coupe Non-Porsche Al & Beth Durham 1971 Detomaso Pantera
A key portion of our celebration was raising funds for the 4 charities that our region supports. The car show entry fees and voting tickets were but one aspect of the fund raising. As part of registration a number of caring members made charitable contributions to add to the funding. Finally, we held a silent auction which featured a number of items generously donated by Porsche of Charlottesville, as well as a number of books donated by a bighearted member. The result is that we raised over $2,800 for our charities!
With concerns for Covid, the venue was set-up with fewer chairs per table. Several parties self selected their dining partners for comfort. All attendees were provided a stunning face mask that sported the event logo as well upon check-in and for use while indoors. And, an individual size hand sanitizer was placed at each table setting.
This article by Dave Hogan provides a summary of the event activities and includes more pictures.
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- BRR-PCA Members Bring Joy During Social Distancing
What started out as disappointment became happiness for a young boy and delight for a number of Blue Ridge Region PCA members.
The story begins with a message from a BRR-PCA member Todd Beard …
I have a small dilemma. My youngest son turned 9 today and he is heartbroken because he can’t really have a party that was planned for Saturday; it was to be Porsche themed, actually cool cars in general.
Would anybody in the club be interested in doing a “drive by” for him in our neighborhood? If you don’t think this is appropriate, I understand, but just in case my address has been shared and we are at the end of the street on a cul-de-sac. Can’t miss it my 911 and 944 can be seen from the street.
The action …
18+ cars, many with both a member and partner drove past beeping and waving birthday greetings over a 2 hour period. One member’s friend even joined in with his MG! Thanks to Bill Hume’s suggestion, Gary Templeton pulled together a hat and other BRR-PCA items as gifts from our club and several region members generously dropped off gifts as well. All was done maintaining necessary social distancing.
The impact …
Thank you fellow BRR-PCA members. You made what could have been a terrible experience for my nine year old son a huge success! I so appreciate and am humbled by our regions outpouring of support for my son for his birthday. Thanks to all of the members who participated and brought your beautiful cars and all the gifts and birthday wishes made Isaiah’s birthday one that I doubt he will ever forget.
I have only on rare occasion been part of an organization that doesn’t just support their members but goes out of its way, in trying times like this, to bring joy to a young person like my son. My family and I are extremely grateful for today. Though I do not think the story ends there. You all demonstrated today, what can be done as an organization with commitment to a cause. Our society could take a lesson from all of your kindness and support. Please convey to the membership a big thank you on behalf of my entire family.
My son looked at me several times over the course of those two hours and said how “cool” all of today’s visits were. The icing on the cake that brought me to tears occurred tonight as he was getting ready for bed. He told me “Daddy this was the best birthday ever”. For me nothing tops that.
“IT’S NOT JUST THE CARS, IT’S THE PEOPLE”
- Our First Porsche
By Maury Hamill
Photos by Maury Hamill and family
The fiftieth anniversary of the 914 and Norm’s recent suggestion for Suncoast members to write articles about our first Porsche seemed to beg a report on the first one we had and kept for so long. On 10/23/1972 we bought a Phoenix Red 1972 914 at Mahan Porsche-Audi in Salem, VA. Dave Mahan, the owner, told me later that this was one of the first four 914 2.0 sold on the east coast that he, as a new dealer, was able to acquire only by being in the right place at the right time. No serious effort was ever made to verify this, though VIN and engine number are early, no records were found to distinguish the 2.0 displacement from the 1.8 versions or where sold.
The 2-liter 914 four, which replaced the 914-6 for Porsche, came with chrome bumpers, F&R anti-sway bars, forged Fuchs wheels and black vinyl covered sail panels. The U.S. distributor wanted them designated as 914Ss, however, Porsche AG vetoed that according to lore. The 2.0 914 four made 91 horsepower. Now our base 2018 Cayman 2-liter four turbo makes 300hp.
