What a great time! Three days of 356 overload!
We arrived in Monterey on Thursday and could already see the 356s gathering. We stayed at the same condo we had in 1998 for the Porsche 50th anniversary. This condo is right on the beach and isolated by artichoke and strawberry fields. Very peaceful.
Knowing that there would be a big crowd we got to registration early Friday morning. No problem! Just a few minutes to register and receive the goody bag. Registration was well organized as was the whole event. High quality and very professional. While this was not a 356 REGISTRY event most volunteers were familiar from 356 REGISTRY Holidays.
And the cars! The parking lot was full of hundreds of 356s. The event featured the 356 Speedster on its 50th anniversary. There were 288 Speedsters registered! Included were the first prototype and six of the first ten Speedsters made. Also featured were the Speedster predecessor, the Aluminum bodied American Roadster of which there were six and the Speedster successor, the Convertible D of which there were forty there.
The Friday afternoon event was the Literature meet which was held at the Hyatt in conjunction with the 356 Goodie Store. BJ and I had a table and were selling our 356 Restoration book. I was quite pleased with all the favorable comments it received. We also met many friend we have made at previous Holidays and the Anaheim swap meet. We sold and signed a lot of books.
After the Literature meet it was back to the condo to get ready for the event dinner. You had your choice of the Monterey Aquarium or the event site in Carmel. We chose the aquarium as we had done this in 1998 and it is spectacular. Imagine a reasonable sized crowd with a chance to see every exhibit and a food station at every turn. It was great! Our favorite are still the jellyfish and sea otters.
Saturday featured morning drives and then the big staging of all the 356s at the Carmel golf course. The drives included a tour of the famous Pebble Beach Seventeen Mile drive, a run on the recreated 1950 Pebble Beach race course or laps at the Laguna Seca race track. Barb and I checked out the Seventeen Mile and the 1950. It was foggy and we were concerned that the big gathering at the Carmel golf course might be cold and damp. Not to worry, the Carmel valley was bright and sunny. And the 356s started to arrive and kept coming and coming and coming. Estimates were 600 356s. Not just the featured cars but all the other 356s.
The featured 356s were arranged on the golf course in groups of similar chassis serial number so you could go through Porsche time as you viewed the cars. There was also a large corral for all the other 356s which included some outlaws and custom 356s.
My favorite were the stretch 356 and 356 panel wagon.George Maybee brought out the Horsetooth Reservoir Speedster that lived on the bottom of the lake for many years. It was a crowd favorite.Dinner that night was at the golf course. How are they going to feed 1600 plus people? No problem! Multiple buffet lines and no long waits. What a sight! Excellent food and hundreds of 356s arranged in front of you. After dinner were awards and entertainment.
Sunday morning was a swap meet; it was rather small but we sold more books. And the event ended; what a time, probably never to be repeated.
OK, we know it! We are over committed. We are full up at the shop with fourteen 356s. I completed the reassembly of George’s ’61 Coupe and he picked it up for final engine work by Trevor and upholstery by Autoweave. BJ finished up the metal work on Mathew’s 356. I delayed finishing David’s metal work as Don the painter finished Fritz’s ’64 Coupe in Champagne yellow. When the 356 are painted we like to get right on the reassembly. This allows us to free up space plus it is the fun part of 356 restoration. I’m almost finished with Fritz’s 356 and then Michael’s 356 Coupe was finished by Vern the other painter. So it will be next and then back to David’s ’68 Coupe. David who lives in Albuquerque found a ’64 project car for sale and told the owner about 356RESTORE and he contacted us. It was a good deal. Another 356 parts car plus lots of parts. So Barb and I took the trailer to Albuquerque and brought it home. With Georges 356 gone and Fritz’s almost ready we will have room for the ’54 Coupe which is part of the restore the ’55 Coupe in exchange for the ’54 deal.
We have one other customer commitment, another Dave in Albuquerque. (I thought I was committing to one Dave when there were two; an e-mail problem.) After that it will be a period of working on restoring and selling shop cars. I just have to get the ’57 Carrera done!