The 912 has long been the subject of derision from some in the Porsche community. Hanging around Carmel, CA last weekend, though, you'd be hard pressed to tell. More than 60 Porsches arrived to the 2013 912 Rendezvous weekend to all of the pomp and circumstance expected of such a large event. Not a single person arriving wished they had an additional pair of cylinders at the back of their Porsche, and not a single car looked anything less than well cared for.
Any opportunity to spend the weekend with my fellow Porsche enthusiasts is a good one, and the members of the 912 Registry are among the most fervent supporters of the brand. I have never seen a group more dedicated to the preservation and resurrection of the cars they drive. Competition from JEEP, Corvette, and Subaru owners may be stiff, but the 912ers will win out every time.
Arriving in the early evening of Thursday 9/12 (get it?), everyone gathered in the courtyard of our hosting hotel to get acquainted, meet old friends, and to spin a number of very long yarns. The beverages and stories flowed in equal measure, more of one often leading to more of the other. 912 nuts gathered from all over the country, with one couple making the drive out to Carmel, CA from Black Mountain, NC. It wasn't just nationally, either, as one car trekked down from Canada, and a couple flew in from the Netherlands to join us for the weekend.
Waking early for the festivities the next morning, we all met for a driver's meeting bright and early. Friday's activities included a road rally encompassing more than 120 miles, and a sack lunch at an area winery, and a bit of winding down before dinner. The rally, ostensibly, was what most of us made the trip for. Split into two groups of 30ish cars, we took off 15 minutes apart. At the lead of group one, I encountered glorious scenery reserved for the depths of my imagination. Hillsides, fields, and farms dotted the landscape for miles around, giving us a backdrop previously only found in storybooks.
The 15 minute gap that had originally been planned was erased when our group took a bit longer breaks than group 2 had, and soon we found ourselves intermixed again. From about the second stop, every other stop our groups would leapfrog each other. Nobody complained, however, as this just gave us more opportunities to see gorgeous 912s either resting at the roadside or slowly puttering by. I don't personally own a 912, but this trip has made me want one more than ever.
Once at the winery, nearly everyone indulged in tasting a bit of the locally produced vino of the Hahn Estates. While I'm not usually much for fermented grapes, I did have a glass or two myself, and it was quite good, perhaps my perception was increased by the company I kept that day. After lunch everyone took some time to check out all of the other attendees' rides. By this point, many of us were gravitating toward, drooling over, and ogling a small handful of cars that shone just a tad brighter than the rest.
Dinner was served in a small secluded little garden with plenty of room to "circle the wagons" around our dining experience. The food was amazing, conversation, again, flowed unabated, and it was a nice respite to dine among the happy faces of some long-hoods and their fanatical owners. The low light of the garden provided some not-often-seen views of the various paint colors in attendance.
Saturday awoke bright and early to several owners wiping off the overnight dew, and residue from road miles the previous day. The morning saw everyone trucking out to a local park, taking over the location for the people's choice car show. From the outset, there were three clear favorites for "Best in Show"; last year's best in show, a tastefully modified 1967 car painted in a lovely shade of 356 "orange" of John Eiskamp, the inch-perfect Irish Green 1968 coupe of Bud O'Lea, and the spectacular Dolphin Grey 1965 "painted dash" car of Kim Fiori. In the end, the three cars each garnered the same exact number of votes. To break the tie, each car's spare tire pressure was checked against the owner's manual recommendation, and Mr. Eiskamp took the repeat victory.
Don't Underestimate the 912
Don't ever count the 912 out as an amazing Porsche, both the cars and their owners will prove to you otherwise. This outing has counted as among my favorites in quite some time, and I have to thank the members of the 912 Registry for making it happen. Thanks also to Stoddard NLA, European Collectibles, Benton Performance, Daniel's Speed Shop, and Auto Foreign for providing everything needed to make the event a success. Next year, I know I'll be back, and I might just be bringing a 912 with me.
Other Porsche Blog Posts You Will Enjoy
Our Visit to Monterey in Pictures (the Concours, Historic Races and Auctions)
A Trip to LA Begins and Ends With Porsche
Pictures and Report from the 26th Annual Stoddard Swap Meet and All Porsche Car Show