The year is 2015, the Porsche Club of Victoria is now in its 40th year with some 1500+ members.
At the recent 40th Anniversary run to Rochford Winery, Will Darvall gave an overview of the history of the Club, having been managing editor of the 40th Anniversary History publication. The speech was pertinent humorous and well regarded. At the request of a number of members Will agreed to publishing the text. It is here.
In 2011 Kerry Reynolds, member of the original steering committee, later a committee man of several years and himself a keen competitor, prepared this article for an issue of Porsche Parade, it is proudly reprinted:-
Up until the early seventies it was possible for performance minded motorists to indulge their sporting inclinations on public roads, with little risk of coming to harm and only a remote chance of being caught. However, by 1975 the law had come to regard all speedsters as criminals and though being one of the last to succumb, it was obvious that unless I wanted to become a pedestrian, my sporting achievements would have to be recognised on the track rather than the road. A friend and fellow Porsche owner Vin Jacono, agreed that I was at last showing some rare signs of good sense and that perhaps the answer to my frustration could be a Porsche club.
Having been involved with Vin some time earlier in the Triumph Sports Owners' Association, I knew of the enjoyment to be derived from club motor sport. I took the idea to Tony Jones, who was at the time Sales Manager of Hamilton's. Tony told me that another Porsche enthusiast Mike Stillwell had also expressed similar thoughts about forming a club. Tony was keen about the proposition and though not wanting Hamilton's to be involved offered his support. Mike and I got together and with encouragement from Norman and Alan Hamilton, commenced a series of preliminary discussions, culminating in the meeting of a Steering Committee, held at my home on July 5th, 1975. Of the nine people present at that meeting four are still active members of the club, viz. Mike Stillwell, Vin Jacono, Garnet Luckins and myself.
At this meeting it was agreed that a club should be formed, with its main objective being: The promotion of friendship among Porsche owners through organised motor sport and social activities. It was decided also that through every means at our disposal, we should locate if possible all owners of Porsche cars in Victoria and advise them of our intentions and at the same time issue an invitation to attend out inaugural general meeting, to be held at the Light Car Club on August 26th, 1975. This meeting was well attended with approximately sixty people present. Elections were held and the first committee comprised: Mike Stillwell - president; Kerry Reynolds - vice-president; Garnet Luckins - secretary; Vin Jacono - treasurer; Roger James and Jill Stillwell - general committee. One of the difficulties for this committee was to try to determine just what prospective members would be seeking from the new club. We were acutely aware of the failure of the previous Porsche Club and also conscious of the fact that as far as we could determine, there were no other strong Porsche Club in any other state - though this is no longer the case.
As part of our market research and in an effort to get to know potential members, we invited all known owners to a champagne lunch at Lilydale. This was a great success in spite of bad weather. Forty-seven Porsches including many 356 models turned up. Present members who were winners of prizes on the day included Max Errington for the smartest car, John Edwards for the most courageous driver - for braving the elements in his cloth speedster, Ian Robinson as the owner of the most used 911 and Greg O'Keefe for the oldest Porsche. We even awarded a prize to an owner who risked arrest to be there - he was driving an unregistered 911, having just picked it up from the docks a couple of days earlier. The committee was in agreement after listening to the many opinions expressed on this day, that the main interest was in the competition area. As a result we solicited invitations from the Light Car Club and the Triumph Sports Owners' Association to attend events at these venues we had outright wins, but more importantly, a lot of fun.
It was obvious, even at this early stage that we had some very competent drivers in good cars and with the number of members competing, it was decided that we should run our own competitions, with the first event being a Sprint Meeting at Winton on August 1st, 1976. This was another great day. There were forty-one Porsches entered including ten 356 models. At that time we had 107 Porsches in the club comprising 40 four cylinder cars and 67 six cylinder cars. The classing system then was simple - it depended on the model's number of cylinders; consequently we had two classes. This meant just a few trophies and also that anyone with the ability to count up to six knew as much about club classes as anyone else. (It's different now!) This system served the club well until 1981 - since then there have been three changes. Looking back over the last eight years one sees many differences in the nature and structure of the club.
We now have an incorporated body with a large membership, conducting many sporting and social events. We have strong interstate connections with other Porsche clubs. One of the most satisfying features in reflecting on the development of the Porsche Club of Victoria, is the improvement of the skills displayed by our drivers. I cannot think of any member, who having competed in club events has not improved their driving considerably. Many of our members have started out as very rough performers indeed, but after a few events the vast majority are competent and smooth drivers.
Many friendships have also resulted through the ability of Porsche owners being able to get together on a common ground. Even at competition events, far more time is spent socialising and swapping stories and information than behind the wheel and for most owners this is what makes membership of the Porsche Club of Victoria so worthwhile.