Close encounters with a 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0

My Saturday mornings usually begin with my attending  a weekly car show located in Irvine, California called Cars&Coffee. Participants begin showing up as early as 5:30 am  (I usually try to arrive by 6 am) with the show lasting until 9-9:30 am.  Because of the popularity of this event, and to get a good parking spot for the display of ones car, you need to arrive early. Getting there late can result in either being directed to the overflow parking area, or even worse, not being able to find any parking and being turned away.

My worst fear however, was realized this past Saturday morning, as I overslept, and did not arrive at the show until 6:45. Fortunately, I was able to find a spot towards the back of the parking area, but well away from the row that I usually park in with my friends. Given the summer like weather that we experienced here in Southern California over the Thanksgiving weekend, Saturday morning delivered a very diverse collection of cars for viewing. Parked just across the row in front of me were the following three cars:  a Volcano Orange McLaren MP4-12C, a Matt Black Lamborghini Aventador, and a Red Lamborghini Gallardo. And further down the row at the end of the aisle were two more cars, both Ferrari’s; a red 458 Italia, and a black Enzo…

2011 McLaren MP 4-12C_Cars&Coffee_11/26/11

Lamborghini Aventador_Cars&Coffee_11/26/11Lamborghini Aventador_Cars&Coffee_11/26/11Ferrari Enzo_Cars&Coffee_11/26/11Ferrari Enzo_motor_Cars&Coffee_11/26/11Ferrari 458 Italia_Cars&Coffee_11/26/11Of the many Porsches in attendance that morning, there was one in particular that caught my eye… a  black, 2011 GT3RS 4.0. This particular car represents one of only 600 produced for worldwide consumption by Porsche, and which according to reports sold out within 14 days.  So given the rarity of this particular model, seeing one in person was pretty amazing. However, I consider myself fortunate to count this as my second encounter with a GT3 RS 4.0, since my first sighting was of a white RS 4.0 model, that had been on display at the Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV event back in October (see photos below).

White, 2011 Porsche GT3 RS 4.0_Rennsport Reunion IV_10/14/11

White, 2011 Porsche GT3 RS 4.0_Rennsport Reunion IV_10/14/11

And so now I was face to face with my second  GT3 RS 4.0, and this time it was the evil twin.  This particular car, dressed in black right down to its centerlock wheels, was much more sinister looking than its white-painted sibling, shimmering in its flawless, reflective black mirror- like finish.

Black 2011 Porsche GT3RS 4.0_Cars&Coffee_11/26/11

Black 2011 Porsche GT3RS 4.0_Cars&Coffee_11/26/11Black 2011 Porsche GT3RS 4.0_black wheels& PCCB brakes_Cars&Coffee_11/26/11As part of Porsches weight savings endeavors with the RS 4.0, several very subtle measures were taken to reduce the vehicles overall weight. At the front of the car, the hood has been manufactured from carbon fiber (very similar to the hood found on the Porsche GT2RS). However in this case, to save additional weight Porsche paints the RS 4.0 ‘s carbon fiber hood to match the car, instead of finishing the hood using the clear resin coating found on the GT2RS ( which ironically turns out to be a heavier production process). Another weight savings effort is the use of a decal for the Porsche hood crest, instead of using the traditional metal Porsche hood emblem.

Black 2011 Porsche GT3RS 4.0_hood graphics_Cars&Coffee_11/26/11

Black 2011 Porsche GT3RS 4.0_hood decal_Cars&Coffee_11/26/11

Moving to the back of the car, located beneath the massive rear wing, resides the 4.0 liter, 500 horsepower engine, able to propel the car from 0-60 in a neck snapping  3.9 seconds, driven through a six speed manual transmission.

Black 2011 Porsche GT3RS 4.0_rear wing_Cars&Coffee_11/26/11

Black 2011 Porsche GT3RS 4.0_Cars&Coffee_11/26/11

Black 2011 Porsche GT3RS 4.0_Cars&Coffee_11/26/11

The rear wing also holds several secrets to this cars enhanced performance; the rear wing end plates have been modified over those found on the 2011 3.8 liter GT3RS, and the angle of attack for the GT3 RS 4.0 rear wing has been increased to 9 degrees, instead of running the stock setting of  6.8 degrees as found on the 3.8 GT3RS, for even greater downforce.

Black 2011 Porsche GT3RS 4.0_rear wing reflections_Cars&Coffee_11/26/11

Black 2011 Porsche GT3RS 4.0_Cars&Coffee_11/26/11

Black 2011 Porsche GT3RS 4.0_Cars&Coffee_11/26/11And just as quickly as the RS 4.0 had arrived that morning, the owner returned, jumped in, fired it up and drove away. As I watched the car drive off, a couple of guys came over and asked me if I had seen the white GT3 RS 4.0 that was parked in the overflow area. I asked if they were serious, and they assured me that it was in fact another GT3 RS 4.0. Off I went in search of the White GT3 RS 4.0. Unfortunately I was too late, and the car was nowhere to be found. Oh well, only 598 to go. And there is always next weeks show…

(All photos by the author)

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Porsches at Petree Hall… The Los Angeles Auto Show 2011

The Auto Show has once again returned to Los Angeles, and for local Porsche owners, it’s that time again to return to Petree Hall to check out the latest and greatest offerings from our favorite Marque, before viewing the rest of the show.

So on Saturday that’s exactly what we did. My wife, son and I all headed off to the L.A. Convention center, where we met up with one of my Porsche buddies.

As we made our way towards Petree Hall, the Yokohama Tire exhibit caught my attention, especially since they had a day-glow orange and silver mylar film wrapped, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car on display. My first photo-op of the show…

Porsche GT3 Cup car_Yokohama Tire exhibit_L.A. Auto Show 2011

Porsche GT3 Cup car_Yokohama Tire exhibit_L.A. Auto Show 2011

So after grabbing a couple quick shots, off we went to find Petree Hall…

Once inside, the first car we came across was a green and white 911 GT3 Cup car, and one that I happened to see compete at the recent Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca back in October.

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car_Petree Hall_LA Auto Show 2011

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car_Petree Hall_LA Auto Show 2011Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car_Petree Hall_LA Auto Show 2011Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car_Petree Hall_LA Auto Show 2011Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car_Petree Hall_LA Auto Show 2011And here’s a shot of the same car in action, taken at Rennsport Reunion IV… (This car was also the winner of the 2011 ALMS  GTC class Championship)

Porsche GT3Cup_2011 ALMS, GTC class champion_Rennsport Reunion IV_10/15/11

The central focus of the exhibit however was on the two new models making their Los Angeles debut; located to the right was the new 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S (type 991), 3.6 liter, 400 horsepower, with a 7-speed transmission.

