Whew! I thought Monday’s ride and rally around town brought out some great cars… and it did. But last night’s party had a parking lot full of amazing Porsches of all vintages. The 918 and Singer from the previous day were there, but joined by an astounding collection of Porsches ranging from a 959 to a gorgeous 914-6 and no less than three 4-cam powered machines: a 356 Carrera, an RS60, and a ’58 Speedster.
The party and ribbon cutting happening inside, though, was no less impressive (ok. maybe a little less impressive than an RS60 with Sebring history). There were signature cocktails of course, and never-ending spreads of wonderful food, and a cigar roller, and the most spotless service area I’ve ever seen, and Magnus Walker working the crowd and signing posters, and a custom microbrew created just for the event. It all added up to a wonderful evening. Congratulations to the organizers.
PCNA COO Joe Lawrence was on hand to cut the ribbon
Porsche Minneapolis was kind enough to loan me a 911 for the day. I think I’ll always prefer the vintage air-cooled variants of the 911, but you can still readily feel the legacy of Porsche’s motorsport heritage in the 991. Somehow despite all the revolutionary changes in every manner of engineering that goes into the modern 911, it still feels like a 911. A little quieter perhaps; a little more comfortable; a little less likely to spin on your when you’re decelerating in a curve—but it still retains enough of the 911 spirit that I can still imagine myself gritting my teeth through a turn on the Nordschleife or Circuito Piccolo delle Madonie in a stripped down 911R or RSR. I have personally been debating between a contemporary Cayman or SC-era 911 for my next car… after a day spent with modern Porsches, I think the only real solution is to get both… and maybe a few more for good measure.
Porsche Minneapolis celebrated the opening of their new facility in grand style today with a fantastic drive among several of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes that was intended to be led by Magnus Walker. After a rocky start to the day, the spirits and weather both turned for the warmer just in time for a wonderful blue-sky drive through the parks, farmland, and countryside of central Minnesota.
Magnus didn’t seem to let the incident with 277 ruin his day. Solid dude.
Although the dealership’s focus is obviously on the current generation of Porsches, there was a large contingent of classic and specialty examples of the marque including a couple of dozen examples of air-cooled 911s of all vintages, the Singer Minnesota car, and some contemporary rarities including a (stunning) 918 and a pair of current generation, impossible-to-get GT3RSs.
That Singer is truly exceptional. Even the casual Porsche aficionados amongst the hundred or so attendees were entranced by it. There are no shortage of gorgeously lit and professionally shot detail photos of the Singer cars, but standing right in front of it I couldn’t help but crouch down and get close to see the very smallest of little touches that make this very very expensive car start to feel worth the price. Things like the custom boot latches and hinges; the perfectly manicured engine compartment; the subtle steering wheel-mounted bluetooth controls that allow for modern phone integration without a garish contemporary stereo head unit (who designs those atrocities?). It all adds up to a simply arrestingly beautiful car.
While I am sorry that I couldn’t get to see Magnus’ equally beautiful (but on the opposite end of the customization spectrum) 277 car join us on the drive, he’s still confident that the car will be back on the road in time for next month’s Rennsport Reunion. It’s an ambitious goal, but I wouldn’t want to doubt his resolve.
Amongst a sea of exquisite Porsches was one particular car that caught my eye. It’s a fairly nondescript example of an Irish Green 911T—exactly the kind of car you would expect to see any number of littering the parking lot at any Cars and Coffee. It was the receipt in the window, however, that made the car truly special for the event. Not only is this an amazingly preserved car with original paint and windscreen, this car was bought new in 1970 at Carousel Porsche Audi in Excelsior, Minnesota—The very Porsche dealer we were celebrating today. What a precious connection between the past and future of Porsche’s dealership network in the Upper Midwest.
A grand opening party is on the schedule for Tuesday—I’m looking forward to it. More information at Porsche Minneapolis.
The Porsche RS61 Spyder that Stirling Moss bought at auction in 2010 is coming back across the block this weekend at Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed sale. It’s not hard to understand why this example caught Sir Stirling’s eye, as it’s a magnificent example and sister to the RS60 he drove to a 3rd at the 1961 Targa Florio.
Stirling Moss has called this the “best Porsche they ever made”. I think we’d all do well to trust his judgement on it. Although he’s more well known for his exploits behind the wheel of Maseratis and Mercedes and Ferraris, Sir Stirling had a good deal of experience with Porsche 550s and 718s, and used a 904 as his road car.
More on this example when we covered Stirling Moss’s purchase back in 2010.
This may be old news to some of you, but somehow passed me by. I can’t let that happen to anyone else.
Porsche is offering this remarkable reproduction of the jackets that Porsche’s racing team wore in the late 60’s. Available now from the Porsche Drivers’ Selection store. A bit steep at $480—but would sure love to see amateur Porsche vintage racers sporting these trackside this year. I’ve been searching for a perfect vintage-style racing jacket for years, and this might be closest yet if you’re looking for that late-60s look.
Great shots from the pits of “the Tampa Hotshoe”, Joe Sheppard at the 1958 Dunnellon, Florida race. Wonderful sequence of the LeMans start with a leap into a Porsche 550 and a later (or perhaps an earlier practice session?) stop in the pits. Sheppard was a well known racer in the Southeast and podiumed many late 50’s/early 60’s races in Florida as well as on jaunts into the Caribbean for Nassau Speed Weeks and the Cuban GP.
Many thanks to John Shea for sending these.
Got some old slides or prints gathering dust in your closet? Send ’em in!
Previously: Joe with team Camoradi at the 1960 Sebring in photos and video.
A few weeks ago we posted about a Richie Ginther trophy that was being sold on eBay. The auction identified the trophy as the 1956 Santa Maria Road Races trophy pitcher that Ginther was awarded for his first place finish in a Porsche 550. I got an email that evening from Andrew that runs the magnificent type550.com, saying he reached out to Porsche 550-09’s current owner. The trophy was quickly purchased and is now reunited with the very car that helped Richie Ginther claim that victory 59 years ago. Andrew sent along these photos and I couldn’t be more pleased to share them here.
It’s things like this that keep me excited about The Chicane after doing it all these years. I love that this can be a place where these kinds of connections are made and re-made. Fantastic… And thanks Andrew!
The oldest Porsche 901 in the Museum’s collection is undergoing a complete restoration which they acquired following a long-neglected stay in private hands. I hope there are periodic video updates released as she starts to come together.
This ad for a Porsche 911R for sale in the October 1977 is one of those astonishing pieces of text that you have to read several times before it quite hits you. Daniel Cole sent this in after he uncovered the clipping during a Porsche Club of America history project he’s working on.
$12,500 in 1977 is $51,235.34 in 2014 dollars. I don’t know the last time that the ex-Siffert 1967 Porsche 911R #1899 005R changed hands, but I’m guessing it was a touch more than $50 Grand.. More than 10x that I’d imagine—maybe 20. Maybe I should phone up the current owner The Collier Collection’s Revs Institute and make an offer.