Along Came A Spyder…

After a 6 month delay, after sitting at port in Houston for 6 months and after getting a new factory fresh engine, I got the word that my Spyder had been released from recall jail and arrived at the dealership in Oklahoma City. The dealer, Porsche Oklahoma City, even sent me proof of life:

We finalized the paperwork, completed the trade-in of my beautiful black 911 Turbo S and the dealership got busy preparing the car for delivery. Wrapping was removed, the whole car was, accessories were installed (yes, I’m modifying the car already), and transportation to Seattle was arranged. I appreciated Ryan, the GM of the dealership, doing everything he could to move it along fast. Papers were signed and the car was on the way to Seattle a few days later.

In two short days, thanks to the great team at NW Elite Transport LLC, it arrived. I was as interested in their beast of a transport truck as I was my car. Okay, almost as interested! In typical Seattle fashion, a heavy rain greeted the arrival of my new convertible 😂

I enjoyed a very excited but nervous drive home. It takes a while to bond with a car, to learn the ins and outs of how it, but this car was easy to fall in love with immediately. Even in the rain with the top up, this car handles like a go-kart while still being a welcoming place to spend some time. No punishing ride here even on the rutted, railroad crossing filled roads where I took delivery. I took it home to show Meg and to get back to work with my new office mate (my home office is in my garage). Sorry for the blurry photo but I was in a daze 🙂

Like any good persnickety porsche owner, I couldn’t just drive my car and enjoy it…I had to immediately take it to a shop to have clear paint protection film (PPF) installed. Our roads, especially in the winter, are terrible and we have a ton of rocks. PPF is nearly invisible and does a great job of protecting the paint from rock chips. So on the day of delivery, I drove it to Pista Film Solutions and went home carless again 🙂 I’ll pick it up on Friday and then I’m never getting out of it!

Sunrise at Sunrise…again

Most people would say that getting up at 3am to drive 3 hours up a mountain so you can take photos of your car at sunrise is crazy. Almost everyone would agree that doing it twice in a year is just plain stupid… but that’s exactly what I did 🙂 When a friend said he wanted to take an early morning drive, I was in. I left Seattle around 4am to meet a few guys in Puyallup by 5 so we could be at the top of Mount Rainier (Tahoma) by 6:45 to catch the sunrise. It was a great early morning drive and once again I was doing my best to keep up with Porsches in my Jeep. The Spyder needs to get here asap!!

Here we are in the wee hours of the morning, heading up a mountain road, trying not to run into any deer and dodging fallen rocks in the road. Okay, they were dodging them and I was having some Jeep fun running over them!

It was more than worth it to be able to capture these two beautiful Porsches as the sun started to come up with Rainier (Tacoma) in the background.

After our morning on the mountain, we drove back down, grabbed some Starbucks and then stopped by the Thunderdome Car Museum in Enumclaw so I could drool over these beautiful Ford GTs. I would totally cheat on Porsche with any one of these!

2021 All-Porsche Grand Display

I had so much fun at my first PCA PNWR Concours event that when the biggest local concours event of the year came up, I had to be there. Rain or shine. And rain it did…a lot! That didn’t stop over 120 beautiful cars and hundreds of great folks from showing up for the event, even more than originally expected.

Just like Billy and Julie’s sign says…”it’s not just the cars, it’s the people” (they run membership for the club) so here are some people shots from the event:

Okay, before I get to the cars…there were some really cute dogs at the show as well so I need to give them some love. Some of these pups must be professional models…they would sit and smile when they saw my camera. Others wanted to lick the camera…all were adorable!

Okay, there were cars at the event as well. Incredible cars from every age range including an incredibly rare 1973 Carrera RS that still gets driven regularly!

The winners of the day!

