60th Annual Porsche Parade – June 2015

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Each year the excitement builds in anticipation of the Annual Porsche Parade.  And each year the week-long event (1000+ Porsches) is held in a different part of the country, with the idea of making it easier for members closer to that location to attend. 

This year the Parade was held in French Lick, Indiana (the home of basketball great, Larry Bird).  Last year was Monterey, CA with next year being Jay Peak, VT.  Then in 2017, we are fortunate to have it being held in Spokane, WA!

Start making plans to attend…

I’ll call this story 6,000 miles, 13 States in 23 days…

The Porsche Club is all about Porsches & People.  Each year the circle of friends grows!  Last year at a PCA event in Florida I met a couple from Denver, and we kept in touch over the year.  They organized a group of 6 Porsches for the drive from Denver to French Lick.  I joined them in Denver, and off we went.  We had 3 Porsches from Colorado, 2 from California and 1 from Oregon (me). 

The oldest Porsche in the group was a 1968 911LTarga with over 200,000 miles on it.  The homemade rack for racing tires has been on theTarga since 1970, when the back seat needed to become available for a baby seat.  We were told that the rack transporting the race tires have been speed tested to 120 MPH!

We had a planned stop for lunch the first day at Al’s Chickenette in, Hays Kansas.  They knew that we were coming, and were so excited about 6 Porsches coming to town that the local newspaper reporter & photographer showed up to capture the event.  We had a great lunch, and each of us were presented with an Al’s Chickenette tee shirt. The inscription on the back reads “65 Years Still Frying Chicken 1949 – 2014 Hays Kanasas”  The event made everyone’s day!

The following day we met up with “Tropical Storm Bill” in St Louis!  6 Porsches driving through the heavy city traffic in the heavy driving rain (wipers on high could barely keep up) was a challenge. 

We stopped for lunch at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant in Mt Vernon, Missouri during a break in the rain.  We parked on the upside of the parking lot, quite a distance from the front door.  Good thing, since the cars parked in the downside of the lot ended up sitting in several inches of water once the heavy rain returned.

How to get back to the Porsches in the driving rain, without getting totally wet?  The only option was to buy a child’s small Barney umbrella, we were “styling”…  On the way back to the freeway, there was water flooded over the road, we figured that if a Volkswagen could float, then a Porsche could do even better!  We made it!

Oh…and being a multi-marque guy, I did make a visit to the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  The only Porsche in the parking lot!   

Now French Lick is a small Destination Resort town located in the wooded rolling hills of southern Indiana.  Quite a spectacular place!  The resort was awesome, with the staff attending to our every need.  The perfect location for 1000+ Porsches and friends to congregate for the week for a week long adventure.  Once again, renewing friendships and making new ones!

There was an organized group of approx 80 Porsches on tour to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (built in 1909).  We made two “low speed” laps of the speedway.  60 MPH seems like a snail’s pace on a track capable of handling speed of over 200 MPH.  I’ll admit that there was a bit of “rubber banding” going on.  We also toured the Motor Speedway Museum which was absolutely increadible!

Oh… I should mention, The Porsche Club of America is “fueled by volunteers”.  It’s very rewarding to participate as a volunteer. 

I was up at 5:00 one morning and we drove a couple of trucks with bottled water, Gatorade & ice to the various offsite locations.  Our final stop that morning was the autocross setup at the local airport.  It was early, so we took the opportunity to run the trucks through the autocross course.  Only missed one gate!

Wolfgang Porsche was there, with his son Felix.  They were very sociable, and enjoyed talking with our PCA members.  Wolfgang spoke at an evening banquet, thanking PCA for the fantastic Porsche support over the years.  Then he concluded with “I have a surprise for you”.  The lights dimmed, and Felix drove a Racing Yellow GT4 into the room.  An awesome sight and incredible sound!

After a wonderful week, it was time to head home…  The route went through Illinois, Wisconsin, onto to Minnesota & South Dakota, for visits with friends & relatives.  4th of July celebration with family, lots of kids and fireworks.  Finger count at the end of the evening showed all intact, with only a couple of minor burns!

Then... back on the road through Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Washington to “home again in Oregon”.  It felt great to return! We are so fortunate to live in such a wonderful place!