EURO AUTO FESTIVAL
Submitted By: John Budinich Upstate Area Director Carolinas Region PCA
Porsche 356 Line Up, say 'ahhh'
Porsche 356 Line Up, say 'ahhh'
Chip Foose Prepared 300 SL
Chip Foose Prepared 300 SL
BASF Tupolev 007: Cosmonaut Recovery
BASF Tupolev 007: Cosmonaut Recovery
Dennis Gage Arrival
Dennis Gage Arrival
Dennis Gage
Dennis Gage
The 17th Annual EURO Auto Festival was held the weekend of October 19 - 20 in the Greenville area of South Carolina. The event covers the entire weekend with two rallies through the surrounding area early Friday afternoon, a series of workshops late Friday afternoon, a welcome dinner at the Embassy Suites hotel on Friday and the awards dinner on Saturday night. The main event of the weekend though was the car show held on Saturday, October 20th at the BMW Manufacturing Facility in Greer, South Carolina. The morning started off with a chill in the air but by late morning the temperatures were in the low 70s. By 10:30 in the morning there were 415 of Europe's finest, representing 30 marques in 54 classes spread out across the lawns surrounding the BMW Zentrum museum and the entrance to the BMW Manufacturing plant. The variety of vehicles present had something for everyone, from a 1914 Brass Era Rolls Royce up to many fine examples of 2012 machinery. One of the major sponsors, BASF, brought along display vehicles including a Chip Foose Design 1957 Mercedes 300 SL Gull Wing Coupe, resplendent in its two tone paint scheme and a Russian Tupolev 007 Cosmonaut Recovery Vehicle. The featured marque for the show was Mercedes Benz. There was also a "Best of the Best" class featuring 8 of the finest examples of previous, multiple time Crowd Pleaser winners from their respective classes. These vehicles were fanned out in their own place of honor beneath the flagpoles next to the Zentrum. The Porsche crowd was very well represented at the show. There were 51 Porsches entered for judging, ranging from early 356s to a new Panamera. The Porsche marque represented the second largest turnout of the entire show. The only marque to exceed Porsche was the featured Mercedes Benz, with 64 cars in attendance. While most of the Porsches entered were members of the Carolinas Region, there were also cars from Georgia, Virginia, Maryland and other areas of the South. All in all, the Porsche contingent was large enough to be divided into six classes for judging. Dennis Gage, noted automotive aficionado and host of Speed TV's "My Classic Car" was on hand for the event as guest judge and to film an episode of "My Classic Car" for airing in the near future. He was also the keynote speaker at the awards banquet held at the Embassy Suites Hotel later that evening. He gave those in attendance an overview of his background, how he got involved with cars in general and as host of the TV show. Dennis was very approachable and he commented on both the quality of the cars and the friendliness of the people in attendance. One of the show's sponsors, Hagerty Collector Car Insurance, conducted their "Operation Ignite! Youth Judging" program. This program gave 8 children, ranging in age from 6 to 16 the chance to get up close to collector automobiles. Led by an adult guide through the show, Youth Judges learned the basics of judging while taking a look at selected vehicles, interacting with owners and learning details, facts and the history of each vehicle. This is a great way to introduce the next generation to the car hobby and to ensure the hobby's long-term growth. The Youth Judges at this year's event presented their award to Ralph Gresens and his 2001 Lamborghini Diablo. By 2:30 Saturday afternoon, the votes had been counted and the winners were announced. The overall winner for Best of the Best and the Best Fit & Finish Corporate Award was a gorgeous white 1964 Aston Martin DB5 presented by Gary M. Arrowood. The car looked stunning as it drove past the podium to pick up its awards. James Bond would have been proud. We would like to recognize two Porsches that won Corporate Awards in addition to class awards. Best Old Timer Corporate Award and 3rd Place in POR 2 class was taken by Paul R Dengler and his all-original, 1988 Porsche 911 Turbo. The judges commented on how original the car was down to the tool kit, paperwork and window sticker. This was a fine example of an unmodified 911 Turbo. The Collectors' Choice Corporate Award and 2nd Place in POR 5 class was taken by Skipp Ranson and his ultra clean, black 1986 Porsche 928. The representative from BASF who presented the award commented how Skipp's car reminded him of the first 928 he saw when they first came out and how it easily pulled away from him and the Corvette he was in at the time. He said it was a lasting memory that came back to him when he saw Skipp's car on the show field. In addition to the Porsches on hand for judging, Jimmy Martin presented his 2007 Cayman S racecar for the Exhibit Class. The look and sound of his Cayman was a definite attention getter.

Porsche Cayman Exhibit
Porsches on Show Field
Porsches on Show Field
Porsche Carrera S
Porsche Carrera S
1914 Rolls
1914 Rolls
Youth Judge AMG
Youth Judge AMG
Chip Foose 300 SL
Chip Foose 300 SL
The classes and their respective winners in the Porsche category are listed below.

Crowd Pleaser:
1958 Porsche 356 Speedster, Jim Phillips

Best Old Timer Corporate Award:
1988 Porsche 911 Turbo, Paul R. Dengler

Collectors' Choice Corporate Award:
1986 Porsche 928, Skipp Ranson

POR 1:
1st Place: 1955 Porsche 356 Speedster, George and Susan Kehler 2nd Place: 1958 Porsche 356 Speedster, Jim Phillips

POR 2:
1st Place: 1972 Porsche 911 E, Joseph Esposito 2nd Place: 1973 Porsche 911 Targa, Terry Keisler 3rd Place: 1988 Porsche 911 Turbo, Paul R. Dengler

POR 3:
1st Place: 1970 Porsche 914-6, Frank Gregg 2nd Place: 1974 Porsche 914 LE, Jim and Mella Flanagan

POR 4:
1st Place: 1994 Porsche RS America, Bill Funderud 2nd Place: 2008 Porsche 911 C4S, Mike Jones 3rd Place: 1998 Porsche 911 Carrera S, Thomas and Catherine Limpo

POR 5:
1st Place: 1992 Porsche 968 S, John Brindle 2nd Place: 1986 Porsche 928, Skipp Ranson 3rd Place: 1985 Porsche 944, Tim Ziegenfus

POR 6:
1st Place: 2008 Porsche Cayman S, Edward Coon 2nd Place: 2006 Porsche Boxster S, Mike Rich

The EURO Auto Festival is a great event to end the summer show season and welcome in fall. BMW Manufacturing was again a gracious host. The facilities are a beautiful backdrop for all of the vehicles on display and their support in putting on this show is invaluable. Barry Harms, event chairman, his staff and all the volunteers put on a great show and everything went off without a hitch. In addition to the car show, they put on plant tours, a reception, the awards banquet and various tech sessions. I want to thank Wayne Shelnut and Shawn Scott and his team for the photos from the event. Additional photos from the event can be found at http://www.euroautofestival.com/ and http://shawnscottdesign.com/euro-fest-2012/.

We are all looking forward to the 2013 event. The featured marque for 2013 will be Ferrari. As always, we are expecting the Porsche marque to be out in force. If you happen to be in the Upstate area of South Carolina the second week of October or need an excuse to plan a car related vacation, the EURO Auto Festival is a great way to spend the day or the entire weekend. Until next year...

Porsche Collectors Choice Award

Porsche Old Timer Award
EURO AUTO

Porsche Cab

Porsche Peoples Choice