California Festival of Speed, and two new Porsche GT3 RS4.0 sightings…

Saturday morning, April 21 dawned warm and hazy. However, on this morning I would not be making my weekly trek down to Cars&Coffee/Irvine, but would instead be driving out to the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California to catch day two of the scheduled three-day “Festival of Speed” event. The weekend was marketed as an “Event for Porsche enthusiasts”, however there were other makes and models of street and race cars also present.

After arriving at the race track, my first stop was at the registration building. After signing the required liability waiver, I was issued a black & white checkerboard wristband (secured onto the left wrist of every participant by the registration staff), and given my parking pass. Now it was time to drive over to the infield parking area that had been designated for the weekends festivities. By now, the sun had begun to burn off the mornings haze, and was starting to bring some heat to Fontana. Exiting my car, I could  hear the unmistakable sound of Porsche race cars with their distinctive exhaust notes echoing off of the grandstands, as they screamed past the start/finish line, beginning another lap.

As I made my way past the entry portal that divides the parking lot from the infield garage area, I noticed a cast bronze plaque mounted onto the vertical support column and went over for a closer look. It turned out to be a dedication plaque honoring  Les Richter, for his contribution to the construction and completion of this racing facility. It also acknowledged his involvement in professional sports with inductions into both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as well as the Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Les Richter_Dedication plaque_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21,2012

Now it was time to find out what treasures awaited out in the infield garages…

Gray GMG, Porsche GT3RS_3/4 front view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

First up was this Gray Porsche 997 GT3RS, prepared by the folks from the GMG /Global Motorsport Group.

Gray GMG, Porsche GT3RS_rear fender w/ graphics_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Its stable mate to the left was this black, GMG prepared Audi R8, with what appeared to be a combination of components sourced from Audi’s R8GT3 and LMS parts bin, and powered by a V-10 motor.

Located on the other side of the block wall, opposite the Audi R8 bay, was a bevy of Porsche GT3 Cup cars, all being prepared for the days scheduled events…

Khaki colored, Porsche GT3 Cup car_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012A Porsche 996 GT3 Cup car…

Khaki colored, Porsche GT3 Cup car_with wheels removed_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012Khaki colored, Porsche GT3 Cup car_rear wing detail_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Now imagine my surprise when I looked over and saw this black 2012 Porsche GT3 RS4.0, casually tucked in amongst its GT3 brethren. This is the first and only RS4.0 that I have seen configured for racing, and also marks my 9th GT3 RS4.0 sighting. After I finished shooting the car, all that remained was to discover the series number for this car. A quick look inside, specifically at the cars glove box door ID plaque, revealed this car as being #239 out of 600.

Black 2012, Porsche GT3 RS4.0_3/4 front view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

O.Z. centerlock racing wheel_Black 2012, Porsche GT3 RS4.0_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

 O.Z. centerlock racing wheels…

Black 2012, Porsche GT3 RS4.0_rear wing & reflections_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Black 2012, Porsche GT3 RS4.0_motor_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

2012 Porsche GT3 RS4.0 _Carbon fiber air intake_festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Black 2012, Porsche GT3 RS4.0 & GT3 Cup car_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Positioned next to the Black RS4.0 was the “DISCOUNTECHNOLOGY”, 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup car, and seeing it in person was one of those deja-vu moments; my son and I had watched this very car compete at Porsches Rennsport Reunion IV back in October at Laguna Seca. Here’s the same car at speed, shot while competing at Rennsport IV (see below)…

Black & Blue Discountechnology Porsche GT3 cup car_with wheels removed_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

lue Discountechnology Porsche GT3 cup car_ front view w/out wheels_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Discountechnology Porsche GT3 cup car_centerlock wheel hub and brake caliper__Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

And located just one bay over to the right, was this spectacular blue 2011 997 GT3. This is the only Porsche GT3 that I have seen wearing this particular shade of blue. After shooting multiple images of the car, my interests in this particular GT3 finally caught the attention of its owner, who came over and introduced himself. I soon learned that this particular color  (Aqua Blue metallic), was in fact a very rare color to be seen on a GT3. And apparently the people from Porsche were just as impressed, after seeing the car in person at Rennsport Reunion IV. Because of the rarity of this color being optioned on the GT3 model, the owner was asked by Porsche to put his car on display at Rennsport Reunion IV. The collective belief is that this may be one of the only 2011 GT3’s in North America painted Aqua blue metallic.