Maryhill Loops Road PNWR PCA Tour #2

Back in 2016, I had the opportunity to bring Gabe with me on what I thought was a once-in-a-lifetime trip, a PCA tour to Maryhill Loops Road. The club decided to run the tour again and when I signed up for it, I expected to have my new Spyder here for the trip. Shep was so excited to go on this trip that we decided to join 60 other Porsches and try to keep up with them in our Jeep! It turned out to be an amazing trip and Shep only got motion sickness once as we were driving through the twisties chasing a bunch of sports cars. The cinnamon roll as big as his head more than made up for it 🙂

After an amazing drive from Seattle to the Dalles, Shep and I had a great dinner, slept well and he spend the morning in the pool. After lunch, we went over to Maryhill Loops Road to volunteer, get some photos and have a little fun running up and down the hill. Slow in the Jeep but still fun. We even had a camera crew there to capture the action.

It was fast runs up one by one and then slower runs down in a group. Over and over until everyone had their fill.

So many beautiful cars doing what they do best! Oh…and one Jeep trying to keep up 😂

One happy camper ready to do it again. This time in a Porsche!

Car Shows Never Get old

Stopping by Exotics at Redmond Town Center never disappoints. I was very happy to see this beautiful white Spyder which is almost an identical spec to the one that I have on order. On any given Saturday in the summer this place is packed with stunning cars from old to new and everything in between. I had to sport my new Magnus Walker Nikes

The Shop is like a second home for me and there were some beautiful Japanese cars on display for this Cars & Coffee event. That being said, I had to head inside to find some beautiful Porsches…it is a sickness 🙂

Avants Tour of The Brothers Collection

I lived in Seattle for over 20 years as a car fanatic without knowing that the Avants car club existed and I joined the day I found out that it did. Avants embraces a drive everything philosophy and welcomes anyone interested in cars, trucks, SUVs and even has an Avants Offroad branch. It is a great community, publishes a first-class magazine and organizes fun events.

One of these events was a very special tour of The Brothers Collection down in Salem Oregon. If you have never heard of the Brothers Collection, you are not alone. Nobody has. It is a very low key private collection and the owners work hard to maintain their privacy so I won’t be doing anything to change that. I didn’t link to anything because there is nothing to link to. When you search The Brothers Collection, you will find links with titles like “the greatest car collection you’ve never heard of” and “the biggest muscle car collection in the world”.

On Sunday, June 27th, I had the good fortune to spend three hours walking around the collection, jaw open and completely overwhelmed by the cars…it lives up to the hype and so much more. One of the brothers was there to host us and was so gracious. They are not open to the public but they do offer limited private tours for charity. Private collectors can get a lot of grief, mostly due to jealousy inspired by the kind of wealth it takes to build a collection, but these brothers are doing so much to preserve automotive history and I’m so grateful for it. It seems like they are gearing up to open more frequently so hopefully more folks have a chance to experience this history for themselves.

Clearly I’m a huge Porsche fan…and I will get there eventually, but I need to start with Ford. The Brothers Collection is heavily weighted with America muscle cars and what better place to start than the Ford GT. Next to a 911, the Ford GT is my favorite car of all time…it might be tied with first. Not only does the collection have an actual 1966 Ford GT40 MK I (go watch Ford vs. Ferrari if you haven’t already) but they have four early 2000 Ford GTs and two of the latest generation Ford GT supercars.

Okay, with that out of the way, I can spend some time on the Porsches they had on display. When you can walk by a 911 GT3 RS without even glancing at it…you know something very special is in front of you. There it was, the first Porsche 959 that I have ever seen in person. This car was truly revolutionary as a sports car with the most cutting edge perfomance tech for its time, all crammed into a stunningly beautiful but purpose built design. Bill Gates bought one and petitioned hard to have the Show or Display laws passed so he could own it in the US. Now it was right in front of me so close I could smell the leather and imagine myself breaking all kinds of traffic laws in it…again…just like Bill 🙂

There were plenty of other stunning Porsches there as well, like a 918 Spyder and Carrera GT sitting together and row after row of rare aircooled models.

Let’s get the other exotics out of the way and head on over to Ferrari land…not a place I spend much time but they did have some drop dead gorgeous cars! Throw in some sexy Lamborghinis and a Bizzarrini GT 3500 Strada as well!

Let’s hop back to American Muscle with a stop by Shelby but we need to walk by a 2006 Saleen S7 Competition on the way (1 of 13 in the world).

