2019 UCR Open House

427 Auto Collision Hosts the Kick-off to a Great Season

UCR 2019 OPEN HOUSE took place on Sunday, April 28 at 427 Auto Collison (Etobicoke) – a Porsche Certified Collision Centre. This was the seventh consecutive year that 427 Auto Collision hosted UCR Open House. I would like to thank the owners of 427 Auto Collision – the D’Alessandro brothers (Lorenzo, Frank, John) and Lorenzo’s daughter (Jessica D’Alessandro) for their kind hospitality. I would also like to thank our Open House Co-Chairs (Peter Helston and Mark Solomon) for organizing a great event for more than 300 UCR members and guests. 427 Auto Collision also raised $3,000 for Make-a-Wish Canada by hosting a charity lunch.

The highlight of 2019 Open House was a 30-minute seminar (with Q&A) by Lorenzo D’Alessandro. 427 Auto Collision became a Porsche Certified Collision Centre in 2013 and it is one of the five Porsche Certified Collision Centres in Ontario. Lorenzo gave a dynamic speech on Porsche repair, here are the three key takeaways:

1) It is very important to note that only Porsche Certified Collision Centres have access to up-to-date repair procedures, directly from Porsche, required to maintain the original specifications of your vehicle.

2) Porsche vehicles are complex and built using advanced materials, such as aluminum, that require technical skill and expertise to repair. If your Porsche is not restored properly, repairs can compromise the structural integrity and safety features of your vehicle. 

3) The future of Porsche – the Taycan, set to launch in 2019, is the first all-electric model for the brand. As a Tesla Certified facility our technicians have been trained in electric vehicle repair and have seen its complexities. We will likely see Porsche move toward this type of repair and it will become even more critical to choose your collision centre carefully. 

As in previous years, Frank D’Alessandro was the first person to arrive at the facility at 7:30 a.m. Our early bird volunteers include Mark Solomon, Stefan Walther (Director, Social Media Chair, Driving Tour Chair), Sajjad Butt (UCR Rally Master) and Gulzar Butt (Sajjad’s wife), Neil Dowdell (Past Director, Past Club Race Grid Captain), Terry Cassan (Director, Club Race Chair), Jackie Metcalfe (Director, Club Race Grid Captain), Michael Pohlmann (President) and I.  Our rally participants, 38 drivers and navigators (of 19 Porsches) all arrived on time for 8:00 a.m. drivers meeting. The rally began at 8:30 a.m., and the drive lasted for about three hours with the ending destination at 427 Auto Collision. 

With 79,000 sq. ft. of indoor space, 427 Auto Collision provided an excellent venue for our Open House because we were able to set up five shows (i.e. vendors’ displays, event chairs’ booths, parts swap, show ‘n shine, UCR Goodie Store) under one roof. Peter Helston (Past President, Open House Sponsorship Chair) recruited the following 10 vendors to participate at our Open House: Armchair Motorists, Augment Wheels, Bruce Farrow Appraisals, Dent Doctor, Hagerty, JRP/Sonax, Mantis Racing, the Auto Loft Group, Wurth Canada, and Ultimate Transportation. Each vendor offered unique products and services to our members. 

The event chairs who participated at the Open House included: Mark Herring and Laurel Ward (Club Membership), John and Rosemary Adam (Drivers Education), Terry Cassan and Jackie Metcalfe (Club Race), Jill Clements-Baartman (driven 2smile), Stefan Walther (Driving Tour), Sajjad and Gulzar Butt (Rally) and Tom Arndt (Street Survival School and Ski Co-Chair). Our UCR Goodie store, which is run by Andy Hunt, displayed a great selection of UCR merchandise. Mark Herring and Laurel Ward signed up quite a few new members, and every event chair worked tirelessly pitching the 60+ upcoming UCR events to our members. 

Mark Solomon and Kye Wankum (Advertising/Sponsorship Chair, Concours Co-Chair) did a fantastic job organizing the parts swap, and show ‘n shine. Sellers and visitors were able to browse through a good selection of Porsche parts and accessories and found new homes for some of the parts they were selling or scored that elusive little part they were missing. The Show ‘n Shine contest attracted 11 participants with various Porsche models. Syed and Annette Ali manned the Show ‘n Shine desk. I helped count the ballots and a beautiful red 1980 911SC received the most number of votes.  The owner of the winning car is Syed Ali (25-year UCR member) and he won a $50 UCR Goodie Store gift certificate. Syed’s red 911 had won many awards at UCR Concours d’Elegance in the past. 

At 11:00 a.m., Lorenzo gave an informative seminar about the importance of taking a Porsche to a Porsche Certified Collision Centre. At 11:30 a.m. the catering staff (hired by 427 Auto Collision) supplied a fantastic luncheon feast with gourmet veal, chicken and vegetarian sandwiches with sautéed onions and grilled veggies, donuts, chips and beverages. Lorenzo’s wife and daughter, Jessica D’Alessandro helped serve lunch to our members. Those members, who purchased charity lunch tickets for $10 to support Make-A-Wish Canada, received raffle tickets to enter into the prize draw. 

At 1:00 p.m. Sajjad Butt gave out trophies to the award winners (see Sajjad’s Rally article in this issue). Michael Pohlmann (President) thanked 427 Auto Collision for hosting our Open House and all the vendors for participating in the event. I highlighted our 2019 Picnic which will take place at the Boyd Conservation Area – Hillsview on Saturday, June 8. It is the same venue as last year when we had 500 members and guests together with 200+ Porsche displayed on the field. We will have a Summer Rally on the same day of our picnic with the destination at the Boyd Conversation Area. 

A few months ago, Roger Stopford (Director, Tech Session Chair, Special Interest Group Chair) launched the Special Interest group (SIG), which is a new opportunity for members interested in networking with owners of specific Porsche models. This will allow UCR members to share information that fosters restoration and maintenance of members’ automobiles. Roger Stopford is the advocate of SIG 944/968. 

I introduced Adam Henderson, who is the advocate of Special Interest Group 928. Adam will be leading a group of 928s in a morning cruise departing from North Burlington and ending at a restaurant for lunch. Please send an email to sig928@pcaucr.org to sign up. John Tipper and David Steward are the advocates of SIG914. Please contact Roger Stopford at sig944968@pcaucr.org if you are interested to be an advocate of a specific Porsche model. 

At the prize draw, we gave out a total of 13 prizes, which included five prizes (two wine packages with red and white wine, $50 Starbucks certificate, two jars of golf balls) donated by CSN/427 Auto Collision, a $50 LCBO gift certificate donated by Hagerty, two bottles of Sonax Wheel Cleaner donated by JRP, and five $50 UCR Goodie Store gift certificates.  The event finished at about 2:30 p.m. 

Thank you everyone for attending our Open House to make it a huge success. 427 Auto Collision has already confirmed that they will host UCR 2020 Open House on a Sunday in April 2020. </>

Photos by Eshel Zweig

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