Gleaming in the summer sun, over 350 Porsches drew a small crowd at the Spokane Interstate Fairgrounds Saturday afternoon, as the cars prepped to embark on a 13-mile parade through Spokane.
The cars, plus a few hundred more that didn’t participate in Saturday’s event, have been in town for the past week participating in the annual Parade of Porsches event hosted by the Porsche Club of America. The club boasts 120,000 members, said Executive Director Vu Nguyen.
“The Porsche parade is our crown jewel event,” he said.
This year’s gathering drew 2,500 people from all over the country. The last week has included driving competitions, daily tours to local landmarks and attractions, as well as social events. The parade planned for Saturday afternoon was the final large event of the week.
A check of license plates in the parking lot Saturday showed that Washington, Idaho, Oregon, California and British Columbia were well represented. But there were also cars from Indiana, Wisconsin, Florida, Alaska, Nevada and many more states.
Nguyen said one man drove in from Newfoundland and several club members from Hawaii had their cars shipped in for the event.
People think of Porsches as fancy cars, but their owners aren’t afraid to drive them, Nguyen said.
“We enjoy them,” he said. “We drive our cars.”
Carey Spreen drove his 2008 Cayenne, a Porsche SUV, from Dallas, Texas. “I’ve owned Porsches since 1977,” he said. “This is not my first one.”
Driving an SUV combines Porsche quality with the ability to haul things and carry five passengers, he said. “How they handle is the main thing,” he said. “They’re very responsive.”
Spreen said he likes traveling to the Porsche parade every year to meet like-minded people who love their cars. “That’s a big part of being in the club,” he said.
There was a wide variety of Porsches on display Saturday as car owners wandered around taking pictures of other cars. There were plenty of sports cars, of course, but there were also sedans and several SUVs. All looked like they had just rolled off the showroom floor, even those that haven’t seen the inside of a showroom in 30 years.
Ann Archibald of San Diego said she brought her brand-spanking-new 2011 Carrera 4S convertible as a pre-retirement gift for herself.
“I love it. Well worth the money,” she said. “The speed, the quality of construction, the handling, the look. There’s nothing quite like it.”
She bought the car so she could travel and also because she wanted to have a little fun and see if she could drive fast. “I’ve been up to 135 (mph) in states I won’t name,” she said.