TABLE OF CONTENTS
SUMMER 2019 COVER
Photography by David Heenan
Photography by Kaleb Brook
Z&R Design www.znrdesign.com Zlata Nikonovskaya
Marketlink XL Signal Hill CA www.marketinkgroup.com
SOCIAL MEDIA & CREDITS
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
VASEK POLAK & MY INTRODUCTION TO POSCHE
WALDORF ASTORIA BREAKFAST
ONE DAY COMES
PORSCHE HANDLING ISSUES
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
TREFFEN SANTA BARBARA
GOLDEN STATE TOUR
PCA-LA LEADERSHIP TEAM
BOARD PRESIDENT VICE PRESIDENT & REGISTRAR
MARIANA SMALL email@example.com KEVIN RICE firstname.lastname@example.org
LAURA HOUSTON email@example.com
RAJ NALLAPOTHOLA firstname.lastname@example.org
DIMITRI DE SILVA email@example.com
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR & SOCIAL CHAIR
LI NKED I N. C O M / C O M PANY / P O R S C H EC LU B LO SANGE LES
FAC E B O O K . C O M / P O R S C H EC LU B LA
TONY CALLAS firstname.lastname@example.org DONNA J. SLATTON email@example.com
I NSTAGRAM . C O M / P O R S C H EC LU B LA
APPOINTMENTS CREATIVE DIRECTOR
HARRY KRAUSHAAR firstname.lastname@example.org
KEVIN RICE email@example.com
SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING CHAIR
STAN KAPLAN firstname.lastname@example.org
PCA JUNIORS CHAIR
SCOTT KELLY email@example.com
NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE CHAIR TOUR MASTER & MEMBER-AT-LARGE
T WI T TER . C O M / P O R S C H EC LU B LA
ZLATA NIKONOVSKAYA firstname.lastname@example.org
YO U T U B E . C O M / P O R S C H EC LU B LA
P O R S C H EC LU B LA. M OTO R S P O R T R EG. C O M
MARC PARE email@example.com
H E LLO @ LA. P CA. O R G P CALO SANGE LES . O R G
STEVE NGUYEN firstname.lastname@example.org PAUL NOVOTNE
PORSCHERAMA /SUMMER ‘19
PORSCHERAMA /SUMMER ‘19
Letter from the President
Letter from the Editor
SUMMER has been quite exciting with plenty of activities and travel. We’ve had members tell us about their travels to Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia and many others and also share their visits and experiences with the Clubs
SUMMER IS WINDING DOWN. Little kids are back in school. Big kids, like us, are playing with our toys, better known as Porsches.
there. The bottom line is, if you’re a Club member, you have friends everywhere who are eager to welcome you to join in on their fun too! August brought us an incredibly fun and busy Monterey Car week, and an exceptional Werks Reunion! Huge kudos to the incredible National team for all their hard work and organization; it was truly a wonderful event! Not only did
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we get to catch up with many friends from around the country and the world, we were treated to hearing Klaus Zellmer speak about his enjoyment of Werks and excitement around the Taycan; see Dr. Porsche enjoy and photograph many of the Porsches on display at Corral de Tierra and also hear about the new relationship National has secured us with Petrolicious.
I hope you all have had a great summer. I have, though I have not had as much of a chance to get out and drive as I would have liked. Work and family obligations got in the way of drive time. Having said that, I am super excited that I became a grandfather a few months ago. I revel in the knowledge that my daughter, Shelby, named her daughter, Portia. I freely acknowledge that Shelby’s choice of names had very little to do with my love of Porsches, but that doesn’t stop me from believing it does, much to my wife’s displeasure. I have noted with some amusement that one of my wife’s pet names for Portia is Porscherama, which amuses me. It goes without saying that I will never spell Portia’s name properly, as she will always be referred to as Porsche to me.
September means Concours and we are excited to have hosted the 58th annual Concours d’Elegance at the Museum of Flying in Santa Monica and featured a gathering of GT3s in celebration of the 20th anniversary since production started. This annual event brings out incredible Porsche models from across the decades and wonderful friends with whom we celebrate everything Porsche. As always, what makes a difference in this wonderful Club is each and every one of you. We thank you for your participation, enthusiasm and support and look forward to creating many more experiences and memories together.
