Muskoka: Curves & Camaraderie

For everyone that is an ardent participant of our tours each year, and most having a favorite one or two, the Muskoka 2-day sits high on the list of many. It is easy to understand why there is an elevated interest in this tour. More Porsche-licious curves, more social activities … just more.

Unlike most tours, the Muskoka overnight starts on a Thursday and ends on a Friday. Hopes for good weather are always present, as they are for any tour. So, there was concern when the four days before departure had unsettled rainy weather. It’s unknown whether the tour organizer, Matthew Held, had called the Shaman of Stuttgart to dispel the rain. Regardless, the skies cleared up with idyllic sunshine and warmth.

Our tour’s launch (not the 0 to 60 type) took place at a familiar Uxbridge spot. The cars arrived one by one in the parking area. Old friends reunited; new participants felt welcomed. After a visit to Tim’s for pre-drive checks and the mandatory driver’s orientation, everyone was ready to start. With 27 cars, coordination was both impressive and challenging. Matthew divided us into red, green, and blue groups, each with a lead and chase car equipped with radios.

Before delving into the fun parts of the tour, and if you’re familiar with the author’s insights, you’ll remember the thought-provoking questions participants are asked. For this tour, drivers faced two questions. Pause for a moment after reading these and consider your answers before comparing them to others’. A common theme emerges. Notice if you can spot it.

First, would you accept an offer of $20,000 above the market price for your Porsche today? Second, if your Porsche vanished without explanation and you were compensated generously, would you buy another Porsche? If yes, which model?

Why don’t we look into one now and see what John Hume, from Toronto, thought about selling his 2017 911 Carrera S and putting $20K extra in his pocket. “If I got offered 20k over, would I sell my car? Well you know what, everything is always for sale. I’ve done it before, but I really enjoy this car so I’m going to say no in this case.” he said, although with a bit of trepidation. The decision to buy another Porsche, and which, was a considered option? “A GT3, they’re not for me. Definitely a 992 Carrera 4S and make the color Chalk.” 

With precise military coordination, the procession covered the initial 94 km along spirited roads before reaching Bobcaygeon for a brief pit stop. The warm temperature and the parching dust storm in the parking lot likely prompted additional drink sales at Tim’s during this break, especially for the top-down group. 

One of the convertible crowds was Harry Goslett driving his 997 Carrera 4S. It took him less than a second to decline the prospect of selling his car, expressing love for it in the same breath. With an unlimited wallet for a replacement, a classic 911 GT3 was hinted at. There was a flourish of excitement at the mention of a Taycan instead. Sorry Harry. No givebacks!

For the uninitiated, the next 85 km would be a delightful treat as the heralded CR 507 was ahead. This stretch has, as you may already know, qualified for Porsche-licious Standard of Excellence status. It never disappoints no matter how many times the challenge has been met.

One in our group loved curves and speed. You’ll see why soon. Tim Pare, from Kingsville, drove a 1982 911 SC and swiftly joked about selling, “Everything’s for sale. Add a couple of kids too.” Here’s the clue: He picked a 911 GT3, Miami Blue, full roll cage, fully track-ready! Got it?

After completing the second leg of the day’s route, Pinehurst resort’s dining area provided a cozy spot for relaxation. People gathered around large tables, swapping tales, while a generous buffet satisfied appetites.

Not as unique as first thought as it turns out. It was learned from Bill Sault from Burlington that he would not part with his 2022 Cayman GT4 for a bucket of extra cash. As it took extremely long to get the car no offer would be considered. But … if it were to vaporize the Porsche of choice would be a Singer … a trend starting here?

Pinehurst behind, cars started a memorable drive in the heat, through picturesque landscapes and towns like Baysville and Dorset, known for charm. 

One driver that must have been feeling the itch for a bit more speed is Norm Blair from Sudbury, who was clipping along with his Cayman S Sport. We learned parting with that car was not a popular idea. But we later learned his dream acquisition is a Carrera GT. OK! He adds, “It’s gotta be orange!”

After the last segment, we reached the overnight stop. Everyone settled in, freshened up, and rested for the evening activities.

