As we are moving forward into a new season of driving, I thought it might be nice to look back and compare things then and now. Phyllis Stibler came to visit our July Tamworth DE last summer and we had the opportunity to chat a bit about the way things used to be when she was driving DE. She commented that although she was impressed by the beauty of CMI, a track she had never seen, and the speed of some of the cars, the event itself had a familiar feel to it.

Phyllis initially joined PCA in 1982 and then rejoined in 1987. There were just a few NCR members that participated in DE at that time. By 1989-1990 that number grew to about a dozen regulars who had established a seasonal rhythm: Lime Rock Park with CVR, Watkins Glen with Zone 1 and New Hampshire Motor Speedway with NER. Few cars were trailered back then and many of them were daily drivers, so they would organize caravans to the events. Similar to our DE group today, they enjoyed dinners, happy hours and other activities together. The events themselves were organized and run in a similar fashion with run groups and volunteer work assignments. In those days, however, participants not only manned Control and Staging, but also did the flagging at flagging stations.

It was in August of 1995 that NCR jumped into organizing events themselves, starting with co-hosting their first event with Hudson Champlain at Lime Rock Park. Judy Hendrickson was NCR President at the time with Linda and Pete Peterson as the first track chairs. One of Phyllis’ favorite memories came in 1994, while at the Lake Placid Porsche Parade, NCR was awarded the PCA Region of the Year. To quote Phyllis, “When they announced the award, every single one of us NCR folk in attendance simultaneously jumped up and together swarmed the presenter. It was one shared memorable moment! NCR came of age.

Phyllis was very active in the Club, participating in every social and driving event possible for over 20 years. She served as NCR’s first female President in the early 90’s and was one of the first female autocrossers and DE instructors. At that time, she was one of the very few women to own her own car. Over the years, she has owned 8 Porsches and logged over 850,000 miles in them, with a goal of reaching a million. Her favorite car was a silver-rose limited production 1988 Turbo 944. Says Phyllis, “NCR held a 200,000-mile birthday party for “Rosie” at LRP. The car is now with my nephew in Harper’s Ferry WV, and very close to 300,000 miles, a concours winner and a track car too. Still yummy!”

Back then, as now, women drivers were heavily outnumbered by the men drivers. She said, “Admittedly I was never the fastest driver around the track, although I like to think that I was sooo smooth…. One year Doc X (name withheld to protect the innocent) gave me an 8” X 8” testosterone patch, clearly labeled, and I liked to put it with my track stuff in clear view. Made me laugh at the curious glances and a few good giggles” Back in 1994, Phyllis met with some NCR women at her office to encourage them to participate. Some did not take much convincing to join in and we are now the beneficiaries of many talented women drivers and instructors.

Thank-you Phyllis! Please come hang out with us again….. there will always be a place for you with us!