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Stowers Bull Session  - August, 2008

Kirk Stowers hosted his second annual "Bull Session" on August 17, 2008.  Mark Pribanic wrote an  article for the October, 2008 FOGLight describing the event.  That article is reprinted here, following  the photos.  All photos taken by Connie Schmitt.  Thanks, Connie - we can always count on you for great photos of our FOG events!

Shooting the Bull at Stowers 356

By Mark Pribanic


I’d been looking forward to participating in another FOG event since the birth of our daughter Winnifred in February.  The past several months have been spent changing dirty diapers and administering late night feedings.  The 356 had not seen much use over the past 6 months, and, in preparation for the Stowers 356 Bull Session, I spent a few hours going through my ’58 coupe.   Specifically, I focused on getting my brakes in order to make sure I would be returning to see my daughter after the trip.  I installed a new master cylinder, a couple of hard lines, all four soft lines and one wheel cylinder.  Now, the brakes worked as they should, and I gathered some roadside spares and tools and packed for the short 3 hour drive from Jacksonville to Melbourne. 


The August heat was already in the air as I left Neptune Beach at 6:30 a.m.   The drive down was uneventful, and the coupe ran great.  As I pulled up to Stowers 356, I saw many familiar cars and faces outside, getting their bull on.  Most 356s had already arrived and I counted 7 of them, plus an early 912, a couple of 911s and an outlaw 964 with a shoehorned Corvette engine.  There were two more 356’s to arrive after me, for a total count of 10.  Total attendance was 60, but obviously, we didn’t come 6 to a car.  After I parked, I spoke to several groups of people who had opted to ride in the comfort of modern transportation, enjoying the pleasure of A/C.  I don’t blame them, for my back was soaked with sweat.  One such group was the Jacksonville contingent of Bob & Connie Schmitt and Don & Marge Lykins.  We spent a couple of minutes jabber jawing about the Schmitt’s recent trip to Charlotte for the PCA Parade.  Connie goes everywhere with camera in hand and always takes some great shots.  After catching up, I proceeded to walk the line-up of 356s.  I enjoyed seeing the 356 stalwarts and a few 356s I had not seen before.  One that stood out to me was Red C coupe with color matching wheels.  You don’t see many people opting for this early period-correct look.  As I spoke to the owner I discovered he had bought his car in Germany and had driven it all over Europe during the many years he lived there.  His coupe also sported 3 unique European car badges which immediately caught my eye.  Next to this coupe was another group of 356ers talking about all things Porsche.  Joe Veglucci shared a story with me about how he acquired a Super 90 engine from an Orlando neighbor who had planned to put it in his 912 but never quite got around to it.  Joe’s persistence paid off and he recently acquired the engine, rebuilt it, and was looking to find it a new home.  (It has since been sold. – Ed)  I spent the next few minutes talking to Mike Davis who attended the recent West Coast Holiday in Squaw Valley.  Mike told me the scenery was spectacular and the attendance was large, as was expected. 


After everyone got settled into Kirk’s air conditioned shop, we sat down for a review of a customer’s C Cabriolet.  All the seats were full, and the large crowd gathered around to hear what Kirk had to say. We learned the car had been purchased from a well known 356 car dealership in Southern California and that sometimes things aren’t really what they appear to be.  After Kirk had done some touch ups to the cab, it was decided the car really needed to be re-restored.  This was a good lesson on the intricacies of different levels of restoration.  This discussion really stood out to me and was enjoyed by all who attended.  Once Kirk concluded, he put on a DVD of the cab’s restoration, and lunch was ready to be served. 


As the long line formed, Mike Owen introduced me to Brady Owen (no relation) from the Orlando area.  Brady showed me several pictures of his 1952 bent window coupe and told me was looking for a couple of items.  If anyone has any leads on 16” wheels and/or a Telefunken radio, be sure to look up Brady in the member list and drop him a line.  Once everyone had a plate of BBQ, John Reker spoke to the group about upcoming events.  He reminded everyone of Drive Your 356 Day (which has since been held on September 21st) in honor of Ferry Porsche’s Birthday.  If you are new to 356’s, you should know that Ferry’s birthday is celebrated on the third Sunday in September by 356 custodians.  I was given a few minutes to speak about the new FOG club calling card.  If you haven’t had a chance to order yours, drop me an email, and we can get some printed for you.  After the announcements, people started to thin out.  Thank you’s and goodbye’s were exchanged, and back to Neptune Beach I drove.