MARIANA SMALL PRESIDENT, PCA LA
This issue of Porscherama is filled new and returning contributors. PCA members who are newbies and veterans. PCA members who spend their vacations in their car. Thankfully, they have chosen to share their experiences with us. Our intrepid ex-Vice President, David
Lastly, I thank my favorite junior photographer, Kaleb Brook. Kaleb took the back cover photograph when he was with his dad, Gavin, at Luft this year. As usual, I thank Zlata Nikonovskaya, PCA-LA Creative Director and partner in Z&R Design, for continuing to do such a tremendous job making all the elements of Porscherama look so good each issue.
Heenan has written a nice story about his experience on the Porsche and Parks IV tour. Steve Perry has written a nice piece about the Treffen Santa Barbara. Michael Van Runkle has shared his experience with his first Porsche. And W. W. “Buzz” Wells, a 54 year PCA LA member, has shared his experience buying his first Porsche 50 plus years ago, when Vasek Polack sold it to him. Our Technical Director, Tony Callas has contributed another excellent technical piece. I thank all of them for their contributions. I thank Paul Novotne for taking some great pictures at the Waldorf Astoria breakfast. Paul’s shots are featured throughout the issue.
If you have any thoughts, comments, or, most importantly, content, drop me a note at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
HARRY KRAUSHAAR EDITOR, PCA LA
PORSCHERAMA /SUMMER ‘19
TREFFEN SANTA BARBARA
under it in the shade at noon.
Story and Photographs by Stephen Petty
ON TUESDAY APRIL 2, we started our Treffen Experience driving north to Santa Barbara, the American Riviera. A bit of history, Santa Barbara is the American Riviera as the eastern mountain range is East West, the only one in the United States situated East West instead of North South. This provides the moderate year around climate that we all enjoy. After the snow at Treffen Banff, this was a welcome weather change. We arrived at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort in time for a tour of the hotel, built on the site of the 1911 railroad roundhouse which is part of the center hotel structure. We enjoyed a great dinner at the El Encanto Hotel with a beautiful view of the coast and harbor. Wednesday, we spent the day walking Santa Barbara, including the Wharf (the oldest wooden wharf on the West coast) in the morning and registering in the afternoon. Registration, as always, provided time to catch up with
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friends from previous Treffens and Escapes. Treffen provided many options: diving tours to San Simon, The Getty Museum Malibu, Regan Library, and Santa Ynez Valley. In addition, on Friday, the non-driving day, there were numerous tours and events scheduled which rounded out a full schedule for the three days.
past several vineyards. We then continued to the Alisal River Grill in Solvang, part of the famous Alisal Ranch property. There we enjoyed a wonderful tri-tip barbeque on the terrace overlooking the golf course. Dinner at the hotel was a local themed buffet “Old Spanish of Days Santa Barbara” complete with flamingo dancers.
Thursday, we participated in the Solvang Tour. We took the back roads driving through the Santa Ynez Valley and Transitioned to CA-135 through Los Alamos. With the recent rains the hills were a beautiful green and wild flowers were abundant. The drive continued over the Harris Grade into Lompoc, driving
Friday, we enjoyed the Santa Barbara City Tour which included Sterns Wharf, East Beach, Andrea Bird Refuge, Santa Barbara Mission, and historical downtown Santa Barbara. At the start we passed the Moreton Bay Fig Tree planted in 1877 behind the railroad station. It’s believed that 1,000 people could stand
Then on to the highlight on the tour, the Santa Barbara County Court House, a masterpiece of Spanish-Moorish style, designed by William Mooser III and a National Historic Landmark with its El Mirador, the 75’ tall clock tower. The Seth Thomas Tower Clock was originally installed in 1929 after the 1925 earthquake. In 2012, the previously hidden clock was restored and put on public view with the creation of the Bisno Schall Clock Gallery. A fascinating piece of history—John Harrison (16931776), a lone genius who solved the greatest scientific problem of his time, invented the ‘first’ Chronometer which enabled navigators to compute accurately their longitude at sea. The tower provides magnificent 360 degree views of the city and surrounding countryside. The Court House has wonderful murals, architectural gems and exquisite wood paneling. The Old Board of Supervisors Assembly Room has murals depicting the history of the county, beginning with the Indians watching the arrival of the first Europeans with Cabrillo, who claimed the territory for Spain and ending with the arrival of Fremont over San Marcos Pass. Between the windows are panels representing the wealth of the county: minerals, stock and agriculture. The building has been hailed as an artistic triumph and is the signature example of Santa Barbara’s style. We ended the Tour with lunch at Jane before returning to the hotel. Dinner Friday was on our own, and we had a delicious meal at Barbareno downtown. Saturday, we ventured on our
own downtown walking to the Wharf and taking the shuttle to window shop and view the sites around town. It was a great time sightseeing Santa Barbara considering I grew up in Ventura County, played high school sports against Santa Barbara Schools and never really spent time visiting the true Santa Barbara. Isn’t it true that we never visit our local wonders, always going long distances to visit other geographic regions. After our exhausting day, we ended Treffen with our PCA-LA Region friends at the closing Santa Maria BBQ. We are looking forward to the Spring Treffen at Colorado Springs in April 2020 and hope to see many of you there.
