By Ryan Cornell
WOODSTOCK -- The parking lot of the Spring House Tavern looked more like a Porsche dealership than a restaurant on Saturday morning.
As the starting point for the Shenandoah Region Porsche Club of America's two-day valley tour, the gravel lot was filled with the German sports cars, stretching as far back as a 1957 Porsche 356. The 21 members registered for the tour met to eat lunch at the Woodstock tavern before jetting out to explore county sights including Little North Mountain, Shenandoah Vineyards, dinner in Basye and the Rosanne Cash concert at the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival.
According club President Sherry Westfall, the chapter was founded in 1995 by Cole Scrogham, whose family owns a Porsche repair shop in Waynesboro.
More than 400 members compose the Shenandoah region, which stretches from Winchester down to Lexington and east to Richmond.
The chapter meets frequently for activities such as driving tours, car shows and autocross events at racetracks, creating a community of drivers who share a devotion for their cars.
"It used to be that people blinked their lights or they waved," Westfall said. "Modern people don't seem to do it anymore. You're always looking for Porsches out there on the road."
Westfall, who drives a white 2007 Porsche Cayman S, recounted her first time behind the wheel of a Porsche.
"I thought I would break the car, so I was very cautious at first," she said.
But now, she said she takes the car everywhere, including trips to Sam's Club.
Woodstock resident Phil Noel helped develop the itinerary for the tour.
Noel, who drives a silver 2008 Porsche Boxster RS 60 Spyder, said he's owned sports cars since he started driving, but the handling of his Porsche and the way it turns corners has planted him firmly in Porsche's corner.
There are about 115,000 members in the nationwide Porsche Club of America.
Noel credited the popularity to the company's rapidly advancing technologies, such as dual-clutch transmission.
"Porsche is breaking its own sales records," he said. "Each year, more and more cars are being sold across the world."
The Shenandoah Region will celebrate its 19th anniversary with a driving tour of Nelson County and the Pharsalia Plantation on Aug. 3.
Members of the chapter pay yearly $46 dues to the Porsche Club of America.
For more information, visit shn.pca.org.
Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or email@example.com