From the original invoice, the POE price was $5,199.00 with $128.30 for “Transp. & Prep.” and with tinted glass for $84.00 being the only option, totaling $5,546.30. How times and Porsche prices have changed since. Little did we know then what adventures were in store for us with this 914. Initially, the 914 was a daily driver in southwest Virginia, snow and all, for several early years. Had we known then that we would keep the car for so long, and enter these odd PCA events called Concours de Elegance, the 914 would have been pampered more…maybe.
While aware of something called the Porsche Club of America, probably from reading Road & Track, there was no local presence and no dealer information. A letter to First Settlers Region in the early years was unanswered. After the Blue Ridge Region was formed in 1980, we joined and were soon involved with PCA on many levels—many socials and meetings with regional offices including president for both Sue and me. She was one of the two founding mothers of Autumnfest, a favorite multiregional event for many years and I topped out as Zone 2 representative from 1990 to 1994. The 914 led us both into virtually all PCA activities from the aforementioned Concours to Drivers’ Ed and many autocrosses as well as club racing for me. Too many stories about all this to include here, but the 914 placed third in the full Concours, the only kind back then, at the Ozarks ’83 and Down East ’86 Parades and won some regionally Not much to say about rallying other than not conducive to marital harmony. The 914 won many autocrosses over the years with both drivers including a couple of FTDs on rainy days when the open- wheel formula cars stayed home.
We both began DEs in the 914 and later progressed to a 914-6 built by a Werk 1, Zuffenhausen foreman that had a 2.4 S MFI engine, leather-covered roll cage, etc. and semi- fondly known as “The Beast” (916 clone?) about which there are too many stories to include here. One day Alan Friedman, founder of PCA club racing and then Potomac region chief Instructor, jumped in the 6 to see why it was so fast and, after the session, asked if I would like to instruct, leading to many years of track instructing. Sue retired from DE and autocross after our son joked with her about beating some guys who were a lot more serious about it than she was. Though she now says she just “grew up,” I think she was looking for an excuse to quit.
The 914 was well used and well maintained over the years, serviced by the dealers when we had one in the Roanoke area, as they tended to phase out after a few years. One story Sue has been known to tell is when there was a recall for leaking injectors that could lead to fires, I sent her off, with a fire extinguisher and instructions for use, to Mahan Porsche-Audi about 35 miles east of our home in Radford while I had to work.
At the 992-mile service for the 914, Sue asked after we left it off, if I thought the mechanic Keith looked old enough to work on our car as his hair made him appear younger than his actual late teens. He was and has been a close friend ever since who has done most of the work on all our subsequent Porsches when we lived in Virginia.
In fact, after practice for the 1986 Sebring Firehawk 6-hour support race the day before the 12-Hour, Keith pulled out the page and a half squawk list I had given him for the 914s first service so many years before. Apparently, he
had never had a customer who noticed so many details and he filed it away. Keith told me earlier that I had been autocrossing long enough and it was time to do some real racing. Since a 944 won the first Firehawk series in ’85, he proposed doing all the prep and maintenance for a share of the driving, if I got a 944. Seemed like a good idea, so we went ahead with that plan. He, our son Ty and I all drove about 2 hours each. We finished 6th of 96, 3rd 944 at Sebring in 1986.
That first Porsche led to many others fortunately. After it, the next was an ’82 911 SC that Sue ordered as a surprise 50th-birthday present for me that was delivered timely in December of 1981. Chiffon white with full-leather in tan and brown, it was a great travel car that we took to the Chicago ’84 Parade. Our pre-departure Concours prep was wiped out by thunderstorms on the way to the Appleton, Wisconsin, site making a good excuse for mediocre results, no recall on our rally finish. The driving event at Road America was delayed until last for our group due to noise restrictions. One of the loud modified cars in the group ahead of us rolled in the last corner—end over end and sideways within our view, prompting Sue to decide not to drive that year.