The tour started early Saturday morning at Porsche Carlsbad, formerly Hoehn Porsche. After checking in, enjoying some fruit, pastries and coffee, meeting old and new friends, and receiving tour instructions, we were off to Death Valley. Of course significant freeway travel north on I-15 was required, but after we reached Baker, routes 127 and 190 turned into roads that we all love to drive. Also the May Gray was left behind, the top came down, and the temperature rose into the 90’s with a bright sun. It was perfect Porsche driving conditions as far as I was concerned.
THE GOLDEN STATE TOUR Story and Pictures by David Heenan
IN A FORMER LIFETIME Betty and I were avid car campers and hikers, and over the years we have thoroughly explored the vast majority of the parks in the Western states, many times, whether by foot, off-road vehicle, or river raft. We love wilderness areas and their inherent scenic beauty, but unfortunately time has taken its toll as we cannot do what we used to do. So when I saw the announcement by the San Diego Region in 2016 for a week long driving tour through several national parks, I signed us up immediately. This was Porsches & Parks I, a
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tour through Arizona and Utah national parks, a region that Betty and I love. Granted it would be quite different from our previous visits, a whirlwind driving and sight-seeing tour with little time for thorough exploration, but driving our Porsche through the parks sounded like a most enjoyable way to visit the areas that we love. It was a great tour. Everything was perfectly planned out by our organizer, Victoria Varon, from motel accommodations and meals to the route itself. An exquisite, bound tour booklet was provided, complete with precise route directions and maps,
accompanied by interesting and informative comments for the areas we were driving through. It was so much fun that we signed up the next year for Porsches & Parks II, which was basically the same route with the addition of a tour through Antelope Canyon, a beautiful slot canyon in Page, Arizona, a site that was new to Betty and I. But we did not join Porsches & Parks III last year, which added a few New Mexico and Colorado sites to the tour; it conflicted with the Treffen Tamaya which we attended and was held in Albuquerque the week following.
This year there were no conflicts, and Betty and I signed up for Porsches and Parks IV, the Golden State Tour. Like the previous tours, this was a 9 day and 8 night driving tour. Our group consisted of 28 Porsches, not all of them with only twodoors. Many of the participants, mainly from SDR though several from the LA region too, have attended most of these tours and it was a pleasure to meet up with old friends. However, the itinerary was completely different; this was a tour of California, The Golden State.
Since it was about a 330 mile drive to reach the Oasis at Death Valley, we did not drive in a single group. Everyone pretty much set their own pace, although small groups formed. Check in for the hotel was not until 4:00 pm, and with our driving speed this gave us plenty of time to stop at several vista points in Death Valley. My favorite is Zabriskie Point, probably because of my infatuation with the movie. The hotel itself is an oasis, an island of lush green in the middle of Death Valley. The accommodations were excellent, and we enjoyed a communal dinner in their dining room that evening. The following morning we were off to Mammoth Lakes. With no particular agenda on the drive, everyone was free to visit the various Eastern Sierra highlights of their choice. Betty and I headed out on our own. Route 190 to Lone Pine was another joy to drive, and led to US 395, which
is one of the most scenic roads in CA. The mountains were still snow covered and were brilliant in the sun. Lone Pine is the gateway to Mount Whitney, the tallest peak in the lower 48 states, which I have climbed twice. However Betty had never visited Whitney Portal, so we drove up Whitney Portal Drive, which provides tremendous views of the valley and mountains, to the trailhead. On the way down, we also visited Alabama Hills, where dozens of western movies have been filmed, the most notable probably being Shane. Resuming our drive north on US 395, we also visited Manzanar, June Lake, and Convict Lake. Finally we arrived in Mammoth Lakes and checked into the Westin Monache Resort. It was significantly colder in Mammoth, but we were able to walk about to find a restaurant to celebrate Cinco de Mayo for dinner. There were forecasts of rain but the sun was out to warm things up a bit, though not enough for me. Continuing our driving tour the following morning, we again headed out by ourselves on the long way to South Lake Tahoe since the short way was only 150 miles. Entering Nevada via PORSCHERAMA /SUMMER ‘19
Andreas was our first stop. Once again the route, primarily route 88, was a joy to drive: scenic and challenging with minimal traffic. The warm and sunny weather was perfect for the drive and our outdoor lunch buffet. After a 2+ hour drive everyone was able to relax under the trees in the shade and enjoy a delicious lunch at the Pickle Patch.
