The June Air Brigade drive was the May drive that was canceled due to the gas shortage and heavy rains. It was worth the wait as the weather couldn’t have been better.
The Air-Cooled Porsche Cab and Targa drivers realized that this type of day was the reason to own a Cab/Targa.
The weather was in the 70’s and sunny – perfect. As Don T stated: “It was a really good day to drive a cab.” Five Porsches were open air with the drivers and navigators working on their tans while the rest of us opened sunroofs and windows for an open-air feeling. Air Brigade was represented across the Porsche model range with the 356, a 914, a 912 and nine 911’s from an early 911 to and SC, a Carrera 3.2, one 964 and multiple 993’s.
One of a kind vintage Porsches included Nort’s 1989 Speedster, Buck’s America Roadster and TD’s “new” under 12,000 mile 993 S.
Thirteen Porsches with 20 members made the start, but alas only 12 made the drive. Beverly and Allen brought their ’59 356 Cab for a shakedown drive in preparation for their upcoming trip to Vermont. A gas leak that was not repairable in the parking lot required a tow call. It was one of the few times that Air Brigade has required a wrecker which is surprising considering that we are driving 25+year old cars.
The driving line left on the dot of 9:30 a.m. winding our way from Leicester to Marshall before crossing over to Walnut Creek Road for a first time drive down this road by the Air Brigade. A turn onto Big Laurel sent us driving a road the opposite way that we drove it last year. We all enjoyed the elevation changes with the twists and turns Big Laurel provides. Driving on this sunny beautiful day made the wait from last month’s rainy day worth it. It might have been a little treacherous to drive in the storm we experienced during May’s original drive date.
Finding a rest stop was a real challenge as we were out in the middle of nowhere. We stopped at Rickert’s Triangle General Store on 212. It is fun wandering these old General Stores that still exist on the back roads of North Carolina. Rickert’s was welcoming to the group with parking that could safely accommodate the 12 vintage air-cooled Porsches. We all got to catch up with each other as we waited in line for the single toilet in the store.
A short 25-minute drive took us into Hot Springs for our lunch break on the back porch of the Smoky Mountain Diner. Thanks to Hot Springs resident Nort for arranging the special parking and back porch seating resplendent with tablecloths.
After lunch most drivers decided to take the fast way back to Asheville, but the Commander led Thomas and Larry on a spirited drive down The Rattler before turning off onto NC-63 for the drive up and over Doggett Mountain.
What happens on the road stays on the road, but let’s just say that the three of us had a blast in these old Porsches. As Thomas stated: “It is amazing what the capabilities are of these 25 year old cars.
Enjoy photos from the day by scrolling through the gallery. Photos are from Jim Moore, David Linton and Nort Northam.
Tags: Air-Cooled Porsche, Driving air-cooled Porsches, driving vintage