2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S (type 991)_L.A. Auto Show 2011

2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S (type 991)_L.A. Auto Show 2011

2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S (type 991)_headlight_L.A. Auto Show 20112012 Porsche 911 Carrera S (type 991)_hood emblem_L.A. Auto Show 20112012 Porsche 911 Carrera S (type 991)_L.A. Auto Show 20112012 Porsche 911 Carrera S (type 991)_L.A. Auto Show 2011And located to the left of the Porsche Type 991, was the other new model making its debut –  a Carmine Red (an exclusive color to this car) Panamera GTS…

Carmine Red, 2012 Porsche Panamera GTS_L.A. Auto Show 2011

Carmine Red, 2012 Porsche Panamera GTS_L.A. Auto Show 2011The new Panamera GTS is based upon the Panamera S, and comes equipped with all wheel drive, a 4.8 liter, 430 horsepower motor, upgraded brakes ( with optional PCCB brakes  / in yellow), a suspension lowered by 10 mm, and a high performance sport tuned chassis with revised Porsche Active Stability Management (PASM).

Surprisingly low-key and casually placed against the wall, to the right of the Porsche 911 Carrera S (Type 991), was this display model (see photo below), showcasing the new Porsche Experience Center, having just been announced by Porsche on Thursday, November 17th.

Porsche Experience Center model_L.A. Auto Show 2011Porsche Experience Center model_L.A. Auto Show 2011

This new facility is to be constructed in Carson, California, near the junction of the 405 & 110 freeways, on a 53+ acre parcel of land. The facility is being modeled after the original Porsche Experience Center that was built at the Silverstone Circuit, in Great Britain. The California Center will be one of only 5 in the world; the remaining Porsche Experience Centers are located in Leipzig, Germany, Shanghai, China, and the first announced for the United States, in Atlanta, Georgia. The Porsche Experience Center for Atlanta will be constructed as part of and along with their new U.S. Corporate Headquarters.

The California-based Porsche Experience Center is being designed to include a test track and handling course, with special areas able to replicate rain, ice and snow handling conditions, as well as a separate off – road course to exploit the attributes of the Porsche Cayenne, a Customer Delivery Center, the Porsche Human Performance Center, a Gift shop and Cafe. Also available will be performance driving courses, for students of all ages, and even special programs geared towards educating young children. The facility will also provide track access, corporate and conference space, access by car clubs, and support Corporate client based events.

A slightly different aspect to the Porsche Experience Center will be their Porsche Human Performance Center, which will focus on personal fitness, wellness and offer training for drivers interested in serious competition. The program will address subjects such as hydration and the importance of heat acclimation.  (I recall reading an article in Excellence magazine about Patrick Long , that when not road testing cars for their article, his habit of driving Porsches with the windows up and the heater going full blast in the summer; those comments now make perfect sense given Patrick Long’s success and abilities behind the wheel of a race car).

The project architect selected for this project ( buildings and facility) is the firm Cooper Carry, out of Atlanta. The test track Architects and engineers  (for the driving facilities) are the firms Giffels / IBI and Tylke Engineering. Ground breaking is scheduled for the summer of 2012.

For a sneak peek at what we can expect to experience at the California-based Porsche Experience Center, check out the following link to Porsche’s Silverstone facility: http://www.porsche.co.UK/experience

The following photos are a few of the other Porsche models on display throughout Petree Hall.  Just like in previous years, some of the Porsches are unlocked and can be sat in, and some remain locked. However, this year to my surprise, one of the two 2011 997 Turbos on display was actually unlocked, and as a result, had a huge crowd waiting for their turn to be the next to sit inside. Unfortunately, the blue turbo was getting covered in fingerprints, and I actually saw several small children running across the leather seats… both a Porsche owners nightmare.

Porsche Cayenne Turbo_Petree Hall_ L.A. Auto Show 2011

2011 Porsche 997 Turbo S cabriolet_Petree Hall_L.A. Auto Show 2011

unlocked Porsche 2011 997 Turbo_Petree Hall_L.A. Auto Show 2011The stuff dreams are made of; my son and his girlfriend both enjoying a Porsche moment…

2011 Porsche 997 cabriolet_Petree Hall_L.A. Auto Show 2011

It looks like the Southern California Porsche community is going to have allot to be thankful for in 2012 and 2013…

(All photos by the author)

Through the looking glass…The SEMA Show 2011, Part 2

Friday morning, November 4th started off as any other clear, sunny Las Vegas day.  The weather report that morning however mentioned the possibility of rain for later in the day. As we left the Hard Rock Hotel, we could see a bank of rather gray clouds just starting to crest the mountain range off to the west. By the time we reached the Convention Center, the clouds and a slight breeze were just making their way into Las Vegas.  Obviously, not a pleasant prospect for all of the vendors and participants who were set up outside of the Convention Center.

Our first stop of the morning would be at the Meguiar’s transporter, where I had spotted a two-tone, silver on black Volkswagen Type 2 transporter on display, and had to go check it out.

VW Type 2 transporter_Meguiar's display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

VW Type 2 transporter_Interior_ Meguiar's display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11VW Type 2 transporter_reflections_Meguiar's display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

As we made our way closer to the convention center, we came across this art deco special (“Deco Liner) parked next to the Mothers display (see below). A very beautifully crafted, creative assemblage of polished aluminum and rivets and port holes on wheels.

 The Deco Liner grill_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Deco Liner grill_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11Over at the Mothers display, we found an amazing 2011 Porsche GT3RS, in gray with the red accent graphics and center lock wheels.  A perfect color combination to compliment their colored deck tile.

Porsche GT3RS_Mothers display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Porsche GT3RS_Mothers display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11Porsche GT3RS_Mothers display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11Porsche GT3RS_Mothers display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11After leaving the Mothers display ( with a very generous sample tin of their cleaner/ wax, thank you Mothers), we continued to make our way south.

