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Enough’s Enough Already

Enough’s Enough Already
By Tony Mazzagatti

When is obsession just the starting point? When are mere fanatics eliminated in the first round? When are grown up adults reduced to animals foaming at the mouth with anger or into limp piles of dejection? Where else but at a Concours at the National level. Sure, you laugh but if you’ve ever been there, done that you don’t understand. Picture it this way. You’ve raised your child to be a perfect reflection of your perfect self. Perfect in every way. Incredibly clean, well educated, mannered to within an inch of Emily Post, a prodigy in the classroom and on the fields of athletics, impeccably dressed, with straight teeth and perfect diction. Then some “Kid Judge” comes up, sticks his little finger deep into your child’s ear finds the smallest piece of wax and takes points off of your perfect score. Got it.
Diana and I use to do a lot of Concours back East but we couldn’t keep up with the cost of the therapy sessions. That was followed by years of normalcy or what passes for normalcy in the Porsche world. Then it happened. We were living in Reno and I saw an ad for a ’55 Speedster in Oakland, CA. Off we were in the middle of winter through Donner Pass to check it out. Long story short I flew back a couple of days later with my forty pound bag of emergency tools and drove the car back to Reno…in the winter…during a blinding blizzard…over Donner Pass…with forty year old 6 volt windshield wipers…and the legendary 356 pre-A heater. Visibility was so bad I couldn’t find Nevada let alone Reno. I’m glad the 18-wheeler I was drafting for protection and direction was going my way.
After a year or so I had totally restored the car from a never ever rusted CA car to a black beauty that was incredibly clean, impeccably dressed, straight sided with perfect diction coming out of its muffler. Took a first-in-class at one of the first Hot August Night Concours held in Reno. After moving to the Bay Area and seeking stiffer competition the National Porsche Parade was coming up in Monterey, Ca. Granted this was a really clean fully restored car but it was still a driver that we used almost daily. Remember I don’t like hanger queens. If we were lucky we thought we’d do reasonably well in the Street Concours Class at Parade. Off we went driving the car down the coast through a rain storm. While prepping the car in the parking lot we were watching the other Street Class competition cars show up…in their trailers…in their hermetically sealed plastic bags…with their tires completely wrapped in saran wrap…with their crews waving feathered fans above them to keep the dust and insects away like Egyptian slaves hovering over Cleopatra. Well it didn’t take long to figure out where we were going to place in this pecking order. Now I like to win but if I’m going to lose I’d rather lose big so we jumped up to the Full Concours Class to ensure our loss in a more prestigious class. For the next two days and nights Diana and I cleaned parts of this car that most Porsche owners don’t know exist. Not the visible parts that everyone sees. Every car is clean in the obvious places. We knew that we had to get into the diabolical minds of the judges and anticipate the truly obscure places that they would check to separate the obsessive compulsives from the mere fanatics. Somehow we managed a second place in class far exceeding our expectations. Maybe some of the creative diversions that we set up when the judges approached a sensitive area helped…fainting women, small explosions, F-16 flyovers. Hey, this is serious Concours. You should have seen the competition.

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