Wednesday, May 15, 2013



I had wanted to do a southern road trip for some time and the stars finally aligned everything just fell into place.

We had the pleasure seeing PCNA marketing guy Chalmers Niemeyer who invited us to Amelia Island concur along with Porsches 911 50th anniversary dinner.  

As luck would have it my wife Karen is from Atlanta the “Peach State” just happens to be where Porsche is headquartered in the states, so my thoughts were to kill two birds with one stone. Naturally the trip was based around family and Porsche.

In no amount of time our flight was booked to Atlanta but now what about a car? Sure a rental car could be booked but apparently Hertz does not rent Porsches yet.

 As luck would have it Porsche stepped up to the plate and loaned us a car! 

No not the Carrera GT..:(

This one a brand new 991 C4S .

We were met at ATL airport by Chalmers who shortly afterwards give us the guys to a brand new 991 C4S  Cab -7 speed PDK Version with only 11 miles on the clock & a sticker price of $137,000…. & a tank full of gas –“YOU GOTTA LOVE PORSCHE”

Chalmers shows karen how to operate the Sat Nav.


Now I have never owned a cabriolet & am not the “wind in your hair” type of guy so the Cabriolet was not a natural first choice, but I was determined not to let that affect our trip
Being an earlier/older 911 owner & driver I was a little overwhelmed by all Modern gadgets & amenities that were being shown to us in the dark at the Porsche Tec centre, plus that sticker price was slightly intimidating also!

All that apprehension soon disappeared though as I put the car in sport mode  and  followed Chalmers away from the Tec Centre in search of some local southern food, the first thing that struck me about the car was how familiar it felt ,the 2 nd thing was how fast it felt.


After some fine Southern food and some quick catching up on all things Porsche it was time to find our hotel located in the middle of nowhere about twenty miles south of  Atlanta the GPS sure came in handy.

Early the next morning I programmed the GPS and headed out to take a tour of the Porsche service training centre were apprentices from all over the country come to take the PTAP or Porsche Technical Apprenticeship Program. Top performing students from Universal Technical Institute (UTI) are hand-picked by Porsche Cars North America for an intensive 23 week apprenticeship. Students are immersed in Porsche's full product line then be privileged for life in a Porsche dealership. Once they successfully complete the 23 week program they are placed in a North American Porsche Dealership.

I saw classes in engine rebuilding, bodywork, electronics, suspension set up along with an ultra low mileage Carrera GT that is used as a service training car. It has been taken apart and reassembled 55 times!
Apparently schools not “out for summer” well the Porsche School that is.

Next stop was PCNA headquarters just north of Atlanta as I followed Chalmers trough Atlanta’s morning rush hour I was starting to feel at ease behind the wheel of the 991.

It cuts through morning traffic with ease, no doubt helped by the 400 HP at my disposal.
A quick prod of the throttle pedal & the car downshifts a gear or 2 & eats up distances in next to no time, before you know it I was pulling into PCNA ..

Upon entering Porsches North American headquarters I was given the full tour & amazed at how friendly everyone  was, quite a few of them even knew me & had seen Urban outlaw.

A few hours later after having met everyone from the marketing to legal dept I left with an arm full of Porsche swag & merchandise including a very cool
GT3 RS 4.0 piston paperweight & a few cool toy models.

The rest of the day was spent covering great distances in and around Atlanta visiting and spending time with Karen “Kin Folk “. I even found time to take Karen’s brother we like to call “Tommy Dog” for a quick spin in the 991 around the block. 
He is usually a diehard Chevy guy so was apprehensive of the fancy Porsche. Tommy Dog naturally told me to brake at least 
fifty feet before it was necessary, but needless to say when the joyride was over he got out of the car and told me he would never call a Porsche a souped up V.W. again!

That’s one more Redneck for the Porsche team. 

Early the next day we loaded up the 991 set the GPS and headed south on I -75 towards Macon where we picked up the I-16 & Headed south towards Savannah.

The most difficult part was obeying all the local speed limits and controlling the urge to keep the throttle floored for long periods of time,.

We were soon in the historic picturesque city of Savannah GA. After a short tour and many picture stops we were back on the road heading south down Hwy 95 to Amelia island Florida.

The 991 was eating up the approx 375 miles from Atlanta with ease plus comfort. We were in sport mode the whole time, prompting my wife too suggest that a new 991 was a good idea, maybe it was the four wheel drive. Happy wife makes a happy life!

Entering Florida was a little like entering a different world it moves at its own slower pace.
The air smells different the scenery and the vibe was tropical. Amelia Island defiantly has the chill vibe about it.

We checked into our resort hotel room also with help from Porsche which just happened to have an ocean view about one hundred feet from the sand.

