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)

“One if by land, GT2 if by Deus Ex Machina Luftgekuhlt”…

As the sign outside Deus Ex Machina stated, Sunday September 7 was to be the site for Luftgekuhlt, which loosely translated, implies a celebration of air-cooled cars, and as stated on this morning,”Porsches”. Not unlike the sign sent to Paul Revere many years ago, but in this case a signal sent out to rally the Porsche community.

Deus exterior sign facing Venice blvd_Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

And what a signal it was. The amazing turnout clearly demonstrated that the message had been received. By the time my son and I arrived at 8:30 AM, the parking lot was already packed to the gills…

Deus rear parking lot with Porsches_Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

Fortunately, the event hosts (Patrick Long and Howie Idelson) were able to squeeze me in, and found a spot for me to park amid my fellow Porsche 911 owners. Since this was intended as a celebration of air-cooled Porsches, a full compliment of models were present, starting with a variety of 356 models, displayed in coupe and cabriolet form…

Gray Porsche 356 cabriolet_Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

 Porsche 356 gathering _Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

Green Porsche 356 with fender and hubcap reflections_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

and supplemented by an eclectic cross-section of Porsche 911s. Examples ranged from early 911s (aka Longhoods), represented by an early 1966 911 GT, one 1968 911, a variety of 911S models, and an example of Porsches ultimate 1973 911; the 911 Carrera RS.

Below, a 1969 911S race car, club raced back in the day by the late Paul Newman and by Bill Freeman. This car represents one of the latest acquisitions by the automotive group TruSpeed, based in Costa Mesa , CA.

1969 Porsche 911S race car_Paul Newman & Bill Freeman_Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

1969 Porsche 911S race car_Paul Newman & Bill Freeman_side view_Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

Another of the race inspired RGruppe 911, in this case a 1969 911ST, owned by Chad McQueen, obviously influenced at an early age by his father (the late Steve McQueen), and his collection of Porsches, and their families involvement in racing.

Orange 1969 Porsche 911 ST_chad mcqueen car_3/4 rear view_Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

Orange 1969 Porsche 911 ST_chad mcqueen car_show dash plaque_Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

Orange 1969 Porsche 911 ST_chad mcqueen car_ rear view_Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

One of the several Porsche 911S models on display, and representing the RGruppe car club.

Ray's black 1970 Porsche 911S_3/4 side view with reflections_Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

A hint to this motors modifications beyond stock; a twin plug ignition, with its snake nest of 12 spark plug wires. An obvious clue that this is no longer a stock  2.2 liter 911S motor.

Ray's black 1970 Porsche 911S_engine shot_Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

Like begets like; a silver 911S reflected in the fender of the host 911S.

Ray's black 1970 Porsche 911S_fender reflection of silver 911S_Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

Representing the 1973 model year, was an example of a Porsche iteration that firmly established the 911s competition pedigree; the Porsche 911 Carrera RS…

white with blue accents_1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS_3/4 rear viewLuftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

and a model that introduced the world to the brands new duck tail spoiler.

white with blue accents_1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS_rear ducktail spoiler detail shot_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014white with blue accents_1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS_3/4 rear side view_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

The sole representative from the 914 community was one very cool, blue Porsche 914-6  (below), seen hanging out with a variety of Porsche 911s.

Blue Porsche 914-6, parked with 911s _3/4 rear view_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

The unintentional Porsche 911 evolution row, from front to back; white 1986 911 Carrera, blue 1979 -1983 911SC, white 993 Turbo and at the opposite end, a white 964 Carrera coupe.

Porsche evolution row_1986 911 Carrera, Blue 911SC, white 993 Turbo, white 964 coupe_3/4 side view_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

The view of Evolution row from the opposite end (below).

Porsche evolution row_1opposite end nview_3/4 rear view_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

Parked immediately across from Evolution row, and next to a trio of Porsche 911s from Magnus Walker’s collection, was another rare and highly modified Porsche; one of the latest 911 creations in white from the team at Singer Vehicle Design (as seen below).

White Singer Porsche 911 coupe_3/4 rear view_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

A glimpse of the Singer’s austere engine compartment and its highly modified, purpose-built motor (below).

White Singer Porsche 911 coupe_motor detail_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

White Singer Porsche 911 coupe_3/4 side view_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

Interesting details and technology abound from any angle.