Blue 2011 Porsche GT3_3/4 front view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Blue 2011 Porsche GT3_3/4 rear view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

GMG / WC-GT racing wheel_Blue 2011 Porsche GT3_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

A very cool set of GMG / WC-GT centerlock race wheels…

Blue 2011 Porsche GT3_motor_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

My next stop was Garage 2, where I found even more Porsche GT3 Cup cars…

Porsche GT3 Cup car_Truspeed_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Porsche GT3 Cup car_Truspeed_rear view of motor_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

White 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup car_McKEnna graphics_3/4 rear view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

White 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup car_McKEnna graphics_Porsche GT3 Cup car_Truspeed_3/4 rear view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

White 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup car_McKenna graphics_black centerlock race wheel_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

White 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup car_McKenna graphics_interior shot_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

White 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup car_McKenna graphics_front trunk_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

One of several examples of Porsche brand new 2012 GT3 Cup cars (seen above and below)…

White 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup car #96_3/4 front view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

White 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup car #96_ front view with torque wrench_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

And one of the largest torque wrenches you’ll ever see; the perfect tool for torquing down Porsches GT3 centerlock race wheels to approximately 340 ft lbs…

2011 Gray and red Porsche GT3RS_3/4 front view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Located outside and parked in the rows between Garage 2 and 3, was this immaculate gray and red GT3RS, with its identical twin parked just off to its right…

Porsche GT3RS red wheel_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

2011 Gray and red Porsche GT3RS_ front fender graphics_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

2012 Porsche 997 turbo_Meissen blue_3/4 front view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

After making the rounds at the two garages, it was time to check out the vendor row. The blue Porsche 997 turbo seen above was on display courtesy of Walter’s Porsche, and paired with a new black Porsche 991 cabriolet. In talking with the sales rep, I learned that this particular color had been sourced from Porsches 356 color palette, originally available for the 1957 to 1959 models, and known as Meissen Blue.

Black Porsche 991 with door reflection_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Situated down the row from the Walter’s Porsche display, were these seat shells from Lou’s Metal Shaping (phone# -562-201-4658, email – mr_mallet@yahoo.com). These beautiful, hand formed aluminum seat shells are intended for use in Porsche 356 speedsters, 550 spyders, and for Porsche 911 owners wanting an aluminum Scheel seat shell/s for their 911…

Hand formed aluminum seat shells_Porsche 356_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21. 2012

Hand formed aluminum seat shells_911 scheel seat shell & 550 spyder shell_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Raceway_April 21. 2012

Hand formed aluminum seat shell_ Porsche 550 spyder seat shell_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Raceway_April 21. 2012

By now it was getting close to noon time; time to grab some lunch and something cold to drink. With food, drink and camera in hand, it was time to find a shady place to sit down, eat and get ready for the afternoons PCA (Porsche Club of America) club racing to begin. Fortunately, this track has covered infield seating that sets on top of the pit lane suites, and runs the length of and overlooks pit lane, offering up a great view of the racetrack, especially the start / finish line.

By 1 PM, the first group of cars was unleashed, and the first race underway, complete with an Audi R8, Lamborghini Gallardo spyder and a collection of Porsche 911’s (see photos below)…

Black Audi R8 V-10_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Red w/ yellow hood Porsche 911_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

White Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

White Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder (above), with blue 3M masking tape applied as a protective covering…

Orange Porsche 911_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Blue 2011 Porsche GT3 & Red w/ yellow stripe hood 911_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

The second race of the afternoon was the Porsche Club of America Club race for the GT2A class. The first two photos below capture the start of the race…

GT2A class, pacing the start_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

In formation, rolling up on the start / finish line, awaiting the drop of the green flag…

Porsche GT3 Cup cars_GT2A class_ accelerating across the start/finish line_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

 Hard acceleration after crossing the start / finish line…

Porsches, three wide_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

2012 Porsche GT3 Cup_blue&black Discountechnology GTR3_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Yellow Porsche 928 & white GT3 Cup_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_APril 21, 2012

2012 Red & yellow Porsche GT3 Cup car_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

White # 153 Porsche GT3 RSR_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Black, yellow & white GT3 Cup car_#22_Festival of Speed_April 21, 2012

White 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup car_#96_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Orange Porsche 993_# 444_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Discountechnology Porsche GT3_race winner_class GT2A, Saturday race_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

The afternoons GT2A class winner (as seen above), streaking across the start / finish line…

Red 1999 Porsche GT3 Koni Challenge Cup car_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Raceway_April 21, 2012