The next display that we came across was the American Express / OPEN tent. Their theme was a celebration of the “Rising star”, and was set up as a week-long event showcasing three airbrush artists. At the beginning of the week, each artist was given a black painted car hood (set up and secured to an easel-type structure on stage), to use as their canvas. Throughout the week, attendees could stop by and watch the creative process and progress being made by each artist on their hood. Each artist had until Friday to complete their air brushed hood art, at which time they were to be raffled off by the folks from American Express.  The finished hoods would then be clear coated, packed and crated up and shipped off to the winners. Obviously I was not one of them…

Airbrushed car hood_American Express display_The SEMA SHow 2011_11/4/11

Airbrushed car hood_American Express display_The SEMA SHow 2011_11/4/11Airbrushed car hood_American Express display_The SEMA SHow 2011_11/4/11Airbrushed car hood_American Express display_The SEMA SHow 2011_11/4/11Airbrushed car hood_American Express display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11Just to the right of the American Express display, we found the Chip Foose merchandise trailer, and staged between these two exhibits, was this beautiful two -tone hot rod. (I’m beginning to see a trend developing here at this years show…)

Hot Rod@Chip Foose merchandise display_The SEMA SHow 2011_11/4/11

Hot Rod@Chip Foose merchandise display_The SEMA SHow 2011_11/4/11Hot Rod@Chip Foose merchandise display_The SEMA SHow 2011_11/4/11Our next stop was at the Coker tire display. I had seen some of the cars on display on the cable TV show, “My Classic Car” with Dennis Gage, but to see these cars in person was really cool.

Coker Tire display_DynaSport_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Coker Tire display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Coker Tire display_barn find motorcycle_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Coker Tire display_hot rod w/ barn find motorcycle_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Coker Tire display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

As we made our way back towards the convention center, we came across a hot-rodded fire truck, the first I’ve ever seen, but very appropriate at this event.

Hot rod fire truck_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Passing through the Meguiar’s Car Crazy showcase area, we came across this nicely modified Fiat 500, outfitted with both a surfboard and snowboard.

Fiat 500_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Fiat 500_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Once we made our way back into the hall, we headed straight to the Ford exhibit, which was as far as we had gotten when the show closed on Thursday.  Immediately to our left was an aluminum bodied, 1949 So. Cal Speed Shop Bonneville streamliner, recreated by Webb Automotive Art, and now on display.

So Cal speed shops _ Streamliner_Ford display_The SEMA SHow 2011_11/4/11

So Cal speed shops _Streamliner_Ford display_The SEMA SHow 2011_11/4/11

So Cal speed shops _Ford streamliner_Ford display_The SEMA SHow 2011_11/4/11

So Cal speed shops _ Streamliner_Ford display_The SEMA SHow 2011_11/4/11

And placed out in front of the streamliner were two other cars; Carrol Shelby’s original Cobra prototype (CSX 001), and the “Edelbrock Special”, a black ’32 Ford high boy roadster…

Shelby Cobra prototype #1_Ford display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Shelby Cobra prototype #1_Ford display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Shelby Cobra prototype #1_Ford display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Edelebrock Special_Ford Display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Edelebrock Special_Ford Display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

As we made our way through the Ford exhibit, we discovered a space designed to look like a home garage, in which two 1964 Mustang convertibles were on display. The red convertible was an original, 1964 1/2 fully restored example, whereas the raw body shell setting beside it was a brand new 1964 mustang convertible body, manufactured by Dynacor.  Ford and Dynacor have now made it possible for anyone who ever aspired to owning a 1964 mustang convertible, the opportunity to build the car of their dreams.

Restored 1964 1/2 red Ford mustang convertible & new 1964 mustang convertible body by Dynacor_Ford display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

 New 1964 Ford mustang convertible body by Dynacor _Ford display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Restored 1964 1/2 red Ford mustang convertible & new 1964 mustang convertible body by Dynacor_Ford display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Restored 1964 1/2  mustang convertible_Ford Display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Restored 1964 1/2  mustang convertible _hood reflection_Ford Display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Located immediately  to the right of the garage display was a series of cargo containers used as a multi tiered setting on which to display a collection of Ford’s iconic race cars.

Overview of Ford display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Two of the cars in particular that caught my attention were the following: the # 1, 1967 Ford J car that competed at Le Mans, and the second was the #82 Lotus Ford Indy car that competed in the mid 60’s.

1967 Ford J car Le Mans_Ford Display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Lotus Ford Indy car#82_Ford Display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Lotus Ford Indy car#82_Ford Display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Situated in front of the cargo container display was a diverse cross-section of Ford vehicles; from modified street cars to fully prepped race cars.

Custom 2012 Ford Explorer_Ford Display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Custom Ford Explorer_Ford Display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

2012 custom Ford Focus_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

2012 custom Ford Focus_Recaro interior_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

HRE wheels_2012 custom Ford Focus_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Brian Deegan Focus RallyCross car_Ford Display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Brian Deegan Focus Rallycross car_Ford Display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Tanner Foust Ford Focus rallycross car_Ford Display_The SEMA SHow 2011_11/4/11

John Force Funny car_Ford display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

John Force Funny car_Ford display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

After making our rounds through the Ford exhibit area, we made our way down the step to the lower exhibit hall area. The first car we saw was this custom Bonneville salt flats Dodge racer built by Rad Rides by Troy, and nicknamed ” Blowfish”. The engine compartment looked like something straight out of from a Jules Verne novel: Captain Nemo’s land based, turbocharged Nautilus…

Rad Rides by Troy_Dodge salt flats racer_motor_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Rad Rides by Troy_Dodge salt flats racer_motor_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Rad Rad Rides by Troy_Dodge salt flats racer_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Rad Rides by Troy_Dodge salt flats racer_Blowfish graphic_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Several aisles over, we came across this beautiful gray and black hot rod, described as a “contemporary traditional ” interpretation of a classic 1927 Ford Roadster. Really nice, and one of our favorites…

Gray, 1927 Ford roadster_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Gray, 1927 Ford roadster_Interior_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Gray, 1927 Ford roadster_engine_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Gray, 1927 Ford roadster_front end _The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Immediately to the right we found another Mothers display, in which technicians were on hand to demonstrate a variety of their different products and the techniques required to deliver a show car finish. I was especially interested in the demo on their Powerball polishing kit, used for restoring the clarity to hazed headlight lenses, since my son’s VW Jetta suffers from that very problem. I explained that I was unable to get the same results with their Powerball kit as those that they were demonstrating; It turns out that I needed to alter my technique and spend more time on the actual polishing process. During our conversation, I suddenly realized that the gentleman I was talking with was Craig Burnett, Mothers lead chemist and the guy seen on their TV commercials… very cool.