White Singer Porsche 911 coupe_front view_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

Rear decklid with graphics and Singer badging.

White Singer Porsche 911 coupe_rear decklid with spoiler, grill and graphics_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

(Below), A close up view of the Singer’s dimensional rear decklid badging.

White Singer Porsche 911 coupe_rear decklid with dimensional badging and flat background graphics_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

Parked out front of the Deus facility, helping garner attention to the mornings activities, was this beautiful red VW single cab transporter, embellished with hand painted Porsche super graphics.

Red VW single cab transporter with Porsche graphics_3/4 side view_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

Another of the Porsche parked out front of the Deus Ex Machina facility; in this case one very cool, black 993 Carrera C4 coupe.

Black Porsche 993 Carrera C4 coupe_3/4 side view with reflections_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

Black Porsche 993 Carrera C4 coupe_door reflections_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

A four-wheeled, Porsche 993 mirror… (above and below)

Black Porsche 993 Carrera C4 coupe_3/4 side view w/ reflections_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

As the morning progressed, and with participants coming and going, our hosts were challenged with being sensitive to the surrounding businesses. So for some of us, that meant the need to move to the primary Deus parking lot, and consolidate with the remaining cars parked in the Deus lot. So imagine my surprise when I found myself now parked between two icons; Porsche ultimate expression of the 993 model, the GT2, to my left, and to my right, the Signer 911…and all three cars in white !

White Porsche 993 GT2_group shot_86 carrera & Singer 911_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

For those unfamiliar with Porsche 993 GT2, just seeing one in person is incredible, given the rarity of this model. This is only the second true 993 GT2 that I have seen in person (my first sighting was of a silver 993 GT2 parked on the streets of London, while on a business trip back in 2000).

Porsche only produced the 993 based GT2 from 1993 to 1998. The 993 GT2 was powered by a 3.6 liter, twin turbocharged flat six motor producing 430 horsepower. Then in 1998, Porsche increased the GT2s performance, boosting horsepower up to 450. Power was managed through a six speed manual transmission, and capable of delivering 0-60 times of 3.9 seconds, and 0-100 mph times in only 8.7 seconds. According to my research, Porsche only built a total of 57, 993 based GT2 road cars, with 7 of those models manufactured for the right hand drive market.

White Porsche 993 GT2_3/4 front view_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

Another of the unique, identifying design details found on the 993 GT2 (as seen below); the three-piece modular, Speedline racing wheel.

White Porsche 993 GT2 coupe_front speedline modular wheels_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

The model specific rear wing, with dual air intakes, designed to feed cool, fresh air to the twin turbocharged motor, and wearing dual GT2 embossed end plates.

White Porsche 993 GT2 coupe_model specific rear wing_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

The owner of this GT2 was kind enough to field a mornings worth of questions about his car;the most common question being what is it? For those in the know, it was obvious that this was in fact a 993 GT2, and not a clone or re-creation. The owner also shared with us that this particular car possessed the horsepower upgrade (450 horsepower), making it one of the 1998 models. We also learned two more interesting facts about this particular GT2. The first was that this car had been purchased from its original owner in Japan, and  secondly, upon its successful importation into the United States, it became what is to be believed only one of two true 993 GT2s residing within the USA.

White Porsche 993 GT2 coupe_3/4 front view, drivers side_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

Where else but in Southern California, could an event of this magnitude be held, and draw as diverse and rare a collection of Porsche as those that participated.

Deus event poster gracing entrance door_ Luftgekuhlt event_Sunday September 7, 2014

Given the success and turnout experienced on September 7, and based upon comments shared by one of the events host (Patrick Long), it appears it will only be a matter of time before a second Luftgekuhlt event will once again be held.

(All photos by the author)

A UFO sighting during this years 2014 Dana Point 356 Concours…

Waking up on Sunday morning July 20th, I was greeted by high gray cloud cover and warm temperatures, yet it was just 6:30 AM; Interesting weather for the start of this years 2014 Dana Point 356 concours. At least the cloud cover did not appear to possess the ability to deliver rain, as had occurred during the past two Dana Point 356 Concours.