US 395 we headed north to route 431, another fun road to drive, which runs southwest to Incline Village which is situated on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. We then drove down along the east side of the lake crossing back into California to reach our hotel, Marriott’s Timber Lodge. Again the weather forecast was for rain, but it didn’t appear; the sun did. It was cool however. The Timber Lodge is 1 block from the state line so that we were able to walk to a casino to throw away some unnecessary cash. Now that we were heading south with several nights to go, the driving distances were significantly shorter per day, and we were able to drive as a group which can be a lot of fun by itself. This day our final destination was Yosemite, but a communal lunch at the Pickle Patch Deli in San
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After lunch we were off again to Yosemite, and it was a short, pleasant drive south on route 49 into route 120. Our hotel for the next twp nights was the Rush Creek Lodge at Yosemite, which is located a half mile from Yosemite National Park, although it is over 20 miles from Yosemite Village. Arriving early afternoon, there was time to explore the immediate area and even the park itself. Betty and I just relaxed at the hotel with a modest dinner in their tavern. Overeating can be a problem for me. The next day everyone was on their own to explore Yosemite, and off we went. Betty and I joined Lynn and Tino Mingori for a most delicious breakfast buffet in the Majestic Yosemite Hotel, formerly the Ahwahnee Hotel. Afterwards we drove around the park to see the sights, and grand they were. Needless to say the most impressive feature at this time of year were the waterfalls, and there were many of them with massive amounts of water flowing down and enough spray at the bottom to drench everyone who got too close. I’m sure several of the falls disappear during the summer. Although
some spots, like Glacier Point, were still closed due to snow, the valley offered many picturesque views of the waterfalls. We frequently stopped for short hikes and photos, and were able to drive out to Mirror Lake where we were joined by Karin and Mike Rozenblatt for some photos. Betty and I returned to Rush Creek Lodge by late afternoon to rest a little before our second group dinner that evening, a delicious family style dinner in the Rush Creek Lodge. Thursday’s drive to Carmel was only 220 miles, and we started out by driving through Yosemite via CA 120 into CA 140 into CA 156. We were back into civilization and city traffic. Since
the drive was relatively short, Betty and I broke off from the group and drove the 17 Mile Drive on the Monterey Peninsula. It was a pleasant drive with many photo opportunities, although this was the only day that the sun stayed mostly hidden. Finally we arrived at the Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel. Our room was in a unit adjacent to a pond (water hazard?) and the golf course. After settling into our room, we drove back the short distance to Carmel to walk about and have dinner. There were too many excellent choices for dinner but we settled on Mulligans Irish Pub for something different. Once back at our room with the sun setting, the din from frogs
in the pond increased to an astounding level, though nothing stopped us from a sound sleep that night. The next day’s drive was only about 100 miles on US 1. We drove as a group, and had some spirited runs along the way, although the area affected by the landslide below Big Sur was still single lane. Our main attraction for the day was a tour of Hearst Castle, which is always a delight. After a quick lunch in the visitor center we rode the bus up to the castle for the Grand Rooms Tour. During the Treffen Santa Barbara in April Betty and I took the same tour with the same excellent guide, but it was still fun to tour the castle. We always
learn something new and are amazed at the opulence. After the tour we drove into Cambria to the Oceanpoint Ranch, which is located on the majestic shores of Moonstone Beach. With a warm sunny afternoon and spare time at hand Betty and I walked to the beach to relax and watch the waves. We love our Porsches but after several days of travel, walking about in the sunshine is a welcome respite. Dinner that evening was in Cambria with Karin and Mike Rozenblatt and Karen and Mark Wooldridge, all LA region members, at the Black Cat, an excellent restaurant. Saturday, the real last day of the tour, was our wine tasting extravaganza. We left Cambria early for Paso Robles, which is less than 50 miles. Little driving left a lot of time for wine tasting. We started off by visiting the Brecon Estate at mid-morning and sampling several of their fine wines. One nice aspect of visiting the wineries is that they are usually located in very picturesque locations with fun country roads to reach them, and the Brecon Estate was no exception. With careful attention to sobriety we left the Brecon Estate for the Calcareous Vineyard for lunch and more wine tasting of course. After lunch the group drove to the Allegretto Vineyard Resort. Betty and I were familiar with this hotel since we stayed here with another PCA-SDR Wine Country Tour a year prior. But we weren’t finish with the wine tasting.
