San Diego became a chartered region of PCA on December 26th, 1957
By John Straub, Region Historian
Before San Diego Region became a Region, a few National Porsche Club members and enthusiasts got together here in San Diego and had some impromptu events. The year was 1957. Later that same year they were to get together and decide to join the Porsche Club of America as a Region. The first meeting was put together by Paul Madigan at the Golden Lion restaurant with ten members.
The following information was acquired from Bea Cole, Jim Douthit and Jack Case. This is how it happened.
The first letter is dated November 14, 1957 addressed to Bill Sholar (the creator of the PCA) in Alexandria, Virginia. It was from Paul Madigan here in San Diego.
“Dear Mr. Sholar,
The undersigned, all active members in good standing of the Porsche Club of America, herewith petition for recognition as a Chartered Region of the Porsche Club of America.
Our activities to date include two dinner meetings, three runs (two to Mexico and one to Mt. Palomar), and two trips to the races at Palm Springs and Riverside, California.
The temporary officers are John Bowman President, Wally Schmidt Secretary and William Zongker Activities Chairman. If chrtered, we agree individually and as a region to abide by the Bylaws and Policies of the Porsche Club of America.
The name of the region will be “Porsche Club of America, San Diego Region.” The Region will include the county of San Diego in the state of California.
It is understood that within sixty days from the date of this letter we will submit our slate of officers and a copy of our Constitution and Bylaws.
Very truly yours,
Ten members in good standing in San Diego County are:
- Paul D. Madigan
- William L. Zonghker
- Robert E. Kollmar
- Keith Ewton
- Paul F. Veal
- William Schaffer
- Wally Schmidt
- Robert C. Thacker
- John Bowman
- Doug Stephens
These are the original charter members of San¬†Diego Region.
The second letter is dated January 21, 1958¬†addressed to John Case (Jack as we know him was a National Vice-President here on the West Coast living in Los Angeles). From Max Bunnel, President, National PCA.
Re: Executive Committee approval of request for chartered regions.
We have received request from the San Diego Region and the Chicago-Milwaukee Region for recognition as chartered regions.
At the moment, Bill Sholar has the San Diego petition which he assured me is proper, and I have reviewed and find all information in proper form.
In as much as the Executive Committee must pass approval for new charters, I would appreciate your comments if not in favor of granting these charters. In other words, to expedite their being published in Panorama…
And the third letter dated February 25, 1958 was addressed back to Paul Madigan in San Diego from Bill Sholar and cc-ed to John Case.
The petition for charter you forwarded to Bill Sholar has been presented to the Executive Council for their consideration and it is with considerable pleasure that I advise you the charter for San Diego Region of the P.C.A. has been approved. I want to wish you the best of luck in your future programs and activities.
In as much as the petition itself is not in my possession, could you advise me the boundaries of your region. Does it include Los Angeles? Would also appreciate your comments as to why or why not you have made the boundaries as they are.
By copy of this letter to John Case, I want to thank John for his contacts with you in the past. I am sure that John will do everything he can to help you with your planning or with regards to the P.C.A. from a national standpoint.
If I can do anything to assist you, do not hesitate to let me know.
As you can see, John Bowman was President on December 26, 1957, on the date and year our Region was Chartered. Paul Madigan then became President the following year for the first full year we were chartered as a Region to the Porsche Club of America. At that time we had no “Windblown Witness” or newsletter, events were publicized by word of mouth or by post cards.
The “Windblown Witness” would not be started until 1961. The name of the region newsletter came from the fact that the cars were air cooled, “Windblown” and “Witness” referred to getting information out to the members. The first issues were typed, two to three pages, and were run off as copies. Most of the information was about events or tech information, since we had no advertisers in the Windblown Witness at that time. This was a time of change in the club. The members could communicate via a newsletter rather than by phone.
In the first eight years of SDR our Presidents were; John Bowman 1957, Paul Madigan 1958, Keith Ewton 1959, Roger Thompson/Paul Madigan 1960, Rowland Johnson 1961, Wally Cole 1962, Keith Ewton 1963, Jack Rober 1964, Tom Hauseur Sr. 1965. Our Windblown Witness editors were Rowland Johnson, Jerry & Dawn Lehrer 1961, Wally Cole 1962/63, Keith Ewton 1964, and George LaDam in 1965.
Some of our early events were Progressive Dinners, Tech Sessions, Tours, Rallys, Concours, Election Dinners, Installation Dinner, Weekenders, Auto Crosses at Del Mar and Mission Valley, high speed driving events that started in 1962 in Brawley.