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)