Shift Into Spring

UCR 2022 OPEN HOUSE took place on Sunday April 24 at 427 Auto Collision (Etobicoke), a Porsche Certified Collision Centre since 2013. This is one of the five Porsche Certified Collision Centres in Ontario. We had to cancel our Open house two years in a row due to COVID and 2022 was the eighth 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 and donated 10 prizes to our prize draw. As in the previous years, 427 Auto Collision also hosted a charity lunch raising several thousand dollars for Make-a-Wish Canada. 

Many members missed the tech seminar at our Open House. Below are the key takeaways from the seminar:

Jon, the Porsche repair specialist for 427 Auto Collision and Avenue Collision, discussed specialized Porsche tools, equipment and processes. He went over the differences between older Porsche repairs and the newer more advanced models, which both require Porsche Certified Technicians for various reasons. Older Porsche models were not assembled and mass produced in the same way as they are today so these models tend to require more specific attention to detail as no two are the same. Newer Porsche models require very expensive, technologically advanced tools to repair. For example, 427 Auto Collision recently purchased a $2,000 Porsche approved paint gauge to measure the thickness of the paint before and after a repair. To ensure a perfect paint match Porsche requires the paint to be as close to the original thickness as possible. These are the types of strict standards that 427 Auto Collision and Avenue Collision must meet to maintain Porsche Certification.

Jon also went over the importance of using genuine Porsche parts when repairing a Porsche vehicle. The Porsche was designed, engineered, and manufactured so that every part works together perfectly. To keep the Porsche in the best condition for the longest time possible, 427 Auto Collision and Avenue Collision use Genuine Porsche Parts, which are approved by Porsche and carry a warranty to maintain the value of the vehicle. Only Porsche Certified Centres have access to up-to-date repair procedures directly from Porsche, required to maintain the original specifications of a Porsche. If a Porsche vehicle is not restored properly, it can compromise the structural integrity and safety features of the vehicle.

Frank D’Alessandro was the first person to arrive on the day of our Open House before 8am, followed by Sajjad Butt (Rally Master), his wife Gulzar and his daughter Sadia. Gulzar checked in 38 drivers and navigators (of 19 Porsches) and Sajjad hosted the drivers’ meeting. The rally began at 9:00 am, and the drive lasted for three hours with the ending destination at 427 Auto Collision. See Sajjad Butt’s rally article in this issue of Provinz. 

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 four shows (i.e. vendors’ displays, event chairs’ booths, parts swap, UCR Goodie Store) under one roof. Thank you to our Open House Co-Chairs, Peter Helston (UCR President, 2002, previous Advertising Chair) and Mark Solomon (previous Open House Chair) for planning the event, and Kye Wankum (Board Director, Advertising and Sponsorship Chair, Concours Co-Chair) for inviting Provinz advertisers to the Open House as an advertisers appreciation event. 

Special shout out to Jackie Metcalfe (Director and Club Race Co-Chair) who recruited Open House volunteers and helped with various duties during the event including the hourly prize draws. This year, we asked members to write down their names and contract information for the prize draw when they arrived at the welcome desk. Even if the winning members had left while we were doing the prize draw, we contacted them afterwards to pick up their prizes. We had 15 winners who won either $50.00 UCR Goodie Store gift certificates or prizes donated by 427 Auto Collision. Our UCR Goodie store, which is run by Andy Hunt, displayed a great selection of UCR merchandise at the Open House. 

Thank you to the following Provinz advertisers (in alphabetical order) who participated in the Open House: 

  • Auto Vapour Cleaning
  • C17 Auto Armour
  • Collecting Cars     
  • Collector Car Canada
  • Dent Doctor
  • Hagerty
  • JRP/Sonax
  • Mantis Autosport/Ultraray
  • MyRide901 
  • OneStepBeyond – EezePlate
  • SET Auto Care  
  • Stelvio Brands – Element Fire

I would also like to thank the following volunteers who all played important roles at our Open House: 

  • The three shifts at the welcome desk: Peter and Susan Blake (previous Socials Co-Chairs); John Tipper (Special Interest Group 914 lead) and his daughter, Erin; and 3) Sylvie Neill.
  • Laurel Ward (Membership Chair), Ted Youngs (Provinz Copy Editor) and I worked at the Membership desk. Ted Youngs joined UCR in 2013 and celebrated his 92nd birthday four days prior to the Open House.  Despite being hearing impaired, Ted was successful in recruiting new members at the membership desk ! 
  • Kye Wankum (Board Director, Advertising and Sponsorship Chair, Concours Co-Chair) and Michael Pohlmann (UCR President, 2019-2020, Concours Co-Chair) – Concours
  • Mark Solomon (previous Open House Chair) – Parts Swap
  • Graham Jardine (Driver Education Treasurer) – Driver Education
  • Jackie Metcalfe (Board Director, Club Race Co-Chair) and Neil Dowdell (previous Board Director and Club Race Grid Captain) – Club Race
  • Larry Funnell (Board Director, Driving Tour Chair) – Driving Tour
  • Sajjad Butt (Rally Master), Gulzar Butt, Sadia Butt – Rally 
  • Christopher Hebert (Director of Communication and Digital Editor) – Provinz
  • Eshel Zweig (UCR Photographer) 

It was great to see so many familiar faces at our Open House again after two years of hibernation. Thank you everyone for dropping by the Open House. It’s not just the cars, it’s the people!

Photos by Eshel Zweig, UCR Chief Photographer 

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