UPDATE: One thing not mentioned in this post are the various PCA Registries. Most Porsche models now have PCA sanctioned registries where owners can sign up and interact with others who own like Porsches. If you need any more incentive to join the registry (or the PCA) for your particular Porsche model, check out this story on how 3 lucky Porsche owners were able to participate in the SPEED TV show "King of the Curve". It would never have happened without the backing of the PCA's Cayman Register.
I've been a member of the Porsche Club of America (PCA) since I purchased my first Porsche back in late 2000 (that's a picture of it below.) However, up until very recently, I wasn't very active with the club. I went to one DE event back in 2001, enjoyed it immensely, but never found the time to get back for another (life, work and family conspired to keep me away.) In addition, I've had the pleasure of receiving the monthly newsletter published by my region and, of course, what Porschephile doesn't eagerly await their copy of Panorama. Outside of that limited activity I haven't done much else. Well, that all changed a few weeks ago...
My wife and I present an interesting geographic challenge for the PCA (not really, but it makes things sound better.) We live in one state for part of the year (Massachusetts) and another state for the rest of the year (Maine) yet we belong to the New Hampshire Region, go figure. Until very recently, it simply never occured to me that even though I belonged to one region, I could still make use of other regions (where ever I happen to be.) With this in mind, I started to peruse the local Maine region's calendar of events and found that they host a monthly social dinner at various restaurants across the state. After making brief contact with the organizer of the event, explaining my unique geographic dilemma, we were welcomed to the dinner with open arms.
Combining Favorites: Food and Driving Porsches
The great thing about this type of event is that it combines a number of different things we love to do: eat, socialize, talk about and drive Porsches. The venue for the dinner was in a town about 40 miles south of our summer home. According to the GPS we could either take the interstate and arrive in short order or wind our way through some back roads and by-ways and get there in due time. We chose the latter. After a spirited (but safe) drive down to the restaurant we arrived with a slight sense of anticipation at what we might see for other cars. One of the best things about any PCA event is never knowing what type of car will show up.
I have to say, we didn't really know what to expect. Central Maine is not an area you would think of as a Porsche mecca. This entire summer I have encountered only one other Porsche on any of my drives. PCA membership for the region hovers right around 150. Not the smallest region in the states by far (according to the PCA there are a regions with as few as 30 primary members), but not even close in size to the larger regions.
Pulling into the parking lot we noticed only one other Porsche, a very nice 944 Turbo in white. As it turns out, this car wasn't there for the event and just happened to have stopped to make a quick phone call. After watching the 944 pull out, we sat in our 993 and waited. Fortunately, our wait was short. The distant but distinctive growl of a tuned 911 could be heard growing louder as a late '70s RUF 911 rumbled into the lot. This was followed in quick succession by a 928 GT, a 993, two boxsters (one of which was a very nice '04 special edition driven to Maine by a couple on vacation from North Carolina), a couple of 944s and a late '80s 911 targa. Based on the number of people we met that night, I'm sure there were more Porsches, but that was all we could see before heading into the restaurant to find our table and strike up a conversation.
The restaurant had given us our own room with a long banquet table that looked like it could seat 30 or so people. We were one of the first couples to sit and I wasn't really expecting the table to be filled. However, over the course of the next 15 minutes more and more PCA members continued to arrive. The final tally was somewhere between 25 and 30 attendees. I know this doesn't sound like a lot, but you have to remember how big (geographically) Maine is. Some people had to drive close to 100 miles in each direction, on a Tuesday night, in order to attend. While it appeared that most everyone knew each other already, there were two other couples (besides us) from away (not from Maine.)
One couple was on an extended driving vacation and drove all the way up to Maine, from North Carolina, in their Boxster. In fact, they had just come from the annual PCA Porsche Parade and brought with them two T-shirts that they donated to the DER region. Their generosity helped to raise a few extra dollars for the DERs favorite charity as they were auctioned off right before dinner.
Everyone we met that night went out of their way to make us feel welcome. We enjoyed great food, company and conversation. I left feeling like I have added new friends to my Porsche network and I'm looking forward to the next local social event (as luck would have it, that's a breakfast get together this coming Saturday in Augusta.)
If you are a PCA member and plan on traveling in your Porsche, be sure to check out what's going on in the PCA regions you will be traveling through. It's a great opportunity to meet new friends and see some great cars. If you're a Porsche owner and not yet a member, please consider joining the PCA. The benefits are great and you never know who you might meet.
I'd like to say a special thanks to everyone that attended the dinner and made my wife and I feel so welcome! Hopefully, I'll see some of you this Saturday.