I first learned of the path later that afternoon. I got news that Paul Walker and Roger Rodas tragically passed away doing what they loved best, driving. Living life. Enjoying life. The news came a little closer to home a couple days later on Monday December 2nd. I got a call from the buyer of my 911 GT3 RS 4.0 that I sold earlier that year. He said, "Vic, I just want you to know, Roger bought the 4.0 from me." Wow. There was a 4.0 delivered on a flat bed to the event where Roger died. I had no idea that was my car. I was stunned and sad at the loss of these two good men in the prime of their lives.
I forgot about the picture. But, I came back to it a couple months later and noticed I took this picture hours before they died. I looked further and saw a P with wings. Paul. Wings like an angel. Freaky. I sat on it for a little. I thought about maybe using it as a logo for Purist, a great car group started by Sean Lee who I knew was very close to Paul. I reached out to him a couple times but never got the chance to pitch it to him. And by that point, Purist created their awesome logo already. Still, this symbol was sticking in my head.
All the while, I continued my hobby of driving. And driving Porsches.
My first sport car was a 1991 Nissan 300z in the early 90s. Later that decade, I got a BMW M3 (E36). Then, kids came and priorities changed. And we moved to the suburbs. For school. For the kids. I had no idea at that time that those same suburbs included some of the best roads in California. Mulholland Highway, The Snake, etc. Once I found those roads the late 2000s, it was time to get a car. I was fortunate enough given my previous ownership of an M car to be invited by BMW to preview the E92 M3 at The Nürburgring Nordschleife F1 track. Two days of instruction on the track behind the wheel of the new M3? Where do I sign? The experience was fantastic. It helped that my car partner bowed out very early. Double seat time? Yes, please! At the completion of the event, all the students informally polled one another to ask if they would be getting the BMW M3. Most said yes. I said, I'm waiting for this thing finally coming out of Japan and hitting the States, the vaunted ا Nissan GTR. When the Nissan GT-R finally arrived, I knew I had found my weapon of choice to re-introduce me to my love of driving. And learn to drive I did. The community surrounding the launch of the R35 stateside was awesome. We did track days and really shared a bond for our love of the car and driving. I met some very cool people. I had three amazing years of ownership but something was missing. Soul. Godzilla had no soul. All the while, my father was pounding me about buying a real car. A car with soul. He said, "Porsche, there is no substitute". So, I listened to my dad and a bought a new 2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S. Wow. This car had soul. You could hear the thousands of hours of engineering and heritage every time you turned that key on the left. Any time I could, I'd hit the back road. With friends, alone, didn't matter. Something about being behind the wheel of a Porsche and just appreciating the car, the road, and the people. Porsche Club of America groups were another fun place to meet new people and do adventuresome spirited drives while visiting cool places or commemorating holidays.
After paying my Porsche 911 Turbo Tax (which I feel everyone should pay if so blessed), I was ready for the big leagues. Time to shed the AWD nannies and go play with the big boys. I needed a GT3. Not just any GT3. I needed a GT3 RS. Not just any GT3 RS. I needed a GT3 RS 4.0. So I specced one out at Beverly Hills Porsche. It arrived around the end of '11. I wasn't feeling it. And I passed. Someone got lucky that Christmas smile emoticon But the car was still gnawing at me into 2012. And I found one at Hennessy Porsche North Atlanta. Mint. Low mileage. LWB seats. Black. Black rims. And a saleswoman named Sally. Just like Sally from the movie Cars. She flew out here with paperwork and sold me the car. I flew into Atlanta with my dad on one of my many visits to Porsche Sport Driving School, drove the car and put it on a truck. See you soon.
Boy, that was a Porsche. The Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0. I put thousands of miles on that car (4,000ish to be exact). I'd only sell this car if I had a gun to my head. Enter gun frown emoticon I had to sell the GT3. I found an amazing buyer who told me he'd take care of her and would let me drive it anytime I wanted to on the East Coast. You gotta do what you gotta do. I missed that car but I still had a 2012 Porsche Cayenne Turbo which at least kept me behind the crest, albeit not the sporting way I'd been accustomed to in the Turbo and GT3. But I got back in the game later that year. I found a beautiful Porsche 911 (991) Carrera S out in Oregon in the middle of 2012. I had an amazing time with my wife flying into Oregon and driving it down the coast. Then I bought a Porsche Cayman S. And a Panamera GTS. And a Macan. And a Macan Turbo. And finally, I got back into a Porsche 911 GT3 (991).
In five years, I've been blessed to have owned close to 10 Porsches and have probably put a combined 100k miles on them. The bug hit me. Hard.
Given this love for the marque, last year, I started a Facebook fan page called Porsche Drive. Porsche didn't really like that. It's now called P Drive. It's basically where I've chronicled and archived my ownership and adventures of the cars, people and fun I've had.
The symbol Vic, the symbol. Wow, sorry I went on a rant there. OK. So, in the beginning of 2014, I took a meeting with Nicolas Hunziker and showed him the symbol. I finally figured out what I wanted to do with it. Necessity being the mother of invention, I figured this would be a cool way to signal other Porsche drivers on the open road. You can't high beam cause that might mean law enforcement was ahead, (not that we were doing anything wrong wink emoticon, the peace sign was reserved for bikers, so, we needed our own sign. And this could be it. And this should be it. It had the P embedded for Porsche and we'd use it when we passed one another. Wait, pass one another. PASS. That's it! I'd use the symbol to start an apparel company called PASS. It would reflect and embody the incredible experiences I've had on the open road with my Porsche(s). Nick was kind enough to meet with me and give me some direction.
Life happened through the middle of 2014 and then I started Porsche Drive on Facebook. And I quickly found out that there were thousands of rabid Porsche aficionados like me who loved their cars and the open road. Porsche Cars North America and Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG weren't too enthralled because they would be opening their new $100mm US HQ at One Porsche Drive. So, they were nice enough to let me change it to P Drive. And that's where we are now.
But there are still thousands of Porsche drivers hitting the open road daily without a way to say "hey fellow Porsche driver, I dig you man."
And so, I'm pleased to finally be able to introduce PASS to you. PASS will be the way to say "Hey" to your fellow Porsche driver. PASS will be the way to tell other Porsche drivers, I DRIVE. And I drive PORSCHE!
We're gearing up for a launch in Spring 2016 but we'll have a small soft launch presence with some promotional stuff.
PASS Apparel will use what we've learned on the backroad to make your future treks even more enjoyable.
I can't wait to show you what we have in store and look forward to seeing you on the road ahead!
PS - If you have any ideas or suggestions, we'd love to hear from you. Feel free to message us here or via e-mail at info@PASSapparel.com