I arrived at the Lantern Bay Park overlooking Dana Point harbor at around 7:30 am, anticipating an early entry to the grounds for Porsche 911 “display parking” by 8:00 AM, only to be told that this year the 911s would have to wait until 8:30. I was then told that I would need to leave the area at the top of the hill to make room for any of the late arriving Porsche 356. So with no place to wait, I turned around and descended the hill and headed back towards PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) for those unfamiliar with Southern California highways. Fortunately there was a Denny’s restaurant on the corner, so I decided that this would be a good place to park and wait for 8:30 AM. As I pulled into the lot, I could see there was already a group of early model Porsches parked together towards the back corner, so I headed in their direction. After parking near a pristine, Sand beige Porsche 912 Targa, I got out and struck up a conversation with the owner, who was standing beside his car. After talking with the owner (Ned) about the obvious topic (Porsches, and the pending concours), a Porsche 356 pulled into the lot, parked and joined in the conversation. Our conversation then shifted to the 356 he was driving (an “Outlaw” i.e. a highly customized 356 that most Porsche 356 purists frown upon due to the non-factory type alterations made to an original car). The driver turned out to be one of the mechanics from the shop that had worked on the car for a client, and who was now tasked with displaying the car at the concours. It was now getting close to 8:30, so the 356 was started up and driven off to the show. At the same time, the owners of the cluster of Porsche 912s returned from having breakfast, fired up their respective cars, and headed out single file back towards Lantern Bay. Ned and I followed their lead, and both made our way back to Lantern Bay.

Once back on top of the hill, it was obvious that the 356 competitors were now all in place, and neatly aligned in rows. However as I pulled onto the lawn, I was surprised to see a large gathering of early Porsche 911s (made up of members of the Early S Registry and the RGruppe car clubs), already parked on the lawn, opposite the 356 concours area. As I continued, parked to my left was another group of Porsches, all 912 models, and representing a full range of model years. Many of the 912s were in fact the very same cars I had just seen parked down the hill in the Denny’s parking lot. As I reached the end of the 912 row, I made a loop out behind the standing row of pine trees, and found an open spot, making sure to avoid any overhanging tree branches, since these Pine trees during the summer months have a reputation for weeping sap. So after grabbing my camera, it was time to take a closer look at the multitude of assembled Porsches.

Looking across the sea of Porsche scattered throughout the park, I believe that this years event drew one of the largest turnouts compared to the last couple years. Obviously with such a large selection to choose from, my photographic challenge was where to start. And since I was parked amidst my 911 and 912 brethren, this was where I would start…

Platinum colored "Forza 6" porsche 911_3/4 side view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Platinum colored "Forza 6" porsche 911_Amber headlight lens shot_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Platinum colored "Forza 6" porsche 911_reardecklid pinstripe_ _2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014_

RGRuppe  gathering_Rolly's 1966 911 GT, 3/4 side view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Viper green Porsche 911 RSR 3.6  re creation_front view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Viper green Porsche 911 RSR 3.6  re creation_rear view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Viper green Porsche 911 RSR 3.6  re creation_interior shot, plaid inserts & alcantera trim_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Viper green Porsche 911 RSR 3.6  re creation_3/4 side view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Signal orange Carrera RS recreation_3/4 side view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Parked in the outer row with its fellow 911s was this beautiful, owner restored Sand beige 1967 911S as seen below…

Sand beige 1967 Porsche 911S_3/4 rear view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

with its spotless motor…

Sand beige 1967 Porsche 911S_motor shot_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

and wearing a set restored and increasingly rare, 4 -1/2 X 15 inch Fuchs 5 spoke alloy wheels.

Sand beige 1967 Porsche 911S_4-1/2 X 15 Fuchs  5 spoke alloy wheel_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

While checking out this amazing 1967 911S, a buzzing noise could be heard overhead, and upon looking up to see what was making the noise, we caught a UFO hovering overhead. As we watched, it began to track over the rows of parked Porsches, and then without warning, reversed its direction and headed back in our direction. Since I was the only one equipped with a camera, I grabbed a quick shot skyward to record this flying object. The image below is the UFO just before it disappeared. Upon closer inspection of this image, it appears that we were being recorded, as evidenced by the GoPro attached to its underside.

