60th Porsche Parade at French Lick and West Baden 2015
Report by Andreas & Sabine Kottschoth
Photos by Kottschoth’s, Duncan’s and PCA
60th Porsche Parade at French Lick and West Baden 2015
60th Porsche Parade at French Lick and West Baden
Report by Andreas and Sabine Kottschoth (first timers)
The Parade didn’t start on June 21, 2015. It started way back in March with the registration. The online registration process was a bit painful, but we registered as #297. We signed up for various tours, two rallies, PCA events, and made reservations for all banquets. Big events like the parade require lots of helping hands, so we offered to volunteer as well.
The drive down to Indiana took us two days. We enjoyed our car the way it was meant to be, top down all the way. Arriving at WestBaden/Frenck Lick was the first wow. Two amazing Resorts. First order of business was to make the car pretty again and remove the bug collection from the bumper. So we drove to one of the wash station setup at both hotels. We met several PCA a member doing the same, one of them was from California in his Boxster. While exploring the French Lick Resort we ran into Parade veterans Bruce and Marcia Taite from the Red River Region.
Our first parade day started with the volunteer shifts. Sabine worked at the Welcome Tent and I helped at the parade registration/sign in. After our morning shifts we both moved on to the concourse layout, which had to be moved to the park garage at the French Lick Casino, due to unsuitable conditions at the resorts golf course. Later that night it was time for our first banquet and we set with Dennis and Beverly, the other Parade greenhorns from our Region. It was 60’s night. My eyes are still trying to focus. We made many new friends after the first parade day and have already seen a ton of cool Porsches.
Day two started with the concourse. A great lineup of pristine vehicles, from 356s to 914s, 911s to 928s, and nearly every type of Porsche in between. A Historic 60-4-60 display was also setup, presenting one Porsche from each production year in the last 60 years, give or take. From the Paris-Dakar winning 959 to a 1948 356/2 serial number 9 and on to the 1996 911 GT1 Le Mans racer what a collection of Porsche history.
Later in the day the RC Concourse was held and my Rag Rat RC Porsche finished in third place in the race class. In the evening we had the pleasure to participate in the Presidents reception at the wonderful club house of the Pete Dye Golf Course, thank you Waiyen. We had the chance to chat with the president of the Region of the Year, Upper Canada and his wife, what a lovely couple. We ran also into “My Classic Car” host Dennis Gage who taped a segment for his show during the parade.
The next morning we had to be up early. Our start time at the TSD Rally was 8:25. TSD stands for Time, Speed, and Distance. You have to follow instructions, including distances and driving speeds and arrive at specific times (not known to the participants) at the 5 stage points. We had no clue what we got into, so I drove and Sabine was navigating. At the first stage we missed one turn and finish 33min faster than the stage time, great start! On the next two legs we did better, only missing the stage times by less than a minute. In the end we finished 21st in our class out of 35. No mediator was needed to settle any arguments during the rally (Dr. Phil was available)!
Back at the hotel I had to get ready for the RC races. Oh man times have changed, those new RC cars have four wheel drive now! Needless to say my over 30 year old RC car was out classed during the races and I finished at the back of the pack. The day ended with a classy Concourse Banquet at the West Baden Hotel. The Emcee Mark Shevitz who hosted all gatherings during the week long celebration, welcomed all long time parade participants including a PCA member with a record breaking attending 57 parades. Dr.Wolfgang Porsche presented various awards and the first Cayman GT4 for the American market. The car was driven into the hotel by his son Felix Porsche. Wolfgang and Felix Porsche visited various events during the week and were always willing to pose for a photo or sign a t-shirt.
Indianapolis Speedway was on the program for day four. Over 130 Porsche and support vehicles left the French Lick resort at 9 am and drove to Indianapolis. Lunch was served in a German restaurant (Rathskeller) and after the meal we all headed to the track.
The group was split into four smaller groups to make the two laps on the “Brickyard” more enjoyable. It was fun but not fast with a Chevy truck as a pace car. Back at our hotel, it was time to get ready for the TSD Rally Banquet at the West Baden Stables. TDS Rally winners for all classes were announced. It was also time to hand out awards for best newsletters and web sites. I was hoping to bring back a trophy for the Red River Region but no such luck, neither the the newsletter or the webpage finished in the top three. Sabine however won a 911- made of chocolate.
The next day started again early, with the Gimmick Rally. In this rally we had to finding clues and answer questions. It let us to the famous Kentucky Derby Racetrack. We scored 22 out of possible 30 points, not bad for rally greenhorns.
In addition to the Gimmick Rally the Autocross was in full swing at the French Lick Airport, but you can only dance only at one party, may be next year. Later that day we took the opportunity to dine at a German restaurant in French Lick. It was authentic, good German cooking . Afterwards we sat with friends on the hotel veranda; enjoying striking lightning and a thunderstorm without being pestered by bugs. Conversations evolved around driving a Porsche, taking care of a Porsche and everything else relating to Porsche.
Earlier in the week Sabine canceled a wine tasting event. So we signed up for the Huber’s Winery tour. Happy wife…..
Great winding roads to the vineyard, some great wine tasting (Good thing we can bring wine back to Canada) and a tasty lunch. The way back to the Resort was the participants’ choice. The evening ended with another dinner at the French Lick hotel. It was the 80’s night and awards for the autocross events were handed out. Some of the cars were displayed in the hallway leading to the ball room.
We started day eight with a late breakfast and later attended the volunteer lunch. What a great way to appreciate all parade volunteers. Without them this event would not have been possible. The logo of PCA was projected with the slogan “Fueled by Volunteers” in the hotel throughout the entire week . Later in the afternoon all remaining Porsche lined up at the West Baden hotel to do the final Porsche Parade to the historic town of Paoli and back, a 40min drive. 230 Porsche back, to back, to back. People were lining the streets, sitting on the tail gates of their trucks and in folding chairs. Young and old enjoyed the beautiful cars. To finish the fantastic week all those Porsche lined up for a group photo at the French Lick Resort lawn. The Victory Banquet officially closed the 60th Porsche parade and primed everyone for next year’s parade in Jay Peak, Vermont.
The next morning it was time to go back home. We spend the night in Wisconsin with new PCA friends and made it back to Canada in time to celebrate a bit more.
So all in all, the Porsche Parade should be on everyones to-do-list as a recurring event. Sabine was sceptical, not knowing much about Porsche or care about it enough to spend a whole week around Porsche. After our experience this year Sabine is now hooked. We will try to be in Jay Peak next year, but for sure Spokane in 2017. Remember the PCA slogan, ITS ABOUT THE PEOPLE. It sure was a great way to meet other Porsche enthusiasts in a beautiful setting.