William “Bird” Prillerman and LaGuana “LA” Lawrence’s love affair with Porsches is more than an appreciation of the German automaker.
Undoubtedly, automobiles are among the most appreciated sources of transportation worldwide due to their style, power, accessories, and overall rich history of how they eventually hit the road. When looking more intently at the admiration for cars, one finds there are actual clubs and societies dedicated to everything from specific types to actual automakers; addressing the latter, meet William “Bird” Prillerman, a founding member of the Black Porsche Club of Atlanta, Inc. As its name suggests, this burgeoning society based in Georgia’s capital is not only fond of the German automaker, but its members also make it a priority to be progressive, charitable, and particularly focused on helping African Americans to prosper.
“I’ve been a member of Porsche Club of America for over 35 years,” Prillerman says. “One weekend, four African-American Porsche owners got together and took a ride to Tail of the Dragon up at Deals Gap, North Carolina. At the end of the ride, I had made a suggestion that we should look at starting a Black Porsche Club here in the Atlanta area because of the number of African Americans and minorities who drove Porsches around the city. Naturally, they were all in agreement.”
The aforementioned Porsche Club of America comprises a broader following of the automaker, with a multi-cultural collective in the U.S. and Canada exceeding more than 100,000 members. Prillerman saw the need to create a more specific niche in Atlanta, so he, along with George “Paco” Sulmers, Alvin C. Taylor, and Wilson Jones, became the founding members.
“We were originally going to be a charter chapter of Black Porsche Inc. out of Southern California, which is a Black Porsche Club that was established in 1968,” Prillerman recollects. “Due to the process taking so long, we decided to start our own club. We are now incorporated, our trademark has been filed, and our bylaws are being reviewed by an attorney who is a member so we can attain our 501(c)(7).”
Now with more than 50 members, people join for many number reasons besides having a fondness for Porsches. Just ask LaGuana “LA” Lawrence.
“I was always a Mercedes girl, and then after my divorce, I decided to do something different,” Lawrence says. “I thought, ‘what the heck, you only live once and Porsche is a very fun car.’ We are not only riding in style, though; we are doing things that are positive and impactful in our community and for the youth. As our president, Mr. Paco, stated, ‘Every Black kid does not want to be a rapper. They want to do other things.’”
Lawrence continues, “We do fundraisers for scholarships and toy drives during the holidays to help families in need. We also partner with local schools in providing much-needed supplies and materials. Some of our members are affiliated with various prominent organizations and corporations around the Metro Atlanta area, so we plan to partner with them to help create positive change. We also do rides, events, and campaigning for important candidates like Stacey Abrams and other charitable events.”
Providing more detail about the membership, Lawrence notes, “It is only $50 to join. You must be a minority, you must own a Porsche, and we meet once a month. We have airline pilots, attorneys, engineers, business owners, entrepreneurs, law enforcement, project managers, and others as members.”
So ultimately, what is the goal of the Black Porsche Club of Atlanta?
“We want to inspire African-American youth to work hard and achieve their dreams and goals,” Lawrence answers without hesitation.
Now that’s driven.