UFO shot_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Now back to the show… Two examples of the beautifully restored Porsche 912s gathered for this event; my new friend Ned’s 1969 Sand beige 912 Targa below…

Sand beige 1969 Porsche 912 Targa_3/4 rear view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

and my friend Brad’s Irish Green 1968 912 coupe as seen below, complete with a unique back story. His Porsche had been purchased new by his father while stationed in Germany, and was driven throughout Europe while he served in the military. The 912 has remained in the family to this day, with Brad taking over as the current caretaker.

1968 Irish Green 912 coupe_3/4 rear view & reflections_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

With the sun finally starting to burn through the morning haze, it was time to check out the 356 concours side, and begin my exploration through the pristine rows of multi hued coupes, cabriolets and speedsters.

Bridging the gap between the two display areas was the quartet of Porsches seen below.

Group shot_Gmund coupe, Carrera GT, 904 GTS, 911ST_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Beginning at the far left, was the ultra rare, Ivory colored 1949 Porsche Gmund coupe.

Ivory colored 1949 Gmund coupe_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

To its left was another equally unique, early model Porsche 356. This particular coupe, a 1959 356 Carrera GT, was being displayed in an unrestored condition, and it too possessed a unique history.

Blue 1959 356 Carrera GT_3/4 side view _2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

As a sign on its windshield stated, this Carrera GT was the Swedish Ice Racing champion two years running from 1959 to 1960. There was even an example of the custom prepared, studded ice racing tires (below), worn by the Carrera GT back in the day on its way to consecutive Swedish ice racing championships.

Blue 1959 356 Carrera GT_3/4 3/4 front view with ice racing custom tire _2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Next in line was another historically significant Porsche race  / street car; in this case the silver, 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS seen below.

Silver 1964 Porsche 904 GTS_3/4 front view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

This particular car (Chassis # 904-064) has an interesting resume, having raced in German Hill climb competitions, as well as races held at Monza. It had been owned and was restored by a previous owner, the late Vasek Polak. Mr. Polak was well known within the Porsche community as the owner of the Southern California (Manhatten Beach) Porsche dealership, and as one of Claifornia’s prominent race team owners.

Silver 1964 Porsche 904 GTS_3/4 rear view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Representing the Porsche 911 community, was the highly modified, RGruppe / Early S Registry inspired, Gulf Blue 911ST coupe, riding on a set of silver, period correct minilite race wheels.

Gulf blue Porsche 911ST recreation_RGruppe_3/4 side view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014 The classic Porsche 911 silhouette, bathed in Southern California sunshine (below).

Gulf blue Porsche 911ST recreation_RGruppe_ side view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Venturing over to the 356 display side, owners could be seen hurridly completing their last-minute detailing, prior to experiencing their pride and joy undergoing scrutiny by the roving bands of concours judges.

356 group shot_ robin eggs blue 356 in forground_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

red 356 cabriolet group shot with white 1955 Continental coupe in background_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014White 1955 continental coupe_3/4 front view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Stone Gray 1959 Porsche 356 coupe_front view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Light metallic blue with tan top, 356 speedster_3/4 front view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Red Porsche 356 Carrer 4 cam_rear grill & motor detail shot_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Blue Porsche 356 speedster with tan interior & top_3/4 front view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Blue Porsche 356 speedster with tan interior) side mirror reflections shot_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Blue Porsche 356 speedster_rear view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

As seen below, one of several “356 Outlaws” present and awaiting judging.

Silver Porsche 356 outlaw coupe with orance wheels and hood stripes_side view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014Blue 1965 Porsche 356 SC cabriolet_3/4 rear view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

A beautiful Stone gray 356 Speedster, equipped with the seldom seen hardtop option.

Stone Gray Porsche 356 speedster with black hard top option_3/4 front view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014Stone Gray Porsche 356 speedster with black hard top option_side mirror reflections_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Dark blue Porsche 356 cabriolet with  tan interior & top with reflections_3/4 front view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Another example of a 356 Outlaw on display. This particular silver Porsche 356 is owned by the Emory family who were responsible for popularizing the “outlaw style” of modification, and credited with coining the term.

Silver Porsche 356 coupe_ Emory outlaw build_rear view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Upon completion of the mornings judging and with the results being tallied, the trophy table (below) was being readied for a 2 PM start of the awards ceremony. This years trophies were once again modeled after last years theme of surfboards.

Concours trophy table display__2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

And what every concours participant aspires to; taking home the highly desirable Best of Show trophy.

