Longhorn Region PCA History
By RJ Wilmoth & Joe Tegtmeyer
With research assistance from;
Ron & Phyllis McAtee
Bob & Joyce Towsley
The origin of what would become the Longhorn Region of PCA is a short letter dated June 13, 1962. W.R. Allen writes to PCA National offices in Virginia wanting information on how to start a PCA Region in San Antonio. A number of letters go back and forth for the next five months culminating in a PCA Charter being granted on November 10th 1962 to PCA Longhorn Region. Letters dated prior to the end of October all referred to”PCA- San Antonio Region”. After the first letter by W.R. Allen, all others were written by R.H. Mottweiler. W.R. Allen’s name is not seen after the first letter, and he is not on the list of charter members in November.
The founding officers were W.H. Turner, Jr. (President), Dr. Herbert K. Eastwood (Vice President) and R. H. Mottweiler (Secretary-Treasurer). Including the three officers there were thirteen charter members. The boundaries of the new Longhorn Region in 1962 were Bexar, Kendall, Wilson, Atascosa, Guadalupe, Blanco, Comal, Frio, Medina and Bandera Counties. For the next 16 years we would be a charter region of the Porsche Club of America before we would finally become incorporated.
By the end of 1964 most active members and officers were in the Austin area even though Travis County was not part of Longhorn Region. In February 1965 Travis and Hays Counties were added to Longhorn Region’s boundaries and the Region’s address was changed to Austin.
There is little recorded history of club activity until a newsletter was started in 1966. This first version was a single piece of paper. Later that year it became known as the "Porsche Bull". Hill climbs, Rallies, Gymkhana's and pleas for articles were all themes this year. Not surprisingly, most of the events and meetings took place in Austin rather than San Antonio.
1967 saw our membership grow to 26 members, Rallies, Picnics, Gymkhanas at the Austin Raceway and car shows were the activities for the year.
All seemed to be going well for the club in 1968 with a host of new members joining in, including one Mr. Bill Jones. SCCA races at the Austin raceway were popular events, as was a Wurstfest in New Braunfels. Discussions over raising membership fees and changing Regional boundaries were hot topics this year.
1969, membership was now at 38 and No less than 18 races (SCCA Races, TSSCC Gymkhana's, Pro-formula races in Austin and Aqua Festival races) were the events to see and be seen in this year. The fourth annual Wurstfest was a big success and was held in the (then) faraway city of New Braunfels. General membership meetings were held at Lenzo's Italian Kitchen near intersection of HWY 35 and 290E in Austin.
March 1970 was an exciting time for the club as they participated in the Porsche distributor's official roll out of the 6-cylinder 914. This tour was organized by John Young, the club president at the time. The club helped New Braunfels celebrate their 125th anniversary with tours to old homes, and of course, an auto show. A favorite event this year was the "Spaghetti Rally" south and west of Austin. Other events included the "Fix and Fiddle Day, more SCCA Racing, dinners, Gymkhana's and more Rallies. In a signs of things to come, much discussion seemed to center on the Austin group unable to fill positions of leadership and a note that twice as many members (15 vice 7) lived in San Antonio.
1971 saw Bill Jones as our president, and he wrote some lively and very interesting stories about Concours Prep and going to Parade with his Speedster. The name “Porsche Bull” for the club newsletter was changed to simply “The Newsletter from Longhorn Region” The newly created club logo appeared for the first time on the June 71 issue of The Newsletter. The first professional Longhorn Region Logo was created by Austin area artist, and Longhorn member, Gene Mobley. 40 metal car badges were made, few survive today. Of interest was a Road and Track article and full spread of a four-door 911 S created for San Antonio native, Mr. Bill Dick. There is nothing in the archives for 1972.
In 1973 our newsletter became a monthly publication in March and was now called the Longhorn Flyer. A familiar theme asking for help on activities was in the news, as were picnics, rallies, autocrosses and a border rally. Our tradition of an autocross the first Sunday of the month was born this year.
