Tom Tweed's Rennlist Home Page
Before the surfing, before the motorcycles, before the boats, before the sportscars, this was my first ride:
I can remember wildly rocking back and forth on this little wooden horse for hours, pretending I was Hopalong Cassidy or Gene Autry or some bigtime cowboy. I must have been about 3 years old in this pic, and the funny thing is, when I finally got on a real horse, many years later, they scared me to death! They were huge, strong animals, and they had a mind of their own! If they were smart enough, we humans would be working for them instead of the other way around! I found that I had a much better feeling for mechanical mounts, with no brains, where I had complete control....
The Surfing thang....
I made up this site to share some stuff related to my two most special interests- surfing and performance driving. Many thanks to John Dunkle for making this free Web space available for Rennlist members. I'm not a computer professional, but I have been messing with PC's since 1983 or so, and I can appreciate the kind of effort it has taken to develop and maintain the Rennlist site. Though it grew from a simple Lyris listserver into the largest Porsche marque site on the internet and John eventually sold it to Internet Brands, as one of the original founding members, I am grateful that he negotiated an agreement with them to honor his commitments to members in the transition.
I have some pics of my family, taken over many years time, on a couple of pages here.
The first access I ever had to the Internet was generously
provided by my friend Joe Trotter, through a server that he was
administering at the Salk Institute back in the early '80s. Joe
created one of the first surfing-related websites there, to which
I contributed some content, and he has maintained it to this day,
long after he has left Salk for greener pastures. "Surfing the
Web" has become a common phrase, but real surfers
are a little upset that their sport has been co-opted to describe
what is basically an inactive, sedentary pursuit. We think that
"Fishing the Web" would be a more appropriate metaphor.
Here's a link to my surf club's website:
along with a link to my friend Bill Andrews' site, who recently passed away from ALS:
http://adaywithba.com/ -- that should be enough real surfing content to keep you "fishing" for awhile!
In 2013, The California Surf Museum mounted an exhibit celebrating the 50th Anniversary of my surf club, for which I wrote the narrative explaining the exhibit to visitors.
The Boat thang....
One of the first things I put up on the internet were my boatbuilding pages, digitized from my project scrapbook and the diary I kept while I was building it back in 1976-1982...
It was every hard-core surfer's dream back then- sailing the south Pacific and Indian oceans finding isolated, uncrowded, perfect waves in a warm, tropical environment, carrying your whole act with you on a small sailing yacht. George Greenough and my late friend, Harry Blackwell, were my inspiration, and I started down the path the hard way, but never made it to the payoff. I learned a lot along the way, though....
The Writing thang....
I have always been interested in writing, and have been working on "The Great American Surf Novel" since I was in college in the late '60s. After retiring from my "real" job, I disciplined myself to sit down and actually finish it! It's called Beep! Beyond the Frogpond and Back. My wife and I have started a publishing company as a second career for our retirement years and we have nine books published already, with two more in production. The company is named Plowshare Media, and I would like to invite you to visit our website to learn more about our work.
I have also collected a few of the stories I have written and had published in various periodicals over the years and put them on a page here, for your entertainment, should you have a few hours to waste....
The Car thang....
Growing up in Lo Cal, the fascination with cars was inevitable for a teenage boy--they represented freedom and mobility and adulthood. I was no different, and I first learned to operate a car when I was about 12 years old--owned a bunch of different types of vehicles over the years, both two and four wheeled--but I cannot say that I ever really learned how to drive until I was nearly 50 years old, when I bought my first Porsche, joined the PCA, and took their Performance Driving School one Spring. The rest has been a long downhill slide on the slippery slope of speed....
This is a picture of my 1966 911 sunroof coupe, which I bought in 1997. It was modified with all 1967 911S running gear, plus small flares, doors and chin spoiler from '69-73, sport seats, Autopower rollbar w/ 5 pt. Simpson harnesses, 6" Fuchs w/ 205/60-15 Dunlops, etc.) It was taken during an autocross at the EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operations Center) in Riverside, in 1998, the first time I ever won my class. Since then, I have sold this car to fellow Rennlister Terry Steer in Australia, and it has begun a new racing career Down Under.
Some of my other cars, past and present, are depicted below, with links to the stories behind them.
This was my father's 1967 911S, and I became the 3rd owner of it, after him and my brother, in 1999, driving it constantly until the end of 2007, when I sold it to a fellow in Holland, who will be using it for vintage rallies and European tours. The detailed description and history page I made up for it when I decided to sell the car is here.