Coveted Best of Show trophy _ detail shot_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

The final awards of the day went to the red 356 cabriolet seen below. Not only did this cabriolet win best in class, but also received the concours top prize, the Best of Show trophy.

Red Porsche 356 cabriolet_ double winner-best in class & best of show_front view_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

A group shot of the class winning Porsches from this years concours.

Group shot of concours class winners_ from back row_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014

Once all of the winning cars were parked together, it became very apparent that the judges at this years concours had a thing for the color red, given the high percentage of red hued, winning 356s selected at this years show.

Class winners_ 3/4 side view of front ends_2014 Dana Point concours_July 20, 2014Unfortunately, we’ll all have to wait for the 2015 show, to find out what model and or color will appeal to next years judges, and influence their awarding of the multiple class winners, and the coveted “Best of Show” award.

(All photos by the author)

 

The fulfillment of a lifelong dream; attending the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, and my pre and post race journey…

For anyone familiar with the Porsche brand, the name Le Mans has always been closely linked to their impressive racing history. After developing a passion for Porsches as I entered my teenage years, I began studying and researching these significant Porsche race cars and those victories achieved at this mysterious French race track. At that moment, the hook was set and attending the 24 Hours of Le Mans  race became a lifelong aspiration.

I did come close to fulfilling this very dream of attending Le Mans twice; once in 2001 and the second time in 2002, while living and working in France. However, each year due to schedule conflicts, I was unable to attend. So imagine my surprise when Porsche announced their return to Le Mans for 2014, after a 16 year hiatus with the following statement – “Mission 2014. Our Return”. And return they would, with a pair of brand new race cars; the Porsche 919 hybrid. Not to mention Porsche bringing a pair of new 911 RSR’s, competing in the GTE / Pro class. So after a discussion with my wife about planning our vacation for 2014, she quickly agreed on a trip to France, which we would schedule around my attendance at this years Le Mans 24. My wife’s sole travel request consisted of being able to travel through France’s Loire Valley, and occasionally stay at a Chateau. Ironically, Le Mans is roughly located towards the center of the Loire. So working with this years race date of June 14-15, 2014, my wife went to work on searching out and booking us at several Chateaus and hotels scattered throughout the Loire Valley. We quickly learned however, that trying to book a hotel in or near Le Mans for 2014 was downright impossible. As a back-up plan, we found several chateaus in the village of Amboise, located about 1 -1/2 hours south of Le Mans, each with available rooms. Since I would be attending the race by myself (my wife is not a race fan), she would be staying behind at Chateau #2 (which worked out perfectly), since it was located within walking distance to the town, and good for sightseeing, shopping and dining.

So with the rest of our travel plans now finalized, it was time for me to begin researching how to attend ones first 24 Hours of Le Mans race. After a google search, I found the official 24 Hours of Le Mans / ACO website.  As a spectator, I learned I would need a basic admission ticket and a parking pass to gain admission into the track. Since my plan was to walk around the track and photograph the race from multiple locations, general admission would be perfect. There was also the option to book a grandstand seat at a variety of locations situated around the track, at an additional cost; the more desirable locations carrying the highest prices. Because of my desire to be mobile, I passed on the grandstand seating. Parking options also varied, and recommendations as presented were based upon ones direction of travel. After a quick review of my trusty Michelin road map, I selected one of the several available in-field parking areas (green / Vert), figuring that having easy access to my car in the event of bad weather or fatigue would be a good idea. With my decisions made, it became a simple process to order my tickets online, and for a minor fee, have them delivered via UPS to my home in the States. About three weeks after placing my order, my packet was delivered, and I now held my general admission ticket and parking pass for the green ( Vert) lot, section M-1…

2014 24 Hours of Le Mans ticket and parking pass_June 2014

So on June 6, my wife and I boarded our Lufthansa flight to Munich Germany, with a short connecting flight that would deliver us to our final destination, the Charles De Gaulle airport in France.

Below, sunset over the polar route, on our way to Munich, Germany.