In 1974, the club's attention was placed squarely on the gasoline shortage and things such as a 55 MPH speed limit, rationing of gas to 10-15 gallons per week, and increasing tolls and parking fees. Not exactly the best news for an automobile club. Club interest in car restoration seemed to be growing with handy tips of where to get parts/service plus helpful hints at increasing gas mileage were at frequent subject in the Flyer. Women seemed to be taking the forefront in autocrosses as Betty Jeffrey and Jan Molberg dominated in their classes. Hints of the impending split between the Austin and San Antonio members was mentioned in the March issue of The Flyer. One central problem was meeting locations and times for the large geographical area the club represented. Despite this, numerous events went forward, including autocrosses, picnics, rallies and tech sessions.
1975 started out with a newsletter editor and format change plus a new set of leaders for our region. Calls to lobby your Congressman and Senators concerning new Federal Mandates on gasoline conservation. Autocrosses, Rallies, our "Spring Thing", Defensive Driving courses and Tech Sessions seemed to dominate activities with concerted efforts to get events in and around Austin as membership in that area continued to grow and the Austin group began having separate meetings. For the first time in Longhorn Region history, the March issue of The Flyer had photos of our members in action during a Tech Session showing how to tune up your 911, 914 and 356.
April 1977 heralded a major turning point in our Region's history with the split off of the Austin Group to form the new Hill Country Region. Despite the split by the Austin Group, huge 15th Anniversary Celebrations included numerous Concours (including one in Mexico), Autocrosses, Rallies, Parties, Tech Sessions and much more were held. Our newsletter changed formats again, now a 12 page monthly with photos, features and a slick new cover.
1978 saw Trips to Monterrey Mexcio, Tech Sessions, Rallies and Autocrosses. 1978 is also the year our region was Incorporated by the state of Texas. The region grew by 30 people this year.
1979 saw another trip to Monterrey, Bunny Hop Rallies, Hill Country Autocrosses and trips to the War Bonnet Region for some really great Tech Sessions.
An icon of the San Antonio Porsche circles, and major supported of the Region, Jones Autowerks was born this year.
1980. Tech Sessions at Carrera Automotive were a common occurrence, we also had Wine and Cheese Parties, Wildflower Tours, Sports Car night at the drag strip, Hill Country and Pan American Autocrosses, and we established our Goodie Store.
The War Bonnet Tech of 1981 was a big event this year, as was a trip to the Kerrville Car Museum, Longhorn Region autocrosses, the National PCA Board meeting held in San Antonio (the first time ever), and a weekend event in Nuevo Laredo Mexico.
1982. The first year for the multi event Fiesta Challenge, more Rallies, and Event Seminars in the Lone Star Region. The Fiesta Challenge event was a rainy one, yet everyone had a good time. An interesting addition to the Longhorn Flyer was monthly Tech Quizzes and from the looks at the questions, they were pretty challenging.
1983 heralded in big changes for the club as the newsletter became the Roundup. Autocrosses, Fiesta Challenge, Rallies, Tech Sessions, events with the Lone Star Region and Concours dominated the year.
1984, The Porsche Market Letter, better known as PML was a big hit with the club, as were a slew of technical and fixer-upper hints in the Roundup. Dallas had a F1 Grand Prix that many members attended. The War Bonnet Region Tech events were still big attraction for our members as were winery tours and autocrosses.
1986, SASCA autocrosses, TWS High Speed DE's, War Bonnet Region Tech Sessions, Tours in the Hill Country and Autofest Charity events were part of the lineup of events. There was even a Corvette Challenge Autocross (Porsches held sway this day!), stints at the Alamo Dragway and of course, our Fiesta Challenge, this was the 5th year for this event. People were gearing up for the upcoming Zone 5 hosted PCA Parade to be held in Dallas.
1987, In July our members to the south in Corpus Christi split from Longhorn to from the Coastal Bend Region. Spurs Games, Tech Sessions, Fiesta Challenge, Autocrosses and the 1987 Zone 5 PCA Parade in Dallas dominated the events this year.
