Road Scholars facility on Page Road Extension in Durham, N.C., has been open for a while now but the company has wanted to celebrate its facility and thank its friends, customers, and neighbors. On Saturday, October 15, 2016, Kevin Watts, Tim Kuhn, Heather Carlisle, and I, along with the rest of the Road Scholars team hosted more than 300 people on the Road Scholars campus for a Grand Opening event.

In addition to showing off the buildings and grounds, Road Scholars hosted a People’s Choice car show that opened its arms and the campus parking spaces to car marques and models far outside the Porsches and other special sports cars for which our clients know us. While 152 vehicles flowed into the facility, 96 of them participated in the People’s Choice show, which Road Scholars divided into four classes.

Road Scholars Peoples Choice Winners:

  • Best American: 1940 Ford Coupe (Don Marcum)
  • Best Import: 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9 (Kenneth Butron)
  • Best European: 1989 Porsche 911 Turbo (Roger Kohout)
  • Best of Show: 1961 Porsche 356B Roadster (Cary Lindsey)

“The entire event was exceptional,” Michael Carmichael wrote in an e-mail later that afternoon. “The cars, the space, the leather on your Barcelona chairs, the images that evoke the mystique of Porsche – I felt like I was nearly rubbing shoulders with Steve McQueen, James Dean, and millions of other admirers of Porsche.”

In addition to the People’s Choice automobiles, Road Scholars displayed several special cars including a 2016 Porsche 918 Spyder, a 2011 Porsche 911 Sport Classic, a 1967 and 2017 Porsche 911R (in matching paint schemes), a 1964 Porsche 904, and a 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder.

Road Scholars also unveiled its first two “custom builds” at the Grand Opening, a 912 Porsche “outlaw” and a 2008 Porsche Cayman GTR, cars that attracted considerable attention.

“You guys know how to do it right,” Hugh Tackett wrote in his e-mail on Sunday following the opening. “The cars you unveiled were spectacular, especially the Cayman. Your design ideas and fabrication shop were right-on and the car was a huge hit. I can see where feature cars could be another business for you.”

The Cayman GTR is a very special and highly modified automobile. Details include:

Body

  • Custom mixed BASF paint in “Burgundy” color inspired by our 1949 Porsche 356 Gmund restoration
  • 911 GT3RS front clip conversion
  • Hand fabricated all metal “Wide body” treatment to doors and quarter panels (9-inch total wide body flair)
  • Custom made 1 of 1 rear bumper to fit widened quarter panels
  • Shaved Roof Rails
  • 2016 GT4 wing in carbon fiber
  • GT3RS cup car front lip hand made in carbon fiber
  • Carbon Fiber side mirrors and quarter panel vents
  • Shaved rear hatch
  • CNC machined custom Cayman GTR sill plates and floor panels
  • Color matched front Headlamps with LED update
  • Smoked taillights and marker lenses

Wheels and suspension

  • Custom built 19″ Rotiform HUR wheels wrapped in Nitto Invo Tires
  • Complete Porsche cup-car suspension package
  • Bilstein Coil over struts
  • GT3RS 6 piston brake calipers, and ceramic 2 piece rotors (custom color matched)
  • Airlift front suspension

Drivetrain

  • X-51 911 engine swap
  • Clear interior engine house for aesthetic purposes
  • Upgraded performance axles by Driveshaft
  • Custom Header and exhaust
  • CAE Ultra Short Shifter
  • Upgraded Performance clutch 

Interior

  • “Napa brown” and “Natural beige” custom upholstery with burgundy stitching throughout
  • Custom fabricated flat bottom steering wheel with matching upholstery
  • Red gauge cluster with matching upholstery
  • Body Color seat buckets with a matte finish
  • Custom trim around clear engine house
  • Striped headliner in body color matched leather
  • Unique “hot stamped” textured leather accents throughout

Custom features of the Road Scholars 912 Targa Outlaw include:

Body

  • Front bumper guard delete
  • Front and rear 1968 side reflectors delete
  • Left and right rocker molding delete
  • Rear bumper guards painted body color
  • Sugar Scoop headlights finished with special color to match center wheels

Drivetrain:

  • Special engine built by John Willhoit Restoration. The WR 2.1 perfect street engine (2132cc 145hp)
  • 911 Sway bars
  • Turbo tie rod ends
  • Koni Adjustable shocks

Wheels and Tires:

  • 15″ billet alloy wheels finished in GT Silver with contrasting center
  • Hoosier Speedsters

Interior:

  • Sport seats with houndstooth inserts
  • Rear seats with hounds tooth inserts
  • Zuffenhaus steering wheel

After North Carolina’s recent experience with Hurricane Matthew, we were excited to have wonderful weather for the event. Those who were able to attend enjoyed lunch as Road Scholars’ guests, with famous North Carolina BBQ and fried chicken. Hugh Tackett, in his e-mail, summed up the event: “I guarantee you guys no one was denied a great time,” he wrote, “meeting new friends and seeing some utterly fantastic cars.”