A glimpse into the RGruppe 2013 Solvang Treffen, and my chance meeting with a designer of Porsche’s 918 Spyder…

I was fortunate to once again have several members of the Southern California chapter of the RGruppe club tell me of their upcoming Solvang Treffen, scheduled for May 16-19. Consistent with previous Treffen, the first day is set aside as a track day out at Willow Springs Raceway, for those owners who enjoy competing in club racing and time trial events. This track focused group usually arrives at the event venue on Friday, while the balance of the group enjoys day tripping through the hills and back roads of Solvang and destinations North and South. This year, a number of the participants headed North to Morro Bay on Saturday morning, to check out a car show celebrating the Porsche 356.

What is normally a 3+ hour trip from my home to Solvang, on this particular Saturday took   4 1/2 hours, in part due to an inordinate amount of traffic. It turned out that the delay was in part caused by the Oxnard Strawberry Festival, which was taking place this very same weekend.  Fortunately, once past Oxnard, the traffic was clear all the way up to Buelton, and the Marriott hotel which was again home for this years Treffen. As we pulled around the back and into the rear parking lot, we were greeted by the colorful collection of Porsches gathered for this years event.

Black 1970s Porsche 911 GT_3/4 front view with reflections_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

And now the fun could begin; getting the opportunity to walk through a parking lot filled with nothing but RGruppe prepared Porsches, being able to photograph these amazing cars, visit with their owners and listen to the stories behind each car.

My first in – depth subject of the afternoon was this stunning 1972 Porsche – Kremer 911S re-creation, in Viper green with bold yellow and red graphics. This re-creation was based upon the actual Porsche – Kremer 911S race car built, campaigned and co driven by Erwin Kremer, with his lead driver John Fitzpatrick. This team and their 911S went on to win the 1972 European Grand Touring Car Championship; John Fitzpatrick was also successful in winning the Porsche Cup in 1972, with Erwin Kremer collecting 13th place.

Viper Green 1972 Porsche 911ST Kremer recreation_3/4 front view with reflections_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Viper Green 1972 Porsche 911ST Kremer recreation_ front view with reflections_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Viper Green 1972 Porsche 911ST Kremer recreation_ 3/4 rear view with reflections_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

The interior, complete with its vintage Prototipo steering wheel and commemorative 911ST re-creation dash plaque, signed by John Fitzpatrick…

Viper Green 1972 Porsche 911ST Kremer recreation_ Interior view,Prototipo steering wheel_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Viper Green 1972 Porsche 911ST Kremer recreation_ raised rear deck lid_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

and out back, the twin plug, hi-butterfly fuel injected boxer six motor, with its unpainted, period correct fiberglass shrouding.

Viper Green 1972 Porsche 911ST Kremer recreation_ motor detail_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Parked nearby were several more highly modified Porsche 911s, having taken a cue from Porsche’s 911 ST rally cars; each car was equipped with some serious supplemental lighting, in the form of fog and driving light sets…

Orange and white striped Porsche 911ST  recreation_ accessory light details_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Even this cars headlights below received modification; in this case the installation of a  set of French, amber hued lights.

Ivory white and gray hooded Porsche 911ST  recreation_ accessory light details_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

1970s  911s_  group shot back ends_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

This years event once again attracted members and their cars from as far away as Europe, as witnessed by the Mexico Blue, Porsche 993 Carrera RS Clubsport model seen below…

Mexico Blue Porsche 993 Carrera RS Clubsport_ side view_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

and the Viper Green 911 Carrera RS, with its rear grill and badge (as seen below on its ducktail spoiler), representing Mexico.

Viper green Porsche 911 Carrera RS_ rear grill badge shot_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Porsche row group shot, white longhood in foreground_ side view_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

A beautifully detailed 1972 911ST re-creation in Signal Yellow, as featured in the February 2013 issue of Porsche Panorama.

Signal Yellow 1972 911ST recreation_ 3/4 front view_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

The equally impressive front trunk compartment, detailed and finished to the same level as the rest of the car.

Signal Yellow 1972 Porsche 911ST recreation_  front trunk detail _RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Signal Yellow 1972 Porsche 911ST recreation_  3/4 rear view _RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

The power plant for this re-creation received a substantial bump in displacement over the traditional 2.5 liter motors that were normally installed into 1972 911ST’s. This particular motor was built to 3.2 liter specifications, which included a twin-plug ignition and 1972  Bosch mechanical fuel injection system. Breathing is accomplished through a modified Porsche 911 air cleaner as seen below.

