A Brief History of (the Suncoast Region) Time
It started in January 1961 with a small group of Porsche enthusiasts. Edward McDowell was the first president. Suncoast Region’s area as of March 1961 included the counties of Collier, Lee, Charlotte, DeSoto, Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee, Polk, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus.
On April 7, 1963, Suncoast Region held its first rally with 17 cars participating, and, later in July, the newsletter was named Porsche Profile.
In 1970, Tampa got its first Porsche dealership, Temple Porsche, on Hillsborough Avenue. We also had our first multi-regional event in September.
A club member could take a Treffen trip in 1973 – two weeks touring Munich, Stuttgart, the Porsche factory and the new test facility at Weissach. Round trip on Lufthansa was $169 per person and the trip, including meals and ground transportation, $300 per person.
The region became part of Zone 3, which included the southern states of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama. Dr. Leonard Turner was our first Zone Representative. Later, in 1985, our region, along with the other Florida regions, became Zone 12 with Bill Riley as our first Zone 12 rep.
One of our most popular club offerings, Driver Education, started in 1986. With the help of Reeves Import Motorcars, the club was able to rent Sebring International Raceway. Bill Riley was the first chief track instructor and Ellen Riley, the first Registrar. Pete Tremper, from PCA National office, came to Florida to certify the driver instructors and Suncoast became the first region to have nationally certified instructors.
To keep your Porsches running in top condition, Suncoast offered “Thunder Tech.” It was a weekend of Tech sessions from the PCA national Technical Committee, swap meet and trade show.
Always looking forward, in 1994, the region, along with Gold Coast, hosted the first 48 Hour Club Race at Sebring International Raceway. Co- chairs for the event were Art and Sandy Woodworth from Suncoast, and Ken Fengler from Gold Coast. Dave and Shirley Cook served as the first registrars. This event has become one of the biggest club races in the country and one of the most successful events for our club.
In 2003, Suncoast Region, along with all Zone 12 regions, hosted Porsche Parade at the Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel. This was a week-long PCA national event consisting of many competitive events: Concours de elegance, TSD Rally and Autocross. There were also social events, a kid’s program, tech sessions and banquets with special guest speakers, including Peter Porsche. The controversial new Cayenne was introduced with a driving event at the autocross site. Doc Bundy and Jeff Purner were on hand to instruct.