By Vic Rola
When PCA announced several years ago that its annual grand event… The Porsche Parade… was going to be held in Traverse City, MI, Carol and my plans were set; we were going! My ninth Parade and Carol’s fourth. Car preparation for Parade is a must. Not just the cleaning and prepping part, but the service part, also. And that’s where our Parade started.
After returning from an RGruppe event in WV last fall, the 911E developed a misfire. The mechanical fuel injection (MFI) was initially the prime suspect and that was worked on by Zuffenhaus in Monroe, NC. When the car was returned to east TN, the problem re-introduced itself. Multiple weeks were spent at Rick + Janis Berry’s shop, Eurotech. There, the MFI was re-inspected, plugs were checked and replaced (three times), all the spark wiring was replaced (twice), the distributor components were replaced, and on and on, including draining the fuel tank and replacing an inside fuel filtration device. Multiple calls were placed to Zuffenhaus, Skip Trammell, and to early 911 guru Ed Mayo in Ft. Worth, TX.
The problem was finally determined to be a faulty distributor when Ed sent a ‘care package’ which included an inspected distributo r (the faulty distributor was sent to Burnham Performance on the left coast for re-build). Once that service issue was corrected, Carol and I attacked the car with zeal, preparing it for Concours judging.
The trip to Traverse City was an uneventful thirteen hour tow. We left Jefferson City at 0630 Vic and Carol Rola’s 911E in the Concours prep area.Concours prep area was filled with everything from early 356s to Caymans.July 2013 5The authentic 1977 935 of Peter Gregg!Friday morning, pulling up to the Grand Traverse Resort at 1930 that evening. Ed Mayo met us at the check-in area, and we immediately moved the 911 into the Resort’s underground concours prep area. Ed had been holding the last spot in that area for us and was under some pressure to let it go, so it was imperative to get the car in. Thanks Ed (again)! The Grand Traverse Resort is a gorgeous facility, well staffed with extremely courteous employees, very nice rooms, and a little bit of everything, for everyone!
With the actual start of the Parade not scheduled for another day, Saturday was spent working on the car in the concours prep area. Cars around us included the 911S belonging to Ed, Bob Kuchenbecker’s 911 Cabrio, the 1977 935 of Peter Gregg (the real deal!), along with a cadre of 356s, Boxsters, and other Porsche models.
So many cars needed cleaning space that two huge tents were set up to accommodate the cars, and even so many were being cleaned in the Resorts’ parking lots. Saturday evening, Carol and I hooked up with other RGruppe members for a casual parking lot get together which included beer and pizza.
Official Parade check in was Sunday morning at 0900. Parade registration is the worst part of the event! 805 car owners trying to get registered for Concours, TSD Rallye, Autocross, and many other ‘sub’ events including many tours, banquets, etc. We quickly went through the TSD Rallye line first to get an early out time (0753).
Next was the Concours Banquet line, where we luckily were seated with our Peachstate Region friends. Registration continued for Concours and then Autocross. We checked out the Parade Goodie Store and the official Porsche Shop. Then… back to car prep. Many old (and new) friends dropped by the car while we worked. That evening, PCA held a Welcome Party with a theme of Hawaiian Luau. At the Luau, Porsche introduced to the world, first time showing, the fiftieth anniversary model of the 911. Very nice!
Monday was Concours. Held on the golf course of the Resort, over two hundred cars were displayed. One reason for the large showing was the introduction of a new Concours Class – Street. The Street class allowed for the presentation of your ride without showing the engine or the trunk(s). This class was filled to the brim!
We showed our car in a class we’ve shown in on previous Parades – Street Performance. The class is for those whose cars, due to enhancements in body, chassis, motor, or interior, do not allow the car in the standard concours classes.
Going in, we felt good about the car’s showing. However, it was not meant to be. We finished fourth, behind the 356s and a 914/6 GT. We were quite disappointed. We’ll show the car in Street next time around.
