I got a notice in the mail today that my PCA membership was ready for renewal. So as directed I went to PCA.org/renew to reup for another year or two. Browsing the PCA site and my account settings, it got me to thinking about my experiences with PCA.
Renewal for two years is $90 for me and my wife. I renewed, then looked at the settings on my account, seeing that I have been a member since 1998 – twenty-two years. Since that time, I have had a lot of different Porsches, including a survivor 1969 912, many 924, 924S and 944’s, and a 2001 Boxster S. Each car has had its own personality and we have enjoyed each one.
Like many, my first Porsche was a 1978 924. I learned about these quirky front engine/rear transaxle cars on that one, named Roxanne. Roxie was four or five years old when we got her, copper with a brown interior and a cloth sunroof like the old VW bugs. The owner, who purchased the car new at Contemporary Cars (Porsche Dealer) in Orlando, insisted that it was included on the car when new. I have always doubted that fact, but…Roxanne taught me a few valuable lessons.
I learned that changing the clutch in a carport on jack stands was difficult. I learned that paying a shop work on the car could get expensive. I learned that I could swap the four-speed for a 1980 NA five speed, and did so. I learned that the fuel injection was a bit fiddly, and that the accumulators could fail making the car difficult to start when warmed up. I learned about timing belts, air conditioning, and metric tools. She was a great teacher. Roxanne eventually ended up with our son, and also eventually piled up around a quarter million miles. She is gone now, probably unceremoniously crushed, sent to Japan and made into a Toyota, although I would like to think that she went to Germany and was made into a 996 Turbo. Gone, but not forgotten.
I will also freely admit that Roxanne and I did not join the Porsche Club way back then. Through the eighties and nineties, I feared that my “strange” Porsches would not be accepted – I heard the stories about my line of cars not being a real Porsche. However, I did join with the purchase of the 1969 912, then snuck in the back door with my 944’s and 924S’s. I should not have waited so long! – the rumors and stories were NOT TRUE!
I found the membership of the Florida Citrus Region PCA introduced me to great people, accepting, and at that time, interested in my strange front-engined cars. True, they were mostly 911 folks, but by 1998 there was a change afoot within Porsche. Water cooling was now a thing with the Boxster and the 996. The 944 lineup was gone, as was the 928. And I found that many of the membership had cut their Porsche teeth on a 944!
PCA introduced me to HPDE, which led to becoming an instructor, and led me to SCCA racing with a 944, then a 924S. I was able to realize a livelong and unobtainable dream of racing at Daytona and Sebring. And in the process, I gained respect and friendship with many Porsche aficionados with 914, 911, and 944 race cars. I have become a integral part of the Florida Citrus Region, and over the years produced their newsletter, website, HPDE teaching materials, and assisting with many events on track and off. Friends have become lifelong buddies through PCA.
In the past two years, I have placed 924S cars on the judged field at the Porsche Werks Reunion at the Amelia Island Concours. This year, one of them (Sparky) won a trophy in his class. The reception for our 924S and 944’s is nothing less than fantastic at these events.
All because I pulled the trigger in 1998 and joined PCA. I wish I had done it sooner.
If you are not a member of PCA, join today at PCA.org. A yearly membership is $46. Try it on, come to some events, meet the people, and see what happens. And in the process, find whatever car or cars we have there, because 924S944.com will be there showing off.
Kevin Duffy is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Daytona State College in Florida and a dedicated car guy. He divides his time between teaching criminal justice topics in the online environment and working on/driving cars, particularly Porsches. Kevin is one of the principals in InspiringLifeOver50.com.