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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Porsche Parade 2006
A “First Timers” Perspective
By Ken Smiley; Cayman Register Chair, KC Region Webmaster (now former btw)

I’ve been a PCA member for almost 5 years and I’m currently driving my 4th Porsche.Somehow, prior to this year, I never managed to find a way to get to the annual Porsche Parade.Oh sure, I’d “heard” about the parade from some of the “old-timers” in our region and I’d read articles about parade in past issues of Panorama but I never attended.I suppose I had a variety of excuses.My first year in PCA I didn’t know anything about it, my second year it was in Boise, Idaho which at the time I thought was “too far” for any sane person to drive.This was followed by Dallas which was much closer and I was going to attend but the birth of our son and family finances dictated otherwise.I set my sites on Hershey but the event sold out in something like 20 seconds and I was too far down the waiting list.

The 2006 parade was going to take place in Portland, Oregon where the company I work for is located.Although familiar with Portland from many business trips, I had never driven there other than a drive-through on a trip from Seattle to San Francisco.Entering in the destination on the computer I discovered the trip was all of 1,927 miles from home, and I thought Boise was far!

In August of 2005 I started a website as a central repository for all things Cayman related which eventually grew into the PCA Cayman Register (The Cayman Club) .As the “new kid on the block” so to speak I thought it incumbent upon me to attend parade and get the word out about the Cayman Register and generally make myself available to many individuals that I had met during the last year of operating the website and setting up the Register.I took delivery of my Cayman S in January of 2006 and by the time parade rolled around I had about 5,500 miles on my car.The trip to Portland was going to just about double that!

I did not want to make the trip alone since it involved roughly 27 hours or 3 days worth of driving.I placed an ad in our local newsletter but didn’t get any takers.At a KC Region pub night social event I bumped into Stefan Wilhelmy the maker of the “Smart-Top” for the Boxster and 911 Cabs and convinced him to join PCA and go on the drive with me.Stefan was also developing a remote key application for the Cayman and using my car as an extended test drive guinea pig.

Our fateful departure day arrived and we headed west on I-70 to Denver.We spent the night there and set out for Twin Falls, ID the next day only to be met with a check engine light once we got into the mountains west of Denver.Rather than risk a drive all the way to Salt Lake we called Prestige Porsche in Denver and explained our situation.They were wonderful and got us in right away, checked the code and got us on our way.The code turned out to simply be a catalytic converter warm-up code that seems to plague a lot of early Caymans.My car had flashed that code before and my local dealer had replaced both catalytic converters just a few weeks prior so I suspect it is just an anomaly in the car’s computer diagnostics which Porsche will eventually rectify with an update.The rest of the trip to Twin Falls and Portland the next day was scenic but uneventful.

We arrived Saturday and went through Parade check-in.Never having been to parade before I didn’t know what to expect, but figured it would be like most work conferences I attend; a swipe of a bar code and I’m done.Well that wasn’t quite the case, parade has a rather interesting check-in procedure.At first I thought “why don’t these people automate this?” then I realized it is because volunteers are there making themselves available should I have questions concerning any events that I was signed up for.My trusty notebook and folder was soon to become my best friend and thank goodness for those mini-schedules that I could tuck into the back of name badge.

As you can imagine my Cayman had killed its fair share of bugs on the way out so I took one of the sponsors up on the free do-it-yourself car wash.It was after washing the car that I discovered that what I thought was sap on the car was actually some kind of overspray.I didn’t have time to do anything about it then but mentioned it to a couple of people that I knew who were in attendance at the parade to see if they had any suggestions on how to remove it.The next day I went and saw the Griot’s Garage people who were one of the sponsors and they lent me everything from a clay bar to polish #4 and adhesive remover to try and get the stuff off.This was where I first started to get wind of how helpful people are at parade.Their chief detailer spent at least an hour with me showing me things I could do to try and take the overspray off.He could have been selling product but instead tried his best to help.

The next day was our “big” day at parade, the Concours at the golf course.I had received approval ahead of time to set up a table for the Cayman Register where we would give out free Cayman posters provided by Prestige Porsche in Denver along with Cayman Register flyers and spec sheets about the modifications done to my Cayman S which was on display. Displaying a Cayman S that puts out more horsepower than a 997 C2S tends to get attention among Porsche enthusiasts so our table was busy most of the day.I met people from all over the country and spent hours talking about the Cayman the Cayman Register and the parade in general.I was struck by how genuinely nice everyone was.I didn’t really know what to expect.On the internet message forums the reaction to the Cayman had been less than kind from 911 and Boxster owners who each had their reasons for dismissing the car. There was none of this at the parade.

I think the moment that brought it all together for me was when John Paterek walked up to me, introduced himself, and asked if he could try a couple of things on my car to get the overspray off.For those who don’t know John, he is heavily involved in the Concours event for parade among many other things.To have him stop by on what is obviously his busiest day at parade and take time out to start polishing my car just blew me away.His wife sat down and was knitting something while John proceeded to examine my car and then show me what needed to be done to take care of the problem.I talked to his wife briefly and evidently someone had told John of my predicament and he took it upon himself to help me out.While parade might be focused on the Porsche cars, it was really the people at the event that made the whole experience come together for me.

