Rendez-vous February 1998 – Winter blues & the sailboat!

RSR Rendez-vous February 1998

Firstly, a brief note to thank all our Rennsport friends who helped cheer Louise and I up through what was a very tough month of December. She’s doing fine now after a couple of very close calls. Those cards, gifts and cheerful calls really helped. For those who don’t know, Louise had major surgery in early December. That went fine, the sticky part was the infection she got while in hospital. Let’s say it was a lousy way to end the year but a great way to start a new one. She’s mending fast and she’ll be behind the wheel at every track event this summer. Since that’s under control, I’m back at my regular Rendezvous post again. Sorry I missed last month …!

Here we are in the dark part of the year. Our beloved P-Cars in hibernation. I find that Club related activities are far from uppermost in my mind, because other than monthly meetings, most of what I enjoy about out Club is still four months off. In the “journalism business” this time of the year is called “the silly season”. That’s because absolutely nothing is going on and the press goes mad looking for things to write about. Even silly things. I’m not immune to this disease so here’s a collection of silly things for you.

What’s in a name?

Right now, I’m thinking more about skiing and a sailing holiday in the Virgin Islands than anything Porsche related. Speaking of which, we’re waiting for baby pictures of our latest sailboat which is being built in France as this is written. We’re anxious to see her arrival at the Port of Montreal sometime in March. We’re trying to arrange a charter on a sister ship in the Islands just to tune up for the big event. She’ll sit at Gagnon Marina in a big shed for a month or so, having electronics and other accessories installed prior to an April launch on Lake Champlain.

We’re still struggling to chose a name. A predecessor was called Elan. I liked it because it was bilingual, and had a good connotation in both languages. In English, “dash, verve, with flair, spirited”, in French, much the same but with an added nautical meaning, “momentum of a boat , weigh”. One other benefit was that it was short and the sign painter charges by the letter.

While Elan would still do, we’ve been thinking about other possibilities ranging from classy to humorous. For example:

Air-cooled – obvious and Porsche content.

Air -powered – also obvious.

Air-tool – Tim would approve.

Hennessey – classy and my favourite brand of cognac.

Arpege – my son made a limp wristed gesture, guess not.

Off Track – What we do on non DEW weekends.

Air Force – What the heck right?

Air force I – What the heck even moreso!

I like the last one, I bet those highway bridges open very smartly when the tender hears the words “this is the yacht Air force One” on the VHF radio! On the other hand it might get us into a whole lot of trouble. The more logical “Air-porsche-one” would probably get us in to trouble with PCNA but not before the same bridge tender reports me as sounding like I was tipsy. We welcome suggestions at my email address, ““.

Raw Material:

On other and more important fronts, I am pleased to announce that DDD Enterprises is getting ready for a wild expansion. On November 24th Louise and I looked out the window and saw thousands (like maybe 4 to 5,000) of ducks only a few feet from our sea wall. It was really weird, more ducks than I have ever seen in one place milling about on the water, not making a sound except for wings flapping and water rushing as parts of the flock either took flight or landed. Not a single “quack” was heard.

Darn good thing too, if they were so inclined, the noise would have driven us crazy! Imagine how much noise three to five thousand ducks fifty feet from your house could make! They stayed for three days. Then as suddenly as they came, they left. Flying south we assumed. On November 27th they came back. Stayed another 3 days and left again. I figured they were waiting for the Messiah duck to lead them to the promised land or something. We have this on video by the way. If they all come back in the spring, we’ll have lots of uhh, “raw material” for next summer’s supply of magic tire elixir.

Turbos – a natural evolution:

Earlier this week while reading an ad for an after-market turbo that would make my car faster than George’s, it struck me that turbos are merely a step on the way to total fulfilment. Look at it this way:

Start with a 911 engine.

Add a turbo for more power.

Make the turbo bigger – more power – more turbo lag.

Make the turbo even bigger – way more power, way more lag.

Make the turbo bigger than the engine – humongeous power – even more lag.

Eliminate valves and pistons, they keep blowing anyway.

Eliminate spark plugs, the gas is plenty hot enough due to the compression.

At some point (ignoring blown head-gaskets and such) you end up with a turbo which is so large that it dwarfs the original engine. The compression produced by the tubo impeller is so great that it ignites the air fuel mixture without benefit of valves and pistons. Besides, those pesky valves leaked and pistons kept blowing out the engine case anyway. So, who needs ’em. Remove the vales and pistons. Make the exhaust very large to handle the high flow rate and …. you’ll re-invent the jet engine! Lots of power, and you apply the throttle about 10 seconds before you need it. I guess turbos on reciprocating engines still have a place in life. All this to point out that the jet engine is a natural evolution of the piston powerplant and super or turbo charging.

Silly Track Rumour:

Credit goes to Chris Paine (our new President) for this one.

Intrawest, the noted real estate development company responsible for the spectacular growth of the Tremblant resort area announces that it has recently concluded the purchase of additional real-estate in the area. The land will be used to expand the ski resort, and two new trails are planned on the east and west slopes of the purchased property.

“We needed more vertical terrain for skiing and this seemed like the best bet” said an Intrawest spokesperson. He added “We love the fact that it gets taller every year. It will challenge the lift companies to come up with an expandable quad chair, but the benefits of getting more vertical drop every year far outweigh the problems”.

Circuit Mt-Tremblant spokesman “Vince” said – “by purchasing the bump at Seven, Intrawest gets two new ski runs and I get rid of a major headache. We’re gonna simply connect six to eight with about half a mile of new paving and everybody will be happy”.

New Cars:

While some of us go skiing others remain loyal to their Porsche passion even in the winter months. Like trolls, they lurk in their dark garages preparing new toys for the coming season. Wayne Martin has built a car for his charming wife Heidi. It’s a pretty close replica of the “Orange Beast” with a few exceptions. First of all it’s red. Second of all, it has a heater, an interior, turn signals and a lot of other stuff Wayne never thought useful. This one is street legal. I’ve seen pictures. “Heidi will be able to do the family shopping in this car” claims Wayne, although getting the food bags in around the roll cage may be difficult. “It’s only a little roll cage” – said Wayne in his defence. Powered by a race ready 3.8 engine making over 400 HP on the dyno, she’ll beat the crowds to Provigo with ease. The car is stunning and Louise has laid claim to being Heidi’s track instructor next season.

Paul Racine, voted enthusiast of the year as I recall, is building up an RSR based track car. The Ottawa contingent is getting very serious all of a sudden. Marc Belanger has a track- 911 under construction and I’ve been told that Rob and Barbara are selling the concours Targa and planning a track car of their own. Rowan is looking worried and making lots of call to Automotion and Autoauthority asking about Stage One turbo upgrades.

Fernand Leblanc (the only guy to build a car that ignores and I mean IGNORES) the bump at seven) has his 3.8 engine on the bench awaiting exotic parts from Mahle and Andial to breathe and extra 100 horses into it. He’s planning to participate in the Club Race at Sebring mid February. His GT-2 replica will be complete by then and he can’t wait until spring to try it out.

George Grivakis has a 996 on order, and may be the first Rennsport kid on the block to drive the latest and greatest from Porsche. I wonder if he’ll track it or stick to his 951?

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