Vern Rogers     by Vern Rogers, 2012 Redwood Region President (March 2012)

 As of this writing, we are nearing the Whale to Whale Tale Rallye/Tour scheduled for Saturday, March 3. I missed this event last year, and am really looking forward to it. The rally portion should be big fun, and I am trying to remember to bring something to write with/on, a pair of binoculars, a navigator/lookout, and a little money for lunch and trinkets. We'll see how well I do with all that...

I will be driving the rally in my 997, with its newly replaced engine. Sonnen Porsche finished the car a couple of weeks ago, and I could not be more pleased. This baby is smooth as glass; noticeably smoother than the prior engine. As yet, it has under 300 miles on it, and will get its first oil change in another 700. Hopefully, several of those 700 miles will be added this weekend..

Just a few days before my 997 was ready, I did purchase the '83 SC Coupe (thank you, Tom Strobel) that I mentioned last month. What a difference 22 years makes. Where the 997 is smooth, elegant, and powerful, the SC is raw, engaging, and incredibly 'real'. Driving it connects me on a much deeper level to the road itself. Part of that is the lack of power steering, part the sound of the exhaust note, and part is kind of indescribable. Many of you who have owned older 911s have experienced and loved this visceral, seat-of-your-pants experience. This is my oldest 911 yet. Each generation seems to have its own feel, and I am loving this one. I asked my first driving instructor, Larry Sharp, what his favorite Porsche was. He answered, simply, all of them.

Given the lack of sophisticated electronics in an SC, I am able to do a lot of the work on this car myself. You may be aware that, without major engine surgery, there are limited choices for making an SC faster, the easiest of which is making it lighter. That is what I have been doing. So far, I have:

  • Replaced the front seats with fiberglass racing buckets
  • Replaced the stock steering wheel with a Momo wood wheel
  • Removed all A/C components front and rear (front ones go this weekend)
  • Backdated the heating (removed the engine bay blower and hoses)
  • Removed the rear seats and seat belts
  • Replaced the front hood (great parts and greater prices at TRG on 2/25 -thank you, Kurt Fischer, Kevin Buckler, Jay Jarvis, and all who helped make the tech session such a success!)

This car was in process of being prepped for paint before I bought it. It was sanded with fine sandpaper, and had several rust spots cleaned and primed. I will not be getting it painted in the near future, and am currently working on scratch removal by polishing (carefully) out the paint. I may not be done by the first autocross, but I will be close, and the results are looking very good. 

I reiterate my request from last month: please come out and autocross with the Club this year. It is going to be a GREAT season, with even more seat time that last year. I encourage all Club members to come see what this is all about, especially the folks who have never autocrossed their cars before. We will have instructors for one and all. This is some of the most fun you can have with your Porsche, and - remember - your car is made for this! Few things will teach you how to drive your vehicle better than Autocross. I hope to see you on Saturday, March 10, at the Sonoma County Airport in Windsor.

Lastly, just after the middle of the month, we will be trying a Brunch Run on a Sunday. We have had these runs exclusively on Saturdays since I have been with the club. This is an opportunity for any of you who don't have free Saturdays to come out and join us. The March 18th run will be to the Point Reyes Station House Café. We have been going there for years, and the food and service are always excellent. This year's route will be planned by our VP, Chris Harrell, and I am sure he will come up with a surprise or two.

See you down the road.

Vern

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