Lufthansa flight_sunset shot ,polar route_June 6, 2014

We arrived in Munich on schedule, and after a brief lay over, were on our way to the Charles De Gaulle airport, located about 45 minutes to the east of Paris. After collecting our luggage, we picked up our rental car from the company Sixt. ( should anyone be planning a trip to France, I would highly recommend this rental car company). Even though we came prepared with our Michelin maps for navigating France, our car came equipped with navigation, which proved to be invaluable during our trip. After programming in our first destination, and adjusting the language section to english, we were off to the Marne La Valle area, where we would be staying at a friend’s home.

For our first couple of days we traveled into Paris, revisiting some of our favorite districts and landmarks. We had lunch at one of the many sidewalk bistros in the 5th district; the photo below was shot through the bistro’s open window.

Rue Saint Severin street sign_Paris_ June 9, 2014

After lunch, we walked back across the Seine, and made our way over to the second most recognizable landmark within Paris: Notre Dame.

Notre Dame_Front view_Paris_June 9, 2014

Notre Dame_Side view_Paris_June 9, 2014

Notre Dame_Rear view_Paris_June 9, 2014Within 10 minutes of taking the photos above (the less seen side and back views of Notre Dame), the gray clouds intensified, and rain began falling. This quickly sent everyone running for cover or for those prepared, reaching for their umbrellas. Nothing new for Paris in early June…

By the time Thursday rolled around, it was time for us to load up the car and head out towards Paris, then detour south towards the village of Amboise. Imagine our surprise at encountering the vehicles seen below, also heading south. Any thoughts as to their destination?

VW Vanagon outside Paris with Porsche 2014 graphics_Side view_June 12, 2014

VW Vanagon outside Paris with Porsche 2014 graphics_Rear view_June 12, 2014

After giving them a thumbs-up as we passed, we continued south towards our final destination. Our next stop however would require a slight detour, to another of France’s architecturally significant Cathedrals; Chartres. Since my wife had never visited Chartres, we decided to stop for a quick tour (this would mark my third visit).

Chartres cathedral, France_front view_June 12, 2014

Chartres cathedral, France_partially restored interior_altar view_June 12, 2014

Chartres cathedral, France_Restored leaded glass window_June 12, 2014

Our brief stop was well worth the time spent; Chartres immediately became one of my wife’s new favorite Cathedrals in France. And as the photos illustrate, the interior of the cathedral was undergoing a full restoration, with a high percentage of the walls, ceilings and stained glass windows having recently been restored, with the remaining areas still awaiting their turn. (Definitely a brighter appearing interior, and beautiful, vibrant leaded glass windows, noticeably improved over my last visit 12 years ago).

Once back on the road we continued south, and several hours later finally arrived at our destination in Amboise, despite one major road closure that sent us on a one hour detour. Amboise would become our new home base through the weekend, and for the next two days, residence at the 750 year old Chateau de Pray (below).

Chateau de Pray, Amboise France_Rear view_ June 12, 2014

On Friday morning, we ventured out to visit the nearby 16th century Renaissance palace, Chateau de Chenonceau (as seen below).

Chateau de Chenonceau_ tree lined entry_Amboise France_June 13, 2014

Chateau de Chenonceau_ view from the garden_Amboise France_June 13, 2014

Chateau de Chenonceau is reported to be the most visited Chateau in all of France, and given its sheer size, spectacular location, architectural and interior details as well as its history, it was easy to understand the attraction.

When the sun rose the following morning, it was now Saturday June 14, and time for me to make my long-awaited trek to Le Mans. After getting my wife checked into our next Chateau for the weekend, it was time to head off to the race that had been a lifelong dream. After programming the Le Mans race track into the cars navigation, I was literally off to the race. After driving for roughly 1-1/2 hours through the Loire Valley countryside, I was finally near my destination as seen below…

Highway to Le Mans_Le Mans race track roundabout_June 14, 2014

After navigating several more roundabouts, I spotted the roadway signage indicating the entrances to the different race track parking areas. Fortunately, my green (Vert) parking area was one of the first signs I encountered, and after following the signs, I found myself in one very long line…

Highway to Le Mans_Le Mans race track parking, Vert_June 14, 2014

One hour later, I was now parked in section M-1, and began collecting my camera gear in anticipation of the fulfillment of a lifelong dream; experiencing and creating a photographic record of my around the clock adventure at the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans.

So with all of my gear stowed in my backpack, it was time for “Step One”; Finding the entrance into the race track. Fortunately, the entry structure was visible from the parking lot, and just a short hike from my car. As I approached, It quickly became obvious as to its function; the entry side was to the left, and the exit was to the right.