After the races concluded, I headed back into the garage area, to make one last pass through before heading home. As I was approaching Garage 1, I saw my friend Eric sitting on his bike, visiting with his fellow racers. I had been looking for Eric and his race car all morning ( a red,1999 Porsche 996 GT3 Koni Challenge Cup car), but had been unsuccessful in locating him. I soon learned that he had been out on track earlier that morning (apparently while I was roaming the garages), thus I missed seeing his time out on the track. Unfortunately, with the summer like weather and high temperatures on this day, his car had begun experiencing overheating problems. Rather than risk catastrophic damage to his motor, Eric made the painful decision to sit out the afternoon race, and was now in the process of trying to locate a new water pump for his car ( believed to be the cause of his overheating problem). Eric pointed me in the direction of his car (parked over behind his trailer), so I could check it out and get some photos. He then rode off into the pit area on his quest to locate a water pump.

Red 1999 Porsche GT3 Koni Challenge Cup car_3/4 rear view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Raceway_April 21, 2012

Red 1999 Porsche GT3 Koni Challenge Cup car_interior view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Raceway_April 21, 2012

After shooting his car, I ran into Eric and his wife, still searching for the elusive water pump. As they headed back to their motor home to cool off from the afternoon heat, I said my goodbyes and was off for one last pass through the garage areas.

Just as I rounded the corner of Garage 1, the back-end of a white Porsche 911 caught my eye. As I headed in its direction, I initially thought it to be a GT3RS. However as I got closer, and was able to make out the graphics, I quickly saw that it was instead a GT3 RS4.0.

White 2012 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_3/4 rear view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Raceway_April 21, 2012

White 2012 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_3/4 front view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Raceway_April 21, 2012

White 2012 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_rear wing detail_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Raceway_April 21, 2012

White 2012 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_side view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Raceway_April 21, 2012

Given the rarity of these cars, I’m still amazed to this day that I have seen as many as I have in person, and now this latest encounter brought my total sightings up to ten. The day had presented me with another amazing opportunity to witness not just one but two of these rare GT3 RS4.0’s  (in person and on the same day). I made my way over to the passenger side of the car to get a look at the glove box plaque, which revealed that this car was series # 331 of 600.

Now all I have to do is find one car from the 100 series and 500 series, and I will have  experienced a complete sampling of the entire RS4.0 production range. And who knows what surprises or opportunities await tomorrow morning at Cars&Coffe / Irvine?

(All photos by the author)

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Up, up and away, and a Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport…

As a result of my recent encounter with a white, Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport (two weeks ago at Cars&Coffee/Irvine), and after researching the history of these cars, I  have a renewed appreciation for just how rare these cars are and have become since their introduction back in 1981.

Looking back, my first encounter with a 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport occurred back in August 1982, at the Monterey Historics event hosted at Laguna Seca Raceway. We had made the trip up to Monterey for the weekend, to experience and celebrate Porsche being the featured manufacturer for 1982.  Little did I know at the time how few of these cars existed, or the impact that this particular model would have on my memory of that weekend.

It was by sheer accident that my dad and I came across this pair of red Porsche 924’s parked side by side in the infield. We had been walking through the infield to access a different section of the race track when we spied these two cars, and quickly realized they were not your average Porsche 924.  A close up inspection revealed one to be a 924 Carrera GT, and the second, the race inspired GTS Club Sport model.

Red Porsche 924 Carrera GT & GTS Club Sport_Monterey Historics _Laguna Seca_Aug 82

I was immediately drawn to the GTS, given its stripped down, race derived look and feel. I have always been a die-hard Porsche 911 fan, but this was a car I admired for its purpose-built intent and aesthetic. It didn’t hurt that its Fuchs alloy wheels and brakes were taken from the 911, or that its trailing arms were cast aluminum instead of the standard steel units, to shave weight yet still retain strength. Its suspension was also altered by the removal of the standard torsion bar setup, and replaced with a more performance derived coil over shock setup. For the interior, a pair of racing seats sourced from the Porsche 935 parts bins were used, along with a full roll cage designed and crafted to meet the rigors of competition and conform to the Group 4 homologation requirements. Ironically, the aforementioned parts when combined with a higher output motor (275 hp vs. 245), and applied to a base Carrera GTS model, created what came to be known as the 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport.

