PORSCHE: WERKS REUNION MONTEREY 2021

Having recently joined the Porsche owner’s ranks with his ‘Poor Man’s’ 914, Car Guy Chronicles’ Jim Palam took a Friday-the-13th detour from Car Week events in Monterey and headed to Seaside to catch the air-cooled action at the PORSCHE: Werks Reunion Monterey 2021.

PORSCHE: WERKS REUNION MONTEREY 2021

In the wide-wide-world of sports cars, Porsche is the one enthusiasts call The Perfect Athlete. Built with the promise of perfection, performance and reliability, over two-thirds of all Porsches ever built are still on the road. When I saw the army of Stuttgart cars on the event fields and in parking areas, I wondered if all of these road athletes were heading to the Porsche: Werks Reunion MONTEREY 2021 at the Bayonet & Black Horse Golf Course in Seaside, CA.

The Werks Reunion is organized by the Porsche Club of America (PCA) and makes its splash twice a year – here in Seaside during Monterey Car Week and also as a concurrent event to the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in Florida. This, the seventh Monterey Werks Reunion, featured judged categories, model-specific corrals, live music, vendors, and a sea of Porsches that drove to the gathering from points near and far. While there is judging at the Werks Reunions the events are more about comradery than competition.

With 529 Porsche Corral cars, 167 judged cars, and hundreds more to inspect and admire covering the outlying fairways and parking areas, the PORSCHE: Werks Reunion Monterey 2021 was a resounding success.The Bayonet & Black Horse Golf Course had proved once again that it is well-prepared to handle the crowds and the following day hosted the 2021 Concorso Italiano. Even though it took me buying a used 914 to spark my interest in the Werks Reunion I would whole-heartedly suggest that all Car Guys put it on your “Must-Do” events calendar.

This tasty orange “Sports Purpose” R-Grupp ‘71 911ST was built by TRE Motorsports. It’s powered by a Twin-Plug 3.4 motor mated to a 915 transmission. Period-correct Road course illumination comes from a six-lamp display that includes Cibie Pallas hood lamps.

Be still my heart! This is the gem that many a Porsche collector’s heart beats for – a 57 356A, T-1 1600 Super Sunroof Coupe. Finished in sensuous silver, this modified 356 features recessed body-mounted fog lamps – an original option installed by Reutter.

PORSCHE: WERKS REUNION MONTEREY 2021Here’s the view you usually catch of a Porsche 918 Spyder, albeit likely all blurry and far-ahead of you! This V8-powered hybrid had a limited production run and sold for over $800,000. This Lipstick Red example drew non-stop attention at the Michelin Tires display tent.

It’s my understanding that Greg Welch, the long-time owner of this perched-to-race 914-6R, is ready to move on to a new driving adventure. If you’re looking for a beautifully detailed and maintained 914, this show-stopper would be an awesome score. You can probably connect on the 914World Facebook page.

Don’t let the soft baby color fool you: This modified ‘75 Gulf Blue 911 Carrera from Patrick Motorsports was not created to be coddled; it’s built to kick ass and look good doing it! Mods include a bored & stroked 3.5L motor and Turbo fenders. PM handles every aspect of a car’s transformation – including engine, drivetrain, suspension, interior and paint.

The audacious 1,100 horsepower, 2,600-pound, BBi Autosport’s highly-modified Pikes Peak winning, 911 Porsche looks wicked parked in front of Yokohama’s show tent. I can drop a few orange-juicy words here but better yet – check out this drool-inducer video: @ https://www.bbiautosport.com/bbihc2021

Michael and Ann Marie Hartmann’s impeccable ’71 914-6 was open for inspection at the 2021 Werks Reunion. The Hartmann 914 is highly lauded in the online 914 community. Powered by an ’87 3.2 engine it is flawlessly finished in Glausurit single-stage Irish Green paint.

I maxed-out my telephoto lens to get this shot and was unable to get up-close to study the details. So, I’m guessing that it’s a road-huggin’ ’57 Porsche 356 Wide-Body replica. It wears racy-red paint, leather bonnet straps, chrome Porsche Crest hub caps and a Carrera nameplate.

Nicknamed the “Brazilian Tree Frog”, this 1-of-1 ‘08 987.1 Cayman S is believed to be the most expensive 987.1 ever built – with a MSRP approaching that of a 997 Turbo! Extensive options include the rare 1972 Paint to Sample LinGrün exterior finish, a Carrera Red full-leather interior, Turbo wheels, Sport Design Package and Aerokit.

Steven and Elena Berggren’s perfect ‘51 356 Pre-A Split-Window Coupe holds coachbuilder Reutter Stuttgart S/N 10627. This rare and meticulously restored Porsche is finished in Adria Metallic Blue with a gray cloth interior. It’s powered by a 1300 cc motor hooked to a “Crash Box” transmission.

