Jack’s President’s Message – May/June 2024

April has really started out with a lot of driving. Patty and I missed all our club’s drives this month. Instead, I had the adventure of driving from Molt, MT to Bedford NH. The trip was for us to see our family. There is a long and convoluted story about why I drove to New Hampshire. I can fill anybody who is interested in that story at our breakfast Porsches & Pancakes on Saturday, May 11th. BTW, Patty chose to fly back and forth.

Just a little trivia on my 2400-mile trip to New Hampshire, I saw three Porsches; two Macans and one Cayenne.

It sounds like I missed a great time at the Porsche & Pancake breakfast and then on the drive after breakfast, April 13th. From the pictures, it looks like 11 cars and about 16 members participated in the drive to Roundup. I hear the visit to the studios was great. I want to thank Fred Magers for planning that drive.

It also looks like everyone had a great time driving to Chico Hot Springs on April 20th. From the pictures it looks like we had ten cars and 14 members on that drive.

May 11th is Porsches & Pancakes at the Laurel Golf Course at 9:00 AM.

The after-breakfast drive will be a drive to Joliet and then crossover to Columbus. From Columbus we would avoid the highway. We would drive the back roads (Frontage Road) back to the Laurel Golf Course.

Saturday, May 18th our plan is to drive from Greybull, WY to Burgess Junction. The drive will start at 9:00 AM at 360 Office Solutions, 3676 Pierce Parkway, near Costco and Zoo Drive. More information to come on this trip.

The highlight of May is the opening of the Beartooth Highway. The drive will be on Memorial Day May 27th. More information will come and hopefully it won’t snow that day.

In June, we have a couple of ideas for drives. One idea is to drive to Martinsdale, MT to go to the Charles Bair Museum and have a picnic lunch nearby. This would be a two-hour drive about 120 miles one way. Another suggested drive would be to Cody, WY and visit the Buffalo Bill Center in Cody.

I’ll survey the group at the May breakfast and see what folks want to do. June is also High-Performance Drivers Education (HPDE) in Lewistown, MT. The HPDE is on June 29th and 30th. Registration is online starting May 1st.

I hope to see everyone for breakfast on May 11th.

Jack’ Presidents Message – March/April 2024

Spring seems to be coming, but this is Montana. I can’t be naive, wishful thinking! There have been days in February, I wished the Boxster was not in hibernation.

I want to thank Francie and Jim Hasbrouck for hosting the potato party on short notice. Originally, scheduled at Burke’s, COVID hit our house, so we had to move the event. I heard from quarantine that it was a great event.

We have three new members to welcome. Thomas and Kim Troop from Billings (Cayenne) and Bill Nevius from Red Lodge (Cayman S). Hopefully we will meet them at our breakfast on March 9th at the Laurel Golf Club at 9 AM.

A couple of our members have asked that I confirm dates for a few upcoming events. Saturday, April 20th will be our first official driving event. It’s been suggested that we take a day trip to Chico Hot Springs, have lunch in the tavern and head home.

We also have a drive planned for the opening of the Beartooth Pass in May. The pass opens on Friday (May 24th). We have the drive on the event calendar tentatively scheduled on Sunday (May 26th). We would meet in Billings, and drive up the pass, have lunch in Red Lodge and return home.  I have been wondering if the drive should be the Sunday or Monday, Memorial Day.

There are pros and cons to both days. Traffic on the pass may be a bigger issue on Sunday. I would like to hear back on any preferences.

On the topic of preferences, I have been thinking about how we can get feedback from all of you. We are a group of 70-plus primary members, 46 co-members and 8 juniors. I recently contacted Jim Hemig, Marketing Director, PCA National. Jim has shared with me examples of surveys other regions have used. My goal is to edit one of the surveys and have it sent out to members in the next month.

High Performance Drivers Education (HPDE) is tentatively scheduled for the last full weekend in June and August. The Big Sky Region will be confirming the dates in the coming weeks. Michael Handelman, President of the Big Sky Region will let us know the confirmed date.

In April, I would like to try having a short drive after our Porches and Pancake Breakfasts. To accomplish a drive, we will have to meet all insurance requirements for PCA. We would start from our breakfast site and return to the breakfast site. Any ideas where we would go?

That’s about it for now. Get ready for spring! See you Saturday, March 9th ,9 AM at the Laurel Golf Course.

Jack

January Activity – AECS Paint Party!

Save the Date!

Break out your painting clothes! We’re going to get dirty as we work on some new additions for the All Euro Car show.  Were making several picture a Mercedes Unimog, VW Bus, and a Sally Carrera Porsche!