The final group dinner that evening was at the LXV Private Ranch Winery. More wine of course accompanied by an exquisite buffet dinner in an outdoor venue. I must admit that by this time I was longing for a nice cold craft beer, but none was to be had. My only complaint was that dinner was served as the sun was setting, and like most of California in the spring, when the sun disappears it starts to cool off very rapidly. I was cold. But it was a wonderful evening to finish our driving tour. Sunday was the drive home. Since I had not done much driving the past couple of days, I decided to take the long way home. I found CA 166, headed east to CA 33, and south to Ojai. From Ojai Betty and I eventually reached US 1 and drove home down the coast. Yes, we were happy to get home, but it was an outstanding tour. Victoria had all the details planned to make everything easy, and the weather was most accommodating with a single day of overcast but no rain. Betty and I enjoyed meeting new people from the different regions as well as old friends. And do I need to say much about our beautiful state with its spectacular scenery. We look forward to next year’s Porsche & Parks.
Sale of PMO Carburetor /EFI-MFI $600,000. All the Tools (molds, fixtures, stamping dies, prints, cutting tools, precision boring system, measuring tools, etc.) and Technology (CNC programs). Also included are the Process Specifications for each step it takes to produce a part, sometimes called MOT (manufacturing operations & tooling). Processes include step-by-step machining, stress relieving, coatings, plating, assembly, etc.; everything it takes to make it all work. Extensive instructions including set-up and tooling route sheets will be included. All Inventory and Machinery are also included. What is offered is everything included in PMO’s initial carburetor related investment of approximately $440,000. plus the 3 years of time and expense invested in finishing the initial run of carburetors. The buyer will also greatly benefit from the experience and knowledge gained through 20 years of optimizing manufacturing procedures and programs that have produced a product that has achieved a world-wide reputation of excellence. Therein lays substantial “Blue Sky” value. Because of the highly technical nature of the operation it is highly advisable for the prospective buyer to retain a consultant who is well versed in manufacturing processes, unless the buyer has this experience himself. The consultant should be a Manufacturing Engineer or equivalent with at least 5 years experience in 4 axis CNC programming/machining. Experience in machining castings (permanent mold, investment and die cast) is also important. Richard E. Parr (hereafter referred to as “the seller”) is able to recommend a highly qualified machine shop that can machine the carburetor castings. The $600,000 Sales Price includes the inventory of parts, including castings and machinery: two Haas CNC milling machines, three Haas 4 axis CNC rotary tables, 2 Bridgeports, a smaller mill, a Hardinge turret lathe, a saw, a vibratory stress relieving machine, a vibratory deburring machine, precision measuring and boring equipment, including four Romicrons. It is the buyer’s responsibility to hire an expert to determine the remaining usable life of all equipment. The equipment and parts inventory lists will be verified on site by the buyer and his consultant. The seller agrees to describe and explain all details of the operation to the satisfaction of the buyer. This is a sale of equipment and intellectual property plus inventory to a cash buyer. There is no guarantee of profitability. The buyer and his consultant will be offered the opportunity of running the CNC programs to determine cycle times. The cost sheets of the parts and parts manufactured by outside vendors will be made available by the seller who guarantees reasonable accuracy. The identity of outside sources and other information will remain proprietary until the sale is final. The seller agrees to act as a consultant for six months from time of sale to see the carburetor manufacturing through all stages. The buyer and his consultant are encouraged to determine the value of the Tools and Technology and Inventory with an on-site inspection. The PMO Carburetor name goes along with the sale. The entire PMO entity (the carburetor program plus the EFI, MFI throttle bodies, manifolds, linkage, air cleaners and inventory is included in the total of $600,000. The buyer is responsible to do an on-site inspection of the inventory to determine its value. The Seller agrees to help Buyer continue all operations of PMO Carburetor/EFI-MFI. *This is a sales proposal only that provides general information. This proposal does not contain any warranties or representations whatsoever and is in no way binding. This proposal does not constitute an offer that may be accepted but rather only an invitation to engage in purchase and sale negotiations. The parties will have no obligations to each other unless and until a binding purchase and sales contract is entered into.