The field also had a historic area, which included the first 911, now owned by Jerry Seinfeld, an authentic Rothmans rallye car, replicas of early 911 rallye cars, Peter Greggs’ 1977 935, and many others.
The Concours grounds started to clear at about 1530. Jim Cambron put together a Zone 15 (Zones 3 and 12 together) party on the sixteenth floor of the Resort Tower. What a view! What great friends! Carol and I then represented our Regions’ President, Janis Berry, at the Presidents Reception, whose guest of honor was Peter Porsche! Neat!
Tuesday we rallied. Out at 0753 to take advantage of cooler morn-6 www.smtpca.orging temps, we headed into the rural areas around Traverse City. Might I say, that Traverse City and surrounding areas are gorgeous! Having never been there, Carol and I both were pleasantly surprised! As in any national rallye, the rallyemasters set up a ‘trap’ in the second leg.
A ‘trap’ means that you’ve not followed instructions as defined in the rallye generals, but the rallye instructions work anyway and you arrive at the next checkpoint too early. Well, we fell for it, garnering 205 points at checkpoint #2. That dropped us in the rankings and we finished ninth out of twenty-four entries in the Un-Equipped Plus class… one position out of trophy.
Tuesday evening was the Concours Banquet. Carol and I had another opportunity to talk with Peter Porsche, and then enjoyed a great meal, sitting next to some great friends. Porsche then introduced another new car, for the first time in the world… the new 991 GT. And the crowd went wild. This Banquet always goes long, and we started back to the room… at 2315!
Wednesday was our ‘free day’. Carol went shopping and viewed the Art Show as well as the Turner Photo Exhibit. I, on the other hand, worked the ‘start’ for the first day of autocrossing. The first day was made up of the Stock Classes and the lower numbered Production classes. My volunteer stint ended at 1400, and returning to the Resort, Carol and I prepped the 911 for our turn on the autocross course the next morning.Thursday morning came in overcast, threatening of rain. We had great weather all week, and were hoping we could autocross in the dry, as we were running Hoosier DOT slicks in our PO6 class. On the way to the autocross site, the parking lot of the Traverse City Beach Bums baseball stadium, we ran through rain. But as we approached the site, the rain quit, and all areas were dry.
We were checked in, and several classes were put together, including ours. I ran PO6, while Carol ran PO6L. I ran first, five runs, adjusting air pressures along the way, keeping an eye on the remaining field. Running first also was Fran Lumpkin. We’ve been friends with Fran and Dave for many of our PCA years. Watching Fran’s times, Carol and I were concerned about Carol’s ability to beat her.
Dave and Carol ran second. With his third time out, Dave was able to best my time my 7/10s of a second to take first place, relegating me to second in class. Carol, too, ran second. Her times were slower than Fran’s, but gaining each run. On the final run, I re-checked tire pressures and adjusted the front shocks to ‘full firm’ (should have done that earlier), and told Carol she had to find 4/10s of a second to beat Fran. On her final run, Carol put it all together, beating Fran by 3/10s of a second, to bring home a first in class PO6L.
I can tell you that I was, and am, extremely proud of her effort! I would be remiss to note also, that Sue Groves’ sister Donna, and grandson Zach, also took firsts in their respective classes. Did I mention that it was the first autocross for both? Wow!Over 200 cars competed in the Concours held on the golf course of the Resort.A lovely Pirelli girl poses with the 911E of Vic and Carol Rola.July 2013 7Immediately after impound, we loaded up the 911 on the trailer and headed to Jackson, MI for an overnight visit with family, heading the rest of the way home on Friday. An easy tow home and the only major weather issue we had was in Jefferson City, where we got caught in a major downpour!What a great Parade! Largest on record! Great location, weather, cars, and most of all… people!!!
Next year’s Parade – Monterey, CA; 2015 – French Lick, IN (west of Indy); 2016 – Vermont. Isn’t it time for you to go to Parade?