Vern Rogers

  by Vern Rogers, Redwood Region President
  (November 2013)

Now that we are into November and the year is winding down, so are Redwood Region's events. By the time you read this, the Lunch Run to Dillon Beach and the Calendar meeting will have come and gone, and the Holiday Party will be the only remaining event on this year's full schedule. It has been quite a year, and a little rest will be most welcome. I hope to see you at the party, and I expect that your holidays are filled with fun times spent with family and friends.

Last month I mentioned Escape to L.A. Seven Redwood members attended along with folks from the Loma Prieta (LPR) and Golden Gate (GGR) regions, as well as a host of folks from Zone 8 and across the country. Susan and I decided to caravan down in our '05 997 with a mostly LPR group on Wednesday the 23rd. The group met in Morgan Hill early in the day for what turned out to be a seven hour drive consisting of inventive ways to stay together through the freeway congestion while traveling to our destination in Pomona. Thank goodness for radios and quick, excellent handling cars! 

The Sheraton Fairplex Hotel was fabulous -- very nice rooms, many of them suites with views of the beautifully landscaped grounds. The restaurant in the hotel and those in the surrounding area were very good as well. The two meals that were part of the event were also excellent, particularly the multi-station style food that was served before the drive-in movie. This was a pretty interesting event that was staged in one of the hotel parking lots with a giant movie screen faced by arched rows of cars. Audio was broadcast to the FM radios in our cars (station 106.3 I believe); it was pretty slick.

Just after parking for the movie, a guy backed up to me in a green '69 911. Turns out it was Magnus Walker. Those who know Magnus will remember that one of his many Porsches is a white 911 with a red hood...I guess I should have driven down in my '83 SC (white with a red hood). I asked him why he backed in (considering the movie screen would not be visible while sitting in his front seats): he replied, "for a quick get-away"!

In addition to the food and the drive-in movie, I had two other "Escape" favorites. One was the tour of Mulholland Drive which stitched back together many, if not all, of the original parts of the road, and ended with us heading up the coast to the Mullin Automobile Museum in Oxnard. This is an incredible collection of French cars primarily from the 1930s. Many of the cars from that era had engines making between 140 to 160 bhp, however this was from large four and five liter displacement power plants; efficiency has come a long way. Some of the museum's cars and those that participated in Escape to L.A. can be seen here.

My second "other" favorite was a surprise. It was the interview that Redwood member and Panorama Editor Pete Stout did with early Porsche racer Ruth Levy. Considering Ms. Levy was racing in the mid 1950's, she has got to be getting on in age however that did not affect her bright and articulate communication, nor her comedic timing. She was hilarious, witty and very entertaining and I was privileged to make her acquaintance.

In an effort to keep the stress low and the vacation-like feel high, Susan and I had booked the hotel through and including Sunday. We got up Monday morning after the traffic had quieted a bit, ate a leisurely breakfast, and headed to the I-210, over to the I-5, and straight back to the Bay Area. As the trip back included some pretty strong rain showers, we concluded that our Indian Summer had come to an end on a high-note while participating in Escape to L.A.

That's all for now ... down the road. 


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