Bill Packwood’s Collier GT tribute is a 70 914/6 GT featuring steel fender flares, balsa wood reinforced fiberglass deck lid plus 911S struts and brakes. Bill is one of the Three Amigos in hats standing behind the car on the left. In the middle is Sergio Meza who manufactured the GT’s custom engine lid.

This Guards Red ‘76 911 S appeared right at home in Seaside. It served as the location for Fort Ord, a WW II era U.S. Army Training Center. The post was closed in 1994 but a small portion remains an active military installation. This 911 S remains fully active – its ’84 Carrera 3.2 engine firing-up at command.

Here’s what happens when you roll your 911 into Russell Built’s transformation facility in Sun Valley, CA. You get the Dual-Sport Baja 911! TJ Russell and his team of Porsche magicians outfitted the donor car with a full-race suspension, luxury interior that includes a chromoly race-spec roll cage and a Rothsport Racing 365 horsepower 3.8L engine. This is a very specialized Porsche with a $600,000 starting price. If you’re interested in one, check out https://russellbuiltfab.com/ and allow approximately 14 months of build time!

PORSCHE: WERKS REUNION MONTEREY 2021Jim Chambers ordered his ‘18 Gelb Grün Lime Green 991.2 Porsche GT3 with the intention of driving it all over the U.S. and Europe, visiting his favorite race courses. To date, he’s hit Nürburgring, Monza, Mugello, Bugatti Circuit at Le Mans, Monaco, Sonoma, Thunderhill, CoTA and Laguna Seca.

Inspired by the spirit of a bygone Porsche era, this state-of-the-art Albert Blue ‘21 Targa 4S Heritage Edition is emblazoned with a large No. 50 race number and includes the Sports Package front and rear bumpers, and a Porsche 356 Homage instrument cluster.

What’s the buzz? Perhaps it’s from this all original, limited-edition Bumble Bee74 Porsche 914 LE owned by Tom & Janet Tyer. Only 500 914s were produced in this Black and Sunflower Yellow color scheme. Another 500 LEs were painted in Light Ivory and Phoenix Red and were known as Creamsicles.

San Jose, California Tech executive Phuong Le is comfortable in a world of technology and precision and is always looking for ways to improve his user experience. His testing ground just might be his ever-evolving ‘14 Cayman S 981. It has a GTS “firmware flash “and a full GT4 conversion. It’s finished (for now) in Custom Purple paint and LD97 Race Wing wheels.

Words & Photos ©Jim Palam, https://www.jimpalamphotos.com/

For more information about PORSCHE: WERKS REUNION MONTEREY 2021 and the PCA Werks Reunion organization, please visit https://www.werksreunion.com/monterey.cfm

MONTEREY 2021: ROLEX MOTORSPORTS REUNION!

Jim Palam set his GPS and focus on WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, as he headed out into a dense morning fog to capture the action and excitement of Monterey Car Week’s largest event – historic car racing at MONTEREY 2021: ROLEX MOTORSPORTS REUNION!

MONTEREY 2021: ROLEX MOTORSPORTS REUNION!

I consider myself a good driver but I was unusually nervous heading into a heavy fog shrouding the long, ridgetop South Boundary Road that leads to the admissions checkpoint at Laguna Seca. The unforgiving fog was one thing, but the realization that I had left my camera backup batteries and charger at the motel I had just checked out of was a foolish mistake – and now there was no turning back. I had just 15 minutes to make it to the Photographer’s Safety Meeting where I’d pick up my wristband and track-issued photographer’s vest. Without these items there would be no trackside shooting or hot pit access.

The good news was that I wasn’t the only media person running a little behind as the fog had slowed the start-up activities for the day’s racing. By 7:45 AM however, I could hear what sounded like the crackle of a twin-turbo running some hot practice laps on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course. By 8:15 AM I was on a volunteer shuttle that brought me up to turns 8 and 8A, the famous Laguna Seca Corkscrew. It was now time to shoot and I had to make do with one battery.

Heading down from the Corkscrew I ran into comedian, filmmaker, collector, driver Adam Corolla in the Paddock area. He was kind enough to pose for a photo, above, right, beside one of his Paul Newman racecars – ’74 Porsche 911S. Corolla and his Newman 911S come out of Turn 4, below, in hot pursuit of a mid-field position in a Group 3A race. This is the car that was driven by Newman and Freeman in 1977  at the 12 Hours of Sebring.

