“It’s not a car… it’s a Bus” – a morning spent discovering VW type 2 transporters and a couple surprises at the O.C.T.O 2015 Winter Meet

“It’s not a car… it’s a BUS – definitely a 1960s marketing slogan from Volkswagen, and given my surroundings Saturday morning February 14th, there was no mistaking that I was entering into a sea of Volkswagen transporters (buses).

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Held each year at the Long Beach Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach, California, it’s always a morning of discovery, and an opportunity to hear the back stories behind the vehicles on display. The irony of this years O.C.T.O. Winter Meet was that given the clear blue skies and summer like temperatures being experienced in February, this could have easily passed as a summer meet.

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Another of my favorite subjects to photograph…”automotive opthomology”

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A return visit by a husband and wife pair of 21 window buses; the wife’s bus below…

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and her husband’s blue 21 window parked to the drivers right (below). It has been interesting to watch the progress made from year to year on this dual restoration effort.

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At the opposite end of the restoration spectrum was this early 1960s type 2 bus. Unfortunately, this bus was a painful reminder of the effects of time and exposure to the elements, as seen below.

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Given the extent of the rust, it was amazing that the roof and its body parts were still connected. However, upon closer inspection, it became obvious that the roof had assistance in the form of strategically placed sheet metal screws.

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In stark contrast and one row away, was another example of a beautifully restored type 2, in brilliant turquoise and white…

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and wearing a rather interesting license plate.

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Representing one of the model variations found within the type 2 transporter category, was this 1967 two-tone, dual-cab seen below.

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If one looks closely, there are frequently clues to be found which aid in revealing a vehicles true identity.

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(Below), one of several single-cabs present, but the sole participant carrying special cargo.

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Another of the beautifully restored, 21 window safari type 2s in attendance; brilliant blue on white…

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and several rows over, a second 21 window safari, dressed in orange over white.

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One never knows what extremes an owner will go to, in order to personalize his/her bus as witnessed below.

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(Below), one of my favorite type 2s in this years show. While photographing this bus, I was   approached by the owner and we struck up a conversation.  During our discussion, I learned that this 1961 bus had originally been owned by his grandfather, who purchased it back in 1963, and then used it as his daily driver. Many years later, and with the passing of his grandfather, he inherited the bus, and then proceeded to store it away in his garage. It ended up sitting there untouched, awaiting restoration for 18 years. With his kids graduated from college, he decided to finally tackle the restoration of the bus, with the majority of the restoration work having been completed by the owner himself.

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The owner continued his story, sharing the memories that he and his brother had, of vacationing with their grandfather, and how hot they were sitting in the back of the bus during the summer. Because of the heat factor, the owner decided to added a set of  safari front windows. He also shared stories of his grandfather driving the bus into mexico to his ranch, traversing dirt roads and creeks along the way, with evidence of these adventures uncovered during the buses restoration. Looking at the bus on that Saturday morning, it was hard to believe that it had not lived a pampered life.

Below, the bullet shaped front turn signal, identifying this type 2 bus as a 1961 model.

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Far from the stock motor that the bus was delivered with back in 1961.

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Once the restoration was complete, the owner unveiled the bus at their yearly family reunion, to the surprise of many relatives. The bus became the inspiration for a project his wife began; collecting and recording in written from, the stories from their many relatives with memories of grandpa’s bus.

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Parked on the perimeter of the display area were several unique Volkswagen cars… not Buses, as seen below.

First up was one cool Karmann Ghia…

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and parked on the opposite side of the parking lot; a beautifully restored VW Notchback.

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Saturday morning reflections…

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With this kind of weather and impressive turnout for the O.C.T.O. Winter Meet, one can only imagine what the O.C.T.O. Summer show will deliver.

(All photos by the author)

Porsche GTs in abundance at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto show…

Porsche GTs in abundance at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, or so the rumors went. In a break with tradition, my son and I attended the 2014 Los Angeles Auto show on the next to last day of its week-long run. Normally, we have always attended opening day, but our collective schedules did not allow that for 2014.