Entry portal into the Le Mans race track_from the Vert parking lot_June 14, 2014

The entry procedure turned out to be very streamlined and efficient; multiple staff members were stationed at each portal with a hand-held scanner, giving them the ability to keep the flow of fans moving quickly. Throughout the 24 hours, whether entering, exiting or re-entering, your admission pass was scanned, to insure validity, and eliminated the need to rubber stamp people’s hands. I personally tested this process out several times over the 24 hours, and can attest to its efficiency.

So now that I was inside the track, and after climbing several sets of steep stairs, I was face to face with a landmark I had first seen on the “Wide World of Sports” television show back in the late 1960’s; the iconic Dunlop bridge that spans the Le Mans race track, so this became my very first exploration…

Dunlop Bridge from grandstand side_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

It also became apparent that the European race fans take their motor racing very seriously, as witnessed by the crowds already present, and the ever-increasing number of fans that continued to fill the track, as well as the grandstands adjacent to the bridge.

Dunlop Bridge grandstands _Le Mans24_June 14, 2014
Dunlop grandstand_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Having completed my hike around the outside areas of the track near the Dunlop bridge, it was time to return to the infield area and begin exploring the infield area known as the “Village”.

La Chapelle location_infield directiory sign_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Walking past the silver paneled Audi boutique, I could see through the gathering crowd, what appeared to be one of Audi’s new R-18 e-tron race cars on display. Time to stop and get a close up look at their latest creation…

Audi Boutique at La Chapelle_2014 Audi R-18 e-tron on display_3/4 side view_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Audi Boutique at La Chapelle_2014 Audi R-18 e-tron on display_front view_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

After leaving the Audi boutique, it was time to explore more of the venues present within the Village. Walking along the pathway, I came across the Top Gear simulator, which every few minutes would swallow up a new batch of guests in their motion base simulator. The audio volume within the simulator had been cranked up so high, that standing outside, you could still hear the internal audio track.

Top Gear motion base simulator_infield village_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Next up were several more automotive manufacturer boutiques; first up was Aston Martin Racing…

Aston Martin Racing boutique_village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014and right next door was Lotus.

Lotus boutique_village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Continuing further into the village, I began hearing what sounded like live music, and rounding a corner, was almost run over by this roving brass band as seen below…

Brass band_village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

After escaping from the band, I made my way over to the Michelin display, which described the development of race tire technology (as used on Porsche’s new 919 Hybrid), and the transfer of these technologies and applications to their street tires.And to demonstrate their street car applications, they just happened to have on display one very silver, 2014 Porsches GT3 shod with Michelin tires.

Michelin tire display_ Porsche 919 hybrid_village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Michelin tire display_ silver 2014 Porsche GT3_village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Located a short distance from the Michelin display was the Spark boutique, dedicated to the fans who like their cars on a smaller scale.

Spark scale model boutique_village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Another of the very crowded boutiques, but with a predominately male shopper. As the photo below illustrates, Spark produces some of the nicest scale, display models of any company. The large-scale, Audi R-18 e-tron on display was amazing, as was the asking price; 3000 euro, which in dollars worked out to roughly $4080.00 !!

Spark sclae model boutique_ audi R-18 model for sale, 3000euros _village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Located right next to the Spark boutique, was GM’s display and boutique, which displayed a single, 2014 charcoal gray Chevrolet Corvette C7.

Corvette display & boutique_charcoal gray 2014 C7 corvette_village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Another of the impressive sights found within the Village, and close to the Paddock; the massive, polished metal Audi monolith, positioned in the middle of the plaza.

Audi Monolith_village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

The reflective surfaces also made for a great photo opportunity, as witnessed below…

Audi Monolith_spectator photo op, reflectiions_village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Located directly opposite of this monolith, was the automotive boutique that I had hoped to find. Positioned out front were two examples of Porsches latest race cars; a GT3 Cup Car, and an example of their brand new LMP1 class, 919 Hybrid.

