Porsche sports cars are absolutely everywhere during Monterey Car Week. It seems like anyplace you look, there’s a 911 or a 356 driving by or parked at the curb. Newer Porsches are most prevalent, but vintage models are strong as well.
So naturally, Porsche enthusiasts have their own single-marque concours and fan-club gathering dedicated to the Stuttgart brand. Called the Werks Reunion and organized by the Porsche Club of America, the event has nearly every kind of Porsche vehicle imaginable, from the earliest of 356 models to the latest high-performance 911s, as well as sedans and SUVs.
The Reunion has been a moveable feast in recent years (not including 2020 when everything was shut down by the pandemic), with its third golf-course relocation for the 2021 event, this time to the Bayonet & Black Horse Country Club in Seaside.
If that sounds familiar, it’s where Concorso Italiano holds its extravaganza of Italian cars and culture. The Werks Reunion took place Friday with Concorso happening in the same location the following day.
One of the main attractions of the Reunion is outside the show area, where the Porsche Corral parking lot becomes a showcase for daily drivers or garage queens on a rare outing. While the entire event has free entry, those not driving Porsches were charged $40 to park their vehicles.
Walking around the show field, I was immediately attracted to a silver 1996 911 Carrera 2, a 993 model and the last year of the air-cooled Porsches. This coupe absolutely sparkled with newness, and no wonder.
The placard with the car said briefly all that needed to be said: “All original! 11,500 mile example.”
“Everything is original accept the plugs, oil, battery and the alternator,” said the owner, Darius Sadeghi of nearby Carmel. “Everything is as it left the factory.”
The car is striking. It doesn’t have a nick or a scratch. The rubber, trim and interior look factory fresh. If the overused term “time capsule” should be applied to any vehicle, this was it. It’s crazy.
The Porsche’s exquisite condition was the result of the extremely meticulous original owner who not only drove it rarely over a quarter century but treated it like a Faberge egg, Sadeghi said.
“It’s unique,” he said. “I’ve never had a brand-new 25-year-old car before. I’m not real keen on cars that don’t have a lot of mileage, but he was even more anal than I am when it comes to taking care of cars.”
Sadeghi was well-acquainted with the elderly Porsche owner, he added, who was a fellow employee of the Laguna Seca Raceway, where Sadeghi has become a risk management advisor.
“He reaches the highest bar of taking care of a car,” he said. “I’ve never known anyone who didn’t close the doors all the way (when parked). I said, ‘Why didn’t you close the doors all the way, Charlie?’ And he said, ‘Because the rubber molding would get depressed’.”
Parked nearby was a 1993 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 looking fresh in Gran Prix White, which the owner, George Jewett of Napa Valley, said that he purchased for a very specific reason: comfort.
“I’ve only had this since last October,” Jewett said. “It replaces a ’70 911E. When you’re up in Napa Valley, it gets pretty hot, so I was looking for something a little more current, a car that has AC.”
“This is about as modern of a car as I could possibly stomach, but I really love it. It has a wonderful analog feel that older Porsches have, and I like older cars. So, this suits me to a T.”
Some of the other eye catchers spotted at Werks included:
• A heavily patinaed 1957 Porsche 356 Carrera GT – yes, that very special model equipped with the iconic twin-cam flat-4 engine. This car was socked away in a Brooklyn garage in 1969 and not recovered until 2016, after which it was mechanically renewed but cosmetically left as is.
“It is one of the few completely original surviving Carreras known to exist,” according to the car’s placard.
• Another all-original survivor, a 1988 Porsche 928 S4 that was also parked long term by the original owner for 15 years after being driven about 50,000 miles. This car looks great in its original condition, although not as impressive as that 11,000-mile 996.
• A resto-modded 1973 911 T in Gemini Blue with a 3.2-liter engine transplant and Scottish Tartan interior.
• A 1966 912 GT coupe powered by a high-revving 2,132cc flat-4 engine capable of 154 horsepower, according to the placard.
There were plenty of others, cars that had been faithfully restored, competition cars and those that have been turned into high-performance “outlaws,” as Porsche people like to call their versions of hot rods.
Porsches these days are in a world of their own, raging in popularity with prices to match as collector cars. The enthusiasm runs high and shows no sign of diminishing.