My 1976 LeGrand Mk.18 DSR
A WCM Ultralite S2K (this car has been sold to a new owner in San Jose, CA, as I have exceeded the 5-car limit imposed by "my reason for living," otherwise known as my wife, Maryann (SWSBO.)
I picked up this 1973 911E in late 1999, and began modifying it towards and beyond 911RS specs. Many thousands of dollars and many track miles later, I sold it to a fellow in Sweden before I ever did the final paint work. It was mechanically perfect and fully developed as a street-legal time trial, DE, and autocross car, though, and the new owner has finished the body and paint work to his tastes, now, and it will be enjoying a new racing career in Europe this summer.
After 5 years of Porsche driving, I decided I would like to get some seat time in a different kind of vehicle, something cheap and quick and fun, so I tried a 125cc shifter kart at Amago Raceway one day. It beat me up, literally. The G-forces and pounding I took were exhausting. In 30 laps, I was toast. I decided I needed something a little more comfortable, with at least a suspension and some seatbelts, so I bought a Formula Ford.
It's a 1976 Zink Z-10C, and it hadn't raced in 10 years, but I spent a few months going through it and finally got it out on the track and it is a blast to drive. of course it is not street legal, so then I needed a trailer to transport it to events, and a tow vehicle for the trailer, and it goes on and on.... KAAACHIIINGGGG!
Eventually, I sold this car to a racer in Arizona who had just flipped his Zink several times at Firebird Raceway, and needed a replacement chassis in a hurry to continue his racing season. He contacted me through a mutual friend I had met at the SCCA Solo2 National Tour event in San Diego, drove over from Phoenix, looked at the car, and we made a deal on the spot. I delivered it to his home on the way to Texas to pick up the Ultralite S2K within a week.
In 2007 I acquired something as close to a supercar as I will ever get, being a retired working stiff of modest means. It was an Ultima GTR--an English built "kit car". It has a mid-mounted 350ci Corvette LSx engine driving the rear wheels thru an inverted Porsche G50 transaxle. This is a pic of it with the 2008 Porsche RS Spyder, taken by Randy Wells at a private track day at Willow Springs, CA, I was attending. The Penske team was there for some testing sessions, and allowed us all to have pics taken next to the RS Spyder. Click on the pic for my photbucket album of the car.
After the Ultima, I had a 1991 Porsche 964 Cup car for several
years. It was a factory race car, not street legal, and had been highly
modified over the years, with 993 GT2 Evo bodywork, a 3.8 liter engine,
and a G50 6-speed transaxle. The image below is a link to a Photobucket
album of pics of that car. It has since returned to Europe for a new owner
to enjoy in vintage racing.
My last air-cooled Porsche was a 1968 911 that I
rebuilt over a period of about 5 years into an R Gruppe hotrod. It had a
Euro 3.0 liter engine mated to a 915 5-speed transaxle, and was very
quick, since it weighed only 2200 lbs. It was originally Sand Beige and
I painted it Slate Grey, my favorite early Porsche color. I won four
straight class championships running it in PCA autocross events. The
picture below is a link to a photobucket album for that car. It was
finally sold to a collector in Alabama.
I'm afraid age and infirmity are catching up with me
now, and I am not able to work on or drive my cars so intensively
anymore. Though I was always an avid fan of the air-cooled 911, I
decided to sample the modern water-cooled offerings from Porsche,
something utilizing all the latest technology (and carrying a factory
warranty, since repairing them myself is no longer feasible). I wanted
to try the mid-engine Porsche layout, so I found a lightly used and
highly optioned 2011 Cayman S with PDK 7-speed. It is a very quick car
handles extremely well, even though it weighs 1,000 lbs. more than my
did. It has about 100 more HP, so that evens things out, and the
mid-engine weight distribution plus much larger tires makes for high
grip. Though I have given up driving on the big tracks now, I still
and the Cayman is a very capable car for these precision driving events.
In 2015, I decided I missed the rear-engine driving dynamics of the 911, and purchased my dream car, a 991 GT3. This car is everything I want in a sportscar, and makes me smile every time I drive it. It's a keeper, and I think my dabbling in cars is over. I will just have my wife bury me in this one.
Tom Tweed, [email protected]
La Jolla, CA, USA
Founding member, Porschelist and Rennlist #990416-1164
last update-- April, 2017