Richard E. Parr Ph. 310 394-0088 (firstname.lastname@example.org) www.pmocarb.com
VASEK POLAK & MY INTRODUCTION TO THE WORLD OF PORSCHE Story and Photographs by W. W. “Buzz” Wells, 54 year PCA/LA Member
E A R L Y I N 1 9 6 3 , the engine in my old Chevrolet was dying so I started searching for a replacement. The car that I just had to have was an Alfa Romeo 2000 Gran Turismo Spyder convertible. This model was built in 1960-62 and was powered by a 120 horsepower in-line, six cylinder engine with twin overhead camshafts. It had a beautiful body that was, I think, designed by the Italian coachmaker Pininfarina. A friend of mine named Bill Campbell agreed to take me to Los Angeles to look for Alfas. We went in a 1955 red Porsche coupe that he had purchased in Manhattan Beach, California about a year previously. We
drove all over Los Angeles, but could not find a suitable car. Being in Torrance CA when we looked at the last car, Bill suggested that we stop by Vasek Polak Porsche where he had bought his Porsche. When we got there at about 5 p. m. on Saturday evening, Vasek was alone at his business. When we walked in, Vasek looked up and said without hesitation “Hi, Bill, how’s your coupe?”. I was astounded and impressed because Bill had not seen Vasek for over a year. The conversation eventually got around to why we were in Los Angeles, and when Vasek heard that I was looking for an Alfa Romeo, I thought he was going to have a heart attack.
He got all excited and said “You don’t want an Alfa Romeo! You must try my cars!”. With that, he gave us the keys to all of the used Porsches on his car lot, about twenty in all. “You try my cars! You try my cars!”, he said. Bill and I jumped at the opportunity and spent an hour or so tearing up and down the back streets of Manhattan Beach in every different kind of Porsche imaginable. I bought the first car we drove, a red 1960 Porsche Roadster convertible that was priced at $2890 (new it had sold for about $4100) and had about 27,000 miles on it. That started my own personal association with Porsche and
Vasek Polak, and he was quite an interesting character to know. I found out later that he had escaped from behind the iron curtain in the 1950s. He had to leave because he had worked in the underground resistance during World War II and he was still on the East German police “most wanted” list. After arriving in the United States, he worked as a racing motorcycle mechanic and did rather well. He parlayed this success into one of the first Porsche dealerships on the West Coast. He used his racing background to work his way into the factory Porsche racing program in its infancy and did a lot of work on Porsche factory racing cars. He also bought and campaigned Porsche race cars for his dealership throughout the 1960s and 1970s. He enjoyed a lot of success racing Porsches, and I would sometimes see him at various sports car races. Regardless of where we met, he would always greet me by saying “Hi Buzz, how’s the Roadster?” He obviously had a fantastic memory.
lark, I put it up for sale, and a buyer in Japan snapped it up. Needing another Porsche, I found a completely restored 1974 914 that had been upgraded to a 914-6 with a 911S engine, suspension, and brakes. Compared to the Roadster, the 914-6 is like a rocket ship. Vasek passed away in the early 1990s due to injuries he suffered during a high speed crash on the Autobahn in Germany while driving a Porsche. With his passing, the racing world lost one of its most interesting people ever. He was truly one of a kind, and I am very grateful that he introduced me to the world of Porsche.
The last time I saw Vasek in person was in the Spring of 1968 when we wanted to trade my wife’s 1962 Volkswagen for a larger car. By this time, Vasek had several car dealerships in the Manhattan Beach CA area including ones for Volvo and BMW. I called Vasek and asked if he would take the Volkswagen in on trade for a new 1968 BMW 1600 coupe. We got the BMW, and it was a remarkable improvement over the Volkswagen. I kept the Roadster for 54 years and eventually restored it as a numbers-matching car. On a PORSCHERAMA /SUMMER ‘19
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WALDORF ASTORIA Photographs by Paul Novotne
world in his garage at the far end of the Angeles Crest Highway. Meanwhile, the girlfriend was loving my A3, though she felt bad daily driving my quickly depreciating vehicle. When she bit her own proverbial bullet and bought a Fiat, it was time for me to consolidate down to one car. But where to start? I needed all-wheel drive for ski season. I wanted something small for the city, definitely with a stick shift, something I could work on a fair amount myself. Enter Bring a Trailer, where I was quickly learning more than a lifetime’s worth of Porsche information: IMS, RMS, AOS, Variocam, Luftgekühlt, watercooled...every term and acronym meant another round of research.