1988, You could buy a Longhorn Region watch this year as well as partake in Pot Luck Dinners, Autocrosses, War Bonnet Tech Sessions and the Fiesta Challenge. People were talking about the 25th anniversary of the 911, and the Spring Wildflower Tour.
1989, Dinners, Tours, Autocrosses and Fiesta Challenge made up the bulk of events, with the Grand Prix of San Antonio (IMSA) a major bonus to the club.
With four major military bases located in San Antonio, the region always had a large turnover of active members. The active group through most of the 90’s was interested in the driving events, Auto Cross and DE (Drivers Education). The club was fortunate to have the old runways at Brooks Air Force available for many years. PCA DE’s were held at both Texas World Speedway and by Coastal Bend Region at the Navy’s Cabiness Field in Corpus Christi. There were even regular trips to Alamo Dragway.
There were still plenty to do for the rest of the folks. There was an all Porsche Car show inside Windsor Park Mall (now Rack Space), a Vanishing Texas River Cruise, Tech sessions, a Rallye school, and the Corpus Christi Weekend events. The club participated in the Natalia Blue Bonnet Festival Parade as well as the Classic Cars Cruise Down the Corridor. And of course there was the annual Fiesta Challenge in the spring. In February 1990 the PCA National Board meetings were held in San Antonio.
1994 saw the first charity event, a car show benefiting the Children’s Habilitation Center.
The August 1995 Roundup announced “WE GOT IT !, now what are we going to do with it?” in reference to the 1997 Porsche Parade. The event was to be co-hosted by Longhorn and Costal bend Regions. Laura Olsen from Costal Bend, a past Zone 5 Representative, was the event chairperson along with 25 committee chairs from both regions. There was also lots of help from a number of Maverick Regions members who drove numerous 500 mile round trips from the Dallas area over the next two years for the planning sessions.
The 1997 Porsche Parade was held from June 15th thru the 21st with the newly opened Hyatt Hill Country Resort acting as Parade headquarters. And yes, it rained on our parade, but only a few times during the week.
The rest of the nineties continued with Fiesta Challenge, Auto crosses, Hill Country drives, and monthly dinner meetings.
A number of DE/Autocross events were held in 2000, including one DE for Ladies only. The first Longhorn Web Site was launched.
In 2001 we had joint events with both Maverick and Hill Country Regions. A Zone 5 three day event was held in Houston. 300 people attended, including many from Longhorn.
2002 brought a new club logo. Porsche began cracking down on their trademarks and since our original logo included a stylized Porsche crest it was decided to create a new one. Longhorn member Troy Demel did the design. The Bandera Runs, a more “spirited drive” than our usual tours began in 2002 and continued for a number of years.
2002 was the clubs 40th anniversary. The annual Christmas party also served as the anniversary event. Guests included the Zone five representative, Jan Mayo as well as the PCA National President Bob Miller.
2003 saw an overnight trip to Big Bend, and the constant search for a local site for autocrosses. Parking lots are getting harder to find, and expensive to rent. The clubs main events were now tours and social. Of course we still had Fiesta Challenge, but without the autocross.
In 2004 an unofficial event was started, a weekly Wednesday lunch. This was started by a group of Vintage Racers (not all PCA) and soon became known as the “Lies-n-Fries”. This is still ongoing in 2012.
2004 also saw the Porsche Parade close by in Fort Worth. Many Longhorn members were present. We had a well attended Region party in a suite at the hotel. Bill Jones 356 Carrera won the People’s Choice and Judges Choice awards.
The year ended with a very cold night drive to Marble Falls and Johnson City for their annual Christmas lights displays.
In 2005 the monthly “Meet & Eat” series of drives to restaurants was started. These were anywhere from the Gulf Coast to the Hill Country.
We finally had an Autocross site, Verizon Amphitheater, for this year’s Fiesta Challenge.
Another cold ending to the year when the club participated in a lighted night parade in Boerne Texas. Yes the cars were fully decorated with lights.