One of the advantages of owning a car so long is that whatever can go wrong with it has usually happened before. On the way to the Ozarks in ’83, the 914 refused to start at the first gas stop in a small town in Kentucky on a weekend. The attendant told us to call a VW place for suggestions. They said to reach under the left side and tap on the starter to release the solenoid while someone turned the key, and it worked. This happened another time before replacing the starter, at the check-in parking in front of the Ritz Carlton Buckhead (Atlanta). An embarrassing site to crawl under the car, but it worked again. We were there for Peachstate Region’s Rennfest, it may have been the year the 914 won the Out- of-Region Best-Overall trophy with firsts in Concours, rally and autocross, thanks to son Ty’s navigation for the rally success.
What happened to the 914 you may ask? After many years and over 200 autocross events, most with SCCA, the 914 was still competitive winning A/S in ’85, ’86, BS in ’98, ’01 and C/S in ’87, ’88, ’89, ’91, ’93, ’94, ’95, ’02 and ’03. By then, Miatas and their drivers were getting better and the 914…and I…were getting older and slower. We also had a ’98 Boxster that was giving the 914 some intrafamily competition until we moved it to Florida full time to AX at MacDill with Suncoast.
For the 50th Parade (Hershey 2005), entry was limited. At 337 on the wait list, we thought we would pass—until they came up with a display of Porsches that had been owned for over 25 years by the original owners. This inspired me, I detailed the 914 as well as I could and, having just sold mine, borrowed a trailer and tow vehicle from a good PCA friend and away we went to Hershey.
Since we wanted to move to Florida full time, like the Boxster, there was limited garage space for the 914, it was too clean to AX and would be too far away for Keith to maintain, we came to the sad conclusion that it was time to sell if it would bring a price we could not refuse. In August 2006, John W a former 914 owner, who had lost his to a fuel-leak fire many years before offered $16K, so we let it go. No seller’s remorse and I have been able to follow the car now with the fourth owner. I had asked John W to let me know if he ever wanted to sell it back. Another PCA and AX friend saw an ad that he thought sounded like our 914, so I asked John why he didn’t call me. His excuse was that he didn’t think I would be willing to pay what he was asking. Understanding he got in the mid-twenties for it, he was probably correct.
Sadly, that buyer got rear ended by a cell phone user’s SUV while stopped for a red light only a few miles from where they bought it. That was the 914s third time being hit while parked. The first time the right front was hit on the Mahan lot, the second time the left door was dented at a professional building’s lot at night while I was at a study club meeting. No note was left. Neither of the repaints matched the original exactly so around ’95, the entire front and left door were done again with a good match. When I sold the 914, the right door and all aft were still original paint. It was never damaged while being driven. The third buyer had the 914 in his collection for a few years, then sold it to the current owner Tom B. who drives it and with whom I occasionally communicate. There is some hope that he may bring the 914 to Werks Reunion in March at Amelia Island, where we are looking forward to seeing our old friend again.
- Porsche Club gathers to share food, donations for families
On Sept. 18, members of the First Settlers and Blue Ridge Regions of the Porsche Club of America visited Lake Christian Ministries in Moneta and provided monetary donations and food supplies to support local families in need.
Thirty-seven vintage Porsche vehicles gathered in the parking lot at Lake Christian Ministries. Club members presented 758 pounds of food supplies for the food pantry and donations totaling $1,900 to be used for food, financial aid and New Tomorrows services that will be directed toward helping families who are struggling with poverty.
“A big thank you to our region’s Porsche Club of America members for their very generous support of our efforts to impact poverty,” commented Jane Winters, Lake Christian Ministries’ executive director.
Lake Christian Ministries (LCM) has been providing food, clothing, household items and crisis financial aid since 1992 to needy families in the Smith Mountain Lake areas of Bedford, Franklin and Pittsylvania Counties, supporting its vision of a poverty-free community where each individual is valued, is connected, and lives in hope. LCM also offers mentoring/partnering services, educational classes, community connections and job assistance to aid those working toward more secure lives for themselves and their families.
For additional information, contact Jane Winters, executive director, at email@example.com or 540-297-3214.
This article is courtesy of the Smith Mountain Eagle.