You want row after row of Corvettes…they have it. You need a 63 or 64 or 65…I could keep going…they are all in a row by year and all perfectly preserved.

Okay, I’m going to shut up and just give you the orgy of American metal that awaits you when you have a chance to visit this collection. I did a few laps with my camera, a few laps with my phone and then I just had to put it all away and slowly walk the floor trying to absorb it all. I want to go back!

You can tell from looking at the building that something fun lives inside…and occasionally comes out to play outside. In fear of being chased off, I didn’t try to add any character lines in my Jeep. Instead I drove home in 111 degree weather without my hard top because I thought that would be a good idea 🙂

Here is a direct link to higher resolution images if you want to view them without all of my blabbering or to download higher resolution versions. If you use or share them, please credit me Jeff Jones @911Maniac on Instagram.

Adobe Link for full-size images – https://adobe.ly/3dqxVi1

On one of my many laps, I pulled out my iPhone to capture some video. Sorry it is vertical but it was originally done for Instagram. Not a great video but you get a sense of the scale of this collection. For a much more in-depth video, check out what this guy has on YouTube.

Here is just a small list of cars that I captured, there are about 400 in the collection:

  • 2020 Ford GT Factory Lightweight
  • 2005 Ford GT
  • 2006 Ford GT
  • 1966 Ford GT40 MK I
  • 1987 Porsche 959
  • 1990 Lamborghini LM002 SUV
  • 1967 VW Type II 21 window samba bus
  • 1982 Lamborghini Countach 5000S
  • Lamborghini Diablo
  • 1962 Jeep DJ-3A Surrey Gala
  • 1969 Ford Torino Bobby Unser Pikes Peak Racer
  • 1965 Shelby GT350R
  • 1966 Ford F100 Police Interceptor
  • 1970 Plymouth Duster 340 Rapid Transit Show Car
  • Spyker C8 Spyder
  • 2005 Porsche Carrera GT
  • Porsche 918
  • 1949 Ferrari 166 Inter Berlinetta 
  • 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C Long Nose Alloy
  • 2003 Ferrari Enzo
  • 2006 Saleen S7 Competition 
  • Bizzarrini GT 5300
  • 2007 Porsche GT3 RS
  • 1988 Porsche 911 Turbo Targa
  • 1989 Porsche 930 Turbo
  • 1989 Porsche Speedster
  • Two Porsche 911 Slantnose Turbos
  • Porsche 356 in all forms
  • American Motors Javelin 
  • 1933 Packard Twelve 1005 Coupe Roadster

My First Concours d’Elegance

I’m often found at cars and coffee events before or after a long drive. I’m a regular on driving tours. I can occasionally be found at a race track. The common theme for me is always driving. I believe cars are at their best when they’re doing what they were designed to do…moving. Cars, especially Porsches it seems, last longer and run better when they are used regularly. For that reason, I never really paid much attention to Concours events. Concours d’Elegance is a French term that translates to “a competition of elegance” and a Concours event involves judging a collection of pristine, original and meticulously clean vehicles. I guess it started with French aristocrats who would take their horse-drawn carriages out to show off and be judged on appearance and elegance. Now we’re dealing with horses of a different kind but the competition still boils down to who has the cleanest car. Cleanest…you can’t be obsessed with cleanliness if you’re out driving the crap out of a car! Or can you…

I take it all back. Okay, I still don’t think I’ll ever be a Concours competitor, at least not a winning one, but after attending the largest PCA PNWR event in our club’s history last weekend, I came away with a newfound appreciation for Concours. Now this was a local event, not the super posh kind of event held at Pebble Beach annually, so the competitors here actually drove their cars to the event and polished them up before the judging started. No garage queens brought in by trailer to be found. It was an incredibly well run event, filled with stunning cars and fantastic people. PNWR volunteers always work so hard to make all events fun and the Aker family was kind enough to host us at their workshop outside of Seattle. I had an array of lenses with me and I was a kid in a candy store surrounded by Porsches as clean as when they rolled off the assembly line…some probably cleaner! Except for that tiny spider web on the rear license plate of the yellow Turbo S…that cost the owner some points 🙂

