History of Porsche Club GB (2000 to the present)
A new millennium
And so the Club moved not only into a new decade but a new millennium. Again there would be ups and downs but, as always with the Club, it continued to move forward and grow. The first major change was that a decision was taken to make the Club's magazine, Porsche Post, a monthly publication, starting with January 2000. It conitues to be published monthly to this day.
Moving forward was firmly on the Club's agenda and it celebrated its fortieth anniversary by completing the fitting out of Cornbury House.
Fitting out the HQ
For their part Porsche AG, represented at the event on Saturday 27th October by a number a factory dignitaries, including Hans Peter Porsche. At the unveiling of Phase II, Porsche very kindly presented the Club with some fabulous items for the Clubhouse. These included: a Boxster engine which had been prepared for display with ‘cut out detail’ by Porsche apprentices; the Motor Show cut out 996 showing just what goes on under the skin; a skeletal Boxster (986) showing all the running gear that cannot usually be seen (this alone is worth a visit by Boxster owners who have never managed locate their engine!) and lastly, the rear end of a 993 showing what was the revolutionary muilt-link rear suspension and the engine in open display.
All of these items form the core Club display on the ground floor at the Cornbury House Club headquarters.
In 2002, the Porsche Parade returned to the UK, based at the Celtic Manor Hotel, Cardiff. Participants travelled from Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, USA, Italy, Denmark, Channel Islands, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands and Sweden as well as from many different parts of Great Britain to enjoy a few days together in the company of fellow Porsche enthusiasts.
Altogether, 160 cars and 300 people took part, bringing a varied assortment of cars in all models and colours ranging from several 356s, through the entire model range up to the latest 996 Carrera 4S and a GT3R track day car.
Guardian of historic information
Since its foundation, the Club has acquired a very large collection of books and archive material which is held within its Archive at Cornbury House. This is widely-recognised as an important resource for Porsche-related historic documentation and heritage material. At the Club AGM in 2003 a Special Resolution regarding Director’s Powers was introduced to protect both Cornbury House and items listed in the library and archive from disposal without recourse to an AGM or EGM.
Recognising the value of making this resource available to a wider audience, the Club has recently embarked on an ambitious plan to digitise the extensive collection of images, documents and motion pictures that constiute the Archive. Progesssively, this material will be made available online to Club members, researchers, journalists and others with an interest in Porsches and the Porsche marque.
The big launches
Over a two week period in September 2004 Porsche Cars GB planned to launch the latest 911 variant, the 997, through a series of ‘invitation only’ parties at each Porsche Centre. Porsche Club GB was asked by Porsche Cars to help by providing a display of 911s ranging from the first model in 1965 to the latest 996 model at each Porsche Centre throughout the UK.
This process was repeated in 2005 for the launch of the face-lift Boxster with 356, 914 and first generation Boxsters being provided by members.
The relationship with Porsche AG has always been important to the Club and after many months of negotiation in 2005 a new relationship emerged through the signing of a binding agreement between the two parties known as the Contract of Cooperation. This firmly put in place Porsche Club Great Britain as the only factory recognised and supported Porsche owners' club in the UK. This valuable partnership provides Club members with advantageous access to all kinds of support, resources and events not available to non-members.
Still going strong at 50
Over the years many major and minor events have been organised either centrally or by local Regional Organisers, certainly many more than it is possible to list here. However, it should not be forgotten that over the Club’s first 50 years, during which time it has grown to over 13,000 members who can access 31 Regions and 31 Registers, that more than 150 members have either been National Committee members or Directors, in excess of 140 members who have become Regional Organisers or assistants and more than 90 members who have undertaken the role of Register Secretaries. Without exception, these roles are undertaken on a voluntary basis.
In spite of the inevitable ups and downs during the first 50 years, Porsche Club Great Britain continues to thrive and proudly celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2011. To mark the occasion, a packed 3-day event was held featuring a track day at Castle Combe; a day of driving tests at the Porsche Cars Great Britain Driving Experience Centre at Silverstone the next day; followed by a traditional National Event day at the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester on the Sunday.
Under its present stewardship, the Club is financially secure, vibrant and growing, mirroring the success of the Porsche brand which continues to expand its range of vehicles and its operation into new markets. Although its members' cars may change, the Cub's focus remains the same; everything it does is for the benefit of Club members.