As before, dinner stood out with cars displayed in the hall, more than before, a stunning sight. The chosen vehicles sparkled; dreams turned real.

A shining example of someone on the tour whose dreams came to fruition was Brent Coles from Newmarket. His long search for the perfect car ended when he found and purchased his 1995 993 classic. Despite an offer of 20 grand over market value for his car, Brent instantly rejected the suggestion. Undeterred, the ante was raised to fifty grand, tempting to some, but not for Brent. With a quick quip, he firmly stated, “No.”

To emphasize the point of his unwavering commitment, the question arose: What if, by some unthinkable circumstance, his beloved 993 were to vanish into thin air? Without hesitation, Brent emphatically declared, “I would buy exactly the same car.” His dedication and passion for his cherished vehicle were unwavering, reinforcing the depth of his connection to it.

A common thread began to emerge as we delved into the story of David Keighly, an Oakville resident who joined the tour with his 2005 Boxster S. Similar to Brent Coles, David also brushed off the offer of $20,000 over market value for his car. However, it was in his consideration of a potential replacement that things got interesting.

With careful thought and deliberation, David unveiled his vision for his next prized possession. “I would opt for something with a more vintage appeal,” he revealed. “Ideally, I’d prefer an air-cooled model, definitely not a Widowmaker. And a Targa would be perfect.” It became evident that there was a discernible trend emerging among some tour participants—a shared appreciation for older vehicles, particularly those with air-cooled engines, and a fondness for the timeless elegance of the Targa model.

At this juncture, let’s shift our focus and explore the contrasting side of the spectrum. Bill Neill, who took pride in his 2017 Cayman S, specifically in the striking shade of Miami Blue, had an interesting perspective. With the luxury of an unlimited budget, he contemplated his dream replacement.

After a brief pause, he confidently declared, “Without a doubt, it would have to be the 918 Spyder Prototype.” Simultaneously, Sylvie chimed in, adding her input, “A GT3.” It remained to be seen whether they would delve further into a discussion on this topic, leaving room for anticipation.

Here, we witness a juxtaposition between the classic theme embraced by some tour participants and the allure of cutting-edge models desired by others. Bill’s longing for the 918 Spyder Prototype reflects an appreciation for a rare and iconic vehicle from the past, while Sylvie’s desire for a GT3 highlights her preference for a high-performance, contemporary option. The potential for further dialogue and exchange of opinions on this matter adds an intriguing element to their shared enthusiasm for Porsche automobiles.

In the dining room, elegant tables and gleaming cars set the scene. Conversations flowed, centred around Porsches. The event celebrated culinary excellence and Porsche camaraderie.

Participants cherished the camaraderie but respected the upcoming route, needing rest. Grateful for rest, they braced for a challenging 300-km day. Familiar roads marked the initial 150 km, followed by exhilarating stretches. A refreshing break awaited at Lion’s Park.

At lunch, Matt Held shared insights about the tour. Currently Porsche-less, he’s awaiting a 911 GT3 from Germany, using a loaner Cayenne for the tour. Hypothetically, if his GT3 sank, he’d choose it again, adding a Cayenne Hybrid for trailering.

As a three-time organizer, Matt discussed planning challenges, like ‘B’ roads. Map promise sometimes turned to gravel, requiring route adjustments. Diversity was vital for a fresh experience. The tour reached further north, extending segments, and introducing novelty.

Matt’s planning resonated; not a single negative comment. Attentive and thoughtful, he ensured a positive experience.

During the picnic stop, was the chance to inquire about Sally Safa’s dream replacement for her 2014 911 Carrera, especially since she had already declined a substantial $10,000 offer. Following the prevailing trend, Sally confidently stated, “I would choose a 911 GT3. It would likely be red with a white interior, and it must be a brand new one!”

It’s safe to say that Sally made an excellent choice, aligning her preference with the high-performance allure of the 911 GT3 and customizing it to her desired specifications.

The final leg was exciting, a fitting end. At Sawdust City Brewery in Gravenhurst, camaraderie continued. Some stayed briefly, many aimed for rest. The journey’s close brought relief, an end to a thrilling adventure. </>

Story By Marc Etherington
Photography by Matthew Held

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