Story and Photos by Chris Harrell,
Redwood Region Vice President
It's funny how a casual conversation can turn into something much more.
I was chatting with my friend and Yosemite Region Vice President Steve
Searles in January, and he mentioned that he was planning on leading a
Yosemite Region driving tour to Canepa Design (since renamed simply
Canepa). in Scotts Valley, California. As Vice President of Redwood
Region, one of my primary responsibilities is organizing and managing
our Club calendar, and it so happened that I was working on finalizing
our 2012 calendar when Steve and I spoke. Having never been to Canepa
myself, I mentioned to Steve that I was personally very interested in
the tour, and that it would be cool to do something similar for Redwood
Region. After some thought, I connected with Steve again a few days
later and asked if he would be opposed to making his event a Co-Region
event. He loved the idea, and so the event was conceived and added to
Saturday, April 7 on both Regions' calendars.
When Steve and I touched base in February, we discussed event details,
including how many people each of us expected to attend from our Region.
Since Scotts Valley is quite a long drive from the North Bay and we
would have to meet - and depart - earlier than our typical events, I
expected 15-20 people from Redwood Region. Steve was thinking a similar
number from Yosemite. However, as we got closer and closer to April 7,
the RSVPs began to come in at a rapid pace. By Friday, we knew it was
going to be a pretty big turnout, but - as I have learned managing Club
events - the list of folks who RSVP is not always the same as the list
of folks who show up (plus or minus). We'd have to wait until Saturday
to find out how many people would actually show.
I woke up on April 7 with a terrible sore throat and accompanying
headache, but I was determined to make it out for the event regardless.
The Redwood Region group gathered at Sonnen Porsche in Mill Valley at
7:30 a.m., where our hosts provided coffee and pastries for Club
members. After the standard waiver-signing, chatting, and drivers'
meeting, we hit the road with 40+ eager tourers and nearly 30 cars,
including a couple of "interlopers": an Acura NSX and a BMW 318ti.
Redwood Region Event Director Don Magdanz was kind enough to swap
Lead/Sweep duties with me since I wasn't feeling up to par, so Veronica
and I started at the back of the pack.
We headed south on 101, then 19th Avenue through San Francisco. Once we
hit Skyline Blvd west of San Mateo, we had a mostly fun drive, although
we encountered some slow cars along the way. We stopped at Alice's
restaurant in Woodside for a bio break and to pickup some more members
joining us for the drive. A fellow (who turned out to be a GGR member)
in a white BMW 1-Series M joined us as well. The parking lot was already
crowded because of Golden Gate Region's Boxster Brunch, which is held
every other month at Alice's, so we paused briefly then headed back
south on Skyline with additional cars in tow.
After about 35 more miles, including 10 miles through a very narrow,
twisty section of Skyline, we landed at Canepa Design in Scotts Valley,
where another large group of folks (mostly from Yosemite Region, plus
some from Loma Prieta and Diablo Regions) were awaiting our arrival. It
was amazing to see such a large gathering of PCA members in one place,
and it was clear that our initial predictions for event turnout were
low, to put it lightly. In fact, we were concerned that our group might
be too large to tour together. Fortunately, we were able to keep our
large group intact.
Once inside, we were treated to an introduction by the Canepa Design
staff, followed by a guided tour of the facility led by Acquisition
Manager Sean Chambers. Since this was my first visit, I didn't know
exactly what to expect, but I was not disappointed. Where else will you
see not one but several 959s in one place? One surprise was a Fiat
Abarth racecar that was a bit of an inspiration, since we are
considering replacing Veronica's 335 Coupe with a new Abarth when her
lease expires next week.
he tour and the facility were great. The number of cars was significant,
but not overwhelming. I enjoyed the sales floor and "museum" upstairs,
but the real highlight was the shop, where Canepa's and customers' cars
are restored. Above and beyond everything else, it was clear to me that
Canepa is all about preserving perfection, and that's what we saw:
After the tour, the majority of the group - which totaled a stunning 85
people by Steve's count - headed to a local pizza spot for some lunch.
Since I was still under the weather, Veronica and I decided to head
home. During the drive home, I reflected on the day and couldn't stop
thinking about how special it was to have several regions represented at
the event. We are lucky to be part of such a great Club with such great
people. I am excited about planning more Co-Region events in the future.
Special thanks to Steve Searles of Yosemite Region for being the driving
force behind this event!
Porsches fill the parking lot at Canepa Design
Pit stop at Alice's Restaurant in Woodside