Located within the center of the Mothers exhibit and on display were two custom motorcycles built by Roland Sands of Roland Sands Design, and another of the RINGBROTHERS muscle cars, this time a very stealth- looking Mustang fastback.

Roland Sands Design custom motorcycle_Mothers Display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Roland Sands Design motorcycle_"NO Regrets"_Mothers Display_The SEMA Show 2011_11//4/11

RINGBROTHERS Mustang fastback_Mothers display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

RINGBROTHERS Mustang fastback_Mothers display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Our next stop would be at the Stop-Tech brake exhibit. After talking with one of the reps, it sounds like StopTech is considering developing a line of brake upgrades for the earlier Porsche models (pre 1990 vintage); great news for the older Porsche 911 community.

StopTech brake display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

StopTech brake kit_caliper, rotor & hat_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

We then spied a very cool, two toned, custom Ford F-100 pick up truck parked across the hall (the handiwork of 2 Brothers Custom Trucks, out of Springfield, IL).

2 Brothers Custom Trucks, F-100_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

As we got closer, what really stood out was how clean and nicely finished the truck was, and that it had some of the largest and deepest custom billet wheels I’ve seen on an early truck. What was also very cool was that these wheels still retained a visual tie to the original stock steel wheels. Another detail hidden away up front, and lurking beneath the hood, was a twin turbo motor with massive intercooler. The owner was kind enough to open up the passenger door, so I could get the shot of the red leather interior.

2 Brothers Custom Trucks, F-100_ showcard_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

2 Brothers Custom Trucks, F-100 interior_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

2 Brothers Custom Trucks, F-100_ billet rear wheel_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

2 Brothers Custom Trucks, F-100 pickup bed_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

2 Brothers Custom Trucks, F-100 headlight detail_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

2 Brothers Custom Trucks, F-100_ twin turbo motor_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

And parked directly in front of the truck was a Brookville bodied hot rod, built by Speed Kings, complete with spun aluminum disk wheel covers, and a patina one would expect of a vintage Bonneville racer.

Speed Kings 3 window coupe_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Speed Kings 3 window coupe /motor_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

From here we ventured outside to check out the Lexus exhibit and their display of a variety of tuner versions of their production models. The two that struck a chord with my son and I were both from  5-Axis; a white IS model and their wide body design applied to a black 200H model, that was staged just outside of the Lexus tent, with several other tuner cars.

5-Axis, white Lexus IS styling study _The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

5-Axis, white Lexus IS styling study _The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

5-Axis widebody study_ Lexus 200H_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

After walking back into convention center, was made our way down the aisle to the Dupont paint display, where several artist were busy giving demonstrations and answering questions.  We decided to hang out for a few minutes and watch the pin stripe artist do his thing. Very interesting to watch how he would load the brush with the paint and then lay down his lines, noting that by simple changes in brush pressure, his ability to change and vary the line weights from thick to thin as the design required. No  Starbucks coffee cups to be found here…

Dupont paint display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Pin stripe artist at work_Dupont paint display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Around the corner from the Dupont exhibit, we saw what appeared to be an old rusted out Chevrolet coupe on display.  However, close up one could tell that the car was not what it appeared to be.  For instance looking at the stance of the car, it appeared to be lower than normal, but not to the extreme. Once again the wheels appeared stock, but upon closer inspection it became obvious that they were a much larger than stock, painted billet wheels incorporating a stock Chevrolet hub cap. This allowed for a much wider and lower profile tire over stock. The engine compartment was also a showcase of modern technology; an optima battery, upgraded master cylinder for disc brakes, high flow aluminum radiator, and a modern GM crate motor. The interior also retained a similar level of age and patina, however the front and rear seats appearing to have been re-covered in alligator skin, but still with that vintage, aged look and feel. In regards to the overall finish,  the exterior paint, bumpers and body trim had that “abandoned in the middle of the desert for 40 years, with that sun-baked patina” appearance. Talk about having the ultimate sleeper…

1950's Chevy coupe w/heavy patina_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

1950's Chevy coupe w/heavy patina__engine compartment_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

1950's Chevy coupe w/heavy patina_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

On the other side of the exhibit hall, was an exhibitor familiar to anyone who grew up in the 1960’s and was into Volkswagens; the aftermarket firm EMPI. Two of their displays featured some of the hottest parts from back in the 60’s – their vertical display with a variety of dual throat Weber carbs, and the centrally located “wheel pyramid”,  a showcase of the many wheels that were are still are trend setters, such as the BRM  wheels found on the coolest of the “California Look” bugs back in the 60’s and 70’s, and that in the day were difficult to source.

EMPI display_Weber carbs_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

EMPI display_Wheel pyramid_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

We then made our way to the Chevrolet display, and came face to face with this Hot Wheels themed Camaro, very similar in color to the one that I had as a kid back in the 60’s.

Fluorescent green Hot Wheels Camaro_Chevy display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Fluorescent green Hot Wheels Camaro_Chevy display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Fluorescent green Hot Wheels Camaro_Chevy display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

And lurking just off to the right, was the brand new ZL1 Camaro coupe.

Camaro ZL 1_Chevy display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Camaro ZL 1_Chevy display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Camaro ZL 1_Chevy display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Camaro ZL 1_Chevy display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Several other car of interest at the Chevrolet display were the Corvette C6R that competes in the ALMS series and has raced at Le Mans, the brand new COPO Camaro drag car, and the 2012 Camaro convertible.

Corvette C6R racecar_Chevy display_The SEMA Show 2011_11//4/11

Corvette C6R racecar_Chevy display_The SEMA Show 2011_11//4/11

2012 COPO Camaro_chevy display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

2012 Camaro convertible_chevy display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Situated behind the Chevrolet exhibit was the Mobile 1 oil display, with two cars book ending the space. On one end was Ken Block’s rally / Gymkhana Ford Focus. And for the Porsche fans out there, at the other end was a white RAUH-WELT Porsche, only 1 of 2 built-in the U.S. (all previous models have been constructed exclusively in Japan).

Ken Block Gymkahana 4 Ford Focus_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

RAUH-WELT Porsche 964_Hoonigan_Mobil 1 display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

RAUH-WELT Porsche 964_hoonigan_Mobil 1 display_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

A little further down the aisle was another exhibit, introducing a new product called Fuse, with the tag line “Weld without Welding”.  After watching a video describing the product and its many applications, were we able to see the product being demonstrated by the young woman seen in the photo below.

