Warrington Curated Dealership Takeover Attracts Over 1,500 Attendees and Nearly 100 Show Cars for Grid Icons: Porsche

Photography: Brandon Cody

  • Grid Icons is Pit+Paddock’s car show concept that spotlights performance-themed builds from popular marques in unique venues across the United States.
  • The fourth Grid Icons show assembled a healthy variety of modified Porsches—from air-cooled to water-cooled, to SUVs and transaxles—at Porsche Warrington in Warrington, PA.
  • Porsche Warrington’s dealership footprint was repurposed as an event space, including a unique, dedicated off-road section that set it apart.
  • Presenting partner AST/MOTON, and official partners Akrapovič and BBS, were among the supporters who helped make this event possible.

It’s five in the morning and I’m fumbling around my apartment in the dark to gather everything I need for the day: my keys, cell phone, wallet, and two wash buckets that I’d stowed near the front door as a very blatant reminder that, at the eleventh hour, I’d neglected to wash my car for the Grid Icons show in three hours. As much as I’d like to tell myself it was to prevent excessive dust from piling up, it was procrastination at its finest.

But in my defense, I think there was a good reason for it; over the last few months, Pit+Paddock has been dedicated to imagining, curating, and planning for Grid Icons: Modified Porsche, a nearly 100-deep assemblage of the Tri-State’s finest air-cooled to water-cooled, SUVs, and transaxles within a local dealership’s footprint.

DEALER DONE DIFFERENTLY

Porsche’s corporate architecture is on the verge of a massive pivot to make dealerships a “central gathering place” for the Porsche community. Until that happens, most consumers will view dealerships as transactional experiences rather than experiential ones. David Sloane and Marc Brenner, Porsche Warrington’s Principal Owner and General Manager respectively, sought to establish their dealer as a haven for enthusiasts well before the corporate mandate. That long-standing commitment was something we recognized during our venue hunt. When I explained the Grid Icons concept, you could tell they “got it”; they were a natural fit for our ambitions and the die-hard Porsche crowd we intended to bring together.

The creative freedom to do what we thought best within the dealership footprint was exactly what we needed. We took our signature VIP section up a notch (literally) and served cocktails, refreshments, and snacks on Warrington’s second-floor landing before they made their way back downstairs to enjoy the show spread.

VIP patrons were also able to take unique advantage of a Taycan test drive experience during show hours. By the middle of the show, there were lines of people queuing around the Taycan staging area eager to sample one of the world’s most acclaimed all-electric models.

KEEP IT 100

I’ll be the first to admit that we never intended the Grid Icons: Modified Porsche show to be as big as it became. But there’s an undeniable electricity behind this brand that made it hard to temper. As a recent transplant to the state, I also took it as a personal provocation to find or meet as many Porschephiles at other events, on social media, or by proxy. Truthfully, the exercise was a bit terrifying; I recalled the John Hughes movie that molded my fear of social acceptance—the perversely awkward mise en place that high school kids would execute to win fortune with their peers—but I discovered that my fears were unfounded. The East Coast Porsche crowd is one of the most supportive, genuine, and enthusiastic bunch I’ve ever met, and the more I looked, the more I found. By the end of it, the roster was brimming with Porsche’s cast mates. In Hughes’s terms, a collection of rich and poor, nerds and jocks, freaks and overachievers, all united by a devotion to the Porsche brand. Queue the OMD.

SUMMA CUM LAUDE

The showroom was an opportunity to highlight some of the best. The “Honor Roll” commission—a 964 reimagined by Singer—was first to greet you through one of the dealership’s side entrances. On the opposite end, two 993 Tributes (a Supercup and GT2 respectively) make a vibrant first impression. But if you came through the front door, your gaze would meet a true champion: the 000 992 Turbo S racer that set the new production car record at Pikes Peak. It was fitting that a PTS 911 Targa was this car’s pair; the 930 Turbo of the same vintage helped inspire the 000 “Print Isn’t Dead” livery. Just behind, you’d discover a contrasting pair of 997 GT3RSs: a museum-grade RS Green example with 2,200 miles out of Warrington’s collection next to a 175,000-mile “Dot Two” that’s been daily driven since new.

UNOBTAINIUM

Porsche’s “normal” car values have risen meteorically over the last decade, driven largely by FOMO and an ever-dwindling supply. But suppose you swung a right inside of Warrington’s showroom. In that case, you’d find rarified examples that’d make a 997 GT3 feel commonplace: a Basalt Black Carrera GT and 918 Weissach parked nose-to-nose started things off nicely.

But a purportedly one-of-one 918 Weissach in hand-painted “Hippie” livery—protected in Warrington’s glass delivery bay—finished things off. Porsche’s unfiltered and uninterrupted design language makes these cars seem “relatable” even if their price tags indicate otherwise.

EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE

There were 90 other notable pieces of Porsche’s lineage ready to admire through the looking glass; a bouquet of colors, rumbling noises, and signature silhouettes you’d recognize even if the lights suddenly went out. The show’s layout of “zones” made digesting the experience easier and proved informative to attendees that don’t have “taco wing”, “PTS” and “sugar scoops” in their weekend vocabulary list. A smattering of 996 and 997 Mezger-powered cars beckoned attendees onto Warrington’s service floor where concours-worthy examples of every flavor were waiting for attention. A local’s pristine 993 Carrera looked stunning on Warrington’s alignment rack, offering enthusiasts a unique vantage point of Porsche’s last air-cooled 911. Up front, a trio of 000 718 Spyders were huddled together in an impressive array. The fourth in the bunch was a “standard” Spyder that previously belonged to Jerry Seinfeld and allowed attendees to compare and contrast the models in close proximity. 000’s appearance at the event was an immense achievement. I believe that there’s real synergy between what it strives towards as a steward of the print medium and the Porsche marque just as much as we are a driver for the future of experiential marketing and modern media.

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

Porsche is widely celebrated for its road-going cars and motorsport endeavors, but we saw Grid Icons as an opportunity to recognize an often-overlooked segment in Warrington’s grassy expanse. As far as first impressions go, the entry point to the off-road showcase featured a powerful pair: Warrington’s Porsche Restoration Challenge 993 Safari was staged next to a beautiful Ivory 992 Dakar.

Eurowise Performance came through in a big way for us here, hauling four off-road-ready Cayennes, including its third-generation SEMA build for Mobil1. The North Carolina-based company has been diligently taking its experience “beyond the pavement” for the last couple of years and is an undisputed front-runner for manufacturing high-end, adventure-ready components for each Cayenne generation. Spectators were also able to check out the FCP Euro Rallye Cayman in its latest livery and the sharp contrast between it and the German Auto Specialists Cayman track car (attached to a 957 Transsyberia) was a treat to witness.

BEST OF THE BEST

Grid Icons is reputably discerning when it comes to selecting partners, opting to tailor sponsors to their target audience. The Porsche event was no exception and our presenting sponsor, AST/MOTON, led the charge with Akrapovič and BBS in tow. Out front, Waldo’s PTS 992 Turbo S donned the suspension brand’s latest—the Adjustable Lowering Spring (ALS) kit—and proved why it was, far and away, the best plug-and-play solution for the 992 model range. His car happily split the difference between the AST/MOTON and Akrapovič spaces since it also sat equipped with the brand’s titanium exhaust. Two birds, one stone as they say.

The BBS LM celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, so seeing Josh’s immaculate (LM-equipped) 997.1 Turbo flanking the BBS tent was rather special. Coincidentally, the ROCS Motorsports “Panamericana” wore motorsport halves too, so there was a nice interplay between street and race car BBS equipment there.

BEYOND EXPECTATIONS

To say that our effort was well received would be an understatement. It felt like I couldn’t go ten minutes without someone expressing their heartfelt gratitude for what we’d put together or asking whether this would turn into an annual event. DMs were coming through from people who were seeing the event unfold in real time asking if they could already sign up for the next one. It was the coming-to-reality “My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl” kind of buzz. This is exactly what we hoped for; the public sentiment reaffirmed the goals we’d set from the very beginning. We sought to create the definitive Porsche event for the East Coast and we did exactly that. Three lucky winners went home with some memorable prizes, too: a 000 1:18 scale Pikes Peak art car, a year’s subscription to 000 Magazine, and a rather large bag of goodies from Porsche Warrington themselves that had a nice motorsport rucksack, tumbler, hat, and this Michelin man plush that I was really tempted to take for myself.

Eventually, the fervent energy of the event had to wind down and it gave me a few moments to reflect on what’d gone down over the last few hours. Grid Icons: Modified Porsche was an event that cemented itself as the first of its kind on the East Coast for the marque, but also created ripples within the industry. That’s an important thing to help keep pushing all of us to aim higher, strive for more, and help people—even well outside of the car industry—understand just how special the automotive aftermarket is, the emotional impact that the cars deliver, and the real human connection that comes from the intersection of it all.

Even if every road doesn’t lead to Porsche, we all have to admit that after last weekend, there’s a bit more Porsche in all of us than there was before. Thank you to AST/MOTON, Akrapovič, BBS, 000 Magazine, Cooled Collective, Porsche Warrington, and all the display cars for your support and for helping Pit+Paddock realize a vision. We couldn’t have done it without you and we hope you had as much fun as we did making it happen.



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