Signal Yellow 1972 Porsche 911ST recreation_  engine detail _RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Porsche row 911 line up_  long side view, rear decklids _RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

And over on the opposite side of the parking lot, even more colorful Porsches to enjoy…

Porsche row 911 line up_  long side view, front ends _RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Black Porsche 911 Carrera_  front alloy wheel, gold center shot _RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

A unique set of Porsche 908 – inspired air cleaners, installed onto this Weber carbureted, twin plug motor…

Black Porsche 911 Carrera_ engine detail, w/908 inspired air cleaners_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Making a return visit to its second Treffen, was this very cool Fly Yellow 1967 Porsche 911R re-creation. The car had been highlighted in Excellence magazine back in December 2012, as one of its featured articles, wonderfully written by Randy Wells…

Fly Yellow 1967 Porsche 911R recreation_ 3/4 front view_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Fly Yellow 1967 Porsche 911R recreation_ headlight lens reflections_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Fly Yellow 1967 Porsche 911R recreation_3/4 rear view_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

and its shiny, reflective neighbor… a black 911ST.

Fly Yellow 1967 Porsche 911R recreation & black 911ST_3/4 rear views_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

 Black Porsche 911ST_side window & fender reflections_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Black Porsche 911ST_side window reflection_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Fly Yellow 911R, white RS America, Red 991_3/4 view front ends , group shot_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Another rare sight; a Porsche 964 RS America, equipped for competition…

White Porsche 964 RS America_3/4 rear side view_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Irish Green Porsche 912_hood reflections, red type 991_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Irish Green Porsche 912_hood reflections, RS America_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

white RGruppe Porsche 911 hot rod_3/4 side view_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

And yet another row of beautifully prepared Porsches. The green metallic 911 Targa with dual stripes and RGruppe club logo seen below, is owned by a member from Arizona.

Green metallic with 2 toned stripes,  911 Targa_front view_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Green metallic with 2 toned stripes, 911 Targa _group shot in a row_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Tucked in among this row of Porsches, was a classic example of an RGruppe hot rod; this particular white, 1972 911 below is owned by photographer, author and RGruppe member Randy Wells…

White 1972 Porsche 911 hot rod_Randy Wells car_3/4 rear view_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

White 1972 Porsche 911 hot rod_Randy Wells car_3/4 front view_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Caught in the act… a quick detail / wipe down by Dave Eck on his beautiful Signal Red 1966 Porsche 911, upon his return from the Morro Bay Porsche 356 car show held that morning.

Dave detailing his Signal Red 1966 Porsche 911_3/4 side view_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Signal Red 1966 Porsche 911_rear decklid grill and badge detail_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Just as Dave was nearing completion of his detailing efforts, another of his friends came over to check on his progress. As he was nearing completion, Dave turned around and motioned for me to come over to where he was standing. I was then introduced to his friend Thorsten Klein, who it turns out is the Lead Interior designer for Porsche, and responsible for the interior design of the soon to be manufactured Porsche 918 Spyder!      I was in shock, and how amazing an opportunity!

Our conversation of course was focused on Porsches, and ranged from the 918 concept that had been displayed at Rennsport Reunion IV, to Thorsten’s passion for early Porsche 911’s, his ownership of a modified 1973 911, and most recently, his design challenge of creating the exterior graphic schemes for each of the 918 Spyder prototypes. Experiencing firsthand his enthusiasm and passion for his job and the Porsche brand, it’s obvious that Porsches design future is in very capable hands.

With Dave’s cleaning now completed, his 911 was once again spotless and ready for its next road trip…

Signal Red 1966 Porsche 911_3/4 front view_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Another friends car (Chuck Miller’s beautiful blue 1973 911S), upon his return from the day’s road trip and Thursday’s Willow Springs track day.

Chuck's blue metallic 1973 Porsche 911S_3/4 front view with side reflections_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Hey, where did everyone go?  It must be time for Saturday evenings Treffen barbecue…

group shot, side view_orange 911 in foreground with flag_RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

Group shot, 2 rows, side view_viper green 911 in foreground _RGruppe Solvang Treffen_May 18, 2013

I would once again like to thank the members of the RGruppe for allowing me access to  this years Solvang Treffen, to photograph their cars, and share my experiences with their club and the Porsche community via my blog.

(All photos by the author)

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18 thoughts on “A glimpse into the RGruppe 2013 Solvang Treffen, and my chance meeting with a designer of Porsche’s 918 Spyder…

    • Thank you, I’m glad that you enjoyed my latest blog post.
      Solvang has been a great venue for the RGruppe to hold their yearly Treffen, and makes for a wonderful photographic backdrop. And I agree, wonderful pastry shops.
      Regards,
      Chris

  1. Nice pictures; glad you could join us.

    There are a lot of interesting back stories to the cars you posted pictures of…makes ’em even cooler once you know the history.

    One quick correction: The car with two stripes is owned by Bob Smith of AZ, not Harvey Weidman.

    • Hi Marco,
      Thank you for your feedback, and for letting me know of my error regarding the owner of the green metallic targa (with the dual stripes and RGruppe logo on the hood).
      I have now revised my blog post to reflect the correct information.
      Thanks again and Regards,
      Chris

  2. Hi my name is Cris Huergas, leader of the merry band of misfits called R Gruppe. You got some nice pictures that captured the true flavor and essence of Treffen. You are more than welcome to come again next year. I would love to shake your hands.

