Porsche Owners Primp, Vie for Beautiful Car Trophy
EULESS, Texas (AP) _ More than 70 Porsche lovers from around the world washed wheels in bathtubs and swabbed out bits of grease with cotton before bringing their beloved automobiles to a beauty contest Monday.
Tom Scott of Denver, whose 1977 Porsche 924 made the finals of the Concours d’Elegance, said it took him two years to get the German sportscar ready for the highlight of the 32nd annual meeting of the Porsche Club of America.
″You take the car apart almost completely, clean and polish nearly every part - you even use such esoteric items as Q-Tips for polishing. I know of some people who wash their wheels in their bathtubs and even shine their dipsticks,″ he said.
″Money can’t be much of a consideration in this event when you’re talking about the hundreds of hours you spend getting the car ready,″ Scott said.
The eight car finalists for the Manhattan Trophy in the Porsche Parade beauty contest were in better condition than when they were sold.
In addition to the Councours d’Elegance beauty contest held on the fairway of a hotel resort golf course, Porsche owners are vying in rallies and autocross events along with trading information and parts. There were a total of 585 Porsches at Monday’s gathering.
Organizers expect more than 1,600 people by the time the event winds up.
Haigime Yamamoto, who owns four Porsches, flew in from Japan.
Janie Dunglemann and her husband Paul came from The Netherlands. They have competed in Concours events in Europe, but unlike many of the American Concours competitors, who only bring their cars out for the event, the Dungelmanns like to drive their cars.
″We just polish and wash them and then drive them to the event,″ said Mrs. Dungelmann. ″We don’t go to all the trouble that the Americans do.″
Dale Miller of West Palm Beach, Fla., says this year’s Concours is as good as any anywhere in the world.
″Even the Porsche factory people have commented that the level of restoration is absolutely superb,″ said Miller, who is PCA historian and manager of an antique automobile museum.
One of the finalists was a Sauter speedster, a one-of-a-kind race car custom-built for a German businessman in the early 1950s.
Ray Knight of Jeffersonville, Ind., bought the car in 1982 after it sat outside for almost a quarter of a century. He said he spent four years and 4,000 hours restoring it and has no idea of its worth.
″I’d always wanted a really old, funky car,″ Knight said. ″It’s an awful lot of fun to show it and have people see it because it’s really of historical significance.″