P4-2019-09 – Porsches, Palm Trees, and Sunny Boca Raton
By Carlos and Veronica Carmona
What can possibly go wrong when you have sunny skies, palm trees and lots of Porsches on the gorgeous golf course of the Waldorf Astoria Resort in Boca Raton?
Well, if you brought a car to show then you would have lots of stress and probably not enjoy all there is to do at the weeklong annual Porsche Parade. When you bring a car to show at Parade there is a lot of worrying that goes on and believe me we know after participating in three parades. If you drive to Parade you could encounter rain on your car after spending weeks cleaning it, God forbid you get into a fender bender or while you stay at Motel 6 in the middle of nowhere, like you sometimes do, how can you sleep knowing your precious baby is outside and not in a safe covered garage? If you ship your car or trailer it, more worries. If you ship it in a covered trailer not only will it cost you an arm and a leg, but what if the guys unloading your pretty Porsche scratch or ding it? Sometimes you only find out there is a problem after a judge points it out. Well then, you finally made it to Parade safe and sound. Now, you barely spend any time at the welcoming party because you have to get up early and clean brake dust, windows, etc. for the next two days.
So this year, Veronica and I woke up on the Sunday morning before Parade and had a conversation about our past experiences. We considered, LET’S GO TO PARADE WITHOUT A CAR. How weird, what would we do? She said, have a weekend vacation and enjoy Parade with no cars to show. Perfect!
It was very different than previous years. When we arrived on Saturday at the beautiful resort there were Porsches everywhere in all different colors. Then we ran into people we had met at previous Parades from three different states and shared wonderful memories from years past. We checked into our room, put on shorts and t-shirts and off we went to the area where cars were being prepped for Monday’s Concours. There we ran into Michael and Howard Gilson. These guys were really into it and barely had time to chat. There were some amazing cars spread over the three floors of fun, as Veronica called it. There were license plates from all over the country. Lou and Vivian Yonce also were there cleaning their two 911 Turbos. As the morning rolled on we got really hot, so off the pool we went to cool off. I could not help thinking about all our friends cleaning their cars, I felt so guilty-but only for a minute. After two hours of sunbathing and doing nothing we headed to the Iron Chef, Morimoto’s restaurant inside the resort, for absolutely amazing sushi
After lunch we took a ten minute ferry ride to the beach and hung out until sunset. That evening we went to the welcoming event, which was different than most years. It used to be divided by zones, but this year all zones were together in one gigantic room with an open bar and a big time buffet. There again, we saw lots of familiar faces from past Parades. It was a great feeling catching up and sharing stories as some of the people have sold cars and bought new ones.
The next morning Vero and I went to the prep garage again and by now all cars were looking just as spotless as when they were delivered. That afternoon we ran into Sabrina and Walt Crump. We lunched together and had a blast with them talking about all that we have in common. Great Couple! Then, the goody store opened and we shopped a lot. Great stuff this year. That evening we were picked up by friends, that live in the area, and they took us to Palm Beach for dinner.
The next morning it was FINALLY time for the Concours, Yes the moment of truth, but not for us as we did not bring a car. I don’t remember seeing so many colors of Porsches, there was even a pink 944 Turbo and a pink Porsche Tractor. What a sight! Then it was time for judging, even our own Fred Young was on the golf course. Lots of anxious and nervous folks were awaiting their results. Lou Yonce, my friend of 45 years, looked exhausted from the Florida heat. The Gilson’s also look tired, but happy to be finally done. We were glad to see all of our friend’s cars at their best, as they should be!
I’m proud to say that our SEMPCA Team did very well this year. Lou Yonce got second place with his beautiful guards red 911 Turbo in street class. Also, Vivian Yonce got a third place with her sexy white 911 Turbo S in street class. Howard Gilson placed second with his mean looking Spyder in street class. Michael Gilson kicked it out of the park with his outrageous Speedster earning 1st place in preparation class and also received the prestigious Concours Preparation Group award. If that was not enough, SEM won 3rd place in the PCA group 4 full newsletter competition under Michael Cohen’s stewardship.
After all is said and done, there is no better feeling than getting an award at the national level. It is worth all the stress and problems one can incur during the whole ordeal. We really missed not having a car there this year, but we also learned a lot about what the other folks do when they are there just to enjoy the time with each other. After all IT’S NOT JUST THE CARS, IT’S THE PEOPLE!!!