Fuse_Weld without Welding demo_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

We learned that the “Fuse” product is an alternative material and method to “Weld without Welding”. All that is required is a heat source capable of generating at least 300 degrees  of heat to the aluminum to be repaired. The heat source used in the demonstration was a simple hand-held, “Bernozomatic” torch, with the heat being applied directly to the joint  between the two aluminum strips. And as you can see from the photo, the actual “Fuse” material was being held by the needle nose pliers. Once the aluminum panels are properly heated, the fuse “rod” can be run along the joint between the two panels, just like in soldering. The material flows out and creates a nice fillet between the two panels; to complete the task, all you need to do is repeat the process on the opposite side. You will then have a solid, bonded aluminum panel.  And according to the reps, the fuse product can also be filed, machined, drilled and even tapped once the bonding process has been completed.  This seems like an ideal product for the do- it- yourselfer,  who needs to secure or repair aluminum without needing an expensive MIG or TIG setup.

Fuse_Weld without Welding exhibit_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

One of the last events that we took in that day was over at the Go Pro display.We arrived a few minutes prior to a give- away and drawings for several of their Go Pro HD cameras. The car below, sponsored by Go Pro, was prominently positioned within their display, and was the Pikes Peak Unlimited class winner at this years event.

Go Pro exhibit_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

As the magic hour struck, one of the reps from Go Pro began tossing out hats and then followed up with several rounds of  T-shirts.

Go Pro exhibit_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Unknown to everyone, hidden inside the collar on selected shirts, was a tag that entitled the holder to a free Go Pro HD camera. Once this information was made known, the winners quickly came forward to collect their cameras. On an interesting side note: a teen age boy standing near my son and I had jumped up in front of us just as one of the T-shirts was thrown our way. When he hit the floor, he had a shirt in hand, but shortly after gave it away. When the announcement was made regarding the tag inside the collar, an expletive was heard coming from him as a result of his rash act. Oh well, win some lose some…

With that, we began making our way back out through the show, just in time to catch many of the cars coming to life, to participate in the shows closing cruise up Convention Center Drive. Very strange to have cars coming down an aisle towards you…

Redline Motorsports Camaro_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

H&R BMW 1M_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Corvette ZL1_The SEMA Show 2011_11/4/11

Thus our two-day SEMA experience had come to an end. I would like to thank the SEMA organization for the opportunity to participate in this amazing event and the Opinion Leaders program, and for the shared memories that my son and I now have as a result of the show. (And who would have suspected encountering a snow storm later that evening as we passed State Line on the I-15, making our way up the pass, heading back to California… )

(All photos by the author)

Through the looking glass…The SEMA Show 2011

RAUH-WELT Porsche_Falken tire display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Imagine being a gear head, but never being able to attend the grand-daddy of all automotive trade shows – the SEMA Show (Speciality Equipment Market Association), held yearly in Las Vegas. Now imagine being given the opportunity by SEMA to participate in a special program for non automotive industry individuals, and by participating having the chance to attend the actual show for two days.

This is exactly the situation that I recently found myself in, a result of responding to a survey prepared by SEMA and sent to select Autoweek magazine subscribers. So imagine my surprise when I received an email from the SEMA organization, notifying me that I had been selected to participate in their Opinion Leaders program, to be held on November 3rd & 4th, 2011 in Las Vegas.  I would also be able to bring one guest, and my son quickly volunteered to be the one to accompany me. We responded with a confirmation of our availability and intent to attend, and shortly after received our passes in the mail, along with an outline of the activities required by the participants of the Opinion Leaders program.

New Products_Ideas Alive Showcase_SEMA show_November 2011Once we arrived at the show and made our way through registration, we were directed to the  New Products showcase area. Our Opinion Leaders contribution would be to provide feedback on the new products, vehicles and trends displayed in this area. This years showcase features over 2000 products on display, for review by all SEMA participants. Our task however, was to identify five “Hot New Products” that we felt were some of the coolest and relevant in this years selection. The following five products represent my “five picks” from this years showcase:

International Aero Products_Polymer infused clay bar_SEMA show_November 2011Company: International Aero Products

Product: Glide Polymer infused Clay bar

Description: This is the first clay bar that I have seen on the market that will not only remove the surface particulate from your paint , but during the removal process, also deposits a co-polymer coating to your paint,  adding a level of protection to your finish that none of the competition offers.  (And I found out after talking with one of their marketing reps on Friday,  that after completing the clay bar process, a simply coat of their wax is all that is needed to deliver maximum finish protection).

 Shelby Cobra 50 Years_Motorbooks_The SEMA Show_20

Company: Motorbooks

Product: Shelby Cobra 50 Years (book)

Description: A new coffee table sized book on the Shelby Cobra.  For a fan, can we ever get enough information or photos of this amazing car and it’s creator, Carrol Shelby?

Meguiars _Ultimate Wash Anywhere_SEMA show_November 2011Company: Meguiar’s

Product: Ultimate Wash Anywhere

Description: A new spray-on car wash product by Meguiar’s, that allows for the dirtiest of cars to be cleaned without water, and without scratching the paint finish. All you need is the car wash spray and a clean microfiber towel. (I can’t wait to try this, since the current product I use leaves very fine scratches, which then have to be polished out).

K&N_Porsche 911 Dual round air filters_SEMA show_November 2011Company: K&N

Product: Porsche 911 dual round air filters

Description: New air filter elements for another Porsche 911 model. Always nice to see K&N expanding their product line by adding additional  product for more of the Porsche models. (I have run a  K&N air filter on my Porsche 911 since 2000, and with a simple cleaning and re-oiling it’s as good as new).

Whoosh !Inc._Whoosh! Microfiber Renew_SEMA show_November 2011Company: Whoosh!Inc.

Product: Whoosh! Microfiber Renew

Description: A laundry additive for the cleaning of microfiber towels. It’s advertised as being able to remove the dirt and oils from the microfiber, yet also conditions the towels, which helps to restore the cleaning and absorption properties of the microfiber, which should help to prolong the usefulness of the towels. (Another product I will be eager to try, given that all I use for detailing our families cars are microfibers).

After completing my new product picks, and recording my selections at the computer station, we were free to go off and explore the rest of the show. Our first stop would be at the West Coast Customs display. The first car on display was a fully customized, satin black Cadillac CTS / V.  It turns out that this is Justin Bieber’s car (his “batmobile”), and the one he had described to Jay Leno on the Tonight Show, earlier that week.

