A History of Central Pa PCA

...and the CPA-PCA logo

by DENNIS FRICK, Co-Founder & Charter Member
& DON HOLLWAY, Editor/Webmeister

To explain the history of the badge requires a bit of explanation of the region itself. In the early ’60s, the very supportive Levin family owned and operated Cameron VW/Porsche, located in what is now the Harrisburg Chrysler dealership. Fred Vetterlein, a salesman there, was a first-class Porsche enthusiast and driver. Fred and I, encouraged by several other Porsche drivers, joined the Reisentöter Region with the purpose of then breaking away to form our own region.

Among the original supporters was the late George and Daphne Heide. (It’s George for whom our Member of the Year Award is named.) Also among the original group was Dave Bennett, who works on Porsches with me still, and who with my input, designed the badge. Reisentöter region had its own badge, and a few of us “did battle” with them at very competitive “autosprints” at Christmas Village, Bushkill Pines, Sanger’s Cart Track, and even on clay at Lincoln Speedways! The Central Penn 356’s were regulars at the hillclimbs at Hershey, Tuscarora, Giant’s Despair, Duryea Drive, Fleetwood and Weatherly, to name a few. We also “teamed up” at Reading Airport, Marlboro and Cumberland road races. It seemed only fitting to create a type of badge that would identify “Cen-Penn” members competing as a team.

The badge’s overall shape resembles that of the PCA national badge. The Maltese Cross is, of course, taken from the Knights of Malta, originally the Knights Hospitalers. It was carried as a flag during the Crusades. It later appeared in the royal coat of arms of the Hohenzollern family of Prussia, as the Cross Patée. (French was then the language of the Prussian court.) From there it was adopted as the German national military insignia during the First World War. Popularly known as the Iron Cross, it’s this incarnation (the one which adorned the Red Baron’s Fokker triplane) that’s probably most familiar to the public. Although it was superseded by the plainer, straight-armed Greek Cross or Balkankreuz in April 1918 (and, of course, the swastika during the 30’s and early 40’s), it was reinstated when the West German military reorganized after WWII and identifies German tanks and planes to this day.

The color scheme of the Central Pennsylvania badge follows that of the Porsche coat of arms, which in turn derives from modern German national colors of schwarz, rote, und gelb—black, red, and gold. The cross, along with the national-badge shape and the Porsche coat of arms, identified the bearer as representing Porsche, PCA and Central Pennsylvania. The members put the entire badge on their clothing, but often placed just the Maltese Cross on the car. Some coupes bore it as a decal in the rear-quarter glass; the other coupes and the open cars had it on the front fender extension. For the 356—the only production Porsche at the time, of course—there was even an aftermarket Maltese Cross torsion bar cap. (Don’t ask!)

I won’t try to explain our correlation of the Knights of Malta to Central Pennsylvania 356s headed for track events!

In 2002 it became clear that Porsche was cracking down on what it considered unauthorized use of its logo. Since our original logo included the Porsche shield as the central motif, a new logo was required. The Executive Board decided to have a member contest to see who could come up with the best redesign.

All in all more than 30 designs were submitted, including a large number from out of the region. The E-board decided to limit entries to our own members.

In the end, voters elected to make the minimum alterations to our logo in order to get Porsche’s blessing. Instead of the Porsche crest in the center, the new logo features a plain gold shield with the word “PORSCHE.” (We weren't allowed to use the stretched-out factory lettering.) The horse on the shield is taken from the Pennsylvania state flag.