How to join a Porsche Club
The story of 70 years of building a community that Porsche owners are very proud of
Many Porsche Club Mexico members and their cars waving
When you own a Porsche, a bond is formed. But, as any member will tell you, there’s nothing quite like the relationships you form and experiences you encounter when you join a Porsche Club. As they celebrate 70 years serving the Porsche community, we find out why
We’re all part of one community or another. It might be a family, a neighbourhood, a soccer team or an online community. The strongest ones are those where you have an emotional, physical attachment – like with your car, for example. Perhaps like no other automotive brand, Porsche engenders true passion, from owners and fans alike. Which is why Porsche Clubs – the home to dedicated enthusiasts of the Porsche brand – has grown into a huge global community. And one that in 2022 celebrates its 70th birthday. There’s no one better to talk to about Porsche Clubs than Paul Gregor, Project Manager for Global Community Management at Porsche. He helps us delve into the history of the clubs, how you can join one… and why you should.Porsche Clubs: how it all beganIt was less than four years after the first ever Porsche – the Porsche 356 No. 1 Roadster – was road-certified in June 1948 in its then hometown of Gmünd, Austria, that the inaugural Porsche Club was formed. At the time Porsche was still in its infancy, and not the global brand it is today. But seven men in a small town near Dortmund, in Germany’s Westphalia region, felt enthused enough by their love of the 356 to form the Westfälischer Porsche Club Hohensyburg – later to become the Porsche Club Westfalen e.V – on 26 May 1952. It was the first ever Porsche Club. There’s a line in the Club’s founding articles which, even today, seems to neatly summarise one of the primary purposes of all Porsche Clubs. It’s aim, it said, was to “…bring together all Porsche drivers in a spirit of friendship and camaraderie”.
Collection of Porsche 356 cars at Solitude castle, Germany, 1960
Porsche Club of America members at Schloss Solitude near Stuttgart while on a German tour in 1960
Today, 70 years on, there are now more than 700 Porsche Clubs worldwide with around 240,000 members in 86 countries. They are all independently run, although with significant support and cooperation from Porsche – and the Porsche family itself has played a big role from the outset. “There are other sportscar brands and luxury brands out there with big followings, but no other has the family involved quite like Porsche does,” says Paul Gregor. “The family always been a part of it, whether it was Professor Ferdinand Porsche, [his son] Ferry, and now the children. They have an incredibly close link to the clubs. To them, club members are Porsche brand ambassadors.”How to join a Porsche ClubFirstly, there is one important stipulation for anyone wishing to be a member of the Porsche Club – something that sets it apart from many other brands’ car clubs. You have to be a Porsche owner to join. In fact, says Paul, it’s the largest automotive community in the world where you have to be an owner. After that, it’s very simple. Find the Porsche Club nearest to you and make contact. And, with over 700 to choose from, there will be one for you.
Porsche 911 Turbo cars at Deutschland Club meeting in 1980
Having a whaletail of a time: a gathering of 911 Turbo cars at a Porsche club meeting in Kirchen-Hausen, Germany, in 1980
The clubs themselves are non-profit, independent organisations and all require a set of statutes to be adhered to. Minimum membership numbers are 30 (these are usually the newer clubs, like the Porsche Club of North Macedonia, which was only formed this year) but go all the way up to 150,000 members in the case of the Porsche Club of North America (PCA). Membership fees and subscriptions vary from territory to territory.Why should you join a Porsche Club?There are many reasons, both practical and emotional, why Porsche Clubs are great to join, says Paul. “Porsche Clubs can massively enhance your ownership experience. People have a lot of fun together. Members want to know what you have been up to with your Porsche, where you have taken it for a drive,” he explains. And the bedrock of Porsche Clubs is the events they arrange. You get unique access to special trackdays that are difficult for individuals to otherwise arrange, as well as their famous parades and tours that have been a feature of the organisation from the very start.
Porsche Club members gathered outside the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart
Porsche Club members from all over the world make the pilgrimage to the home of Porsche in Stuttgart every year
Through club websites, print magazines, YouTube channels and even podcasts, members are provided with bespoke content and, says Paul, members are welcome to come along for factory tours of the plants in Germany. Many Clubs around the world also have special offerings such as technical information and insurance packages.
You create this network of friends, do all these things together, whether it’s driving, touring, racing or just the fellowship you have with other members
Paul Gregor | Project Manager, Global Community Management at Porsche, on Porsche Clubs
And Porsche Clubs are family clubs in more ways than one, adds Paul. He has just come back from one of the world’s largest Porsche Club parades – Porsche Parade USA in the Poconos Mountains of Pennsylvania – where three or even four generations of Porsche-owning families were part of the 3,000 attendees and 1,000 Porsche cars were present.“You create this network of friends, do all these things together, whether it’s driving, touring, racing or just the fellowship you have with other members,” says Paul. “If, after eight or nine years of ownership it’s time for a new car, then you will really have to think about changing brands.”
People from Porsche Club Guatemala and Porsche 550 Spyder Coupe
You’ll find Porsche Clubs all over the world. Porsche Club Guatemala is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2022
And this year, of course, PCA were the people with the vision to create the one-off Porsche 911 Classic Club Coupe, based on the 996, and inspired by some of the Porsche greats of the past. It’s an example of the enthusiasm and dedication that Porsche Clubs have for their cars and the company who makes them.Porsche Club 70th Anniversary celebrations2022 is a big year for Porsche Clubs all over the world as the organisation celebrates its 70th. A good time, says Paul, to reflect on its achievements and look forward. Its campaign for the year – called Enduring Passion – is all about generating stories from the members. “Everybody has a story about a Porsche,” he says. “Where they saw their first car or the first time that they drove one.” It’s all housed in a new portal packed with information, history and stories where you can hear the tales of Porsche owners like the Guzman brothers. Francisco ‘Pancho’ Guzman founded Porsche Club Mexico in 1987, and Juan-Pablo Guzman is president of the club today. Francisco tells of his experiences in the notorious Carrera Panamericana through Mexico, for example.
Red Porsche 356 Speedster in Boise, Capitol Building in background
The Porsche Clubs’ annual parades are one of the highlights of the year – this is the PCA Annual Parade in Boise, Idaho in 2002
“It’s about encouraging members to tell us why the club is important to them,” says Paul. “For all the stories Porsche can tell, it’s even more authentic if the owners do it!”Meanwhile, the future of Porsche Clubs looks more promising than ever – younger people are joining, and they are more diverse than ever before, says Paul. As you will experience when you join one, there really is no other car community quite like Porsche Clubs.
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