As my son and I ascended the escalator into the convention center, he asked “first stop at Petree hall”?  Our yearly tradition has been to start every show with a first stop at Petree Hall, to take in the surprises waiting at the Porsche display.  And for 2014, our tradition was upheld.

And what better thematic setting for making an impression upon present or future Porsche owners than the first scene of their display within Petree Hall, with the view seen below.

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Framed as a scene taken straight from a race track, and positioned center stage, was one of Porsche’s latest race cars; the 911 GT America. As we approached, it became obvious this race car possessed Southern California roots, campaigned by none other than Dempsey Racing; piloted by Southern California resident  / actor Patrick Dempsey, and co-driven by teammate Joe Foster.

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Strategically placed near the car, was a display case containing the helmet worn by Patrick Dempsey during the 2014 Tudor United Sports Car Championship racing season. Wrapped in what has become a signature motif, the helmet graphics were designed and executed by Troy Lee Designs.

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Rounding the corner into “scene 2″, we encountered Porsche’s Hybrid display, showcasing the Cayenne and Panamera hybrid variants,  all displayed in a white. However, the focal point of scene 2 was one centrally located, pearlescent white 918 Spyder as seen below.

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In sharp contrast to the hybrid display, was the showcase / world premier display area for Porsches latest GTS model lines. As seen below, and as described by the wall graphic, was Porsches new 911 Carrera GTS; one in cabriolet form…

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and to its left on a second turntable, a GTS coupe.

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Even Porsche’s Cayenne model was a recipiant of the GTS treatment, wrapped in the same red paint finish, as witnessed by the image below.

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The Cayenne GTS rear tail lights were also the souce of a visual reminder (to those who looked closley), as to the manufacturer behind these latest wonders on display.

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I suspect that next years Porsche display at Petree Hall may have a decidedly RS focused theme, given the pending introduction of their brand new for 2015 GT3RS.

(All photos by the author)

The last picture show…the final gathering of Cars&Coffee/Irvine, December 20, 2014

The last picture show… the last thought on my mind as I pulled into the parking lot at 5:40 AM on the morning of Saturday, December 20, 2014. Normally at this hour there would have been space along Porsche row to park among my friends. However on this morning, all of the stops had been pulled out, and both sides of the row were filled (and not just by Porsches).

I knew there was the potential for this morning to be over the top regarding attendance, and even though I arrived earlier than usual, it quickly became apparent based upon the large crowd assembled, that the morning had the potential to deliver up an epic event.

And that’s exactly what it did…

My first stop was to visit with those friends parked along Porsche row, and check out the variety of cars assembled. Parked together as a group of 4 cars was this rare sight, and a unique collection of supercars. First up was the silver and orange Porsche GT3RS seen below.

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Immediately to its left, was one very unique, 2015 Gulf Orange Porsche GT3. And this was not just any Gulf Orange GT3, but the sole 2015 GT3 to be painted and delivered in this  rare color.

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Parked to its left was another unique and also new 2015 GT3, in this instance a “PTS” (paint to sample) GT3 in Mexico Blue.

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Rounding out this unique quartet was Porsches first model to be given the supercar moniker;  one very rare, guards red 1988 Porsche 959S. Produced in limited quantities from 1986 through 1989, only 337 type 959 Porsches were built. And of those 337, twenty-nine were built as the 959S model (the even higher performance “Sport” option), as compared to the base model/”Komfort” package.

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Porsches in classic 1970s and 1980s “jellybean” color palette…

DSC_0024Another of the classics on display in the featured lot was this early 1960s vintage Ferrari. As seen below, a beautiful black over red, Ferrari 250GT a.k.a. Ferrari Lusso. Produced in very limited quantity, this 250GT Lusso represents one of only 351 examples built between 1963 and 1964.

