Grand Tour 2021: Part Two

This is Part Two of the Grand Tour 2021.  The tour includes three weekends of Porsche events in a 5,000 mile trip.  Catch up with Part One here.

Part Two brought us to the Black Hills of South Dakota.  Since we are trailering our 924S Special Edition, we trailered the 580 miles from Minneapolis to Keystone, South Dakota to meet the Dakota Region PCA for their Run for the Hills event.  This was the nineteenth year that they have run this event, limited to only 40 cars.

Starting on Thursday evening, we unloaded the car and met other PCA members at the K Bar S Lodge located less than two miles from Mount Rushmore.  In fact, we could see George Washington’s profile from the parking lot!  Everyone was busy meeting old friends, making new friends, looking at the latest  Porsche acquisitions and just catching up.  There was some interest in our 924S, with the normal comments of “I had one of these – great car.” and “My son has a 944 Turbo and loves it.”

One conversation was pretty telling, though, as I wiped down my car.  The passenger door and hatch were open.  It went something like this…

Him: What is this?

Me: 924S Special Edition.

Him, as he peered into the hatch area:  Is the engine in the back?

Me: Ah, no.  In the front.

Him: Oh…hmmmm.

Me: Have you ever seen a 944 or 968?

Him: Who made them?

There was a Minnesotan there with a 968, and we immediately bonded.

On Friday we took a drive north through some of the best mountain roads we have ever seen.  We went through several 1880’s towns in the area of Deadwood and Lead, with a stop in Sturgis for lunch.  Our forty cars were split into four groups of ten which turned out to be quite manageable.

Saturday was another day of driving west and south of the lodge to Custer State Park, the Crazy Horse Memorial and Mount Rushmore.  Epic places connected by fantastic roads!  The Crazy Horse Memorial was started in 1949 and is still under construction – and will be for a long time.

In the park we had lunch at the Custer State Park Game Lodge – a location visited by President Calvin Coolidge back in the twenties.  Just before arriving at the lodge we were stopped on the road by a small herd of buffalo who decided that the road was the best place to hang out.  Luckily there was a ranger there with his truck to try to clear the beasts off the pavement.

At the end of the day we all met at the K Bar S Lodge for some pizza, conversation and farewells.  The 924S was already loaded on the trailer so in the morning we had an early breakfast and hit the road for the rather boring 600-mile tow back to Minneapolis.  Interstate 90 is just about dead straight for almost 400 miles with few distractions, although we did get to see a few cornfields!

In all, this part of our journey was great!  There was great interest in our 924S from some who had never really thought about the 944/924S cars, we were able to impress with the car’s good looks and great handling characteristics.  And we won a special prize for traveling 2,380 miles to attend the event.

Special thanks to the Dakota Region PCA and especially Tim and Lynn Powell for their work to get this nineteenth annual event to be one of the best.  Thanks for the welcome, the hospitality and the fun!

Talking to one of the participants about our 924S, he asked if we had heard that Porsche was bringing back the 944.  We asked where he had heard that news and he said that he saw something about it online.  “Porsche Announces the New 944 – Finally” – the April Fools joke that keeps on giving!

Now on to Nelson Ledges and 944FEST21!

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Author: Kevin Duffy, LLC, DeLand, FL

After retiring from a career in Law Enforcement, Kevin Duffy turned his attention to one of his passions, Porsche 944's and 924S's. He owns LLC in DeLand, FL, rescuing and restoring forgotten Porsches, bringing them back to a useful life. He is especially interested in the rare-but-beautiful 924S Special Edition. He can be found at Porsche Club events, including track days, tours and shows, as well as other car-focused events around the southeastern United States.

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