West Coast Customs_Justin Bieber's Cadillac CTSV_The SEMA Show_11/3/11West Coast Customs_Justin Bieber's Cadillac CTSV_The SEMA Show_11/3/11The centerpiece of the West Coast Customs display however was a striking, late 50’s vintage looking red Corvette. Although upon closer inspection, it appeared to be a modern re-creation, with a lot of modern details and current running gear.

West Coast Customs_Red  retro Corvette_The SEMA Show_11/3/11

West Coast Customs_Red  retro Corvette_The SEMA Show_11/3/11West Coast Customs_Red  retro Corvette_The SEMA Show_11/3/11West Coast Customs_Red  retro Corvette_The SEMA Show_11/3/11West Coast Customs_Red  retro Corvette_The SEMA Show_11/3/11From here, we were off to the ground floor at the South Hall, to check out the Global Tire Expo. However on our way out, my son and I came across this beautiful fiberglass, retro Chevrolet wagon (looking like a cross between a late 50’s vintage Corvette at the front and a 1955 Nomad wagon at the back. The paint job was spectacular, like looking into a black mirror, and was one of the best black paint jobs I think I have ever seen.

Superior Glass Works_custom Chevy wagon_The SEMA Show_11/3/11

Superior Glass Works_custom Chevy wagon_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Superior Glass Works_custom Chevy wagon_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Superior Glass Works_custom Chevy wagon_The SEMA Show_11/3/11

Then setting near the top of the escalator, we came across another custom paint job and graphics, but this time on a fully tricked-out, black 4X4 truck.

Once we made our way downstairs, the Falken tire display was the first we encountered. On display was a Lexus LFA supercar, along with two Porsches; one the Falken Tire Porsche GT3RSR race car, and the other a custom (one of only two U.S. built), RAUH-WELT Porsche 964.

Lexus LFA_Falken Tires display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11RUH-WELT Porsche 964_Falken Tire display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11RUH-WELT Porsche 964_Falken Tire display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Custom wheel & Falken tire_RAUH-WELT Porsche_The SEMA SHow_11/3/11Falken Tires Porsche GT3RSR_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Falken Tires Porsche GT3RSR_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Around the corner from the Falken display, was Pirelli tire.  Pirelli’s exhibit consisted of several Lamborghini’s, (the orange one from http://www.Undergroundracing.com), one Ferrari and one very custom, soft top roadster.

Lamborghini Aventador_Pirelli display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11

Undergroundracing.com _lambo twin turbo_Pirelli display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11

Undergroundracing.com _lambo twin turbo_Pirelli Display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11

Carbon fiber Ferrari_Pirelli display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11

Hot Rod_Pirelli display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11

Hot Rod_Pirelli display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11

Over at the CEC display, the new Fisker automobile was being highlighted, and also served as CEC’s primary photo backdrop.

Fisker  @CEC display_THE SEMA SHow_11/3/11

Located on the opposite side of the exhibit hall was the Forgiato wheel display, which featured a Mercedes Vision SLR, a lime green Lamborghini and a pumpkin orange Mercedes  Benz S class ( a vinyl wrap with cut out logos, revealing the black body color underneath).

Mercedes Vision SLR_Forgiato wheels display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11

Lamborghini_Forgiato wheels display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Mercedes S class_Forgiato wheels display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Vinyl wrap with cut out logo_Forgiato wheels display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Just across the aisle, was another wheel manufacturer, with a display tracing the various production steps, starting with the forged blank and ending with the finished wheel. I was able to pick up and compare the weight differences between the forged blank and their finished wheel. Amazing to see how strong yet lightweight these wheels are, even with all of the machining and finishing processes required. This is especially true of forged wheels, due to the compressive forces applied during the forging processes.

Forged wheel blank_20 X 8.5_The SEMA Show_11/3/11

Forged wheel blank_20 X 8.5_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Finished forged wheel_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Our next stop was at the Continental Tires booth, to check out the Brumos Porsche, Hurley Haywood signature edition GT3, all black with red accents. And according to the rear spoiler endplate insert, this was model #1 of 1…

Brumos Porsche, Hurley Haywood signature model GT3_Continental tire display_The SEMA SHow_11/3/11

Brumos Porsche, Hurley Haywood signature model GT3_Continental tire display_The SEMA SHow_11/3/11Brumos Porsche, Hurley Haywood signature model GT3_Continental tire display_The SEMA SHow_11/3/11After checking out the rest of the Continental exhibit, we decided to head over to the Central hall exhibit space. The black, custom Cadillac (see photos below) was on display at the entrance into Central hall, and another example of meticulous detail, body work, and flawless paint. Obviously countless hours were spent block sanding the body, to get the body panels as smooth and straight as they did, which with the black paint rendered a flawless finish.  And the red leather interior was just as beautifully detailed and finished as the exterior.

Custom Cadillac_The SEMA SHow_11//3/11

Custom Cadillac_The SEMA SHow_11//3/11Custom Cadillac_ trunk reflection_The SEMA SHow_11//3/11Once inside Central hall,the first exhibit we encountered was the H&R suspension display, with a BMW M3 from the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team prominently displayed.

BMW M3_H&R display_The SEMA SHow_11/3/11

BMW M3_H&R display_The SEMA SHow_11/3/11Just across the aisle from H&R, was the Subaru exhibit. Prominently displayed as a backdrop to the Subaru models on display out front, was their “parts wall”, a showcase of the latest performance upgrade parts now available through Subaru dealerships. Their vehicle display consisted of a variety of modified street cars, alongside several of their latest competition models.

Performance parts wall_Subaru exhibit_The SEMA Show_11/3/11

Subaru WRX STI  4 door_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Subaru WRX STI _The SEMA Show_11/3/11Subaru WRX STI hatch_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Subaru WRX STI hatch_The SEMA Show_11/3/11

As we headed towards the back of the exhibit hall, we came across the BASF paint display, which featured four different cars, each prepared by a different builder; The yellow mustang convertible from West Coast Customs, while the tri- toned blue/black/white mustang fastback was from Richard Petty Enterprises. Opposite these two cars was the next pairing; the warm platinum / taupe hued, RingBrothers custom 70’s vintage Camaro, and rounding out this quartet, was the Chip Foose styled, two-toned 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL gullwing.