ONE DAY COMES Story and Photographs by Michael Teo Van Runkle
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FIVE YEARS AGO, a high-school friend’s dad took me for a ride in his Porsche. At the time, all I knew was that this guy had an unattainable, awesome sports car with the engine in the back for some reason. Afterward, he turned to my friend and said, “He’s going to own one of these one day.” Fast forward and I now know that my friend’s dad’s car was a late-997 Carrera S Cabriolet with a 3.8-liter flat-six sending 380 horsepower to the rear wheels through a six-speed transaxle. Oh, and he was right: Now, I own a 996. My journey towards Porsche ownership was slow and steady,
if not particularly purposeful. First, I sold my E46 BMW and bought a brand-spanking-new 2016 Audi A3—just had to have Quattro for ski season. Then, two years later, I decided it was time to really learn how to drive stick.
In the spring of 2018, I started entertaining the dream—even though I was pretty sure it would never come to fruition. After all, Porsches were still unattainable, awesome sports cars with the engines in the back for some reason. But my obsession was beginning to grow roots and I thought I could get a good price for the A3.
I wanted a beater that was still sportier than a Civic and ended up with a 2001 Audi TT for dirt cheap. Guess I still had to have Quattro, even for my little city car.
I built up the courage and contacted a guy who let me test drive his black 2001 Turbo with 90k miles. The acceleration so intense my neck hurt the next day. It was the first 911 I’d ever driven—afterward, he got the honor of test-driving his first Audi TT.
Two years into TT ownership and I was loving the car—though my wallet certainly wasn’t. I’d even started wrenching a bit myself to save a few bucks here and there on maintenance and upgrades. Luckily, dad has all the tools in the
Over the next few months, I drove a low-mileage Turbo with a 997 short-shifter, a C4S with refreshed suspension, a base RWD Carrera. Then reality hit hard: my threeyear-old Audi A3 had lost almost half its initial value.
I shelved the project, dejected, even looking at options like a Subaru Legacy GT station wagon. But all that weight...so high up... so much body roll...maybe with some suspension work and oh, a head gasket, plus a rebuilt trans... hold on, we’re escalating again. In my spare time, I kept a weather eye out. “Turbo or bust,” I figured, crossing my fingers and waiting. Then one day, I acted on a whim. Someone had listed a 2001 Carrera 4 down in Costa Mesa but the ad was scant on details so I’d never reached out. The price seemed right except the seller made no mention of IMS work or maintenance history. Half out of desperation, I sent the email:
rear left corner of the pan; one door didn’t close right; a few dings and dents here and there; a fender liner that was loose and rubbing. “The List” was starting to grow, along with my IMS paranoia. Dad’s wits had reached their end—he had a good feeling, thought I should make an offer on the spot. Whether it was cooler heads or outright terror that prevailed, I asked the seller to help me arrange a PPI in the Valyermo CA and Vail CO. And to Powder Mountain and Snowbird in Utah, Mammoth, Cayucos, the Bay Area, more than a few days on the Angeles Crest and in the Malibu hills.
HELLO, INTERESTED IN YOUR PORSCHE. IMS WORK? MAINTENANCE HISTORY? The response came back. IMS, RMS, clutch—all done recently, plus over 40 more pages of records. Currently owned by a single mother of three, selling to finance a Cayenne purchase. Lojack, Pioneer sound with Bluetooth, nav and backup cam, prepaid paintless dent removal warranty. IMS DONE! “This could be the one,” I texted my dad while trying to stay calm. I set up a time to meet early on a Saturday morning. Dad drove down to with me, trying to keep his wits about him. Someone had to. We met a few blocks from the seller’s house, the car looking gorgeous as the raspy flat-six approached. On closer examination, the engine bay looked just dirty enough to be legit—a good sign in my book. It drove smooth, lighter than the taut Turbos and the C4S. But the car did have its flaws. A drop of fresh oil hung from the
coming week. Just had to have the oil filter checked for potential metal shavings. On a referral from Paul Kramer of Auto Kennel, owner Robert Tasedan walked me through a PPI at nearby Auto Strasse Porsche Repair, finding a few more details like a cracked CV boot and brake fluid in dire need of a flush. But no IMS worries—for now. Meanwhile, the seller was fielding other offers. The next Saturday, Dad and I met again with the seller, cash in
hand. After a quick rundown of “The List” she and I agreed on a price that felt like a fair deal for both parties. On the drive home, I tried out the Bluetooth sound system and called my mechanic, Jose Davila of Euro-Tech Motors, who had worked on my TT while generously sharing his extensive Porsche knowledge. Jose took care of the CV boot and brake flush immediately. Since then, I can proudly say I’ve kept repairs and maintenance to long days on the floor of dad’s garage.
