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Confessions of a Concours Judge

Before you get too excited, this is not a steamy exposé of what you might fantasize of what takes place behind the pavilion at Schooley’s Mountain Park after a competitive concours event. Remember, this is a family magazine. On the contrary, this article is meant to help those new to the activity who are interested in entering their Porsches in PCA concours events. So read on and benefit from these insider’s tips.

Your Check Engine Light and What it Really Means

It is back on again! Should I have my car towed in? Is my engine bad?

These are just a few of the many things that we have heard over the years regarding that infamous and dreaded little light in your dash: the Check Engine Light (CEL)

But what does that little light actually mean? And unlike the Mayan prediction of the end of the world, your problem may be very minor – or it just may indicate a larger, more obscure problem.

On-Board Diagnostics System

Use of the CEL began with the introduction of the On-Board Diagnostics II system (OBD) starting in 1996. This system is a government mandated vehicle component that automatically checks and tests various vehicle emissions control items.

2011 Charity Auction

The annual NNJR-PCA Tricky Tray Charity Auction was held on December 14 at the Villa in Mountain Lakes and was once again, a well-attended and highly-successful fund raising event. For the second year, our beneficiary was the Somerset Hills Learning Institute (SHLI), a school in Bedminster, NJ for children and adolescents with autism. We raised $16,250 during the evening for the school and when combined with other fund raising events during the year (Trek for the Kids, Taste of the Track, and 50/50’s), we were able to raise a record amount for our charitable contribution this year! Helmets off to everyone in the Club for all of the donations and work during the year, especially in this challenging economic environment.

Tracking Out – January 2012


So the story goes that Howard Mintz, our autocross chair from 2004-2007, had lured me in as his successor with the promise of very little amount of work, exceptional help all around, and the added bonus of being afforded the opportunity to write a magazine article each month! Wow, that sounded pretty cool! I happily stepped up to the challenge. I mean, who wouldn’t? In retrospect, I should have noticed how happily Howard skipped away, pausing only to click his heals in a Dick Van Dyke-y, “Hey we just got Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang up and running and ain’t that swell” kind of way. A broken back and 10,000 cones later, I wearily handed my set of keys to the club van over to Tom and Tom, Iervolino  and DePascale, respectively (or not, since they are both Tom), with a smile and a wave. Any how, I probably used the same used car salesman trick that Howard Mintz employed…a little Armor All on the tires, new cones on top of the old, mangled ones…you know the deal.

Autocross – January 2012


Time to start thinking about the upcoming AutoX season! We will return to the Meadowlands Giants Stadium Lot E, now known as Met Life Stadium, Lot E and will likely have six events along with our famous Car Control Clinic and Autocross School. Here is our tentative schedule thus far:

April 15: Car Control Clinic, Met Life Stadium, Lot E

April 22: AutoX, Met Life Stadium, Lot E

May 13: AutoX  or AutoX School , Met Life Stadium, Lot E

June 10: AutoX  or AutoX School , Met Life Stadium, Lot E

July 29: AutoX, Met Life Stadium, Lot E

August, September and October: AutoX’s at TBD dates and Locations

Once the Jets and Giants set their schedule (in April), we will be able to set our August – October dates and we are looking to also have our annual event at the Englishtown Road Course.

By the time you read this we will have tallied the 2011 points and awarded the Season Trophies. Here are the results:

Welcome to Concours 2012 – January


As a new year unfolds, we look forward to another great NNJR Concours season. But first, it is necessary to look back and thank some of our late 2011 season workshop hosts and congratulate our 2011 NNJR Concours season champions.

NNJR Concours had the privilege of hosting two late season workshops at both Flemington Porsche and ID Signs. The Flemington event featured Bill Rochford the “Dent Man”. Our very own Fred Simonson was the architect of the workshop. Fred previously used Bill on several of his cars over the years and raved about his talent. With Fred’s help we were able to have Bill help out several of our NNJR members. Bill spent a couple of hours working his magic on fellow Porsche owners’ dings and dents. He did some outstanding work at very reasonable prices. John Nelson, the sales manager at Flemington Porsche, provided a fantastic bagel breakfast for all workshop participants. John’s state of the art Porsche facility was a great backdrop for such a well attended event. Thanks again John for you hospitality.