IF YOU’RE a fan of iconic sports car brand Porsche, Powys is the place to be this week as masses of the classic 914 model will tour the Elan Valley, Brecon Beacons and take in a pit stop at Powis Castle.

Last held in the UK 12 years ago the annual Porsche 914 International Meet is this year being held in Mid Wales – with the event being organised by Llandrindod Wells couple Tom Loder and partner Briony Bufton.

More than 100 914s from all over Europe will be meeting at Lion Quays, Gobowen, on Wednesday, June 8, before embarking on a sojourn south and into Powys, where they will spend the next three nights at the Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod, in addition to enjoying the winding roads and stunning sights and scenery on offer.

Back in 1997 a few continental visitors attended a Porsche Club Great Britain event at Althorp House, in Northamptonshire, in their Porsche 914s. The seeds for the annual Porsche 914 International Meet were sewn. For the first four years the meetings were hosted by different clubs in Germany, before coming to the UK in 2002.

That first UK event was held in Bournemouth and then Symonds Yat in 2010, the latter is sometimes referred to as the Welsh International as drivers paid a visit to the Big Pit National Coal Museum, in Blaenavon, which was the event’s only previous excursion into Wales.

“With the meet returning to the UK in 2020 my partner and I, as Powys residents, were keen to show our European friends real Wales,” said Tom.

“And finally, after two years of postponements due to Covid, our pre-meet visitors arrive at Lion Quays on June 8 for our ‘Chasing Dragons’ themed event exploring Wales. The following morning our guests get to drive through Snowdonia and enjoy a visit to Portmeirion before heading south along the coast and then into Powys to their base at the Metropole for three nights.

“During the next three days we visit Powis Castle, the Elan Valley, Aberystwyth and the Rheidol Valley Steam Railway, then back into Powys and the Brecon Beacons and Dan Yr Ogof Show Caves, always with the emphasis on nice driving roads, before dispersing on Sunday on their many ways home or to continue their visit to the UK.”

County Times:  Porsche lovers attend the Brooklands 50 year Anniversary, marking half a century of the 914, in 2019 Porsche lovers attend the Brooklands 50 year Anniversary, marking half a century of the 914, in 2019

Since those first few years the 914 International Meet has grown into an annual event hosted by a different European Porsche Club or 914 Register each year. Over the years the number of participants has grown to around 100 914’s and the event has visited Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Spain.

In recent years the meet has expanded from just a weekend, with days being added for those who want to enjoy the sites and culture of the local area together for a little longer.

Many groups now extend their visits, making a holiday out of touring the country or area. Some of this year’s European participants are extending their stay to explore Wales further, while others are heading to Ireland or Scotland.

“Launched in 1969 the Porsche 914 recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with a meeting at Brooklands, attracting 50 cars from around the UK,” added Tom.

“Our 914 International in Wales will easily smash that record with over 100 Porsche 914s expected for the weekend of June 10-12 at the Metropole in Llandrindod.

“There are not many drivers of lovingly restored 50-year-old cars that will drive them, in some cases thousands of miles, across numerous countries to meet up with fellow owners at an annual one model meeting.”

As well as a representative from Porsche AG themselves, Tom confirmed that the Welsh meet has even managed to entice a 914 owner from Japan who is flying in to attend.