Porsche boutique_fan stop_GT3 Cup Car_3/4 side view__village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Porsche boutique_fan stop_LMP1, 919 Hybrid_3/4 side view__village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Porsche boutique_fan stop_LMP1, 919 Hybrid_3/4 front view__village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Porsche boutique_fan stop_LMP1, 919 Hybrid_front wheel & tire detail__village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Porsche boutique_fan stop_LMP1, 919 Hybrid_3/4 rear view__village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Serving as the backdrop for these two race cars, was a semi tractor-trailer designed as a rolling Porsche boutique, complete with pop-outs to deliver an expandable showroom.

Porsche boutique_fan stop_3/4 side view__village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

As much as I wanted to enter the boutique to check out the contents, the line to enter continued to grow in size and the number of people entering was being regulated, so I figured I would return later.

Porsche boutique_fan stop_roof top banners__village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Ironically, located immediately behind the Porsche Fan Spot boutique was the Paddock area and the entrance to the garages, pit area and pit lane grandstands. And as the following photos illustrate, Porsche took full advantage of this particular area to advertise their 2014 return to Le Mans…

Porsche supergraphics_nos fans_pit row grandstands_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014
Porsche supergraphics_pit row grandstands_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Porsche supergraphics_nos fans#2_pit row grandstands_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Porsche supergraphics_La meilleure energie motice qui soit_pit row grandstands_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Porsche supergraphics_the most powerful..._pit row grandstands_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Below, the multi-storied Race Control building, whose occupants would be responsible for managing the race for the full 24 hours, and located at the entrance to pit lane.

Race control building_pit row _Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Circling the garage / paddock area, I was fortunate to spot the latest race car transporters for the Porsche factory team; commissioned with delivering their new LMP1 919 hybrids to race tracks throughout Europe.

Porsche race car haulers_ 919 hybrid_paddock/garage area_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Spotted parked four rigs over from the end, was this tractor/trailer combo for Porsche Motorsports. I suspect that the large boxes on the rear lift gate contained body parts for either the latest 911 RSR’s or the new 919 hybrid.

Porsche motorsports parts trailer_paddock/garage area_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Another Porsche venue (Spirit of Le Mans) discovered on my walk back up through the infield village…

Porsche spirit of Le Mans display_infield village area_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Being the ever inquisitive Porsche fan, I walked up to the tent flap to see what was inside.

Porsche spirit of Le Mans display_908/02 #48_infield village area_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Looking inside, I found a crew still in the process of working to complete the display. I was able to grab a few quick shots as they made their way toward where I was standing.

My first shot (above), was of what appeared to be the Porsche 908/02 that Steve McQueen and Peter Revson drove to a second place finish at Sebring back in 1970.

My second shot (below), captured what looked to be Porsches last overall Le Mans 24 race winner from back in 1998; the awesome 1998 GT1LM…

Porsche spirit of Le Mans display_1998 GT1LM rear view_infield village area_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Would having this car on site bring luck to the multiple Porsche teams competing at this years race, and would Porsche repeat their overall race victory this year with their new 919 hybrid?

Please stay tuned for part two of my blog, which will cover the entire 24 hours of the race, as well as my post race travels through the Loire Valley and return to Paris.

(Here’s a sneak peek of two race shots)…

Porsche 911RSR #91_LeMans24_2014

Porsche 919 hybrid#20_LeMans24_2014

(All photos by the author)

Porsches return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 16 years in the making, and the fulfillment of a life long dream…

Dear readers,

You may have been wondering about my lack of blog postings lately. Rest assured I have not given up on the challenge of writing a blog, but have instead been preparing to fulfill a lifelong dream of attending the 24 Hours of Le Mans. So as I write this very post, I am currently in the village of Coupvray, France, (about 23 mile east of Paris), staying with friends, prior to my wife and I driving south (mid-week) down to Le Mans for this coming weekends race.

So in anticipation of Porsche returning to Le Mans with a factory team after a 16 year absence, and as a tribute to their last victory, I have posted as the header to my blog an image of their 1998 Le Mans winning car, the GT1LM.

So please stay tuned for my upcoming series of blog posts, which will be based upon my first hand experiences and impressions of attending my very first 24 Hours of Le Mans, and on this very special year for Porsche. And with a little luck, I hope to be present and able to share firsthand, coverage of Porsche on their way to class victories with this years new GT3RSR, but to also witness Porsche score an overall win with their brand new 919.

And as Porsche has advertised leading up to this years Le Mans; “Mission 2014. Our Return”.