Bring:

· Clothes to paint in

· A paint brush or brushes

· Beverage of your choice

Where and When:

· Saturday, January 21, at 2:00PM

· Directions to The Busted Knuckle Garage to follow in an email.

Porsches & Pancakes

Featured

Since our regular venue is still undergoing renovation, for November and December we’re returning to the Commons 1882 located in Billing’s Shiloh Crossing.

Join us at: The Commons 1882, 115 Shiloh Rd, Billings, MT 59102

When: Saturday, November 12 and Saturday, December 10 at 09:00 AM

We meet at 9:00 AM, for good food and spirited conversation. It’s a great opportunity to meet other club members, look at an ever-changing collection of Porsches, and enjoy a tasty meal. It is also a very good reason to get out of bed on a Saturday morning and meet the folks before tackling the honey-do list!

Porsches From the Past – The Solituderennen

Solitude. In English its meaning conjures up images of isolation and loneliness, however on the west side of the city of Stuttgart, Solitude is something else; a castle.  Schloss Solitude was originally built as a hunting lodge and retreat for the Duke of Württemberg around 1764, and as its name implies it was a place of reflection and quiet.

With the invention of the automobile and motorcycle around the turn of the 20th century, the peace and quiet of Schloss Solitude and its grounds were replaced with the sounds of screaming, high pitched engines.  Schloss Solitude became a racetrack!

For 30 years, the 11.3 kilometers “Solituderennen” south of the castle was used for World Championship motorcycle Grand Prix racing. During the brief period from 1961 to 1965, non-championship Formula 1 races were also held along with the motorcycle races. Drivers of the likes of John Surtees, Jim Clark, Dan Gurney and Jack Brabham all competed there.  At one point, during the heyday of the Solitude races, crowds of 288,000 spectators weren’t uncommon. In 1966 it all ended.

If you ever visit Stuttgart, you can still drive the route of the Solitude circuit since it’s all public roads.  Little however is left of the original circuit other than the timing and scoring tower “Zeitnehmerhaus” an oval shaped tower with Mercedes Benz and Bosch displayed on it, and the ghosts of racing legends blowing through the trees.

Porsche experienced great success at the race.  In 1956 German greats; Hans Hermann, Wolfgang Berghe von Trips, and Richard von Frankenberg campaigned the great 550 Spyder to victory.

The Timing and Scoring Tower

In 1961, von Trips driving the Ferrari 156 F2 beat Hans Hermann in the Porsche 718. In 1962, American Dan Gurney and Swede Joakim Bonnier each driving Porsche 804’s took first and second respectively. 1964 saw Dutchman Ben Pon and German Rolf Stommelen each driving Porsche 904 GTS’s  sweep first and second. The last race of 1965 was won by Gerhard Mitter in a Porsche 904/8 Spyder.  A wonderful series of victories for Porsche and in their own backyard.

With the checkered flag, it was all over.  The circuit became a victim of safety concerns for both the drivers and spectators.  It was simply too narrow with no run off areas.

The Solitude Circuit

 

1956 Hans Hermann in the Porsche 550 Spyder. Photo: Porsche AG

 

 

Porsches From the Past – The 550 Spyder at LeMans 1955

The 550 Spyder at LeMans 1955

Introduced at the Paris Auto Show in 1953, the 550 RS Spyder, was Porsche’s first model designed specifically for racing. The 550 wore a lightweight aluminum body and held a powerful 1500cc, four cam power engine.  Their successes lead to the moniker of “giant killers”.

The 550 first arrived at Le Mans in 1953 and returned en masse in 1955. The Spyder was awarded The Index of Performance for the car with best combined speed and economy in the entire race field in the 1955 race. There was a combination of factory or “werks” teams and several privateers at the race. To the great Italian marques, Porsche was a threat.  Their results of 4th, 5th and 6th positions overall and first in class against a field of more powerful cars won them respect and a bit of angst from the Italian giants.

The 1955 race was a tragic race.  It’s famous for one thing, the crash where Pierre Levegh’s Mercedes crashed into the crowd, killing more than 80. Mercedes Benz retired and quit racing for years as a result.  In this video you see the smoking wreckage in the background as shot from the Porsche garage.

The incident led to the widespread introduction of safety measures to protect both drivers and spectators, not only at the circuit but tracks worldwide.

We in the USA know the Porsche Spyder as the car actor James Dean was driving when he collided with a station wagon and died.  It’s a great car with a great and storied heritage.  Hopefully you can see one in person at the 59th Porsche Parade in Monterey this June.