DSC_0034Parked across the lot in the overflow section, was the Jaguar touring sedan (seen below), complete with its classic radiator cap.

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One of the many Porsche GT3s present on this morning…

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and what one smartly dressed Porsche GT3RS was wearing;  a fresh set of BBS (E88), 3 piece modular race wheels as seen below.

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And did I mention the crowds?

Below is an example of the volume of excess vehicle overflow that was experienced Saturday morning December 20th. The rear parking lot at the recently completed Marriott hotel suddenly filled, becoming an extension of the primary show, as did the Yardhouse restaurant parking lot located to the west.

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Fortunately, the ever-present Irvine P.D. quickly assumed the role of pedestrian traffic control.

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Unfortunately many of those that arrived late only to find closed parking, and who were turned away, responded by making less than gracious comments to the long time hosts of cars&coffee, in the form of obscenity laden rants. So wrong on so many levels, and with their ultimate impact yet to be realized.

Back over at the main parking lot, the crowds continued to swell.

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Making my way back along Porsche row, and with the morning haze burning off, I witnessed firsthand, the previously muted colors come to life, delivering up their full intense, saturated color.

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Parked at the end of the rainbow-hued collection of Porsches, and next to the blue 914/6, was a study in contrast; a  monochrome 911 beauty in Slate Gray, and on display courtesy of the company Autokennel. One very cool 1973 911 RSR / ST backdated recreation, the car’s owner having used a 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 as the foundation for his project.

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A close up of its modified, 3.2 liter, carburetted twin plug flat six.

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A little further down the row was the sole Porsche to come decorated for the holidays,  appropriate since we were only five days away from Christmas.

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The remaining three Porsches parked together on Porsche row, each representing a different model range. Starting with the car in the foreground, the red 1966 Porsche 911, represented the 1965 – 1973 ” Long hood” series. Parked In the middle, was the silver Porsche 993 Carrera representing the 1995 – mid 1998 model series. Last but not least, was the red Porsche 911 Carrera coupe, representing the 1984 -1989, “Short hood” model range.

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As the morning progressed, the high scattered cloud cover delivered up some great reflections, which could be found on any of the dark-colored cars…

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An instance of the old and the new; the silver, 1966 Porsche 912, and a brand new white, 2015 Porsche GT3.

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Mirror, mirror on the door…

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Another of the events weekly participants over the past six years, complete with vintage luggage.

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A recently restored 1973 Porsche 911E, with its flawless slate gray paint finish…

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and representing BMW, one of a handful of beautifully turned out models. As seen below, a pristine example of a pre-1974 BMW 2002 Tii.

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Parked side by side, and located out on the very back row, was this pair of white, highly modified Nissan GTRs (below)…

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and each with a unique approach to engine compartment aesthetics.

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In stark contrast, and parked several rows over to the west, was this classic, work in progress Chevrolet pick-up truck…

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complete with a transplanted V8, and pin striped firewall.

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Another of the highly modified, standout Porsche 911s present the morning of December 20th. One Viper Green, 1973 Carrera RSR recreation, complete with an updated 3.6 liter motor.

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A close up view of the European spec, amber H4 headlight lens (as equipped on 1970s vintage Porsche 911s destined for delivery in France).

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And a treasure trove of detail revealed up front;

As observed; a fiberglass front hood, painted on the outside, but with an underside left unpainted, revealing and the fiberglass hood skin, and the period correct, strategically placed balsa wood stiffeners. Another unique detail was the relocation of the fuel filler; repositioned to the inside of the trunk area by the left fender, thus avoiding the need to cut a hole into the front hood. And lastly, to deliver race car handling and provide front suspension rigidity, was the massive silver, triangulated RSR inspired strut bar.

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Representing a few of the motorcycle contingent present the morning of December 20th, as seen below;

One very cool Moto-Guzzi…

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and to its right, a Norton Commando 967.

