2013 Porsche Parade review
2013 was a busy show season for us and 968s but we wrapped it up with an amazing trip to the 58th annual Porsche Parade held in Traverse City MI during the last week of June. Due to scheduling issues I didn’t know if we were going to attend until the last day of registration but things came together and Greg and I signed up for the event. Now, this was going to be a significant journey for us, similar to the Savannah trip two years ago. The good news was that the drive would be a more pleasant one (compared to I95 to GA) going through New York, into Canada, and then finally into Michigan. My new Passport arrived in time so we were set. We left late on Friday and drove to Buffalo. The next morning we made a quick stop at Niagara Falls and then into Canada. A slight delay crossing the border and we were back in the US. We pulled into the Traverse City Resort and Spa around 4pm and after checking in, proceeded to clean 875 miles worth of bugs off the car. I had the bra on the car. It is Ugly but it does a great job of taking the bulk of the road mess.
Traverse City is very far north in Michigan. One of the first things we noticed was the daylight. Being on the west most side of the eastern time zone , up that far north, and being June, there was still some daylight going on after ten pm! The resort and area were beautiful. We were lucky and despite our late registration, got a room in the main hotel. There were Porsches everywhere you looked. After cleaning we strolled the parking lot and checked them out. We found a few 968s and spoke with a few of the owners.
Sunday marked the official kick off of the event so I had to check in. Things were well organized. We met many more folks, looked at a number of cars, and spent the day detailingMinty. One of the first big surprises was spotting a speed yellow 968 coupe in the parking lot. A quick inspection yielded an Oklahoma license plate so I knew the car was Speed Yellow coupe #7. We hunted done the owner Brian and had a great time talking to him and checking out the car. It has over 100K miles on it but is extremely clean and could pass for a car with a third of the true mileage. One of the neatest modifications was the original, hardback (painted speed yellow of course) 968 CS seats that were installed in the car. Brian let me sit in the car and I could not believe how much lower I sat in the car. It is amazing how much of the lower seat portion of our seats is filled with motors and raises the height of the seat compared to a full manual seat. Very cool. Saturday night had the welcome party and we met additional Porsche owners and saw the debut of the new 50 anniversary 911 which was nice with its plaid seats.
Monday morning greeted us with another beautiful day as we reported to the first hole of the golf course as it was the location for the concours. The event had over 200 cars competing as they introduced a new “Street” class. The cars looked great and the weather continued to cooperate. It was hot but not “Savannah” hotJ. We enjoyed our concours lunch and wrapped up by late afternoon. I had thought I would try the new “preservation” category this year, which was interesting, and we took third in class. The 924 that took first actually brought extra set of wheels and tires to use for the show!!! Monday night had Greg and I attending the very enjoyable PCA President’s event at a venue on Lake Michigan.
With the concours behind us we got to enjoy Tuesday. Most of the events were filled by the time we registered so we decided to take a drive up to Old Mission state park and see the lighthouse and a 170 year old general store. It was a very beautiful drive with great water views. There is so much waterfront land in Michigan with much of it undeveloped. Next Greg and I attended the Michelin drive and compare where we got to drive a pair of new 911 cabs equipped with the new Supersport tires around an autocross course. We both had big smiles on our faces when that event was done. Tuesday night was the concours dinner and we left on our return trip home early Wednesday morning. We did stop at the Anchor restaurant in Buffalo for some authentic Buffalo wings but did the entire 13 hour drive on Wednesday as Greg had class the next day.
Overall, a great event and I got to meet a number of new PCAers and saw another part of the country. In the end I counted 14 968s at the event so not a bad showing. Next year they are in California which is too long a drive for me but 2015 has the Parade being held in Indiana so that looks doable. If you haven’t done a Parade I highly recommend attending.
Thoughts on future 968 collectability:
A recent internet article was published on 968 collectability:
It spurred a continued discussion on a 968 board which I responded to with my top six reasons why I think the 968 will do well in the future. I thought I would share them with you:
1. Rarity – The production numbers are amazingly low. Due to the recession and the vehicle cost brought on by the fact that 968s were still be hand built the production numbers were very low. My cab was over $60K in 1992 dollars. This resulted in only 4,242 North American 968s produced in 4 years!
2. Evolution – The 968 was the final version of the successful front-engine Porsche line and represents all they learned resulting in a solid vehicle with the latest technology and all the weak points of the model line addressed. I’ve owned them for 17 years and never had one break down.
3. Advanced engineering – Because of its advanced engineering the 968 is still pretty much up to date from a technology perspective. An economical and responsive 4 cylinder engine, a 6 speed transmission mounted in the rear for a 50/50 weight ratio, variable valves, ABS, airbags. It sounds like today’s latest offerings.
4. Timeless looks and style – Subjective but the 968 looks great today. I’m often asked if it is a new model. I like the interior as well.
5. Pedigree/Heritage – all 968s were built in Stuttgart. The 968 did limited racing and did well when it did. The racing 968s are even rarer and have commanded huge collector dollars. One of the 968 RS cars sold for close to $350K earlier this year.
6. Unique vehicles – As if the low production wasn’t enough, Porsche was starting to do much vehicle customization with the introduction of the 968. Over 30 exterior colors, 100 different interiors styles/colors, and 100s of custom options made for a number of unique cars even within the small number produced. Uniqueness is one of the primary drivers for collectability.
More high performance four cylinders:
Did you catch a recent article on the new 2014 Mercedes Benz CLA45? Underneath the hood is a 355 horsepower four cylinder engine, wow. But what is most significant is the fact that this is the first 4 cylinder engine tuned by Mercedes high performance tuner, AMG. I think this is yet another hint of the future that is heading for us with our fun cars being both spirited and economical, just like our 968s!
PCA 968 e-Newsletter featured 968
I stumbled onto this unique, 1 of 1 968 coupe at this year’s Hershey show. It is a rare and desirable M030 coupe with sport seats and limited slip but what really sets this car apart are the colors: Amazon Green paired with a magenta interior. I’ve seen many examples of each but never an example where they are together. Again, Wow!
A gift from the PCA 968 register
Ever wonder about what exterior colors were available on the 968 during its four years of production? Well I put together a PDF document that answers just that question. It is attached here:Porsche 968 Exterior Color Chart
Enjoy the rest of the summer and your 968!!!
PCA 968 Register advocate