28 May California Clubbing with the R Gruppe
California Clubbing with the R Gruppe
Are you into techno? You know, ze Berlin music kind with 140 BPM served up in 4/4 beats by some dude in a t-shirt and a cap. Well, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a night club which caters to your taste. Unless you happen to live in Deliverance country of course. But in that case you probably wouldn’t be able to read this anyway.
Or let’s say you’re into schmoozy jazz where you nod slowly as the saxophone starts to wail its solo. Well, in every city worth its name there’s a club for that particular taste as well.
In fact, even if you’re into Azerbajanian folk music mashed up with Dutch Hardtrance and performed live by a goat on ecstasy on a burning stage, there’s probably a club for that as well somewhere.
It’s the same with Porsche clubs. There’s something for everyone. Some are for the aficionados who believe in keeping everything real and original. Others are for the race heads that just care about speed. And then there’s the human kind of club. A club for those, who think that Porsches should be about fun.
California based R Gruppe is such a club. It was formed back in 1999 by a couple of hard core Porsche 911 gearheads, Cris Huergas and Freeman Thomas. (Yes, the Freeman Thomas who designed the Audi TT, though we probably shouldn’t hold that against him.)
The name “R Gruppe” is a reference to the ’67 911R – a super rare lightweight (810 kg!) race version of the then recently launched Porsche 911.
The club quickly became a focal point for the thriving Californian 911 hot rod scene. Today it celebrates a wide spectrum of early 911s, from almost original cars to the highly modified large displacement early cars to 1973 Carrera RSs. There are now more than 300 R Gruppe members located throughout the US and around the world.
The club is dedicated to pre-1974 911s; the cars before the enforced impact bumper played havoc with the clean design. About the only rule that seems to apply to these motorheads is drive the cars like the factory intended for them to be driven. Modifications are encouraged, especially if they are in the spirit of what the Porsche factory was doing 30 years ago with its 911 racing versions. But the overall keyword here seems to be fun.
What it all boils down to seems to be quite simple: Build a car which will put a smile on your face every day. On the school run. And on the track.
Not too bad a club, eh?