Speaking of people, no less than 5 members of the Cayman Register also stopped by to chat.I had met these individuals over the web during the last year but it was always nice to put a face to a name.I let several members drive my car and check out the modifications first hand and of course told them I would expect to see them at our first annual Cayman owners gathering in October known as “Croctoberfest”.If all of this wasn’t enough to make a successful parade and memorable experience it was only to get better at the awards dinner that evening.The featured keynote speaker was none other than racing legend Vic Elford.Vic delivered the equivalent of an atom bomb in front of the 1000+ people at dinner that night.It seems that after 40 years of driving his favorite sports car the Porsche 911, that Vic has a new favorite the Cayman S.He likened the car to a young mistress and cautioned members of the audience not to test drive one or else it would seduce them into purchasing the car.I love all Porsches and I’m not about to get into a discussion of which car is “better”, but it sure was nice to hear Vic say that about the Cayman.I tracked Vic down and gave him a Cayman Register t-shirt and hope to see him at a future Cayman Register or PCA event.

If that day was the equivalent of winning the lottery in terms of fun and excitement, I don’t know how to quantify my next experience.As the Cayman Register chairperson I was invited to attend the president’s dinner in honor of outgoing president Tom Bobbitt at a local country club.I didn’t figure that I would know too many people at this event since it was my first parade so I found myself standing over near the corner having a talk with a gentleman from California who asked about the Cayman when we were approached by another man whom he obviously knew.I was then introduced to Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, one of those “hello can I get autograph oh my god what do I say am I sweating does my breath smell” kind of moments.Dr. Wolfgang Porsche proceeded to tell me that he drives a speed yellow Cayman S as his daily driver.Now I’m having one of those “this must be kharma what are the odds of this” kind of moments because my Cayman is speed yellow as well.We start discussing which options we chose and why and suddenly it is like we are long time friends, me and the son of Ferry Porsche.Suddenly the magical mystery tour was over as someone else needed to speak with him.Before he departed, I thanked him for his time and thanked him and Porsche for building such wonderful cars.

I spent the remainder of the evening chatting with several PCA officers including Ruben Ledesma who volunteered to help with our Cayman Register logo problem should we need some more artwork generated, which is another story that would not fit within the confines of these pages at this time.I also presented Tom Bobbitt with his very own Cayman Register t-shirt as a note of thanks for all of the things he had done to help foster the creation and growth of the register.In 2006 alone we’ve had more than 100 new PCA members join because of the register and website and we hope to continue to improve upon that in the years ahead.I can’t leave John Straub out either who was also instrumental in getting things going. I hope he enjoys his shirt as well.

When I arrived back at my hotel room I thought “what if I hadn’t come?” what if I had thought “oh it’s too far” or “it’s just another parade”.Sure I would have missed out on seeing some Porsches I’d never seen before but more importantly I would have missed out on the wonderful people who make up PCA. If you are sitting there reading this article (please don’t read and drive) and you’ve never attended a PCA Porsche Parade before all I can say to you is “do it”.Get your calendar out and mark down the days for next year’s parade in San Diego.I can’t guarantee that you’ll have the sort of epiphany that I had, but I can certainly guarantee that you’ll have a terrific time and meet a bunch of great people in the process.Oh and one more thing, go ahead and test drive the Cayman at your nearest dealer, I can always use a few more Cayman Register members!

(Note: Pictures taken on our parade trip along with some videos will be available sometime in the next few days at Cayman Club | Home )
 

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Very nice! Thanks for representing all of us (and you need to do an article on removing overspray when you get the time...).
 

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Nice work, K-Man S. Nice to meet you and drive your nice car. I only wish I could have gotten away from family visitors and work to spend time at the Parade in my home city. What a lost opportunity.


Dumb question: what is overspray? -Steve
 

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Ken, there is an old saying about PCA which I may not be quoting exactly, but to this effect: It's not just the cars it's the people'.


Glad you enjoyed the Parade!


Maury
 

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One kind of overspray is when your neighbor is spray painting and his 'extra' drifts down on your car. Frequently encountered in or near boatyards. Just ask me about it.


Marty
 

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Discussion Starter #7
One correction to the article:


the Presidents reception is not to honor the outgoing current PCA president but rather to thank the region presidents and offer them an opportunity to meet the national staff and discuss club business.


First timer's mistake!<o:p></o:p>
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I just wanted to point out that I've upload a lot of pictures to:


Cayman Club | Home and will continue to do so throughout the next couple of days so be sure and have a look at the whole series. I'll also place a view videos up there as well after all of the pictures are up.

Cayman Club | Home
 

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Ken. excellent write up. I've always wanted to go to a Parade so I'm making plans for San Diego next year. Was almost like being there this year thanks to your reports on Cayman Club. If I have room, I'll include the article in Hill Country Region's newsletter.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Papa thanks! Let me know if it shows up in your region's newsletter, our region's newsletter nazi has the entire newsletter planned out for the rest of the year and if it doesn't fit her schedule it doesn't ever appear. For example the article on the Cayman GTR never made it, or anything else I've submitted in the last 6 months.


Anyway... ALL of the pictures are now UP! 150+ Check 'em out everyone and let me know what you think!


Cayman Club | Home
 

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K-man S, that was an excellent write-up. I live in San Diego, got my CS in July, just joined the PCA, and am looking forward to next year's event. Do you know thae dates and location? I am definitely going tho be there.
 

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Ken - thanks for a great intro to the Parade. We will definitely see you there next year! Hope more Canuck Caymans can go, too.


Bruce
 

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San Diego Porsche Parade is July 1-5 2007. They're going to try and cram all of the usual Parade activities that used to fit into seven days, into five next year. It's anybody's guess how they're going to do it, and a lot of people are disappointed, since there will have to be many conflicts with the different activities - it will be hard to do all of them, like some folks are inclined to do. I've heard rumors of two different AX courses so the autocross competition can be run all in one day.



There was a petition circulating in Portland to return Parade to at least six and preferably back to seven days in 2008. We shall see...



brad
 
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