The peace and quiet of downtown Anniston was briefly interrupted Sunday afternoon as about three dozen sports cars swarmed into town like rumbling bees. The source of the sound was an annual outing of the Porsche Club of Alabama.
The members’ trek, 38 cars strong, had started in Birmingham and snaked its way up Mount Cheaha and back down on their way to Classic on Noble for brunch.
“We put the top down on the mountaintop and drove to Anniston with the top down and it was just fabulous — the sun, the smells, everything. It was beautiful,” said Jim Searacio, 70, who was happy to get out in the mild winter weather along with his wife, Glenda.
Searacio drove his 2013 911 Cabriolet. He said he has had four other Porches and loves how they perform.
“Awesome. Total control. A great piece of machinery that anticipates your every move,” he said, adding that his car is “as fabulous as the beautiful January weather.”
Sunday’s weather, a pause in the normal winter chill, was indeed perfect for motoring with temperatures in the 60s. That set well with Lenn Rainwater, 60, from Anniston. Rainwater drove her 2004 911 Carrera Cabriolet and she said she was the only woman driver in the group.
“I’ve had a wonderful day. I invited one of my former students to join me. It’s just been fabulous weather. I have a convertible so we’ve been riding with the top down. It’s beautiful,” Rainwater said.
Michael Guilsher, 59, from Birmingham drove his 2011 Boxster Spyder, which he said was one of 700 manufactured that year. When the parade of cars entered Anniston, Guilsher said, heads turned.
“We had some guy lean out of his truck and yell ‘Porsche Club!’” Guilsher said.
Guilsher appreciates the engineering and build of the Porsche in general.
“For myself I think it’s a very raw car. It’s got a good power-to-weight ratio. It’s a fun car to drive,” Guilsher said.
The parking lot at 11th and Noble was wall to wall with all makes, models and colors of Porsches.
Guilsher said Porsches were first offered to U.S. drivers in 1958 after several years of successful racing here. He said the new model, 911, has characteristics that go all the way back to cars manufactured in the 1950s.
“So it’s a car that’s evolved over 40-50 years. It’s unique,” Guilsher said.
The unique sound of the throaty-sounding exhaust echoed off the brick buildings of downtown Anniston. Porsche aficionado Porter Fell said the cars have a different sound than any other car made.
“It’s really a Porsche sound. It’s unique. It’s Porsche. It’s very mechanical. It has a real low end. It doesn’t sound anything like an American big-block V-8,” Fell said.