On the train from Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness on a chilly but gloriously sunny morning – I was full of anticipation. Not only was I collecting my repaired car but I’d also be able to have a look at ongoing projects at Sportwagen in the far east of Essex.
Nick and Ed Pike – organisers of the London Region 20 faction of Porsche Club GB really have really excelled themselves in finding a vibrant alternative venue for the monthly London Region get-together.
The 3rd Saturday in the month “Smithfield Meat” gathering was great but it was sadly traffic-wardened out of existence. It’s been replaced by the 3rd Sunday in the month “Out East” gathering which I think should be renamed “Art East” both in deference to the cockney accent but also to the astonishing display of vivid and endlessly evolving graffiti on the walls along the streets used for the gathering.
I normally try to attend this meeting as it’s one of the later events in the season and always has interesting cars in the paddock and out on track but this year it also included the rather interesting Equipe 3 Hour Classic Relay race so even more reason to go!
A rather annoying and inconsistent recalcitrance to rev has afflicted my old 911 for a some weeks. Having adjusted the choke and swapped the CDI box to no avail – Steve opted to swap the ignition coil on my latest visit to Jaz Porsche in St Albans as symptoms suggested insufficient spark.
I last attended Kop in 2015 and I decided it was high-time for a return visit.
My drive out to Princes Risborough in the old 911 was uneventful but upon arrival misty and damp conditions meant parking in the field adjacent to the hill was bit like competing in a muddy rally stage. Walking from the car to the paddock entrance also made me realise that wellies might have been better footwear than trainers!
A two year wait since the last Hedingham Porsche bash and the limited availability of my old 911 this year (due to further improvement work) left me with a major sense of anticipation for this year’s Classics At the Castle event.
An early, sunny Sunday morning start and a thankfully absent intermittent misfire were positive omens for a good day out but this didn’t stop my usual jitters about whether I had the right day, whether any mechanical gremlins would thwart the trip etc. etc.
My fears were calmed when just beyond Stansted airport I swung my ’71 2.2E behind a lovely tangerine 2.7RS for a joyous two-car-convoy blast towards Hedingham! The start of a perfect day.
I never got around to booking tickets for Silverstone Classic but my mate Kirk kindly offered me a spare entry ticket and a lift into the Porsche Club GB infield parking in his lovely Pastel Blue 2.2L 911S.
The offer of spare tickets from Steve Winter at Jaz Porsche overcame any remaining indecision over whether to get up to Donington this year.
Opting to go on Sunday meant I could watch Steve and his co-driver Rob Williams compete in the GT & Sports Car Cup for Pre-’66 GT & Pre-’63 Sportscars.
It was also a good opportunity to meet up with old friends Ken, James & Kirk.
I knew it was my lucky day when I received a call from the Porsche Club GB office to offer me a last minute place for the “Evening with Jacky Ickx” event they had organised at Porsche Centre East London.
Upon arrival – I was chatting with Ed Pike (co-organiser with other half Nick of of PCGB London Region) and another club member over a glass of wine when a dapper gentleman wandered over and introduced himself to us with – “Hello – I’m Jacky”, before shaking each of us by the hand.
It was none other than Belgian motor racing legend – Jacky Ickx!
Darwinian principles can be applied as much to automotive design and manufacturing as they have been to evolutionary biology. “Survival of the fittest” has been the recipe of enduring success for a number of car marques but it has also seen the extinction of many more.
From the very first cars – certain marques have driven down developmental cul-de-sacs whilst others have, through inspired progressive improvement, survived to the present day.
As one of the most successful surviving marques – it’s interesting to analyse some of the factors and earlier designs that assured Porsche’s initial establishment, success and ultimate longevity as a manufacturer of road and race cars.