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Concours Rites of Spring

Even though March came in and went out like a lamb this year, it had the additional benefit of bringing with it the traditional NNJR Concours “Gathering of the Faithful” (GOTF) spring get-together on Sunday morning, March 25. The GOTF has been an NNJR custom for years and serves as the first official event to initiate the new concours season. No instruction or judging takes place; it is strictly a social occasion for the concours veterans and an opportunity to introduce new members to the excitement of concouring and properly addressing their Porsche’s appearance needs. This year was particularly special because, to keep things interesting, we benefitted from a fresh and exciting new venue.

John Vogt offered to host our members at High Marques in Morristown and host he did! John, along with Steven Hudacek, laid out a veritable gastronomic banquet for our taste buds along with a comparable feast for our eyes. For those of you not being familiar with High Marques, it is a well-known and respected retailer of premium pre-owned Porsches and other fine marques for over 20 years. John is a strong NNJR supporter and, coincidently, this year is also our NNJR rally chairperson.

In addition to having the run of the High Marques facility, we also had the benefit of Chris Covello and his team from All In The Details located adjacent to High Marques, and the autopharmacy.com. Chris provided helpful advice to our members and generously offered samples of the car-care products that he uses to provide fine auto detailing.

John spared no effort to ensure that no one went hungry that morning. He provided a wide selection of bagels along with the obligatory cream cheese and smoked salmon. For the more traditional, there were the requisite donuts, cakes, coffee, tea and soft drinks. For the more health conscious, there was fresh fruit, juice, and bottled water. I am willing to bet that more than a few NNJR concours enthusiasts had little room for lunch that day.

As we munched on our bagels and donuts, we had the pleasure of exploring all of the unique vehicles in the showroom. Needless to say there was a great assortment of Porsches on display and for sale, but there was also an interesting variety of other marques that kept us entertained and talking throughout the morning.

A stunning metallic blue Cobra roadster reproduction was prominently on view in the front showroom. The challenge for the day was to see if you could get into and out of the vehicle without touching the side exhaust pipes located just below the doors.  It became very obvious that these cars were not designed for people of large frame or limited dexterity.

Perhaps the car that drew the most attention was a 1984 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible in outstanding condition with just 21,000 miles on the clock. Just the enormity of this vehicle created interesting discussion as people compared the size and weight of the doors and hood to those on a Porsche of similar vintage. One could have mistakenly assumed that General Motors was also a part owner in a steel mill based on the proportions and heft of this vehicle. The interior was not lacking for bling, either, with bits of shiny chrome surrounding acres of faux wood on the dash and door panels and enough cow hide on the pleated and tufted pearl white seats to upholster a dozen 911 interiors.  Remember, when this living room on wheels roamed the roads, gasoline was $1.25 a gallon!

The official program of the day was traditionally quite short. Craig reviewed the 2012 concours schedule and Murray Kane introduced the new members to the concours faithful and welcomed them to join us in all of the NNJR club activities this season. Again this year, I made a request for members interested in becoming concours judges; because, as our program continues to expand, our experienced judging teams are increasingly getting taxed with the growth in the number of cars competing. If you are interested in becoming a judge, please send an email to concours@nnjr-pca.com and we will provide a complete training package. You must have previously competed in a concours to be eligible.

This year’s GOTF was particularly noteworthy, not just because of the new venue and great food and ambiance provided by our hosts at High Marques, but because we had the largest GOTF attendance ever with over 100 members joining us for this rite of spring.

With the concours season off to a great start, it was time to focus on providing some instructional details to our new members and veterans with a traditional workshop on April 15 – and what better way to initiate our workshop series than with the Paterek brothers, Ray and John, at their restoration shop in Chatham.

Ray and John have been associated with PCA for almost 40 years and have been in the restoration business at their current location for 35 years. They are internationally recognized for their outstanding Porsche restorations, a number of which are personally owned by members of the Porsche family and on display in the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. They have produced numerous Porsche Parade Concours winners taking every award including the class, division, group, and judges trophies. They have displayed and won at the Louis Vuiton Concours and at the prestigious Amelia Island Concours. Needless to say, if you have a car (even marques other than Porsche) that needs some loving restoration or just some attention to detail, Ray and John are the experts to see.

To initiate the workshop, the brothers generously provided gourmet sandwiches and snacks to our hungry concours crowd. This was a special event since it marked their 35th year in the restoration business at their location in Chatham. To celebrate this landmark occasion, NNJR presented them with an anniversary cake that was enjoyed by all.

As is usually the case with this workshop, Commerce Street in Chatham was jamb-packed with Porsches of all years and models, but this day was truly exceptional because we set a new attendance record for a concours workshop with over 122 enthusiastic PCA members providing Ray and John with a standing room only crowd. Not only did we have NNJR members present, but we drew members from Schattenbaum and Riesentoter Regions – a true testament to the popularity of this workshop and the instructional, hands-on skills of the brothers Paterek.

