In the beginning…by Linda & Larry Shephard:
(reprinted from June 2011 and July 2011 editions of the Coastalaire)
The story of the founding of the California Central Coast Region of the Porsche Club of America has appeared in print several times–in one form or another– during the past 41 years of the club’s existence. In response to several new members who have asked about the Region’s founding and the people who took the first important steps and laid the foundations for the successful club it is today, Coastalaire presents a two part story about CCCR’s beginnings and the local, pioneering Porsche enthusiasts who made it possible.
Note: In 1969 there were already two PCA Regions in the greater central California coastal area–Monterey and Santa Barbara, but local Porsche owners felt that San Luis Obispo was too far from either to be a viable choice. Hence, they created one in between—CCCR.
Part 1: The Early Days: The Central Coast Porsche Touring Society
When Linda Shephard walked into the Zone 8 meeting of the Porsche Club of America in 1970, the other Regional Presidents gathered there were expecting a Mr. L. Shephard. Linda’s high heels and mini-skirt was their first clue that the President of the new California Central Coast Region from San Luis Obispo was not Mister Shephard. Linda, it turned out, was the first woman President of any PCA Region in the Nation.
The founding fathers—and mothers—of the CCC Region were equal partners from the very start of the club’s existence. It remains so today. Linda and the other ladies who drove Porsches, laid out driving routes, helped organize auto-cross configurations (and shoved hay bales around), and, with energy and skill equal to their male counterparts, willed the club into being. They were not an auxiliary activity—putting on potluck dinners and sewing on club patches were not their only contributions.
Linda and husband, Larry Shephard, were part of the Charter Members group that was instrumental in forming CCCR: this is how Linda and Larry tell it: (excerpted and edited, from The History of the California Central Coast Region of the Porsche Club of America, by Larry and Linda Shephard.)
“In Fall of 1967, Nick Muick, a Cal Poly student with a Porsche, decided that Porsche owners should get together. So, Nick began a campaign to unite them by putting notes under windshield wipers at Cal Poly and anywhere else he saw a Porsche. Both Larry Shephard and Fred Hall (also Cal Poly students) found the notes, liked the idea, and joined Nick in his quest to contact Porsche owners in the San Luis Obispo area.
Later Nick, Larry, and Fred invited all those who had responded to attend a meeting to see if there was any real interest in forming a Porsche club. Those who attended were more than interested-they were enthusiastic and in no time they had a name: the Central Coast Porsche Touring Society. To make their new enterprise more formal, Nick also had business cards printed to help recruit more members, rented a post office box, and the club was of and running. Actually, we were of and touring, since we were officially a “touring society.” The first club activity was a tour in January 1968, up Highway 1 to Monterey (naturally), with the new, early 911’s leading the way and keeping a eye out for safe passing spots. There were many scary and exciting moments on that first tour, but we all made it back to San Luis in one piece. And we believed that it was the fastest any group had made the trip from San Luis Obispo to Monterey. Everyone enjoyed it so much that we decided at our next meeting that our new club should schedule a tour at least once a month. The CCPTS was an immediate success.
All through 1968 and 1969, the Porsche Touring Society tore up the roads with tours throughout Central California-from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, from Morro Bay to the Sierras. In addition to lots of driving on lots of marvelous roads, we had beach picnics, wine tasting, trips to Ojai, Mission San Antonio de Padua, Sequoia, the Pinnacles, etc., and stops at every interesting cafe and restaurant along the way. The roads seemed to have been designed just for our Porsches. In town, the club meetings were lively, open, and everyone participated. It was a wonderful time; we couldn’t wait until the next tour or the next get together.
After we had gotten to the magic number of 20 primary members, the Santa Barbara Region of PCA suggested we apply to become a separate PCA region. We did, and on April 24, 1969, Lou Marable, West Coast PCA representative presented the California Central Coast Region with its PCA Charter.
Officers were chosen at our first meeting-no formal elections were held. The first President was Rudy Binkele, Glen Chapman was Vice President, Linda Shephard was Secretary, and Stella Adkins was appointed Treasurer. Later a logo was designed by Larry Shepard-it’s still in use today. Larry also chose the name “Coastalaire” for the club newsletter, and became its first editor.
The transition from CCPTS to CCCR was smooth and for most members only the name had changed. Some looked back on the first two years with nostalgia for a time of informal car camaraderie and pure driving fun. But we knew that we had to change because the little touring club was growing and new members were proposing that we enlarge our scope to include driving events-activities that would take advantage of the Porsche’s superior performance and handling genius. It was also at the time when Porsche AG was bringing out rapid changes to the 911 models and introducing the new 914 and 914/6, greatly expanding the popularity and affordability of the Porsche marquee.”
