A 2001 Boxster receives a new livery and helps prevent veteran suicide at Cars & Coffee and track day events..
How time flies. From racing big Mercedes saloons on the German motorway in my 1969 Armour Yellow Porsche 911E as a young US Army captain, to taking my 986 Boxster “SPASS3” decked out in our veteran awareness livery to Cars & Coffee events, car shows, and the occasional track outing.
My 2001 base Boxster plays an important role in veteran suicide prevention. Members of the Grand Prix Region of the Porsche Club of America (PCA) are accustomed to seeing SPASS3 at our monthly Saturday breakfasts at Glory Days in Seal Beach. The car is also my daily driver, helping me start conversations with veterans about how to manage and cope with emotional stress and depression.
My first Porsche was a Dark Blue 911 L purchased from a German Army chaplain as a young US Army captain stationed with the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Fulda, Germany. That car lasted just 6 months and I purchased a 1969 yellow/gold 911 E with 500 kilometres on the clock. That car came back to the States with me, and I drove it until marriage and children decreed a different car. Don’t I wish it were still in my garage!
Fast forward to 2021, and I’m leading a veteran support charity (www.dven.org) that has veteran suicide prevention as one of its main missions. Still loving Porsches (my wife and I also have a 2014 Cayman S), I found a 2001 Boxster just begging to join the programme. I wrapped the car and applied a special livery to start conversations about veterans’ issues. And start conversations it does! Enter SPASS3 – and a very unique bottle opener goes to the first three people to tell me the meaning of the registration number.
In addition to our local outreach programmes in the Los Angeles region, we have created a fun motorsports programme – the annual Rally4Vets Top Dog Championship – to take our awareness programme to the track. The Top Dog Championships are open to drivers who like the track – or want to try the track for the first time. The format is Trackcross – one car at a time on the track running for the fastest time in the class. The unique aspect of the Top Dog Championships is that drivers compete individually and as a team. Think of the annual Army-Navy American football rivalry but played out on a racetrack with the other services competing as well.
The Year One Top Dog Championship was a hoot and Year Two –at Summit Point Raceway on 22 October 2022 – will be even better! So, to all my Porsche veterans and Friends of Veterans colleagues, the bugle is sounding assembly. It’s time to rally to the guidon at Summit Point, have some fun with our Porsches, and save some lives in the process.
I began my love affair with Porsche during tours of duty in Germany during the Cold War. What an honour to be able to use my Boxster in today’s battle against veteran suicide.
Remember, “Übung macht den Meister” as the Germans say: Practice makes perfect!