Red Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport_rear view_Monterey Historics _Laguna Seca_Aug 82

Red Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport_3/4 rear view_Monterey Historics _Laguna Seca_Aug 82

Red Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport_3/4 rear view2_Monterey Historics _Laguna Seca_Aug 82

Red Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport_3/4 front view_Monterey Historics _Laguna Seca_Aug 82

I never realized what constituted the difference between a base 924 GTS and the Club Sport model, until I decided to research the car after encountering and photographing the white GTS Club Sport recently at Cars&Coffee / Irvine. Even with the internet, it’s hard to beat the old school method of fact-finding through the use of books. And my books of choice for studying and researching all things Porsche, have been the three-volume set written by Karl Ludvigsen; Excellence was Expected. These book have proven invaluable for providing me with information, in addition to establishing a perspective and context regarding the history and significance to many of the Porsches I have been fortunate enough to see in person and photograph.

Red Porsche 924 Carrera GT_rear view&TFA toys_Monterey Historics _Laguna Seca_Aug 82

The second 924 to this pairing (as seen above), was a Carrera GT, complete with a trunk full of stuffed cars, and that possessed an interesting story. The owner of the car turned out to be none other than Southern California-based race driver Margie Smith-Haas, and who was also the owner /designer behind the company TFA (Toys for Adults). Their speciality was the design and manufacturing of the stuffed cars as seen in the 924’s trunk. For this event, she was showcasing a variety of her firms Porsche offerings, but they also produced other makes of cars and various race cars of the day, all in a variety of different sizes and color. Shortly after, our household became the owners of  two of Margie’s creations; one a stuffed, yellow Porsche 911, and a bit later for my son, a Rothmans Porsche 956.

Red Porsche 924 Carrera GT_Margie Smith Haas detailing_Monterey Historics _Laguna Seca_Aug 82

The owner, Margie Smith Haas, taking a moment to detail her car…

Red Porsche 924 Carrera GT & GTS Club Sport_aerial view_Monterey Historics _Laguna Seca_Aug 82

Red Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport_front view_Monterey Historics _Laguna Seca_Aug 82

Red Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport_3/4 front view w/ balloon_Monterey Historics _Laguna Seca_Aug 82

So I now have another Porsche to add to my vehicle spotting list,  along with the running tally of my ongoing Porsche GT3 RS4.0 sightings. Given the much smaller number of 924 Carrera GTS Club Sports built versus the GT3 RS4.0 (15 vs. 600), I feel very fortunate to have seen two 924 GTS Club Sport models in person so far. Now only 13, GTS Club Sports to go, compared to my 591 remaining GT3 RS4.0’s…

(All photos by the author)

A tribute to Ferdinand Alexander Porsche at Cars&Coffee/Irvine…

Saturday morning, April 7th saw the coming together of the Porsche faithful at Cars&Coffee/Irvine, as a tribute to the recent passing of Ferdinand Alexander (Butzi) Porsche. An email was circulated on Friday April 6, and forwarded to many within the Porsche community about a plan to pay tribute to and honor the memory of F.A.”Butzi” Porsche. The intent was to gather up as many Porsche 911’s as possible, to represent the model range from 1965 up to the latest 2012 iteration. Also hoped for was participation by any of the local Porsche 904 owners. The destination Saturday morning would be the “featured” parking lot area at Cars&Coffee. To further this cause, I forwarded the email to my friends Gene and Dave, both owners of  Porsche 930 turbos, in hope of their participation come Saturday morning.

For a change, the early morning skies Saturday morning were clear and dry. As I pulled into the parking lot still cloaked in darkness, I was waved into the “featured” lot, to join the already present assortment of rainbow-hued Porsche 911’s. As I rounded the parking median, I encountered my friend Gene backing his black 930 turbo into a corner parking spot, and after he was settled in, I grabbed the space immediately to his right. As the lot continued to fill with even more 911’s, my friend Dave arrived in his 1984 Slate Gray 930 Turbo, debuting a brand new, upgraded turbo motor. By the time the sun had risen, the lot was filled with an even greater variety of Porsches, and what an amazing, colorful collection it was…

Porsche 911's_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Porsche 911's_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Porsche 911 rear spoilers_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Early Porsche 911's _F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Early Porsche 911's _F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Blue Porsche 911T & Orange 914-6_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Slate Gray 1984 Porsche 930 turbo_motor detail_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Dave’s slate gray 1984 930 turbo, and the first photos of his brand new turbo motor with mirror polished intercooler…

White 1981 924 Carrera GTS club sport & Porsche 911's_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