First up was fixing the loose window glass in the passenger door before it shattered. Next, an oil and filter change—with Blackstone analysis and an LN Engineering spin-on filter adaptor. Tie rod ends, sway bar end links and bushings, radiator cleaning and intake grille screens. New all-season Pilot Sports all around, a roof rack and ski box, a bike mount.
The car has been a dream so far. After watching me struggle on my back, Dad is putting in a lift. I may have even inspired my high-school friend to change his own oil. I did get stuck in the snow one bad morning in Utah after a foot of powder on a warm morning. This winter, I’ll invest in real snow tires shod on a set of 993 Cup 2 wheels—found, of course, on Craigslist. The distant future might include a limited-slip rear differential when the clutch needs replacing. And while they’re in there... In the meantime, with summer temps rising, my oil pressure has been dropping during hard cornering. Time to work on oil scavenging with a stainless steel sump baffle setup. With a little luck, I’ll be out in the canyons again carving in no time.
In nine months, I’ve added just under 15,000 miles. Most have been on the highways between PORSCHERAMA /SUMMER ‘19
HANDLING ISSUES By Tony Callas and Tom Prine
Porsche has always built cars with incredible performance, handling and braking. From the early days of the 356 to the modern Turbo S and everything in between, all provide balance and handling that makes every automobile manufacturer envious. Drive your Porsche into a corner fast and a completely different personality emerges – a magical personality that the engineers at Weissach make sure is within every Porsche, whether destined for your garage or a checkered flag at Le Mans. Of course, over time, and a lot of corners, suspension components wear and can even break. If you happen to notice an abrupt change in your Porsche’s handling characteristics, be sure to have the problem diagnosed immediately.
If a tire is deflating, it can cause the car’s handling to become very unresponsive, unstable and potentially create a dangerous situation. A tire with very low air pressure driven at freeway speeds (or higher) can become very hot, potentially damaging its internal structure and sidewall. If this problem is not discovered in a timely manner, not only will the tire be ruined and require replacement, it could create a possible situation where the tire will blowout and even perhaps literally come apart. This is why it is very important to check the tire pressures on your car regularly -- once a month if your car is not equipped with tire pressure monitoring. That said, a handling issue may not be related to a loss in tire pressure in any way.
Whenever a handling issue is experienced, the first thing to check is the tire air pressures.
Beginning in 2001, Porsche Stability Management (PSM) became available as an option on
PORSCHERAMA /SUMMER ‘19
most models but was standard on the C4 and Turbo Models, with the exception of the GT2. PSM aids in correcting handling instability and loss of traction by obtaining data from multiple sensor systems to determine the car’s direction, speed, yaw and lateral acceleration. If PSM determines that a tire is losing traction, it can apply the brakes at individual or multiple wheels in an effort to assist in maintaining the directional control of the car. However, Porsche has some specific recommendations for tire wear to insure that PSM operates properly. Porsche states that the tires tread depth must not differ by more than 30% for tires mounted on the same axle (front or rear) or any location on an all wheel drive model. Also, a newly replaced tire and the existing tires must match exactly in manufacturer, model and all ratings. If the tires do not match, there could be noticeable to serious differences in the handling characteristics between the tires, especially during high speed driving or abrupt maneuvers, like accident avoidance. If any of the tires have recently been replaced as a result of an accident or another issue, the tread wear differential between the existing worn and newly replacement tire(s) must be determined. If a 30% or greater difference in tread depth exists when compared to the new tire, the PSM system might conclude that a tire(s) is losing traction. This is because the smaller rolling circumference of the worn tire would be turning
faster than the new tire(s) at any given vehicle speed. If you were to enter a turn fast with these conditions existing, PSM may take action and apply a single or multiple brake(s) that could really catch you off guard. The bottom line with PSM is that if you have mismatched tires or a 30% or greater tread depth differential as described, you will have to replace the older existing tires. Porsches are intended to have a firm ride characteristic; there should be no excessive bounce in the suspension when encountering sudden dips or rises in the road surface. Additionally, you should not hear any noises from the suspension when it is working, such as a metal to metal clank or rattle. If you do, then something is worn, damaged or faulty. As the suspension components age, handling will of course degrade. Worn control arm bushings, leaking shocks or struts, broken sway bar brackets, etc., will take place over time. You and your Porsche technician should continually monitor the performance and wear of the suspension components, ensuring that as they age, repairs and replacements are performed so that the incredible Porsche handling will last indefinitely.
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