by D. Chaisson
Just back from attending the 2018 WERKS of Monterey with a report: The assemblage
of Porsches was over the top! There were interesting stories at every turn.
In the lunch photo, you may see Lisa Mazza holding a little kitty — this is the best “human interest” story of the day! While driving to WERKS, of course stuck in traffic, people alerted Jim Mazza that there was a cat under his car! They stopped and looked under the car and, yes, there was a very scared “new” kitten frozen under the car. What’s a person to do? Well, Lisa had Jim move the car forward until she could rescue the kitty. Then, she brought it to WERKS, put it in the “swag-bag” given to all coral entrants and showed it off to everyone who would look. Just look at that little bitty kitty, with beautiful markings (I have no idea what breed it is) and you tell me if that isn’t the happiest lady – and cat – around. PS, Lisa promptly named the kitty “Lucky”. Makes sense to me.
The number of “outlaws” wasn’t as many as I thought there would be, but the ones that were there were pretty impressive. An “Outlaw” 356 is a 356 that has been quite radically modified, to a point that it is different car. One of the highlighted “outlaws”, presented by West Coast Classics, took that liberty to the extreme. It is a 1959 356, or is it? It has the profile of the 356, but it’s dimensions are a bit askew. That’s because it is built on a Cayman chassis!
You can get a lot more information in this link to a Jay Leno’s Garage presentation.
There were very few “race” cars this year, maybe because all those cars are being prepared for Rennsport next month.
Now to the confessions of “amateur” concours “drivers”.
WERKS is not just a gathering of Porsches of all models, colors and variants, it is also a “Concours”, not a “real” concours but more of a popularity or favorite of a committee voting — based on overall look and story. Two Yosemite Region members were brave enough to enter their cars into the “judged” exhibits: Phil Harris showing his totally restored/modified 911 SC and Don Chaisson with his “double yellow” Cayman GTS. Both of “us” put in a few/many hours getting our cars washed up, cleaned up and waxed up. And if I do say so myself, they looked pretty damn good!
Since the 911 SC modifications were not to OEM parts, it was entered with other “modified” Porsches. So, Phil found himself parked right in-between a 911 “Baja” car, complete with extra tires on the roof and fronk and about $300K worth of other modifications, and a “tribute” IROC car with a big “Follmer” label on the doors — built by/for Follmer’s nephew so it was “correct” in all manners. So what was that car worth? So, we’re sitting around, musing about the “competition” and joking “… what the heck, no problem because we’re ‘drivers’ not ‘waxers’ and all”. Later on a guy comes up to Phil and he thinks its the “judge”, but its just a “poser” claiming to be a judge from New York and he starts running the 911 SC down, “… you know that this isn’t OEM, the lug nuts have scratches from being taken off with a ‘metal’ socket, …” on and on. So Phil says, “… Yea, but I’m a ‘driver’ !”. The guy just freezes, mouth open — busted! The sad thing was that the WERKS judges never even came by to “judge” Phil’s car. Now Sandy and Tom Provasi were totally apologetic, but you have to think that someone thought that the white 911 SC was an amateur amongst … well.. you fill in the blank.
So, what about my Cayman. As most everyone knows, I drive my car — its a 2015 model and has over 30,000 miles, and multiple track days on it.. but it looks pretty good — I think.
My competition was a was spotless GT4 (he was the best Cayman in 2017, but the owner told me that he’s been busy and hasn’t driven the car much this year),a silver 718 S owned and prepared by a multi year, serious Concours competitor in Zone 7 events and another 718 with about 150 miles on it … right off the show room floor.
I know what you all are thinking, “… sounds a little ‘sour grapes’, right”. Actually, each of my competitors were really great people, the silver 718’s owner is a judge in Monterey county and was very, very polite and even complimented Double Yellow’s paint and said that it clearly showed great care. Phil’s competitor, Follmer’s nephew, was great to talk to and a totally down to earth guy.
I just think there are levels of cars there, sort of the difference between GTLM-Pro and GTLM AM… both cars/teams work hard and all, but the “Pro” guys just have that much more experience and capability. Some are dedicated “concours” folks even to the point that some even trailer their cars to events, while others are just “daily” drivers. So, while the slam that “we are ‘drivers’, not ‘waxers’.. ” may be a bit harsh, it does differentiate people’s passions.
Chuck confided that my car’s milage and usage was taken into account and lauded, but it was just not in the same league as the winner in the Cayman/Boxster judging. The first place was this perfect black 981 Boxster with red leather interior. The owners had a great story, bought the car used (quite used — found french fries under a seat!), they drive it often, even auto-X it, but it just “popped” in the sunshine. Even though the owners are clearly hard-core concours folks, (they said that they install “event only” rims because they show better) their car deserved the accolades. Not sure what car won in Phil’s category, but I think we both are thinking…. Looks like we brought a knife to a gun fight!