A Look Back
North Country Region - PCA
NCR 25 Years
A Look Back, by Ellen Beck - NCR Member
The early 80's were a period of growth and finding our identity as a club. As with any group, the initial enthusiasm carries things along at the start, then things become a little more challenging. NCR encompassed all of NH and VT through this period, and grew from 58 members in 1980 to 150+ in 1985. The treasury, thanks to the fiscal prudence of long time treasurer Mike Grishman, also grew to more than $2,000 by 1985!
1980 was the first year of the soon to be famous Clambake/Concours. This became an annual tradition, with a reported 24 cars and 55 lobster dinners in 1982 - just about half the club attending! 1980 is also the year our logo was developed by member and artist Tim Bent (still a PCA member). Driver's Education, or "track", was also popular in the early 80's. The Northeast Region "Bryar Bash" was an annual favorite, held at what is now NHIS in Loudon, NH. The Zone 1 48 Hours DE at Watkins Glen attracted 15 NCR drivers in 1982, also quite a turnout considering our size. Clearly there were some active and enthusiastic members, at least for the driving, eating and drinking activities!
The Northlander went through some growing pains, with an average of 6 issues per year during this time. Finding an editor, then finding authors and articles to fill the issues, is not a new problem to PCA regions. The region was split about half way between VT and NH members, including a few from surrounding states (and various service members transferring in and out). NCR's President from 81-83 was Richard Brannen, a VT member. Gerrish Porsche/Audi in Woodstock, VT was a primary sponsor, and the region held a number of VT based activities. A favorite was the annual ski weekend at Killington. In 1981 the cost for a ticket for the weekend was $35, and rooms were $18.90 per night!
By 1984, NCR had 2 Vice Presidents, a VP East and a VP West, and our events became more "regional" within the region. In 1983 a new dealership opened in Dover - Ed Byrnes Porsche/Audi - and salesman Steve Kaplan became active as a sponsor. In addition to our own AX series, rallies and lobsterbake, the club also supported neighboring regions and zone events. The Z1 Concours in NJ was popular, as was the annual Watkins Glen 48 Hours. CVR ran an annual Time Trials at Lime Rock for many years, and the Autocrosses at Orange Airport were an annual NER series.
Downeast Region in Maine held their annual der Volksfest, which would lead to the huge undertaking of the 1986 Parade. NCR assisted with planning throughout 1985, and you will read more about the big doin's in the next installment.
NCR History - 1986-1988 - NCR Member Ellen Beck
The 3 years between '86 and '87 saw some big changes for North Country Region. The 31st Parade was held in Portland, Maine in 1986, hosted by neighboring Downeast Region. NCR was a presence throughout, and many members put in a lot of volunteer hours, helping make the Parade both successful and fun. However, later in 1986, our region was visited with a formal request for the formation of a new region from within our borders.
A group of members from the Burlington, VT area wished to break off to form what would become the Green Mountain Region. This created quite a furor within the club, which persisted well into 1987. Many club members opposed the break, noting that VT-based activities were frequent and popular, and most VT members enjoyed NCR events and membership. In fact the 1986 annual meeting, where the split was first announced, took place in Stowe, VT.
The 1986 and 1987 Northlanders discussed the decision at length and in detail. It was a difficult time in our history, however both regions adjusted and have done many shared events over the years with good cooperation.
1988 brought a new spirit to the club, beginning with a rebirth of the Northlander. New editor Don Osborne produced bi-monthly issues using our current photo-on-the-cover booklet format, with heavy stock covers and professional printing, and lots of photos. He instituted a series of tech articles, advertiser "snapshots", and member written features. The changes were remarkable, and fitting, as it was our 10th anniversary year!
NCR hosted a Ski Weekend in Jackson, a Spring Rally at Byrnes in Dover, the first Concours d'Elegance on the ocean in Kennebunk, and capped it off with the first Multi-Event Weekend, to celebrate the 10th anniversary. The event was held at the Eagle Mountain House in Jackson, NH, with over 40 members attending. Saturday featured a tri-region 2-part gimmick rally, took a break for lunch at the Bethel Inn, with a whole new set of clues for the afternoon (how many teeth does the Cliff House Bear have?). Jim and Deb Gratton won (we are used to it by now!). The banquet that evening featured Zone Rep Bob Moir, honored the Morse Family as Enthusiasts of the Year, awarded a 20- year membership certificate to founding member Michael Grishman, and a well-deserved award to Don Osborne for the new Northlander.
Sunday featured a tour to Bob Bahre's car collection in Paris Hill, Maine (we also toured there in 2002). By all accounts, North Country was happily back on track.
Other tidbits gleaned from the newsletter include two fascinating accounts of cross-country trips from members you will recognize, and one telling look-back over our first 10 years. Michael Grishman was asked, in an interview, why NCR pulled away from Northeast Region in 1978. A small group from southern Maine and seacoast NH was interested in competitive events, he said, as events at the time seemed much more social in nature in neighboring Downeast and in NER. They wanted an autocross series, more track time and more technically oriented activities. In 1988, Michael noted that club events again seemed to be more social, with lots of rallies, tours and dinners. Now, in 2003, 15 years later, though we have lots of driving events, we again find a renewed interest in social events. What goes around, comes around!
Early in 1988, Judy and Doug Hendrickson wrote a great account of their trip to the Dallas/Fort Worth Parade of 1986. Next year the 2004 Porsche Parade will be back in Texas again! Later, Ed and Nancy Broadhead wrote of their journey driving a '67 911S to the 1988 Parade in Pike's Peak, Colorado. Nancy titled it "What I Learned on My Summer Vacation, or 7,000 Miles Without AC". "Just how long is a 700 mile day 90 degree day?" (One hour past her boiling point) "Carburetor icing can occur at 90 degrees F." (heater going full blast) and "1.5 hours at moderate speed = hot lunch." This recounts Nancy's now famous tin foil trick. Place your left over linguine and garlic bread in foil packets, insert into the engine compartment at your midmorning break, and voila - a picnic ready to eat at noon!