And parked shoulder to shoulder with the Porsche 911’s was this ultra rare, Grand Prix white, 1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport. According to Porsche, a total of fifty-nine GTS Carreras were built (50 to meet the Group 4 homologation requirements back in the day, plus an additional nine for good measure). And of the fifty-nine total cars built, only 15 were further modified to Club Sport specifications…

White 1981 924 Carrera GTS club sport_3/4 front view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

White 1981 924 Carrera GTS club sport_motor_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

White 1981 924 Carrera GTS club sport_rear view/badge_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

In fact, this is the only GTS identification displayed on the entire car, and almost invisible due to its monochromatic design…

Black & orange Porsche GT3 RS_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Black & orange Porsche GT3RS_Dan Gurney & wife in background on left_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

From week to week, one never knows who might be seen strolling through the parking lot at Cars&Coffee. On this morning, local resident and American racing legend Dan Gurney (in the white jacket and blue sweater) and his wife were present (see photo above), taking in the sights and examining the mornings diverse gathering of Porsches…

 Orange Porsche Type 996 GT3RS_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Martini Porsche 911 recreation_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Black on black Porsche 997 GT3RS _F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

1973 Porsche 911E with roof rack & luggage_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

And obviously, the tribute email reached the owner of this beautiful Porsche 904 Carrera GTS as witnessed below. A fitting tribute, since the Porsche 904 was the second milestone car penned by F.A. Porsche, shortly after his completion of the design for the 911…

Silver Porsche 904 GTS_ 3/4 front view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Silver Porsche 904 GTS_ front view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Silver Porsche 904 GTS_rear view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Silver Porsche 904 GTS_3/4 rear view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Several other rare and unique Porsche models were also represented Saturday morning, and ironically were each parked in close proximity to one another.

The first was the pristine white, 1962 Porsche 356 Carrera 2, powered by the model specific, Carrera 4 cam motor as seen below…

356 Carrera 2_front view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

White 1962 Porsche 356 Carrera 2_3/4 front view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

White 1962 Porsche 356 Carrera 2_driving light and chrome bumper guard_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

White 1962 Porsche 356 Carrera 2_rear view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

White 1962 Porsche 356 Carrera 2_4 cam motor_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

The second model was a silver,1961 Porsche Carrera Abarth GTL (shown below), also sporting a 4 cam motor, and backed by a freestanding display that chronicled the cars racing history. This particular Abarth GTL is another example of a very rare Porsche, being part of the initial, limited production run of 21 GTL’s from back in 1960. This particular car (serial #1015), was the fifteenth of only 21 produced during that time frame.

Silver 1961 Porsche Carrera Abarth GTL_3/4 front view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

  1961 Porsche Carrera Abarth GTL_vehicle history_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Silver 1961 Porsche Carrera Abarth GTL_3/4 rear view_4 cam motor_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Silver 1961 Porsche Carrera Abarth GTL_rear view_4 cam motor_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Silver 1961 Porsche Carrera Abarth GTL_side view_4 cam motor_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

And last but not least was the second Porsche 904 in attendance ( the blue model shown below), and the only 904 model to possess a very special connection to Ferdinand Alexander Porsche…

Blue 1964 Porsche 904-002_Butzi's car_3/4 front view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

This particular car, a 1964 904 Carrera GTS, serial # 904-002 (of which I have written about previously), is not only historically significant because of its status as one of the surviving  pre-production prototype models created, but also because of the unique design features unique to this car only. And no less important is the fact that this is the single 904 Carrera GTS to have been owned and routinely driven by the designer himself (Ferdinand Alexander “Butzi” Porsche).

Blue 1964 Porsche 904-002_Butzi's car_mirror reflection_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Porsche 904's _F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Blue 1964 Porsche 904-002 _Carrera GTS_Rear view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Thus the personalized California license plate that adorns the rear of the car; a clue to the cars historic significance, and reference to the identity of 904-002’s original owner.

