For the love of all things Porsche

THE FAMILY’S GETTING TOGETHER THIS WEEKEND FOR THE ANNUAL CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE

WILLY WILLIAMSON – WILLY’S GARAGE willy@freepress.mb.ca

The Red River Region of the Porsche Club of America (PCA) is celebrating its 20th anniversary in grand style on Sunday with its annual Concours d’Elegance car show taking place in the afternoon, followed by a gala dinner and awards presentation in the evening — all of which takes place at the Gates on Roblin.

Although the dinner and awards presentation is a private affair, the public is encouraged to stop by the Gates at 6945 Roblin Blvd. between 4 and 5 p.m. to view what will quite possibly be the most prestigious auto show ever held in Manitoba.

According to Dennis Duncan, a longtime member of the Red River Region PCA and the event’s main organizer, about 50 Porsches will be on display and subject to a thorough judging on their condition and presentation. Porsches on display will range from several newer 911 Turbo cars worth more than $200,000 to classic air-cooled models that have been carefully restored and preserved by their owners.

“The unique thing about this club is it doesn’t matter which Porsche you own. If it says Porsche on it, you’re part of the family,” says Duncan, who owns a stunning silver 2003 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 — a car that sold new for about $110,000.

Duncan, 73, and his wife, Beverley, purchased the car in Vancouver in 2005 with about 8,000 kilometres on the odometer. Today, it has been driven nearly 100,000 kms and the couple have immensely enjoyed not only touring Canada and the United States in their spiffy sports car, but also the camaraderie that comes with being members of the PCA.

The original Porsche Club of Manitoba was formed in the fall of 1994 by Gord Luy and the late Erik Fossberg. Luy, along with another original member, Malcolm Hinds, will be in attendance Sunday. The club started with only six members and eventually grew to 25, enough to qualify as a charter of the Porsche Club of America. On Nov. 6, 1999, the PCA welcomed the Red River Region as its 141st official charter.

Today, the Red River Region PCA has 186 primary members and about 115 affiliate members, meaning locally, there are more than 300 Porsche enthusiasts involved in the club. Fellowship is paramount, and the club also exists to provide information on Porsche vehicles, as well as to organize recreational meetings, events and excursions.

A memorable trip organized by the Duncans earlier this summer saw a dozen members from the Red River Region meet up with fellow PCA members from other charters at the Copper Point Resort in Invermere, B.C., where 40 fellow enthusiasts enjoyed scenic drives amidst a parade of Porsches in the Rocky Mountains.

When night fell, the resort even reserved the parkade for the pack of Porsches.

The PCA, which has been dedicated to enhancing the Porsche-ownership experience for more than 60 years, has 145 local regions across Canada and the U.S. and more than 130,000 members — which means when club members travel, they can easily locate fellow Porsche enthusiasts and participate in a variety of PCAsanctioned events — including Concours shows, track days, club races, driving tours and other social gatherings.

Duncan, who was quick to thank Beverley for her help organizing Sunday’s event, also had kind words for his fellow club members: “It’s important to thank all the members that are involved in the Concours — there are several volunteers who will be at the event greeting people and helping them park cars and our president, Gord Favelle, has also been a great supporter of all the things we do — we actually have a very strong executive who are all very involved, so it means none of us have to do things on our own.”

Ryan St. Hilaire, parts manager at Porsche Centre Winnipeg — the city’s exclusive Porsche dealership — is also a member of the Red River Region PCA and is always amazed by the passion his customers and fellow club members have for the brand.

“Porsche is the greatest car brand in the world and the people who drive these cars come from all walks of life, but we all share a common bond,” St. Hilaire says.

“People who I met as customers quickly became friends and have now become family — they really are a special group of people and Sunday is going to be a great day.”