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Around the corner, at the opposite end or motorcycle row was one crazy, custom-built, Honda 6 cylinder street racer. Hearing this motorcycle start-up and run was truly unique.

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Last up, and only revealed once the crowds began to thin, was another trio of Porsches mimicking a reverse Oreo cookie. The three cars represented Porsche styling from mild to wild; starting on the right, a 1986 911 Carrera,  with a stock Narrow body.  In the middle, a black 1987 Porsche 930 turbo, complete with the front and rear turbo flares and signature whale tail rear wing. To its left was the Porsche representing “wild”; the white Porsche 964 turbo, having been given the “RWB”(Rauh-Welt Begriff) treatment. Typical modifications comprise wide body fender flares, suspension alterations and custom wheel upgrades.  The unique signature wheels found on RWB Porsches are 3 piece forged modular “Tarmacs”, sourced from the local custom wheel company fifteen52 ( fifteen52.us).

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Even the rear wing received the RWB treatment, which consists of the incorporation of a carbon fiber, Porsche GT2 EVO top wing element, complete with custom end plates.

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And with that, the mornings gathering came to a close. After discussing our plans to meet up the following week for the last cars&coffee/Irvine, which would include a post event breakfast caravan, we all headed off to our respective destinations.

Unfortunately, Sunday morning did not get off to a smooth start, the result of an email blast that was sent out from the organizers of cars&coffee /Irvine.

The email stated that due to the massive crowds that showed up for the December 20th event, and because of the excessive overcrowding experienced, and their fear for the participants safety, the following gathering on December 27th was regretfully being cancelled. Thus, the December 20, 2014 / “next to last event”  had in fact become the final cars&coffee/Irvine gathering that we all would attend. After the initial shock wore off, along with my anger towards those who had been so rude towards the event organizers, I went to work on creating this blog post as a way to celebrate what I had discovered my very first time attending cars&coffee back in 2008. The event was truly about the cars and their owners, the stories shared each week with each new discovery, and the friendships made. In my six years of weekly attendance, the kindness of those in attendance far outweighed the rare occasions of rudeness that did occur, and that occurred on Saturday. A huge thank you is owed to the organizers John and Linda Clinard, Freeman Thomas and the host of volunteers, who over the years made each weeks gathering a huge success. And a big thank you to the catering team, who each week served up a smile with every hot coffee, hot chocolate, donut, or breakfast burritos, to keep the participants well fueled for their Saturday morning adventures.

On a positive note, by Monday morning an email was distributed to many within the Porsche community, announcing the creation of a new, Saturday morning car show to be located in Orange County. An event that I have now taken to calling “Porsches and Pastries”, even though attendance is open to all makes of car. So far, the event has experienced three successful weeks of growth based solely upon word of mouth. Should any of you be interested in attending, drop me an email for directions…

So here’s to the continued success and growth of our new, Saturday morning car show.

(All photos by the author)

Digital snippets…

With life and work placing an ever-increasing demand upon my spare time, I’ve found myself with less time to devote to my blog. So in an effort to continue providing content to those of you who have been kind enough to become followers and /or subscribers of my blog, I will be altering my format slightly. These changes should get me back on track to providing a greater frequency of blog posts.

So here goes…

In previous posts I’ve written about how external influences can affect one’s photographic inspiration, be it from weather, temperature, lighting, a particular event or even participation in a weekend car show. In many cases the experience, as well as the perceptions during an event can blur. It’s only when uploading the imagery onto the computer and beginning my post production work, that these patterns and the influences become apparent.

Over the past several months,  I’ve experienced this phenomenon multiple times, and the following digital snippets represent the end results of my photographic observations.