The brothers began the workshop with a tutorial addressing one of the most common questions they receive from Porsche owners, the proper way to touch up stone chips. John explained the physiology of the paint layers on a Porsche and provided particulars on how to address a proper repair. He detailed the technique of using a fine artist’s brush and a magnifying glass to carefully apply just the right amount of touchup paint into the chip, allowing it to thoroughly dry, and then sanding and polishing to level the paint and restore the finish. Using this same technique, he has also been able to successfully repairs scratches.

Using Lake Underwood II’s beautiful blue 356 Speedster as a test vehicle, John demonstrated the method that he prefers to polish and wax a vehicle. Starting with a good paint cleaner and polish – John prefers P21S Paint Cleaner, as do many of the NNJR concours veterans – and a soft cotton rag, he showed how to properly apply the polish in a linear motion to avoid creating circular swirl marks. For stubborn situations that require a slightly more aggressive polish, John recommends adding a small dab of Blue Magic metal polish to the P21S polish, but advises to use caution not to rub through the clear coat on two-stage painted cars. Again, he uses a soft cotton rag to remove the polish and buff the paint to a bright shine.

Once the paint is polished to perfection, John applies a coat of P21S Carnauba Wax to protect the finish. He prefers to use a soft cotton rag to apply the wax rather than the foam applicator that comes in the container for fear of creating fine scratches in the polished paint. He reminded us that it does not take a large amount of wax to achieve proper protection, since most of the excess will only come off on the buffing cloth. This is a case where less is more.

Lake was thrilled to have John demonstrate these techniques on his Speedster, but no matter how hard he tried, he could not convince John to polish and wax the remainder of the car!

Greg Huljack had recently acquired an outstanding, low mileage, red, 1985, 911 Carrera Targa and was seeking expert advice on how to properly clean his engine without doing harm. John went for his bottle of Wurth Citrus Degreaser to demonstrate how this cleaning product works well at removing grease spots and general dirt from the fan and shroud, as well as other spots on the engine.

While examining Greg’s Targa, John noticed that the black paint surrounding the grill on the tail was looking quite dull and asked whether it had ever been polished. Since the car was a recent acquisition for Greg, he was not certain. John showed how a little P21S Paint Cleaner brought the dull black paint back to a nice semi-gloss finish.

Federico Silveira requested a consultation from the maestro on how to address some nagging cosmetic issues on his grey, 2002, 996 with a lobster red interior. His top hats, the cylindrical areas of the brake rotors to which the wheels bolt, were showing signs of rust and in need of a refresh. John explained how he uses a flat grey paint, that matches the original color well, to repaint the top hats.

While he had John’s attention, Federico also inquired what could be done to retouch some of the fading and scuffed leather interior pieces. John, always willing to help, explained that he uses a leather dye from Color-Plus. This product is made by Joanne Price in Pennsylvania, and if you send her a one inch square sample of your original leather color she will create a dye that will match perfectly. John also showed where he gets a sample of the original leather color. He reaches behind the upper, front, center seat cushion pulls it up from the side bolster and snips a piece of leather from behind the cushion. Porsche seems to leave a little extra leather behind this cushion.

Even with record attendance at this event, Ray and John generously took the time to address all the questions and offered helpful suggestions that benefitted novices as well as veterans. If your Porsche (or other vehicles) should ever need the expertise of two of the best in the business, do not hesitate to stop by the Paterek Brothers shop in Chatham to benefit from their services. And, be sure and thank Ray and John for all their years in support to NNJR and PCA.

With the concours season now in full swing, there are still plenty more great events to enjoy. If you have not done so already, do not forget to register for the NNNJR 55th Anniversary Summer Celebration and Concours on July 22, sponsored by Paul Miller Porsche. This is going to be a very special event! Our social chairs, Cindy and Anthony Cristello, have managed to secure a fantastic venue in the Harbor Hills Picnic Grove in Mendham. We are planning a low stress, people’s choice, multiple-class concours so as not to detract from all the other family oriented fun events of the day. It goes without saying that there will be plenty of food served throughout the day.  Unique, historical, and special Porsches are encouraged to attend. And, this year there is no additional charge for participating in the concours so you have no excuse not to bring the entire family and have a great time. A large covered area is available in the event of rain.

On Sunday, August 12, NNJR will again be participating in the New Hope Automobile Show in New Hope Pennsylvania. This concours event follows the New Hope Automobile rules for scoring and includes engines and undercarriage. See the ad in this issue of Porscheforus for additional details.

As always we value your feedback and suggestions on how we can continue to improve and grow our NNJR concours program, so please email us at concours@nnjr-pca.com with your comments.