2006 saw tours to the Gulf Coast and Hill Country, a Tech Session at Jones’s Autowerks, more Meet & Eat drives, but still no affordable Autocross site. Members were driving to other Regions for DE’s.
2007 was a busy year with a February Meet-n-Eat, March Bandera Run and a Tech Session covering Concours Prep at Autowerks. Fiesta Challenge in April followed by a Hill Country tour in August, Boxstoberfest, and rounding out the year with the annual Christmas Party.
2008 Tech Session at Jones Autowerks, Pecos Trail run to junction with lunch in Kerrville, Corpus trip through Goliad, with lunch on Landry’s boat restaurant got the year started. Fiesta Challenge, A Trip to Houston area and Battleship Texas on Galveston Bay, another Hill country tour with breakfast at Old Spanish Trail in Bandera. The first annual Potluck dinner at the Merrell’s. Six cars from Longhorn and three from Hill Country made the trip together to Eureka Springs Arkansas for the Porsche Palooza. The Christmas party, and finally another very cold drive to Marble Falls to view the Christmas lights.
2009 The Wounded Warrior and Family Support Center becomes our designated charity. Some Region members run the Jaguar Club Luckenbach Rally since it’s the only TSD Rally in the area. Good practice for Parade. Hill Country Drive with lunch at an interesting Automotive Art Gallery “l'art et l'automobile” in Harper Texas. In May there was a “Mid-Engine Drive” at Blossom with Porsche Driving School Instructors. The region was well represented at the Parade in Keystone Colorado. Club members had cars on display for the Panamera Launch at Sunset Station in October. Twenty Longhorn members participated in the Harris Hill Road track Orientation Day. The monthly non PCA “Cars and Rides” Saturday morning event sometimes brings out more Porsches than we see at Longhorn events. In the fall there was Boxstoberfest in Fredericksburg, Porschedillo in Austin, and the Christmas Party at the Barn Door.
Finally, in 2010, the club secured an Autocross site thanks to Bob Lundin and Jack Merrell, only to find out that our autocross trailer had been stolen two weeks before our first event. Fortunately, the timing equipment wasn’t in the trailer, and the thieves threw the cones out before they left. Our first event drew 40 entries including PCA National Secretary, Caren Cooper. Twenty-eight Porsches and 53 members of Longhorn enjoyed a drive through the hills northeast of San Antonio in February navigating through the winding back-country roads skirting Canyon Lake and arrived at “Dick’s Garage,” a classic car museum containing some 55 rare and classic cars. The club members also enjoyed a catered barbeque lunch. Not much interest in the Parade this year located near Chicago with only the Club member, the President, attending. However, 6 members made the trek to Kamloops British Columbia for the Porsche Escape. Some members took advantage of the Cayenne Demonstration Outing in the Hill Country sponsored by PCNA. The club had started rotating restaurants for the dinner meetings a few years earlier, giving members a change of cuisine and location each month. The annual Christmas party went up scale with a move to the Plaza Club atop the Frost Bank building in downtown San Antonio.
2011 Three local Autocrosses and a DE at Harris Hill were on the agenda this year. The Harris Hill DE had run groups for both experienced and novice drivers, with instructors available. In March twenty-seven cars and 49 members participated in a drive to Hunt Texas for lunch at “l'art et l'automobile”. Fiesta Challenge was a big success, raising three times the money from the previous year for the Wounded Warrior and Family Support Center. A very hot July day found 19 Porsche entered in the annual Luckenbach Car Show. The show is primarily American Iron, not sure they were ready for the foreign invasion. More Longhorn members attended the Porsche Parade in Savannah Georgia than any other Parade outside of Texas, and all returned with a trophy from the various events they participated in. Longhorn was also well represented in Flagstaff Arizona at the annual PCA Escape. Natalie & Marshall Nathan reported on their trip to the Porsche factory to pick up their new Cayman R, and the 1700 kilometers of touring Europe. Another Pot Luck dinner, the Christmas party and that wraps up the first 49 years of the Longhorn Region of PCA.