The Corkscrew is a dive-bombing, roller-coaster series of quick turns featuring a blind crest and a 59-foot drop in elevation beginning in Turn 8 with a quick exit at Turn 8A. In other words, it’s one of motorsports’ most challenging and thrilling turns – and the perfect backdrop for this rare ‘60 Tipo 61 Camoradi Birdcage Maserati.

Stu Hanssen blasts down the Rahall Straight, seconds away from entering the infamous Corkscrew, in his Group 4A ’51 Baldwin Special. Powered by an Ardun-converted Flathead, it’s the same car he’s driven to Cars & Coffee gatherings in the Santa Ynez Valley area. A loose Panhard Bar slowed him down in the turns, but he still finished a very respectable Sixth.

Remember that early morning twin-turbo practice run I heard? Well, here’s the beautiful noise-maker. Turns out driver Zak Brown was giving the viewers of The Racer Channel some helmet-view thrills from inside Car No. 18, as he repeatedly tickled the redline during a spirited run around a foggy Laguna Seca. I caught him blasting the flat nose Porsche 935 JLP-3 later in the day out of Turn 4.

MONTEREY 2021: ROLEX MOTORSPORTS REUNION!Race Time! A mustachioed Ragtime Racer and his mechanic are all smiles as they get ready to hit the course for Saturday’s Ragtime Racers exhibition for Historic pre-1920 racecars. Fans loved watching the procession from the Paddock area to the track where they huffed and puffed their way over the hills, down the straights and through the 11 turns of Laguna Seca!

There’s no racing on the track until you get your car to the track. Back in the 1940s that may have been accomplished on the back deck of a sturdy Ford COE racecar hauler like this modified beauty on display in the Paddock area.

Racers are passionate about everything related to motorsports, and they often bring more than their enthusiasm to the track; they also tend to bring their “stuff” – like this ­pricey ‘40 Big Tank Crocker motorcycle.

MONTEREY 2021: ROLEX MOTORSPORTS REUNION!Motorsports racing is typically a heavily-funded team effort, but the nice thing about the Rolex Reunion is that you can be a privateer and still have a blast. Here a racer makes a last-minute adjustment on his beautiful Jaguar E-Type Competition Coupé.

Donald Anderson’s ‘64 Bobsy SR3 Sports Roadster. Sleek Bobsy lightweight SCCA racecars were originally created by Jerry Mong in collaboration with brothers Alan and Kaye Heir.

POTUS in the Paddock! What a surprise to see President Biden readying his Triumph TR2 at Laguna Seca! OK, this really isn’t Car Guy Joe; I added the Presidential patch just for giggles!

One of my favorite racecar liveries is on the famous Al Unser driven Indy 500 Lola. The bright yellow Johnny Lightning bolts on deep candy blue paint is electrifying. Thrilled to see this legend at the Reunion!

Mechanic Chris Clarke kneels by his racecar “responsibility” – the famous Hans Stuck driven ‘74 March 741 early ’70s tall air-scoop F1 racer. The bright orange Jägermeister livery has adorned Formula 1 and German Touring Cars for decades of championship racing.

This is the interior of the rare Car No. 33 Centurion competition roadster. Its Sting Ray-influenced body was designed by Bud Goodwin and built by Fiberfab Corp. in Sunnyvale, CA in 1964. The original Sting Ray Racer was designed by Peter Brock in 1958, years prior to production ’63 Corvette Sting Rays.

No, this isn’t a motor that would have powered any of the historic cars at Laguna Seca, but it was on trackside display for its historical significance. This is the brutish 2,000 horsepower supercharged Chrysler Hemi that sits forward of the driver in the famous ‘64 Fuller/Roberts Starlite III Top Fuel Dragster. Lots of Golden oldies at  MONTEREY 2021: ROLEX MOTORSPORTS REUNION!

Ford delivered an impressive display of style and performance both on the track and in the Paddock viewing areas. The brought a fleet of historic racers – including the legendary Holman & Moody GT40, P/1016 that finished Third at Le Mans in 1966, from the Shelby-American Collection, Boulder, CO. It’s owned by the Miller Family Foundation.

During my limited time at MONTEREY 2021: ROLEX MOTORSPORTS REUNION! I marveled at our rich motorsports history and wondered what its future is going to look like. As I photographed this current Ford GT, I kept thinking: The future might be hybrid, it might be electric, it might be virtual, or it could even be autonomous? Whatever it evolves to I’m pretty sure it will continue to be a shared participant experience, and it will continue to be exciting!

Words & Photos ©Jim Palam, https://www.jimpalamphotos.com/

Check out MONTEREY 2021: ROLEX MOTORSPORTS REUNION! and a calendar of events at Laguna Seca @https://www.co.monterey.ca.us/government/government-links/weathertech-raceway