West Coast Customs mustang_BASF display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11

Richard Petty mustang fastback_BASF display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11RingBrothers camaro_BASF display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11RingBrothers camaro_BASF display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Chip Foose 1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL gullwing_BASF display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Chip Foose 1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL gullwing_BASF display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Chip Foose 1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL gullwing_BASF display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Chip Foose 1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL gullwing_BASF display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Chip Foose 1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL gullwing_BASF display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Chip Foose 1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL gullwing_BASF display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Chip Foose 1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL gullwing_BASF display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Chip Foose 1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL gullwing_BASF display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11Chip Foose 1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL gullwing_BASF display_The SEMA Show_11/3/11It was during my photographing of the 300SL, that a gentleman from BASF (responsible for the care and handling of this car over its next 6 months of show car touring), struck up a conversation with my son and I, and was kind enough to share some of the back story regarding this particular car.

We came to learn that this Mercedes 300SL had previously been a fully restored,100 point concours level vehicle at the time of purchase by Chip Foose. Then over the next two years, Chip and his team began a thorough disassembly, restyling and re-assembly process that wrapped up on Sunday, October 30.  By Monday the 31st, the car was delivered to the BASF display for placement, and by early afternoon Chip Foose came through, and stopped to take another look at the car. Apparently, he was not happy with what he observed, and suddenly left. However, he returned a short time later, with 5 members of the Meguiar’s detailing team (at around 3 PM), and for the next 9 hours, Chip and the team worked on the interior and exterior of the car to bring it up to his show quality standards. With Chip finally satisfied, at midnight he took the entire team out to dinner.

It was apparent that all of their hard work had paid off, as the car was absolutely stunning. The fit and finish, door gaps and all of the subtle details made for a beautifully turned out 300SL. In typical Foose fashion, the changes made were very subtle, but  if you knew what to look for, they became obvious. And according to its BASF caretaker, the front and rear bumper had each been modified to tuck in tighter to the body eliminating the original gaps, the front headlight trim  / bezels had been reworked, the front grill had been massaged, and the original wheels were replaced by a new billet design, yet still incorporated the Mercedes-Benz three-point star as a center cap detail. The two-tone, water based BASF paint job was flawless, right down to the applied red pinstripe that separated the two colors. The red pinstripe was a very subtle design detail, and most likely influenced by the red leather interior.  The interior appeared to have had a sympathetic restoration;  a thorough cleaning  and refurbishing, rather than total replacement. The red leather seats looked like new, but appeared to have the slight patina of original wear. There was even a single piece of red, factory fitted luggage with red leather hold down straps included, and secured in place just behind the front seats.

Then, just as I finished taking my last photo of the 300SL, an announcement was made over the PA system, stating that the show was now closing for the day, so our further explorations would have to wait for the following day.

(Part 2 of “Through the looking glass…The SEMA Show 2011 / Day 2 to follow shortly).

(All photos by the author)

“All good things got to come to an end”…Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV, Part 7

As my son and I continued our trek through the Porsche parking corral, we came across even more clusters of GT3’s. I was now on GT3 overload, and here in front of me sat my personal dream car, a 2011 GT3 3.8 model (my favorite) in silver on black, sandwiched between two earlier GT3’s…

2009 & 2010 GT3's _Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11

A little further down the row, we found a solo example of a 2011 GT2RS, parked well away from the GT3’s.

2011 GT2RS_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/112011 GT2RS_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11And then a couple more GT3RS’s thrown in for good measure…

GT3RS_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11

GT3RS_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11At the other end of the Porsche corral, we encountered what had to be a one -off, “sample to match”, painted 997 (see photo below). The only other time I have seen a Porsche even close to this color, was my friend Ian’s 964, a right hand drive model built for the Hong Kong  market.

Porsche 997, paint to sample color_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11

But now it was time to watch the Group 3 race, so we headed off to turn 2 to catch the start.  The following images are just a few from the race:

1969 Porsche 917K_Bruce Canepa_Group 3_ Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/111969 Porsche 908_Joe Buzzetta_Group 3_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/111969 Porsche 917_Gijs Van Lennep_Group 3_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/111966 906_Jeff Zwart_Group 3_Rennsport reunion 4_10/16/111968 908K_Cameron Healy_Gropu 3_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/111966 906_Michael Reischl_Group3_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/111969 908_Joe Buzzetta_Group 3_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/111971 908/3_Brian Redman_Group 3_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11

By the time the race ended, it was noon, and the Porsche owners who had signed up for the on track “parade laps” were being staged within the Porsche corral area, and arranged in rows to enter the track, starting from turn 5.

Parade Laps_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11

GT3RS_Parade Laps_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11Porsche 993_Parade Laps_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11GT3RS_Parade Laps_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11GT3_Parade Laps_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11997_Parade Laps_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/111968 911_Parade Laps_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11GT3_Parade Laps_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11GT3RS_Parade Laps_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11550 coupe_Parade Laps_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11Once the parade laps were done, two of the new 2012 Porsche 991’s were unleashed onto the track for some fast laps; below the red, 2012  Porsche 991 at speed, turn 5.

2012 Porsche 991_ hot lapping_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11When they had finished their laps and came off the track, we headed back to Cayman island for one last look at two friends cars that had been on display in the 911 chronology display.

1973 Carrera RS_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11

Polo Red 1966 911_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11For our last race of the day, we decided to watch from the grandstands located between turn 11 and the start/ finish line.  The next class scheduled was Group 6, a mixed class of 911’s and the “Cayman Interseries”cars…

Group six_turn 11_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11

Group six_turn 11_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11Group six_Cayman Interseries_turn 11_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11Group six_Cayman Interseries_turn 11_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11Group six_Cayman Interseries_turn 11_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11GT3 Cup car_Group six_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11And with that, our Porsche Rennsport Reunion 4 weekend came to an end. It was an incredible 3 days, and an experience that I was fortunate enough to experience and share with my son.

