In the summer of 2004, the fledgling Midwest 356 Club, thanks to
the efforts of President Bob Follmer, filled the Club Corral with old
Porsches for one evening of the Crystal Lake Cruise Night series.
In July of 2005 we went back, determined to display our cars in an
organized way that would educate the crowd about the evolution of the
356 over the length of its production run.
To see the photo galleries from the Cruise night, click on any of the pictures below:
Our approach was simple--arrange the cars in chronological order and put up signs pointing out the changes made from model to model--but the logistics were challenging. The signs had to be large enough and mounted high enough to be visible over the heads of the large crowd we expected to draw, and our funds were limited. We ended up making wooden stands to hold the signs, which were cheap and effective, but they were bulky and far from simple to assemble on site. It took three 356s just to get the signs to the event site.
Then there was the job of getting a representative group of cars to Crystal Lake during a weeknight rush hour. Many phone calls were required, but by the morning of the event we had commitments from 26 club members to bring cars ranging from a 1953 Cabriolet to a 1965 Coupe, plus a Beck Spyder for a little extra pizzazz.
As the cars came in at the end of the afternoon, one group of volunteers directed them to their designated spots while another furiously tackled the job of assembling the stands for the signs.
The end result was just what we had hoped for, a well-ordered and informative display that attracted a large crowd from the hot rod and muscle car festival across the street.
We repeated the display at the same event in 2006, which turned out to be the last year of the Cruise Nights in Crystal Lake. Since then, the signs have lain dormant, but this being Chicago, there is always next year!