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January Social Recap

JIM KENZIE is always a big draw at UCR socials and Jan. 12 was no different — because it was virtual on Zoom, even more could attend and 160 club members and Porsche fans joined in to catch up with Canada’s top auto journalist. The highlight of the evening came when Kenzie was announced as the club’s newest member, an honorary distinction.

The Toronto Star Wheels reporter and TSN Motoring personality entertained the online video crowd with some Kenzie classic Porsche stories that never get old and always generate laughs, before discussing two of the latest, greatest and fastest-ever new Porsches, which he happened to test the past year — the all-electric Taycan and the 911 Turbo S. According to Car and Driver magazine, both sports cars are good for blisteringly fast 0-to-60-MPH times that are just over two seconds.

After making some club announcements, President Stefan Walther announced a lifetime honorary membership into PCA UCR for Jim Kenzie, thanking him for his many years of coming out to club socials, engaging the membership, always being personable, a true friend of the club.

A PCA honorary membership is symbolic, bestowed upon an individual in the greater community to recognize them for their exemplary support of the club. Such a person is typically not able to join the club as a regular member as they may not own a Porsche, such is the case with Kenzie.

No one deserves an honorary membership more than Jim. He grew up in north Toronto and graduated from the University of Toronto in Industrial Engineering in 1966. His first Porsche experience was when he was asked to pilot a 356 to Mosport at a young age. That set the hook.

“Thanks so much for the honorary membership,” Kenzie accepted humbly. “Totally unexpected, and probably as close to owning a Porsche as I’m likely to get. As I have said many times, your club is the best-organized one I have ever come across. Not to mention the biggest! And to have that big a turn-out for my ‘visit’ is very flattering. Thanks again for inviting me.”

“No one deserves an honorary membership more than Jim,” longtime acquaintance and Past President John Adam said. “Jim Kenzie grew up in north Toronto and graduated from the University of Toronto in Industrial Engineering in 1966. His first Porsche experience was when he was asked to pilot a 356 to Mosport at a young age. That set the hook. Early on he became a writer for a small local newspaper ? and the rest is history. His wife Sandy, AKA Lady Leadfoot, is obliged to share Jim’s love of cars.”

“It was my honour to present Jim with this honour,” President Walther said. “He has given many hours of his time and this has enriched our club year after year, all while supporting a charity by selling a coveted car calendar.” The board of directors voted unanimously in awarding the honorary membership, which is believed to be a first in UCR history.

As a PCA UCR honorary member, Jim Kenzie will receive the official club pin, a framed certificate, complimentary subscription to Provinz magazine, and invitation to events. He will not have voting rights like other members, nor will he receive Panorama and other perks from PCA National.

Jim Kenzie is usually selling his annual glossy Kenzie Car Calendar with proceeds that go to Parachute, an injury-prevention organization. Injuries are a leading cause of death, car crashes are a leading cause of injuries. Due to the pandemic and worldwide lockdowns, there is no calendar for 2021, however, club members were encouraged to show their support for Kenzie and the charity by making a donation online at Parachute.ca.

“We raised somewhere around $75,000 over the 15 years we produced it,” Kenzie said. “I’m sure Parachute would be delighted with any donations from club members!”

President Walther welcomed other new club members who were at the social, as well as members who were attending a social for the first time: Doug Armstrong, Gregory Boehmer, Ralph Chan, Jim Gainer, Yves Gosselin, Eric Lehto, Robert Nakashima, Ryan Oatman, Andrew Pajot, Cathy Sceli, Derek Shama and Cody Yeh. Club pins have been mailed out to them.

Porsche Canada generously donated prizes that included a number of unique and rare items — limited-edition scale models, puzzles and Playmobil items for children, plus other Porsche accessories. Trivia questions were asked and club members were to type their answers in the chat, which became a game of Lightning Fingers.

The first two prizes were for children’s items: Who had a child or grandchild, ages three and up, celebrating a birthday in January? Gregory Boehmer and Chris Pattison chimed in.

I can barely wait for that vaccine so we can get back to seeing people live instead of on Zoom.

Other questions pertained to Jim Kenzie as well as Porsche, which had just released sales and delivery numbers for 2020. Despite a very challenging pandemic year and weeks-long factory shutdowns, Porsche sold or delivered 272,162 new vehicles worldwide, a drop of only three percent over 2019’s record year. In Canada sales were 7,402, a rather significant drop of 18 percent, which was similar to the overall Canadian auto industry at 19.7 percent and similar to Porsche in Germany at 17 percent. Porsche’s USA sales dipped a more modest seven percent.

The Macan, surprisingly, was not the usual big seller, the 2020 title went to the Cayenne with 92,860 worldwide sales. The electric Taycan found an impressive 20,015 owners in its first year on the market, 844 of those in Canada. The 911 sold 34,328 units worldwide.

Trivia winners were Robert Bowman, Wayne Spiegelberg, Mario Marrello, Stefan Uriadka, Cameron MacLean, Andrew Pajot, Omer Azeez, Kevin and Lillian Kurnik, and Graham Jardine.

Jim Kenzie echoed many of our own thoughts, “I can barely wait for that vaccine so we can get back to seeing people live instead of on Zoom.” </>

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