Any show or club meeting is just an excuse for like-minded people to come together.

You might bump into me at the next meeting of the Portland Aquarium society looking for some long-finned zebra danios. Or at the Oregon Reptile Show where I got our last three crested geckos.

If you were on the grounds of the Deschutes Historical Museum last weekend in Bend, OR, you would have found me and my son Bradley hovering around the SCM 1975 Porsche 911S. It was on the field of the Oregon Festival of Cars.

Founded by SCM Legal Files contributor John Draneas, the weekend event is ably administered by John’s wife Carlyn, along with Ed and Barbara Grayson of Consolidated Auto Works.

The formula is a simple one: Drive your cars, kick tires and talk about cars, and have fun.

Perfect car-event music was provided all day on Saturday by the Dan Balmer Trio.

All cars are welcome. After starting with coffee and donuts at Ron Tonkin Ferrari in Portland on Friday, we set off on a circuitous backroads route that took us to Detroit Lake, OR, en route to Bend.

Schön Hoeschen and I brought our regal cruiser, the 1972 Mercedes-Benz 250C. Bradley was feeling adventuresome so he elected to drive the Porsche 911S Sportomatic for the 500-mile roundtrip.

Neither car disappointed, the 250C proceeding with majesty and quietude, while the 911 taught Bradley something new about 50-year-old analog sports cars at every turn.

The only comparison I will draw between the two cars is that the 250 consumed exactly twice as much fuel as the 911. Did it provide twice as much enjoyment? That’s a personal decision only a driver can make.

Saturday was filled with fun.

The SCM Spirit of Motoring award was won by Taylor Kobernick. He and his father, Chris, operate XLNT Automotive, in Redmond, OR. Their highly modified 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII would have been an unusual sight on the Pebble Beach field. It was fitted with a carbon-fiber nose and an engine that had received $35,000 in go-fast mods. However, it represented that our passion for the automobile is waxing, not waning.

Best of Show went to Al Zemke and his ’56 Ford T-Bird. Accompanying Al in full poodle-skirt regalia was Cheryle Bridge.

After dinner at Crux Fermentation Project, an excellent local brewery, drivers were at their cars by 9 am the next morning. An OFC tradition, the “Dash” is a three-hour-long run though the Oregon backcountry. About 15 cars lined up. Most were modern, with Draneas’ 1963 Series 1 Jaguar E-type being the oldest and Bradley’s 1975 911S being one of the few other analog-era cars.

We met at lunch in Redmond afterwards, and Bradley was quite enthusiastic: “Dad, I got to be right the middle of a bunch of fun cars with drivers who were enjoying themselves.”

I got to explain the concept of “Adults at Play” to him.

We took Highway 26 home over Mt. Hood. Bradley piloted the 250C and I had my first stint behind the wheel of the 911S.

Like Bradley, I was pleasantly surprised. I’ll have more to say about this at another time. In short, while I admire Porsche’s ability to turn its cars into marketing and lifestyle statements, there was something pure and simple about this 50-year-old rear-engine, air-cooled car. No, it wasn’t “paint to sample.”

This was Bradley’s first Oregon Festival of Cars, and it was a complete success. He got to spend an entire weekend kicking tires and putting hundreds of miles on a vintage 911. It was a compelling combination.

Thank you, John and team, for putting on another great event. Bradley wants to know when our next group playdate is going to be.



  1. Hi Keith,
    I am so glad that Bradley and you decided to motor with the 911S on this journey. Big smiles all around!

  2. Happy to see the mid 50s Thunderbird getting some appreciation! My ’55 Bird was one of my all time favorites, and I feel the current generation of enthusiasts don’t give them the appreciation they deserve.