So, how was your summer? I hope you got out and enjoyed that 968 of yours. I certainly had my fill of shows this past season. Although we stared out with a disappointing Zone 1 concours the 2015 Parade was an amazing event. On top of that, we had a fantastic summer here in Connecticut with temperatures staying mild all season long so this provided the perfect opportunity for some great top-down driving. I have a few more weeks of enjoyment while we move into the colorful foliage months and then off to 5 months of storage. Overall, a fantastic 2015. Time to start thinking about 2016. If you have event that you plan to attend let me know and we’ll share it with the group. Next year’s Parade will be held in Jay Peek Vermont, right near the Canadian border so if you have never visited that part of the country you might want to consider it.
968 Market Report
Just like all the “classic” Porsches, the 968 is enjoying a nice bump in selling prices in 2015. We have seen a number of 968s selling above $30K in 2015 while many other nice examples are trading in the $15K to $25K range. There are even a couple of sub-10k mile examples out there looking for sales above the $50,000 mark. Wow. Let’s hope these strong trends continue.
A North American 968 in Switzerland
My wife and I recently traveled to Europe for the first time to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Although I had hoped to get over to Stuttgart to visit the Porsche Museum I could not work it into the schedule but we did end up doing something that was just as much fun. We spent the last few days of our trip in Zurich Switzerland and that just happens to be the home of 968 register member Max. I mentioned to him that we would be in town and he generously invited my wife and I to his home for dinner. I’m sure you would agree that when visiting a new location there is nothing like seeing it when in the accompaniment of a local resident. Max picked Sheryl and I up at the hotel and took us to his amazing home that overlooks the lake. We met his wife Judy, his sister in-law, and brother in-law and enjoyed a great meal. We talked Porsches, cars, 968s, and differences in our homes. They were such nice warm people and we were very fortunate to spend some time visiting with them. Max had a great collection of cars including an old Mercedes 190, a 1980 911 targa with the pasha interior (very cool), and of course, his beautiful 968. Max’s 968 is a pristine 30K mile example in Guards Red. My only disappointment was, after hoping that I would get to see ROW (rest of world) 968, it turned out that Max’s car was actually a North American example! Max wanted a nice clean low mileage 968 and found it in the US so he grabbed it and now it lives in his garage in Switzerland!!! Too funny. I’ll hope to find a ROW 968 on my next trip! Thanks again to Max and Judy!
EVENT REVIEW – 2015 Porsche Parade, French Lick IN – June, 2015
I knew I would attend the Parade in 2015. Indiana wasn’t too bad a drive and I felt the central location would yield a well-attended event with many great Porsches. I had also never visited Indiana and the venue looked interesting. So, when registration opened up in March I was on my desktop signing up for the event. It took six hours due to server issues but I got through it and was rewarded with a special code that allowed me to secure a room at the host hotel, the French Lick Resort. The weeks ticked by as they always do and then the big day was upon me. My son Greg was available and offered to join me on the 12 hour, 850 mile drive so we left bright and early on Saturday morning in late June.
Now, I knew nothing of French Lick before this event. I had been told that it was the childhood home of basketball great Larry Bird but other than that, nothing. However, it is the home of two “grand” hotels which are over 100 years old each. The French Lick Springs Hotel and the West Baden Springs hotel were frequented by the Chicago elite back in the day include one Mr. Al Capone. If you’ve been to or have seen the Mount Washington hotel in New Hampshire or remember the Overlook hotel in the movie the Shinning it is along those same lines. Very large, grand, and with many opulent architectural features. And they celebrate their heritage with the period furnishings, events, and activities such as bands dressed in striped shirts and straw hats playing horns, banjos, and even a washboard!
After our long trip we were met by a friendly Parade greeting committee who gave us drinks and snacks and told us where to go next. We proceed to check into the hotel and the event and then had some time to relax before heading to the welcome dinner. Nicely prepared washing bays were set up so that was my next stop in order to give Minty a proper wash after the long 850 mile journey. We then checked out the various displays such as the Goodie store, sponsor room, and a special former parade exhibit. We also kept our eyes peeled for 968s.
Now, bad weather was threatening all day but we got through most of Sunday without seeing a drop of rain. When I saw the sixties welcome dinner had been moved to the parking garage I thought that maybe the organizers had been a little too cautious but sure enough, two hours into the event the rain showed up but we were none the wiser as the parking garage was dry and filled with partiers, great food, and music.
Monday brought concours day. Bright and early I had to get Minty into position in the special “60 4 60” display. The display selected a car from every model year that the Porsche club has been in existence. Minty represented 1992. I was excited when they contacted me and asked me to participate but was especially glad since the 968 would be represented. Little did I know, I need not have worried. Parked next to me was a 1993 911 RS America but representing 1994 was Paul’s beautiful midnight blue 968 coupe and next to him was Brian’s Speed Yellow 1995 M030 coupe. So, the 968s dominated! How many models could say the represented 75% of their production years! There were many incredible cars in the display as well as the historic display and the concours. All these displays had been smoothly moved to covered locations in case of rain, which never did show up. We were in the Tennis center while the concours was in the parking garage. I can’t say enough about how smoothly the parade committee made these last minute weather-related changes. Not even a bump. After Minty was all cleaned and ready we had time to review the other amazing vehicles and socialize with their owners while we waited for the concours judges.