Contestants showed up early so they had time to polish things up before the judging started. The sun was shining so any dirt or dust would be easily visible. They have to clean everything…engine compartment, car carriage, storage…it all needs to be perfect:

Many of these amazing cars showed up as spectators but I couldn’t tell…they all looked like they were ready to enter the competition:

Clipboards at the ready, judges inspected cars, reviewed paperwork for authenticity, poked around engine compartments…no stone left unturned:

Here’s some proof that I don’t only take photos of cars…I take photos of people next to cars too 🙂

And the winners are…

Cascade Loop Rally with PNW Drives

Image from PNW Drives Facebook Event Site

For as long as I’ve lived in the Northwest, I’ve always wanted to drove the full Cascade Loop in one trip. I’ve driven just about every section of the trip over the years, but for one reason or another, doing the full loop in one shot has never happened. When I came across PNW Drives on Facebook and saw that they were organizing a two-day rally around the loop, I jumped at the chance. This was my first time on a tour with this group but I had a great time and look forward to joining them on future drives. PNW Drives isn’t a traditional car club, more of an event organizer with any and all cars welcome. Heavy on the swag but not the typical landfill fodder you usually get…high quality hats, hoodies, custom water bottles, etc. Most importantly, good people with a passion for driving and lots of cool cars.

The planned starting point was pretty far North of Seattle and the start time was early in the morning. I decided to extend the trip by a day and I drove up to La Conner on Friday. La Conner is a cute waterfront town with good restaurants and shops and was only 10 minutes from our starting point at Twin Bridges Marina in Mount Vernon. It was nice to get away from everything, have some chowder and just watch the boats go by for a while. I did make the time to drive to the stating point so I would be prepared for the next day…had to grab a photo under the twin bridges!

Saturday morning, I woke up early and ventured out to the starting point. I was happy to find a well organized event, my all important swag bag, and a large group of friendly gearheads equally excited for the trip. We even had a superhero along for the ride! Here are some photos from the early morning meetup where we stayed busy applying decals, talking cars and sheltering under the bridges from the rain. I learned a newfound respect for anyone that does stripes, decals or wraps on cars…I was struggling and the event organizers took pity on me and helped me out.

Geared up and ready to go!

We hit the road in the pouring rain, but there was even crazier weather to come. Our first destination was the Diablo Lake Vista where we would have the chance to stretch our legs, use the restroom and admire the amazing views. Okay, I was busy taking photos of cars and people, but trust me…the views of the lake are incredible when the weather is better and the fog isn’t so thick.

Our next stop was Twisp Park in the town of Twisp but before we arrived to the sunshine, we had to drive through the North Cascades. I was expecting to still see snow on the ground but I didn’t expect it to be actively snowing. Earlier in the day a few folks were wondering if my Jeep was going to keep up but given the weather we hit, I was thinking I might need to winch a few of them out of a ditch 🙂

The weather just kept getting better and the drive even more beautiful as we made our way to BeeBe Springs Wildlife Area. We had some time to hike (okay walk) around, get to know each other and soak in the warm dry weather.

Our final stop of the day was the Icicle Village Resort in Leavenworth. Leavenworth is a quirky Bavarian style town popular with tourists all year round, but especially during the holiday season in December. After a very early start and a full day of driving, I was pretty tired. I explored the area, grabbed some dinner, talked to Meg for a while and then went to bed early.

Day 2 started at a much more reasonable time of 10 am so I had the chance to sleep in and enjoy a leisurely breakfast with copious amounts of coffee before our group meeting. We drove from Leavenworth to Stevens Pass and even with the rain, the roads were fun and the scenery was beautiful. I was once again happy to be in my Jeep and not one of the super cars with racing slicks. Fortunately the rain stopped before we hit Stevens so we could walk around without getting soaked.

We ended the tour at Lake Tye Park in Monroe. It gave us all a chance to eat lunch, stretch our legs and say our goodbyes before heading home. I drove away tired, happy, having met some new friends and looking forward to a return trip around the loop in a fun car and with better weather.