Blue porsche 964 turbo_front view_cars&coffee_October 4, 2014

Blue porsche 11 Carrera 3.0 _rear spoiler reflections_cars&coffee_October 4, 2014

Black Porsche 991_3/4 rear view w/reflections_cars&coffee_October 18, 2014

Red Porsche 991 GT3_rear wing endplate with reflections _cars&coffee_October 4, 2014

White 1972 Porsche 911ST recreation_ rear decklid detail_cars&coffee_September 27, 2014

White 1972 Porsche 911ST recreation_ front view_cars&coffee_September 27, 2014

2014 Red Corvette C7_3/4 front view with reflections_cars&coffee_OCtober 18, 2014

Red Corvette C7_front view w/reflections & Ford reserved painted parking space graphic_cars&coffee_October 18, 2014

white 2014 Porsche GT3_3/4 rear oblique angle_cars&coffee_October 18, 20142014 Porsche GT3_rear wing with graphics detail_cars&coffee_October 18, 2014Chevrolet Bel -Air with Chrysler Hemi_3/4 side view_cars&coffee_October 18, 2014

Chevrolet Bel -Air with Chrysler Hemi_motor detail _cars&coffee_October 18, 2014

VW type 2 transporter 21 window safari_3/4 front view w/ reflections_cars&coffee_September 13, 2014

Green late 1950s VW Oval window beetle_front hood reflections_cars&coffee_October 18, 2014

Green late 1950s VW Oval window beetle_hub cap detail_cars&coffee_October 18, 2014

Silver BMW 3.0CSL batmobile _rear trunk lid/holddown shadows_cars&coffee_September 13, 2014

Red 1953 Cadillac Eldorado convertible_front fender detail_cars&coffee_October 18, 2014

Red 1953 Cadillac Eldorado convertible_front grill detail_cars&coffee_October 18, 2014British racing green jaguar E type roadster_Penny Laine fender graphic_cars&coffee_September 13, 2014British racing green jaguar E type roadster_Penny Laine_front view_cars&coffee_September 13, 2014Mercedes Benz 280SL_headlight detail_cars&coffee_September 13, 2014Porsche stablemates_white 964 and blue backdated 911_headlight detail and reflections_cars&coffee_September 13, 2014

Orange Porsche 911ST_thru hood gas cap detail with shadows_cars&coffee_September 27, 2014

Stone gray Porsche 356 SC coupe_hood badge reflections_cars&coffee_September 27, 2014

Stone gray Porsche 356 SC coupe_3/4 front view with reflections_cars&coffee_September 27, 2014

Black 1932 ford highboy roadster_headlight reflections and suspension detail_cars& coffee_

Red Porsche 911SC) 3/4 front oblique view with reflections_cars&coffee_Septermber 27, 2014

2 Porsche 911 hot rods, rgruppe  style_rear view with opened deckles_cars&coffee_September 27, 2014

Orange Porsche 911ST_hood reflections and people shadows_cars&coffee_September 27, 2014Hopefully, my first experiment has not been a total train wreck, and to my kind followers / subscribers, you have found these images to be worthy of your time.

Please stay tuned for my next installment…

(All photos by the author)

 

A quest renewed; a new Porsche GT3 RS4.0 sighting, with a lesson in numeration thrown in for good measure…

I recently had the opportunity to renew my long-standing quest of recording as many series/ build numbers possible from my personal encounters with Porsches 911GT3 RS4.0 model. The example shown below has now become the latest addition to my ongoing sightings list.

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_front view_cars&coffee_August 2014

As I approached this white RS4.0 for a closer look, my initial thought was could this be one of my previous white bodied, white wheeled RS4.0 sightings?  However, as soon as I saw its license plate, I knew this would be a brand new sighting. Now there was just one remaining clue to search out, which would reveal the final clue as to this RS4.0s true identity.

So onto the interior… as seen, standard issue on the 911 GT3 RS4.0.

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_stock/ factory interior with optional rollcage__cars&coffee_August 2014

A quick look at the glove box mounted, serial number build plaque revealed that this GT3 RS4.0 was chassis #040 of 600 total worldwide! This car immediately jumped to the top of my spotters list (and marked my 12th sighting), by virtue of this car being the absolute lowest series number I’ve encountered to date.