I donned the only suit I own (because Karen made me) but it is a neat little pinstripe number and we looked pretty dapper as we headed over to the Ritz Carlton hotel to attend the Porsche -911 50 anniversary dinner.
That night we met many new faces the highlights being Patrick long, Brian Redman his lovely wife and Hurley Haywood who just happened to give me a Brumos lapel pin!

more fun in the suit meeting new friends

PCNA  All round Cool dude Chalmers Niemeyer

Cam & Rory Ingram from Road Scholars fame.

A few of the Honored invited guests included racing legends, Vic Elford, Brian Redman, David Hobbs, Hurley Haywood, Sam Posey, Dan Gurney, Patrick long and Jeff Zwart. Not bad company Ah? During the speech much to my astonishment they called my name a along with all those heroes and thanked me for my passion and support they even claimed I was bringing a few new faces to the Porsche family. It was truly an honor I will never forget.

Man does Porsche know how to throw a party.

The next morning was another early affair we attended a Porsche Rally then drove the 991 down to a Jacksonville naval base to attend the Porsche driving experience which consisted of
a cup car thrill ride with either Hurley Haywood or Patrick Long. Karen got Hurley and I got Patrick. 

The cup car accelerated very quickly up to about 175MPH down the long runway strip to the braking zone cone marker then perhaps the most impressive bit happened the deceleration and sequential down shifts. Before the 1st gear u turn and full throttle up shifts as we approached the sweeping salmon at approx 140 MPH it’s amazing how stable and controllable the cup car is the hands of a pro driver,

Before you know it the ride was over but my first question was “can we go around again”?
Thankfully the guys at Porsche had already thought of this and had the lead PDS guy
Cass Whithead on hand to demonstrate the same course with a street 991.
The amazing thing is with launch control the street 991 did not feel that much slower and did the hot lap at approx 15 MPH less than the cup car!
It was intense to be in the passenger seat of a street 991 going thru the sweeping slalom at approx 125MPH….

 The next up was a trip to the iconic and legendary BRUMOS Porsche in nearby Jacksonville.

I have always had a fondness for Brumos with their red, white and blue color scheme along with the fact that my favorite 65-911 car #300310 was delivered to Brumos in early  March 1965.

We were met by a cool guys  ray  shaffer & John Schaffer who gave us the showroom tour, introduced us
to the team and then took us over to the Museum were their   remarkable  cars  are housed.

If you are in Florida a trip to Brumos is a must.

After that I attended the Porsche seminar, a 90 minute discussion panel consisting of Hurley Haywood, Bobby Rahal, Patrick Long, Jeff Zwart, Alwin Springer, Peter Schutz, Jack Atkinson and Harm Lagaaij, keeping everybody in line also hosting the event was Bob Varsha.

Later that night we hung out with new found Porsche friends we sampled Chalmers “low country boil” cooking at its finest.
Which is the southern version of fish and chips including the newspaper, you cook shrimp, potatoes, corn, and well anything else lying around.
Throw it down on newspaper and eat till your pants pop. It was an action packed day to remember.

The next day we attended the Amelia Island concurs which is not usually the type of event I usually choose to attend, yet the people could not have been more welcoming and friendly.
Porsche had a great stand featuring a truly impressive original 1965 -911 owned by the Ingram collection and a new red 991.

Centered just across the lawn was a Porsche lover’s dream including the ultra rare prototype 64-911 and everything in-between from a 67R To an ST and numerous 934 and 935.
The amount of Porsche eye candy was overwhelming! 

Time moves quick in Porsche heaven before we knew it was time to head back to Atlanta airport for our flight back to LA.
Now a lot has been written recently about the new 991 so I will keep it brief, from a guy who drives nothing younger than a 76- Porsche 930 variety no less, I can say that new car was a sheer blast to drive.
Karen and I had spent five days with the car, when we left it in the car park at Atlanta airport covered in bugs, we had covered 1097 miles and spent 25.3 hours behind the wheel, the car never missed a beat …..

naturally we left it with a FULL tank of gas

Many thanks to Chalmers Niemeyer and all at PCNA for making this happen.

cheeRS & See you next year :)



  1. Great story! Love the pics with the long trees and also you in that wacky suit. You are definitely making me consider buying and tuning an older 911. Keep up the great work

  2. Magnus I can't believe I missed you here in Jacksonville and Ameila. I was there the whole time and didn't even know you were here. My good friend and neighbor has been working for the Concours since it began. He writes all the histories on every car there. Are you coming back in 2014?

    I know you said you may be interested in getting a 914-6 GT. I am bringing my ultra-rare 914 LE Can Am 'Creamsicle'. There's only about 50 left of only 500 ever made. Mine is the 11th one off the production line. Vintage 911s are my favorites as well. Cheers!

    - Tommy