Then something amazing happened to me. I had been talking with fellow car owners all morning about my car and 968s in general when someone tapped me on the shoulder and when I turned to see who it was I was floored. It was Dennis Gage of Discovery/Velocity channel’s My Classic Car show. He was very excited to see my 968 and asked me many questions about the model and whether or not the exterior color could possibly be factory original. As we talked he asked if I could get away so he could profile myself and the car for his show. I certainly wanted to take him up on that offer and get my “15 seconds” of fame so after we were judged and the display complete I met him in front of the Hotel a few hours later and he interviewed me and profiled the car. I even let him drive it and they filmed the show closure while he was doing that. It was all very exciting. So, assuming I don’t end up on the cutting room floor look for Minty and I in a Spring 2016 episode of My Classic Car and more exposure for our 968s! What a day.
Recovering from all the excitement we spent some time relaxing before heading to the President’s dinner. Held at the golf course at West Baden on a hill, overlooking a fantastic view of the course, we spent the evening talking with fellow enthusiast while we watched the sun go down. Porsche had brought the new club coupe and Boxster Spyder up to the event so we were able to give them a good look over as well.
Tuesday we were up early to take in more of the event. There were many activities and tours that were offered including a trip to the Indianapolis Motor speedway but we decided to hang at the hotel and see everything there. There were many displays set up including a hospitality room filled with vendors hocking their products. Great fun.
Tuesday night was the Concours banquet. This event was held in the main atrium of the West Baden resort which happens to have the largest enclosed dome in North America with the exception of the Houston Astrodome. After a short shuttle ride to West Baden we worked our way into this amazing structure to be greeted by an amazing sight. Everything was decorated beautifully with hundreds of tables and a main stage. Videos of past parades were displayed. The videos were very entertaining especially the Parade driving competitions from the late fifties. Imagine a number of 356s being put through their paces all on color film. Everyone laughed as we watched the very unique “rear driving through an obstacle course and into a parking spot” competition.
After a delicious dinner the presentation commenced and we heard from the various attendees including representatives from the Porsche family. A popular activity at any parade is the “how many parades have you been to?”. Here everyone stands up and are asked to sit down when the number of parades they have been too has been called. It is amazing how many members have been to over 50 parades! This was our fourth parade so we sat down fairly early.
The 968s faired quite well at the 2015 Parade Concours. Original 968 owner Dan Deegan cleaned up with a first place in the very demanding “Full” judging category. Greg and I tied for first in the touring category along with Paul taking 3rd with his midnight blue coupe and Brian taking 4th with his M030. Horace took 2nd in the street category.
The evening event was capped off by the arrival of Porsche’s newest and heavily anticipated member to their vehicle lineup, the Cayman GT4. In drove a magnificent racing yellow GT4, right through the tables and to the main stage. Everyone got to their feet to catch a glimpse of this special machine as it drove by. You would have thought that Brad and Angelina had just entered the room. After the close of the ceremonies we were able to get a better look at the GT4 and it is certainly an awesome machine, and offered with a manual transmission only! I like it.
Family obligations meant that we had to cut our parade visit short and return home on Wednesday. By the end of the event we had spotted a number of other 968s. We saw Robert Andrew’s stunning guards red cab in the special historics display as well as a few others out in the parking lot. In total, 15 968s were at the parade. Our return trip was uneventful and we enjoyed some beautiful roads going through Kentucky and West Virginia.
The PCA parade is an amazing event and I would recommend to any club member that you attend one. So much to do and see. So many great cars. And all those fantastic PCAers to enjoy it with. I most enjoy the fact that I would never have visited French Lick Indiana if not for this event. It turned out to be a fantastic location which I very much enjoyed seeing. In case you haven’t heard, the Parade host location for 2016 is Jay Peak in Vermont so give attending this fabulous event some thought. You will certainly have a blast and take in enough Porsche fun to last you for quite a while.
EVENT REVIEW – 2015 Zone 6 Tour, Northwest USA – July, 2015
968er Mike Flemming reported a great tour experience at the Zone 6 tour in which they visited six Northwestern states as well as parts of Canada over a two week period. Mike reported that he enjoyed many beautiful winding back wood roads while cruising through the country and mountains on the way to the ocean. Mike went on to add “there were Porsche drivers that had never heard of a 968 or seen one” but they loved his car and the way he has it set up. Mike sports a Grand Prix white 95 968 cab with a midnight blue interior.
As everyone knows, Adam and I launched the new register website this past July. The reception has been very positive with many glowing reviews. On top of that, I continue to receive new membership requests so we currently have over 350 968ers in the registry mailing list and it continues to grow. If you haven’t visited the new site you need to check it out. I held a scavenger hunt for the launch in July and Steve and Colin scored 90% so they’ll receive free 968 register window decals (when I get them made). If you have any suggestions on future new content for the site please let me know and we’ll see if we can work it in for version 2.0. My continued thanks to Adam for his hard work on getting the new site up and running.