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_interior, glove box mounted / series build plaque_cars&coffee_August 2014

As I’ve noted in previous posts, my very first in – person GT3 RS4.0 sighting occurred back in October 2011, at Porsches Rennsport Reunion IV held in Monterey, California (as recorded below).

White 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS4.0_ my first in person viewing at Rennsport Reunion IV_ Laguna Seca race track _october 2011

Back at cars&coffee, time to continue the photo documentation of my latest sighting.

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_3/4 front view_cars&coffee_August 2014

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_rear wing and reflections_cars&coffee_August 2014

As I made my way to the rear of the car to continue my explorations, the owner (who had been standing back watching me shooting his car), came over and introduced himself. I told him about my long-standing interest and passion for Porsches and my quest to record as many GT3 RS4.0 sighting as possible. He responded by sharing with me his passion for collecting Porsche 911 RS models, and in particular Porsches top-tier  911GT3 RS. It turns out that this owner has a rather deep collection of 911RS and GT3RS models in addition to his GT3 RS4.0. However, there is still one key player absent from his collection, and that has alluded him, and ironically the one that started it all; Porsches 1973 911 Carrera RS.

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_rear view with open decklid_cars&coffee_August 2014

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_carbon fiber air intake detail_cars&coffee_August 2014

Our next topic of conversation addressed the incredibly low series build number assigned to his RS4.0. It turns out that the owner has an interest in numeration. Webster’s dictionary defines numeration as “an act or instance of designating by a number”. The owner was also a strong believer in lucky numbers.

I then learned that when Porsche introduced the GT3 RS4.0 in 2011, the owner contacted Porsche and  expressed his interest in purchasing one of the new models, in particular chassis # 040, to commemorate his 40th birthday.  Obviously the car parked before me was proof of his negotiation skills.  This same interest and focus applied to his quest for the license plate seen below.

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_rear view_cars&coffee_August 2014

According to a friend standing nearby, the owner spent a small fortune to secure the license plate with the 777 designation, which apparently is his lucky number, and is now proudly displayed at both ends of the Porsche.

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_3/4 side view / left_cars&coffee_August 2014

When the owner returned to his car, our conversation continued, and he shared his anxiety over waiting to take delivery of his latest Porsche acquisition ; one special ordered 918 Spyder. Any guess at what the chassis / series build number will be (out of the 918 total Porsche is targeted to produce)?

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_3/4 front view_passenger side_cars&coffee_August 2014

For now, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if a certain, low series build number Porsche 918 Spyder gets imported into the states, and reveals itself some early Saturday morning at a certain car show.

(All photos by the author)

 

Celebrating 3 years of digitaldtour…

September 17, 2014, or 9/17, a date that each year marks the anniversary of my blog.   And this year, 09/17/14 marks three years since the debut of digitaldtour.

In looking for an appropriate image to use for this anniversary posting, I selected one that I shot at a recent event, and perfect for the theme of this posting. The car in question, the signal orange Porsche 911 ST (below) owned by Chad McQueen, arrived at the show wearing the perfect, symbolic license plate.

Chad McQueens signal orange Porsche 911 ST_rer view_ shot at the Luftgekuhlt event_September 7, 2014

I would like to take this time to once again thank everyone who have become followers of my blog, and have taken the time to email me with feedback on my postings. I’d also like to thank those of you that I have had the pleasure of meeting in person at a variety of cars shows and events throughout Southern California, and have become friends with over the past three years. And thank you for continuing to share your car history and back stories  with me.

As digitaldtour approaches its 4th year, expect to see some changes over the year, but know that I will continue to write about and photograph the Southern California car culture. And for those of you who have asked, yes, I am still working on part 2 of my 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans blog post, and expect to have it completed and ready for posting soon.

So please stay tuned for some surprises, and watch as digitaldtour continues to grow and evolve.

(911ST photo by the author)