A Defining Moment: Checkeditout 2021
There’s absolutely no question about it—the last year and a half will be forever marked by COVID-19. Its been a disease that has stricken, tested, and divided our world in so many ways, the likes of which are not completely settled today. As an uncertain Autumn approaches our fair city of Chicago, there was one last taste of summer that we very much needed to indulge: Checkeditout 2021.
A call-out to COVID isn't the tone that I necessarily wanted to start the story with, but it's an important contextual foundation onto which Checkeditout sets such a high standard. After last year's magical, suburban pivot otherwise known as the Checkeditout Field Trip, CIO was able to make its venerable return to the familiar downtown Chicago landscape where it rightfully belonged.
For us, the event started the night before. After making some last minute upgrades to our newly acquired 997 GT3, we made the trek downtown—negotiating some of Chicago's infamous rush hour traffic in the process. Time spent in the car made me innately aware of two things: one, the suspension upgrades we made the night before were immensely impactful and two, the 4-speaker base audio in the GT3 was, by all accounts, an aural travesty. As traffic opened up, a quick push of the sport button erased all concern for the latter and we were soon outside the doors of the Revel building where we'd park for the evening.
To my surprise, it wasn't just a small interior space where a handful of cars would be displayed. Instead, I was slowly guided down ramps and corridors by Checkeditout staff—each room greeting my gaze with more and more Porsches. As my car inched down into the main exhibition room, my eyes adjusted to the intimate lighting and I reversed my car into its resting space for the night.
Our custom Porsche monroney sticker on display with our new 997 GT3 project
Coincidentally parked next to another Future Classic club member (Daniel) and his 991.2 Cabrio GTS
Stepping out of my car for the first time, I couldn't help but smile. It already looked like an excerpt from Porsche's own museum tour—a peppering of the marque's masterful creations—all visible from one vantage point.
More cars continued to arrive throughout the evening; good company was complimented by sonorous flat 6 noises
That moment made me think back a few years to the inaugural Checkeditout event. I was, truthfully, hyper focused on the fact that it was called a “convergence”. At first read, I qualified it as an attempt to elevate the gathering above a more commonplace “meet”—but soon after arriving, I was immediately made aware that the word was chosen carefully.
You see, while literally every other large Porsche gathering make deliberate effort of parking vehicles by chassis type, Checkeditout takes immense pride in mixing up the field. In any direction, your eyes are treated to the finest variety pack of Porsche’s creations; there’s no vaulted distinction between air-cooled or water-cooled, zero bonus points are dished for concours condition or GT badging. No, when you entered the proverbial doors of Checkeditout we converge as one to create a new whole—indeed, exactly as the term intended.
It was that welcoming air that compelled Future Classic to not only attend this year, but to get involved as an event sponsor. As these cars continue their rise into rarified air, events like these become unique opportunities for people to appreciate and enjoy these machines in close proximity. There's an intangible "something" to these cars that should be cherished, especially as the precious nectar that powers them dwindles in supply.
The Main Event
The Fulton Market district was abuzz with Porsches, the same sweet noises I recalled from the night before, but amplified to eleven as hundreds of cars announced their arrival. It was a subconsciously fitting tribute to Karsten that echoed through the buildings and poured onto the city blocks that we so exactingly occupied.
Although in some cases over sixty years separated models, there was an artful continuity strewn between them all. I've always respected Porsche for taking an evolutionary approach to their design aesthetic rather than a revolutionary one.
Westmont Porsche, Porsche Downtown Chicago, and Autobahn Country Club were amongst the biggest sponsors this year and they were kind enough to bring an incredibly special array of cars to the show—the likes of which included the Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche Daytona prototype and the all-new 992 GT3.
Porsche's newest entry into the EV world: the Taycan Sport Turismo
I could wax poetic about the cars all day, but Checkeditout has evolved into something more than a car gathering; as a non-profit, CIO represents a unique opportunity to give back to the underserved communities in Chicago.
"This year we are supporting Second Bridge to support children in the foster care system by supplying items such as clothing, shoes, bedding, toys, gifts and school supplies. All the necessities to make kids feel loved and deserving while transitioning into a new home."
Art on Auction: Automotive prints from renowned photographer Jeremy Cliff
In the grand scheme of things, over 250 of us came together as a Porsche tribe to celebrate a unique bond to a marque. But crucially, we brought so many more people together to do something even bigger, to do something special.
There was something inherently triumphant in the air that day. The cars, the city of Chicago, and the wonderful people that continue to make CIO the event of year helped define this moment forever. While COVID-19 may have largely defined the last couple years, Checkeditout Chicago, on August 21st, 2021 won one back.
Thank you once again to the Checkeditout squad, the volunteers, fellow sponsors, and everyone who attended the event. So proud to share this Porsche Moment with you all.