The sign out front had predicted an epic weekend, and delivered beyond all expectations. And based upon the reported overwhelming success of this event, I suspect that we will all have in three years time, the opportunity to once again return to Laguna Seca Raceway, and experience Porsche’s Rennsport Reunion V…

(All photos by the author)

(P.S. – SPEED TV began broadcasting their one hour coverage of Rennsport Reunion IV today  / November 13.   Their broadcast scheduling is as follows /all times shown are Pacific Time):

November 13 -Noon  ( I caught today’s broadcast – Excellent coverage by SPEED TV)

Monday November 14 -Midnight

Saturday November 19 -1 PM

Wednesday November 30 -11 PM

Thursday December 1 -1 AM

Love, you drive me to distraction…Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV, Part 6

Sunday morning October 16 arrived in typical Monterey fashion;  bright, clear and sunny, without any trace of the fog that had greeted Rennsport Reunion participants Saturday morning. As we parked our car and made the walk down to the track, we could hear the unmistakable sound of Porsche race cars already lapping the track, as part of the morning warm up sessions.

Fence banner_Rennsport Reunion IV_10/16/11The schedule of races ahead of us would focus on the following classes: Groups 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. For those with an interest in vintage Porsche race cars, Groups 3, 4 and 5 were definitely the ones to watch.

The Group 3, “Weissach Cup” class was made up of Porsche 906’s, 907’s, 908 (908/2, 908/3), 909’s, 910’s, and the awesome 917’s ( normally aspirated or turbocharged).

1968 Porsche 907 (#49) and Porsche 908 (#4)_Joe Buzzetta Motorsports_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11(Group 3, Porsche 907 (# 49), and 908 (#4)

The Group 4, “Carrera Trophy” class consisted of Porsche 911’s (over 2.5 liters), 911 RSR’s, 3.0 RSR’s, 2.1 liter turbos, Porsche 934’s, 935’s, 936’s, 924 GTS and GTR’s.

1974 Porsche 911 RSR_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11(Group 4, 1974 Porsche 911 RSR)

The next class, Group 5 / “Stuttgart Cup”, was a showcase for the Porsche 956’s, 962’s, GT1’s, WSC’s and RS Spyders.

Porsche 962 / Dyson Racing_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11

(Group 5,  Dyson Racing Porsche 962)

For those wanting a more contemporary spin to their racing, the Group 6, “Cayman Interseries” class delivered just that; a present day production based Porsche sports car (Cayman) wrapped in nostalgia graphics. Each Cayman displayed a different and unique graphic motif, adopted from those originally created and showcased on the Porsche race cars of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Porsche Cayman/ Cayman Interseries_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11(Group 6, Porsche Cayman / Cayman Interseries)

For Group 7,  the “PCA Club Racing” class, this was an opportunity to watch fellow Porsche owners competing in their Porsche Club of America series,  Club spec race cars.

PCA club racing_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11(Group 7, PCA Club racing)

The last class to compete would be Group 8,  the “Rennsport Reunion Cup” pairings, which consisted of the contemporary, Porsche Motorsports constructed, 911 GT3 Cup race cars.

Porsche 2010 GT3 Cup car_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11

(2010 Porsche GT3 Cup car)

As we made our way through the paddock, over towards turns 9 & 10  (to watch the mornings warm up session for Group 6), teams were busy making last-minute adjustments, running through their checklists, and buttoning up the cars prior to their pre-grid staging in pit lane.

Porsche 935's in paddock_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11

Bob Akin Coca Cola Porsche 935 _Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11Porsche 962's_paddock area_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11We even ran into a long time friend, Dieter Inzenhofer of Andial fame (in the white shirt), working his magic on Jeff Zwart’s Porsche 906, prior to his Group 3 race.

Dieter Inzenhofer of Andial fame working on Jeff Zwart's Porsche 906_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11

Dieter Inzenhofer of Andial fame in white shirt working on Jeff Zwart's Porsche 906_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11Porsche 906 mirror with 914-6 reflection_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11Porsche 962_paddock_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11Porsche 962 w/ 906 in background_paddock_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11Porsche 962 motor_paddock_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11The following photos are a small sampling taken from the morning warm-ups:

1994 Porsche RSR_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11

Cayman Interseries_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11

Cayman Interseries_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/111997 Porsche 993 Turbo_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/111991 Brumos 911 Turbo S-2_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11After the mornings warm up sessions concluded, we returned to Cayman island, to revisit the Mothers display, and once again check out the cars.  And our efforts were rewarded, as two rare Porsche 993 Speedsters had been staged out front of the Mother’s display.

993 Speedster_Mothers display_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11

993 Speedster_Mothers display_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11993 Speedster_Mothers display_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11993 Speedster_Mothers display_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11993 Speedster S_Mothers display_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11993 Speedster S_Mothers display_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11993 Speedster S_Mothers display_Rennsport Reunion 4 _10/16/11And tucked back in to the right of the Mothers transporter, were a trio of Black and orange accented, GT3RS models…

GT3RS _ Mothers display_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11

GT3RS trio_MOthers display_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11GT3RS reflections_Mothers display_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11GT3RS & GT3 wings_Mothers display_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11GT3RS reflections_Mothers display_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11And situated across the lawn, directly opposite of the Mothers display, was the Yokohama tire transporter, showcasing the spotless, Alex Job Racing GT3 Cup car.

Yokohama tires GT3 cup car_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11

Located just behind this display area was the main Porsche Corral parking zone. This area held 911’s of every year, model and color one could imagine. Strolling through the multiple rows, one could find incredible examples of the earliest SWB models, to Porsche’s current offerings, the GT3RS and GT2RS models.

Porsche Corral parking _Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11

Porsche Corral parking _Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11Porsche Corral parking _Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11Porsche Corral parking _Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/111973 911S_Porsche Corral parking _Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/111973 911S_Porsche Corral parking _Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/111968 911L_Porsche Corral parking _Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11And then I came across this beautiful 1968 911L (pictured above and below).  I immediately recognized it as belonging to Bob Tilton, a member of the RGruppe car club, and who writes an insightful blog focused on the early, short wheelbase Porsche 911’s (www.werkcrew.com). For anyone interested in early Porsche 911’s,  I would highly recommend checking out his website for its content, and his insight into the early 911 community, as well as his beautifully creative photography.

1968 911L_Porsche corral parking_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/111968 911L_Porsche corral parking_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/111968 911L_Porsche corral parking_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/111968 911L_scotchbrite finished wheel_Porsche corral parking_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/111968 911L_Cibie biode headlight_Porsche corral parking_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/111968 911L_Porsche corral parking_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11Our next encounter was with a rainbow-hued collection of Porsche 911 GT3’s and GT3RS’s, gathered together in several rows.

GT3_Porsche corral parking_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11

911 GT3_Porsche corral parking_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11

911 GT3's_Porsche corral parking_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/16/11

Please stay tuned for my final installment  – Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV, Part 7

(All photos by the author)