Legends of the Autobahn -- Bob's 914 Brings it Home

by David Yusem, Assistant Editor der Riesenbaum 
Road trips in our Porsches are just about the only reason many of us would consider getting up at 4 am (or earlier!). When our P-Cars's engines are turned-over, the earth shakes just a wee bit, and trying to sneak out of the neighborhood is impossible, we know that it will be a good day.  

August 16, 2013 was such a day for Bob Schoenherr and his Irish Green 1971 914-4 at the fifth annual Legends of the Autobahn 2013. Bob's 914 won the Porsche Best of Show award for what is fast-becoming the 
place to have your baby judged. (See more regarding Bob and his 914 below.)   

Sharing Bob's good fortune were Dean Treadway's 1986 Audi Sport Quattro, Bob Newman's 1985 BMW M635 CSI, and Gary Jarvis' 1967 Mercedes-Benz 250SL.  The People's Choice award went to Timothy Hensley's 1967 Porsche 911S, which was hand painted by Phyllis Yes back in 1985.

Of the more than 175 vehicles entered in the Concours d'Elegance, 50 were Porsches, and there were 117 Porsches parked in the PCA corral. Nice work to everyone who worked so hard to prepare their vehicle and to those who showed-up to participate in the corral!

Porsche was also at the event, celebrating 50 years of the 911. Their display of classic 911s included the very special Paris-Dakar 1984 Porsche - Type 953 911, and many other historic Porsche models. Audi's R-8 WSC race car graced the event, as well as Gullwings and 300SLs, Alpinas, BMW's 3.0 CS and many other examples of gorgeous steel, innovation, mechanics, electronics, and art.  

Legendary Porsche drivers Vic Elford and Hurley Haywood were in attendance. The adventures they experienced while campaigning their (mostly!) trusty Porsches were shared with all who were listening.

Redwood Region members Craig Steele and Simone Kopitzki were two of the region's members who awakened before the birds on August 16th to join other car-lovers at the event. They were greeted by a typical overcast and drippy coastal morning; cars that had been freshened for the drive were soiled along the way. Simone wrote, "The freshly cleaned car was a mess again when we arrived at 8am in Carmel!" No doubt, we can all relate to that sentiment - thankfully, our cars are relatively small and clean up quickly.

In addition to getting on the road early, Simone and Craig wrote about their experiences at the events they attended during Monterey Car Week; der Riesenbaum wanted to share snippets of their personal adventures of the event and related activities.

For additional Legends photographs, see Redwood member Ben Brown's collection here 

Member Adventures

Craig Steele - 1999 Guards Red 911 Carerra Cabriolet 

Getting up at 4:00 am Friday is an unnatural act for me, unless I'm heading to the Monterey peninsula to see the Legends of the Autobahn and watch the Laguna Seca Motorsports Reunion races. Steve Frugard, a Club member from Myers Flat, and I drove our red 911 Carreras down to Carmel along Highway 1. En route we were speedily passed by three brand new Ferrari sports coupes and speed checked by a CHP.

Saturday morning came with the typical Monterey overcast. Steve and I took both Porsches to Laguna Seca Raceway. When I arrived it was time to be immersed in all things Corvette -- the featured car for this reunion. I love to take photos and I got my share of sixty years of Corvettes parked in corral. My favorite photo opportunity was "Shark Island", filled with historic examples of Corvettes before they went into full production. I was drawn to the Mako Shark concept car which was created in 1961 and contributed to the 1963 'Vettes we remember as kids.

After seeing enough 'Vettes, I was ready to look at the other reunion racers and I wandered over to the pit area. I was drawn to a gray green 1954 356 racer from Australia driven by Ron Goodman. He was kind enough to unwrap the car so I could get some good shots. I loved the boxing Kangaroo decal on the side of the car. I finished up my day by photographing racers at Turn Five as they raced heading uphill to Turn Six.

Sunday brought clouds and foggy conditions to the track. I stopped by one of the stages to hear a presentation about one of the  historic Porsches from the Stuttgart factory museum. Dave Engelmann, from Porsche Cars North America, was interviewed about "Baby", the Porsche race car. This car was designed to run in only a single race to test 4-cyclinder turbocharged engines. It won and got retired.

I ended my Sunday back at Turn Five. While waiting for the next race to start I saw a wildly decorated race car zoom by. I had never seen such a psychedelic checkered pattern. It was the new R7 Corvette racing prototype. Chevrolet trailered it to the racetrack, drove it out onto the track for a couple of laps, re-trailered it, and drove off. I did the same and got in my 911 Cab and took off for Santa Rosa, a 3-1/2 hour drive north. As I drove, I recounted my adventure and the 1,300 shots I captured on my Nikon. Next year, I a plan to arrive earlier for the mid-week events, like the auction and other car shows, before the weekend reunion races start.  

Simone Kopitzki - 2012 Aqua Blue Boxster S  

After having attended two previous Legends of the Autobahn (2010 and 2011), the plan for 2013 was to travel to Carmel for the day and return home that evening. However, Redwood member Carla Daro invited Thorsten and I to stay with her and Ray for the weekend.

We left Marin at 6 am; it was very foggy and cold. The freshly cleaned car was a mess when we arrived about 8 am in Carmel. Thankfully we had not entered the concours!  The weather was great: sunny and a little breezy. We met many Redwood Members, including Jeff Johnston with his GT3, Richard and Margo Maxey with their '86 911 Carrera Coupe, and Bob and Anita with their award winning 914.

After enjoying a fantastic day in Carmel, we headed to Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey to meet Carla and Ray for dinner. We had a fantastic seafood dinner and then drove to the Daro's very special house in the woods on Pebble Beach's famous 17 Mile Drive.

Early in the morning we headed to Mazda Raceway with Carla and Ray. We had so much fun watching the old race cars, eating German bratwurst, and shopping at the vendor sites. We so enjoyed being with PCA Redwood Region Members - it was truly a wonderful experience to share.  

Legends of the Autobahn 2013 - Best of Show: Bob Schoenherr's 1971 914-4

Bob Schoenherr was confident going into the Legends of the Autobahn 2013 Concours d'Elegance that he had the car to beat. There were a couple of other Porsches that he worried might upstage his Irish Green beauty -- the '68 911 and the Slantnose.

His concern was unfounded, and he fulfilled his intention to demonstrate that the 914 model has a rightful place in Porsche's motoring history. Bob came home to Lake County with the Best of Show award, honoring his car as the finest Porsche entered in the show.

Earlier this year, Bob purchased the 914 from John Fitzgerald, the car's second owner. The original owner took European delivery of the 914 in 1971. In a previous life, this 914 was used for autocrossing and was a hill climbing demon.

Bob was up past 11 PM on Thursday evening busily preparing the 914 for Friday's event. He was up again at 5 AM the next morning to finalize preparation. To say that his hard work paid off is an understatement!  When we spoke, he was off to Gardnerville, NV to participate in another Concours and then on to the Ledson and Livermore events. Bob is well on his way to achieving his goal of placing his 914 squarely in an esteemed place in Porsche's history!

Porsche's 50 Year 911

Porsche's 50 Year 911 (photo by Simone Kopitzki)
1954 Porsche 356

Ron Goodman's Australian '54 356
 (photo by Craig Steele)
Corvette R7 Proto

Corvette R7 Proto (photo by Craig Steele) 
1986 Porsche 911 Carrera

Simone, Richard & Margo Maxey and their '86 911 Carrera  (photo by Simone Kopitzki) 
1974 Porsche 914

Bob Schoenherr's Porsche Best of Show 914-4 
(photo by Kelly Wozniak, PAK Photography)