    • Hi Cris, Thank you for your email.
      I’m honored to have received feedback from you in response to my latest blog post (“RGruppe 2013 Solvang Treffen”), especially with you being one of the two founders of the RGruppe
      (and your co-founder Freeman Thomas). I recognized your name from an article I read years ago in Excellence magazine, about you and your white 911S, and the founding principals you and Freeman established regarding the creation of the RGruppe. Ironically, I had used much of the same criteria that you established for RGruppe, during my ownership of my first two 911’s (a 1966 911 that I bought in 1972 /with 911R influences, and then a 1973.5 911T I purchased in 1986 /with 911ST influences). My current 911 (a 1986 Carrera coupe) has been in our family since new, and optioned with a focus towards the factory Clubsport models.
      I have been attending the weekly Cars&Coffee /Irvine event since 2008, and this event is where I have met and become friends with many of your RGruppe members; an amazing and gracious group of people. If you ever make it down to this show, I would welcome the opportunity to meet you and talk Porsches.
      Thank you again, receiving your email and hearing that you liked my blog post really means allot.
      Regards,
      Chris

  3. Wow, talk about a missed opportunity! I had never been to Solvang before in my life. On the Saturday this event took place, my fiancée and I took a long trip in the 911. We toured up the coast after a morning at cars and coffee. We detoured along mulholland highway and continues up to Solvang for lunch and a few hours of exploring. We even remarked how many long hold 911s we saw scattered about town. I thought it a big strange. I really wish I would have known this was happening as we were no doubt walking distance away. We left that evening to Santa Barbara and back to Pasadena for ferraris on colorado Sunday morning. It was a wonderful weekend for us, but would have been pretty cool to see the RGruppe meet. Thanks for bringing a piece of that via your blog!

    Sumner

    • Hi Sumner,
      Congratulations on your engagement!
      Ironic that you happened to take a road trip to Solvang on the very same weekend as the RGruppe Treffen.
      The event dates and locations are not made public; I was fortunate to have several friends within the RGruppe tell me about their upcoming Treffen (in part because I had photographed the previous years event). Once again I was able to attend, and share a photographic perspective through my blog. Their Treffen never fail to deliver on the WOW factor… some of the coolest 911s around, as well as some of the nicest owners.

      Hope to see you both again soon at C&C.
      Regards,
      Chris

  4. As a members of the Gruppe for many years I just want to thank you for the many photos and a pretty cool write up. I couldn’t make it out there this year, so seeing your blog is a real treat. So many familiar cars and faces and a bunch of new ones all gave me some semblance of being there. It also reminds me of what a great time we missed… basterd. ;o]

    Thanks again Chris and all the best,

    Jens and Heidi

    • Hi Jens & Heidi,
      Thank you for your email.
      I’m glad that I was able to share my perspective from this years RGruppe Solvang Treffen via my blog.
      There seemed to be allot more cars this year, and as you pointed out some new cars as well. I even had the pleasure of meeting and talking Porsches with Thorsten Klein, and discuss his involvement on the new 918 Spyder, as well as his passion for the early 911s (in particular his 1973 911 coupe). I even had the chance to visit with fellow blogger Bob Tilton (of werkcrew.com fame). Hopefully, you will be able to attend next years Treffen.

      Thanks again and Regards,
      Chris

  5. Chris:

    Thanks for posting the pics of the Kremer ST re-creation, and for your comments on the details. Your excellent shots of all the R Gruppe cars has brought me back for a visit quite a few times. I hope you are able to attend future R Gruppe events and record the cars that make these gatherings so special.

    Gib

    • Hi Gib,
      Thank you very much for your email.
      The Kremer ST re-creation is such a cool car, and as a result, I had an amazing time shooting it. I’m glad that you have enjoyed my write up and photos taken from this years event. I feel very fortunate to have been told about this event in advance, and asked if I would be coming up again to shoot by several of your long time members.
      With the positive feedback received regarding this blog post, I would appreciate the opportunity to attend and document next years Solvang Treffen for 2014.
      Thank you again and Regards,
      Chris

  6. I like the valuable information you provide for the posts. I will bookmark your weblog and take a look at again here frequently. I’m fairly sure I’ll be told many new stuff right right right here! Very best of luck for the next!

  7. I love the world of cars, my dream is to have a porche 911 and restore it to my way, photos that you have made are precious, and the car that you like anyone you’ve shown, is the Porsche 911 yellow, is beautiful, I want it for me

    • Thank you for your feedback, I’m glad that you enjoyed my photos.
      The Solvang Treffen each year gets better and better, and there is always an amazing collection of Porsches present, including the yellow 911R recreation.
      Regards,
      Chris

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