A great drive on a picture-perfect day
DOWNTOWN PORSCHE HOSTED an inaugural driving tour and a buffet lunch for our members on Sunday August 25. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Derek Chen (Marketing Manager) and Hollie Leong (Marketing Coordinator) of Downtown Porsche and Stefan Walther (UCR Director, Driving Tour Chair, Social Media Chair and Insurance Chair) for organizing this event, and Frank Tsang (UCR volunteer) for taking pictures.
We had 26 Porsches and 55 members (including several children) gathered at Downtown Porsche at 9:30am. All participants checked in at the registration desk and signed the PCA liability waivers. All PCA “moving car events” require an event insurance certificate (listing the date of the event, and the start and end points for the event) in place and all participants (drivers and passengers) must sign the PCA “Release and Waiver of Liability” form (aka waivers). Parents also sign minor waivers on behalf of their children. Participants then enjoyed the pastries, fresh fruit and coffee prepared by Downtown Porsche.
Mandatory Safety Meeting
At 10:00am, Stefan Walther conducted the safety meeting. He emphasized driving tours are not competitive or high-speed driving events, and each driver is responsible for operating the vehicle safely and obeying speed limits and traffic laws. No passing is allowed during the driving tour. Stefan was the group leader, so he set the pace for the group; and I was the sweeper at the tail of the group and my job was to assist any tour vehicle that pulled over and advise the group leader if any vehicles separated from the group. Stefan gave the route instructions sheet, which included turn-by-turn directions with kilometres, to every driver and asked all drivers to zero the odometer. He also told us to input the two addresses (stop by and lunch destination) into the GPS. He finished the meeting by reminding us that we are all responsible for maintaining PCA’s excellent history of safe driving tours.
The driving route was approximately 60km from Downtown Porsche to the lunch destination at the Scarboro Golf & Country Club. We stopped by the Bluffer’s Park to take some pictures. Then we drove past the Toronto Zoo before we arrived at the Scarboro Golf & Country Club at about 12:15pm. We were ahead of our schedule for our 1:00pm lunch reservation. It was such a picture-perfect day with temperatures at approximately 25 degrees C by noon. We spent some time admiring all the 26 Porsches in the parking lot, mingling with each other and then Frank took a group picture of the driving tour participants.
More photos from the event:
Latest News at Downtown Porsche
Derek Chen welcomed our group before the buffet lunch. He mentioned that Downtown Porsche is completing a major renovation project, which will transform the space into a state-of-the-art, customer centric Porsche experience in Canada. He encouraged us to drop by the dealership to check out the newly renovated showroom and the eighth generation Porsche 911 – the 2020 model 992 which is launching in mid-September. Derek also mentioned that Downtown Porsche will continue to give a free first-year Porsche Club of America – Upper Canada Region (“UCR”) membership to every customer who buys a car from them.
I reminded our group that Downtown Porsche has been a major supporter of our membership growth by giving free UCR memberships to customers since 2011. This makes us the largest region among 145 regions at the Porsche Club of America. We currently have ~2,700 primary members (those who own one or more Porsches). Including the family or affiliated members, we have more than 4,000 members. At this driving tour, 30% of the participants joined UCR since the beginning of 2019 and I already saw a few familiar faces at several UCR events during the past few months.
UCR Driving Tours are Highly Sought-After Events
Stefan Walther has been organizing or overseeing 13 driving tours so far in 2019 (and 18 driving tours since he became Driving Tour Chair in 2018). Our driving tours are always in such high demand that they get sold out very quickly. For instance, within the first two hours after the registration opened for Saturday October 12 Niagara Autumn Driving Tours (25 Porsches, 200km, cost $79 per person includes wine tasting at Fielding Estate Winery, and mini car show with wine and dinner canapé reception at Peller Estates winery), it’s already 50% full.
Porsche Dealers Host Driving Tours for UCR Members
In 2018, Pfaff Porsche was the only dealer that hosted a driving tour for our members, and we noticed there was a long waiting list. In order to accommodate more members, Stefan Walther approached several Porsche dealers in early 2019. Both Downtown Porsche and Porsche Centre North Toronto kindly agreed to host driving tours for our members this year. In early August, we noticed we still had very long waiting lists for the three driving tours to be hosted by Downtown Porsche, Pfaff Porsche and Porsche Centre North Toronto. This was our oversight because we had some enthusiastic members who signed up for more than one dealer’s driving tour. The Board discussed and decided to limit members (including all executives, except the Driving Tour Chair) to register for only one dealer’s driving tour. This allows us to accommodate as many members as possible to the dealers’ driving tours. When we notified our driving tour registrants about the issue, many of you responded by cancelling the dealers’ driving tours and keeping only one. We really appreciate your understanding and we will ensure to give advance notice for 2020 dealers’ driving tours. Please stay tuned! </>
Story by Kathleen Wong, Past President 2017-2018 | Photos by Frank Tsang, UCR Member