2009 Porsche 968 Gathering – April 24-25: Hershey, PA

Wow, my last hosted 968 Gathering during the Swap Meet was a blast – thanks to all of you! 
Central PA Region has advised me that there were between 1200 – 1300 Porsches at the event, including of course our 37 beautiful 968 Coupes and Cabriolets. We did win the coveted “Register Award” since the 914s did not have a larger amount of their cars parked in the Concours area – yeah!!!!! I did mention in my last email that Jeff Coe won 1st place in the 924-928-944-968 Class but forgot to mention that Pete Fitzpatrick’s 968 Firebird (driven by Pablo Crespo) won 3rd place in the Open Class, where it had been registered.All the photos are also available at my home for viewing and I will bring it next year to Jeff Coe’s Hosted 968 Gathering at the April Swap Meet.Based on initial feedback, the aerial photo that I took at the AACA Museum from the crane is the most popular 968 Gathering photo. I guess my $150 donation to the Museum (for use of their crane) was well worth it!

Highlights of the event: – 968 Dinner: Jeff Coe’s presentation on the Cabriolet Registry work he has done to compile build data for all 968 Cabriolets – this was fantastic and definitely a labor of love! We Coupe owners are really looking forward to Jeff’s compilation of the data for the Coupe model (I am sure that the Coupe Registry that Graham Rippel had created will be an asset for Jeff in his compilation work) which he has committed to having ready by next year’s 968 Gathering Dinner! Jeff has agreed to host the 968 Gathering in April 2010 and I will provide him with all necessary info. Kathy Down’s surprise announcement that all of you had contributed to an AX Gift Card for my 7 year’s of hosting 968 events was unexpected and a wonderful surprise. My wife Elke has indicated that she will handle disbursement of these funds – lol! – 968 Caravan: This year we finally got a photo of both the front and rear of the Caravan (thanks to Paul Anthony)

– 968 Photo at the Museum: We had 27 968 owners driving either their own 968, or another attendee’s 968. Photo shows: Back Row: Joska Kulcsar w/Steve Zarodnansky’s Coupe, Craig Adams, Marty Hansel, Bob Schmidt, Don Hassenbein (in 2nd photo – thanks Paul), Lorna Frick and Bill and Bill Jr Gergeley. Second Row: Steve Zarodnansky & Raj Datta w/Raj’s Blue Cab, Trevor Ridgley w/Steve’s Yellow Cab, Cosimo, Ricard Oliveira, Todd Winstanley, Joel Kellogg, Derek Yingst. Third Row: Andy Slusar & Debbie Nuttall, Ginger & Charlie Sagau, Jay & Melva Kravitz, Jeff & Greg Coe, Tim Eisel, Steve Caldwell, Kathy Downs.
Fourth Row: Darryl & Christine Nichols, Jim Groelinger, Gary Schepker, Dino Omeragic and Paul Anthony. I remembered my fear of heights once the crane was off the ground – but it was too late – lol!

– 968 Concours: We had 10 additional attendees drive their 968s directly to the Concours area; Pablo Crespo (with Pete’s Firehawk), Dean Pipher, Paige & Emmy Lou Tomcsanyi, Ray & Zach Paganini, John Hansman, Dave Erdman, Jamie Dryfoos, Mike Kling, Stew Hatchell and Joe Rausa (who was the President of the Region at a former 968 Celebration and is now a proud 968 Cab owner!)

– Chris Pollina (NY) and Eric Schall (PA) were planning to attend but I am unable to confirm whether they were there.

– Owners without their 968s who attended: Sreedhard Krishnan (VA), Thomas Meyer (Canada), Charles & Matt Kleine (Michigan), Joska Kulcsar (Hungary) & Trevor Ridgley (California). All will try to bring their cars next year?

– Owners who signed up but could not attend this year: Rich Tokar (Strosek Evolution), Kim Strong (Nova Scotia 1308 miles!), Paul Grabau (NJ) and Mike McCormack (PA). Hope they can make it next year.

– Winner of lst Place in the Concours 924/944/968/928 Class: Jeff Coe with his Mint Green Cabriolet, now we know why he bought this car – it is a Concours Winner!

– 968 Lunch at the Concours: Kathy Downs provided a picnic lunch for all owners – it was delicious and gave us another opportunity to meet other 968 owners. Thanks again, Kathy!

– Tech Session: We had 30 people attend the Tech Session in my Garage. This year we had a 3 part Tech Session: 1) Video by Tom Charlesworth, former PCA Tech Committee Chair on the 968. 2) Pete Fitzpatrick expanded on info on video and showed the group some unique Diagnostic Tools (Bosch Hammer) and Tools (giant socket). 3) Max Aleksak, RS Barn, performed diagnostic tests on 2 lucky owner’s cars.

So, total confirmed 968 Cabriolets and Coupes at the event was 37 with 2 unconfirmed. 

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I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as your host for the 968 Gatherings & Celebrations held in 2001-2004 and 2007-2009. It has been a pleasure meeting all of you and getting to know you and your 968s. I am confident that the 968 Gatherings at Hershey will continue under Jeff Coe’s (our PCA 968 Register Advocate) leadership. 

If you would like to attend other 968 events this year, please check your calendar to see if you can attend:

– May 2009: Pasa Robles Event (Calif) hosted by Bob Larson contact Bob via website www.968forums.com 
– July 2, 2009: 968 Gathering at Porsche Parade (Keystone, Colorado) contact host Chris Lennon at cjlennon@comcast.net 
– July 25, 2009: Porsches 2 Oxford (Ohio) check www.porsches2oxford.com 

See you at a future 968 Get Together, Gathering, or Celebration!

Don “redbaron” Hassenbein