After canceling their initial plans due to Covid, the PCA’s annual “Porsche Parade” was back on the calendar for 2023 for Palm Springs, CA. The week-long celebration of the Porsche marque is filled with seminars, drives, mixers, and of course, the Concours d’Elegance. Long known for their stringent judging, the Concours is divided into numerous classes, from 1950s air-cooled 356s to brand new 911 rocket ships. Classes for different levels of preparation are also available to encourage participation; not everyone is interested in using Q-tips to extract hidden dirt!
The origins of the Porsche Parade begin with the story of the Porsche Club of America (PCA) that hosts the event. The story goes that in 1954, some Porsche enthusiasts gathered in Alexandria, VA. This group of eight men realized they all shared the same frustration of being in various car clubs and groups, none of which offered any real support for their fairly new German oddities.
They tested the waters of forming their own Porsche group by having an article printed in the 1954 issue of Sports Car Illustrated (which later became Car and Driver). The positive response was overwhelming, and the Porsche Club of America was registered in the District of Columbia as a non-profit corporation. That next year, the first issue of Porsche Panorama was printed in December.
Enter the Porsche Parade
Even with dozens of chapters throughout America, and 50,000+ members, the PCA’s undertaking of the annual Porsche Parade is no small feat. The first Porsche Parade occurred in Washington D.C. in 1956. Sixty-eight cars participated in various events including a rally, tech session, gymkhana, and dining.
Restorations in the Spotlight
As the PCA grew in popularity and membership, it sought to create a platform where Porsche enthusiasts could showcase their meticulously restored and preserved vehicles. Thus, the idea of a Concours d’elegance was born. Over the years, the event has evolved into a grand gathering of Porsche owners, featuring stunning displays of vintage and modern Porsches, meticulous judging, and a celebration of the brand’s rich heritage.
This year’s Concours d’Elegance was situated at La Quinta Golf Course near the city of Palms Springs CA. Temperatures hovered around 90 degrees in the morning so making a few stops at the water stations helped keep my visit barrable. While shows like Werks Reunions seem to draw a larger entry, this year’s show at the Porsche Parade was quite varied and large enough to make it worth the trip. The grounds were separated into two sections, the standard Concours and a “Heritage” section. I never got the true reason for this separation but one attendee told me the Heritage section was more for display than judging which makes sense. I’m posting the results link below which has yet to “go live” so hopefully it will be running by the time you use it. In the end, the Porsche Parade always brings new faces and cars from different parts of the nation, so it’s always refreshing to witness how the Porsche hobby continues to evolve and grow.