Parade without the Porsche

Parade ConcoursStory and photos by Gary Beutler, UCR member (from Provinz August 2014 page 26)

One of the really great PCA events is Porsche Parade. It’s been called the ultimate get-together with 1,600 of your closest friends. It is a week-long extravaganza of driving tours, competitive events, tech sessions, social events and FUN.

Since even before joining Upper Canada Region of PCA in 2008 my wife, Sheryl, and I have wanted to attend. Subsequently, we’ve attended two Parades with our Boxster S and we were convinced it was only worthwhileLaguna Parade Lap attending if you brought your Porsche. That is until we found out that the 2014 Parade was being held in beautiful Monterey, California a destination we’ve wanted to visit for a very long time. We knew we couldn’t get enough time off to make the drive back and forth, in addition to attending the week-long event, but since we both wanted to go we would leave our Boxster at home this time.

Just in case, I checked with Rosemary and John Adam as to whether in the past they attended a Parade and felt cheated when they couldn’t bring their car.

“Absolutely not, we enjoy it just as much either way”, they enthusiastically responded, but I still wasn’t convinced.Porsche at Canepa

So how “mandatory” is it to bring your Porsche? I mentioned to a woman at Parade registration that I felt a bit like a second class citizen because we didn’t bring our Porsche and she said she didn’t bring hers either this time and it didn’t bother her at all. After all, she said, it was better to “come to Parade without your Porsche than not to come at all!”  Good point.

Sheryl enters the Art Show at Parade and when we add our clothing we always pack way more stuff than we can typically get into the Boxster. This time we soon realized our flight would allow us more luggage capacity than we could carry in our car. Score one small point for leaving the car at home.

Gary Beutler at ParadeSince one of the first events at Parade is the Concours, which we didn’t enter into the last two parades…no Porsche, no problem!

The driving tours we signed up for to Big Sur, Hearst Castle, Canepa Design and Laguna Seca are a whole other situation. As all of the cars lined up to leave on the tour (99 percent were Porsches), we quickly parked the rental car in the staging area and walked away pretending we had no idea as to who would bring such a lowly car to this kind of event. During these tours, the organizers will tell you they will not exceed the speed limit, but it always happens anyway and our little rental car kept up easily, much to the chagrin of several of the Porsche owners.

So did we receive any “digs” from our fellow PCA members due to our choice of ride?  You bet. “What model of Porsche is this?” Or in preparation for staging for one of the tours I was advised to “go down this ramp, turn right, go to a Porsche dealer and get a real car before rejoining the event”.  All said in good fun with tongue firmly in cheek. While I was getting gas for my rental car at a near the event hotel I was fiddling with the gas pump when I heard, “Hey, nice car!” I looked over to see a fellow PCA member eyeing my rental car and grinning while fuelling his Porsche.

“That’s cruel!” I responded as we both laughed.

While standing in the check-out line at the Souvenir shop at Laguna Seca Raceway, discussing our parade laps with several fellow PCA members, one mentioned he was disappointed because he was held up during his laps by someone in a Cayenne and then said, “Gee, I hope it wasn’t any of you in the Cayenne”.

“Nope, it wasn’t me”, I said, “I was driving the Kia, but I certainly wasn’t holding anyone up, it was a Kia Sport!”

On our flight back Sheryl said our next Parade will be one close enough so we can definitely take our car, but “if we had to, really had to…we could do without and still enjoy Porsche Parade.”

If you have never gone to Porsche Parade you owe it to yourself to check it out, it’s very cool, with or without!IMG_0830

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