Part 2: The Early Days & PCA…by Linda & Larry Shephard: This is Part 2 of the Linda and Larry Shephard Story and the beginnings of the California Central Coast Region of the Porsche Club of America. It is also about Bob Mayberry who was present at the first meeting of the Central Coast Porsche Touring Society and is still an active member of the CCCR and a past member and officer of the Board of Directors. Black and white photos are courtesy of the Shephards’ archive.
When last we left Linda and Larry Shephard they had just received their Central California Coast Regional Charter from PCA and were setting out to fold their little “Touring Society” into the largest sports car club in the US—The Porsche Club of America.
They discovered that they had to have regular Board meetings, elect officers, and manage the funds they received from the national headquarters in Virginia. But they vowed that “getting serious” wasn’t going put a damper on the fun of driving a great car, on the social activities that were an important part of the original group, or on the relaxed informality of the kindred group. In time, they found it was easy to become more formal in club business, follow PCA rules, and still retain the spirit of why they formed a group in the first place: to enjoy driving what they all believed was the best sports car in the world.
One of PCA’s strongest suggestion was that every region publish a regular, periodic newsletter that publicized upcoming club events, reported on old ones, publish at least a summary of Board meeting minutes, and list the Officers of the Region. The PCA also encouraged printing technical articles about the Porsche and accepting paid advertising. One of the features in their early newsletters was including recipes of dishes from their parties, picnics, and their annual dinners. The recipes were a big hit, eagerly awaited by the club members: remember that half of the “Touring Society” were women. Wonder what “Porsche Pie” was like and what was in “Porsche Punch?” Incidentally, the newsletter was called “Coastalaire” right from its first issue. Larry Shephard named it, designed the logo we still have today, and was its first editor.
Eventually, we arranged with the Santa Maria Airport Authority to use what was the emergency runway as an autocross track. We learned how to set up a course that allowed for other than Porsches to be competitive. Once established, it was not unusual for more than 100 cars to attend trophy events.
The PCA charter also encouraged Regional and Zone driving competition events. The early CCCR was fortunate to have as one of its members, Chuck Adkins. Chuck was also a member of what may be the oldest sports car club in America: The El Camino Foreign Sports Car Club of San Luis Obispo. This club was set up by its members to compete in sport cars: in time trials, autocrosses, rallies, gymkhanas, and in sanctioned races at area tracks. Chuck, a Porsche owner and racer—and now a member of both clubs, persuaded the fledgling CCCR to undertake competitive events. The old “Touring Society” now became enthusiastic competition event promoters. With Chuck’s mentoring the club became adept in organizing competitive events that emphasized speed, driving skills, and safety. CCCR has matured: they had everything: adventurous tours, convivial social events, and exciting driving programs. Today the California Central Coast Region still enjoys great tours, driving, and social events, thanks to the effort, esprit, and elan of those first Porsche enthusiasts. We are missing only the recipe for Porsche Pie.
Nick Muick, enthusiastic Cal Poly student who, in 1968, began putting notes on Porsches asking if there was interest in forming a Porsche Club. He got lots of positive responses with the result that the Central Coast Porsche Touring Society was formed. Initially doing only tours, the group made monthly treks on some outstanding country roads.
Bob Mayberry: Early Days on the Porsche Scene
The original founding members of the Porsche Touring Society included Bob Mayberry. In 1968, he was a student at Cal Poly and owned a 1956 356 Porsche. He was one of a dozen people who found Nick Muick’s note on his windshield—“Would you like to join a group of Porsche People”? Bob showed up at Nick’s first meeting and has been an active participant in all things Porsche around San Luis Obispo ever since—over 43 years. Bob has been a member and officer of the CCCR Board of Directors and a co-editor of the Coastalaire.
In 1966, Bob paid $1050 for a well used 1956 Porsche. The car already had 175,000 miles on it and ten years of hard driving by the previous owner. During the next decade Bob put another 300,000 miles on the indestructible and indefatigable little Porsche. Bob said he re-built the 356 Normal engine every 100,000 miles whether it needed it or not. Today, the Champagne Yellow 356 sits in Bob’s garage in Los Osos awaiting yet another engine re-build and some serious restoration.
In 1980 Bob bought a 1973 911 from another Porsche enthusiast, Alyce Thorp. Apparently the 911 turned out to be great car, because Bob married Alyce in 1982. Since then, they have owned almost a dozen Porsches together and singly: two 356’s, several 911’s, a 924, a 944, a 1999 Boxster, a 1999 996 Carrera, and a 1984 928S. These days, Bob drives the 928 and Alyce the 996.
Both have been active in CCCR activities since the 1980’s and have served as members of the Board, and Presidents of the Region; Bob was the Coastalaire editor for several years. Bob also set up the original CCCR website in the 1990’s. CCCR was one of the first regions in the PCA to establish an Internet presence.
Between Linda and Larry Shephard, Bob Mayberry, and the other Porsche pioneers, the California Central Coast Region of PCA has been well served by its founding parents. Today the club is bigger and better than ever, sporting over 450 members and associates.