Red 1966 Porsche 911 __with displayed "F.A. "Butzi"Porsche & the 911" press photo_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

As the morning came to a close, and the sound of Porsche boxer / flat six motors coming to life echoed throughout the parking lot, it was time to reflect on the event that had brought us all together that morning. And what better tribute and reminder to all present, than the photo of a young Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, photographed sitting on the fender of his design come to life, the Porsche 911. One only had to look at the Porsche participants that Saturday morning, or recall the Porsche 911 parking corrals at Porsches Rennsport Reunion IV, filled to capacity with 911’s from every model year and color as far as the eye could see, to understand the impact of this designers creative genius. And hopefully, the DNA from his original 911 design will continue to thrive, for future generations of aspiring Porsche 911 owners to experience and enjoy…

(All photos by the author)

Of Speedsters, Spyders, Porsche GT3 RS4.0’s, and more…

Saturday morning, March 31 once again dawned cool, gray and damp. So much for spring weather here in Southern California… and for the past several weeks, we have been witness to storm fronts blowing in, just as the weekend was coming into view.  Lately, my Friday evenings have been spent watching the 11PM news, to see what possible surprises Mother Nature has planned that could negatively impact Saturday morning’s Cars&Coffee event.  And this past Saturday was no exception. However instead of rain, we were treated to sporadic, light drizzle. Just enough to mess with a freshly detailed car… My first encounter with the drizzle was while heading down to connect up with the southbound 5 freeway. I was definitely becoming concerned, especially with each new pocket of drizzle that I encountered.  Luckily, the further south I drove, the drier it became. By the time I arrived in Irvine, there were low, gray clouds everywhere, but no rain. And gauging by the number of cars already present at 6AM, there were a lot of other drivers with similar hopes for a dry morning.

While I was assembling my camera gear for the mornings shoot, I noticed what appeared to be an early 1970’s vintage, white Porsche 911 make its way up the nearby parking row, and come to a stop one row over behind where I was parked, faced towards me.  From the sound of the exhaust, it was apparent he was running a modified exhaust system on a healthy sounding motor. After shutting off the motor, the driver exited, locked his car and disappeared into the crowd. The glowing white visage was enough to get my attention, so I headed over for a closer look.

White, modified 1970's vintage Porsche 911 w/flared fenders_front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

White, modified 1970's vintage Porsche 911 w/ flared fenders_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

The interior was in keeping with the race inspired exterior; stripped down with an RS carpet kit, door panels, roll bar, RS steering wheel, shoulder and lap belts, and dual racing sport seats…

White, modified 1970's vintage Porsche 911 w/ flared fenders_fuchs wheel with long studs_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

Even the fuch wheels (front and rear) received the race prepped treatment: long wheel studs with steel lug nuts, to securely anchor each wheel in place.

White, modified 1970's vintage Porsche 911 w/flared fenders_rear fuchs wheel with long studs_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

White, modified 1970's vintage Porsche 911_flared fenders_w/rare Cibie Biode headlight_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

This is only the third Porsche 911 that I have ever seen fitted with a set of the rare Cibie Biode headlights ( as shown above).

White, modified 1970's vintage Porsche 911_flared fenders_rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

And situated just one row over from this white 911, was Porsche Row.                           Below is a small sampling of a few of the cars found along the row…

Blue 1972 Porsche 911 and friends_Porsche Row_Cars&Coffee_3/31/12

Slate Gray Porsche 930 turbo_Porsche Row_Cars&Coffee_3/31/12

Porsches along Porsche Row_Cars&Coffee_3/31/12

My next stop was over at the featured parking lot, where this beautiful red, Porsche 356 Speedster was being displayed…

Red porsche 356 speedster w/ black hard top option_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

Red porsche 356 speedster w/ black hard top option_front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

This particular car has a rare, hardtop option, which includes a hinged vent window, located just behind each door window…

356 speedster w/ black hard top option_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

356 speedster w/ black hard top option_reflection in Ferrari knock off wheel_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

The Speedster reflected in the yellow, award-winning (European model) Ferrari 246 Dino’s rear wheel knock-off, parked to the left of the Speedster…

356 speedster w/ black hard top option_opened up_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

And then along came a Spyder…

2011 white Porsche Boxster spyder_w/ fender flares_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12…a white Boxster Spyder to be precise, complete with Porsche 934 styled rear fender flares, GT3 RS4.0  fender flares up front, and a GT2 RS inspired front hood.

2011 white Porsche Boxster spyder_w/ fender flares_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

And parked several rows over, back on Porsche Row, was this beautifully restored, green 1973  Porsche 911 Carrera RS (as seen below). And yes, it is a REAL 911 Carrera RS (# 280), and not a clone.

1973 green Porsche 911 Carrera RS #280_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

1973 green Porsche 911 Carrera RS #280_ducktail graphic detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

1973 green Porsche 911 Carrera RS #280_ducktail graphics_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

1973 green Porsche 911 Carrera RS #280_2.7 RS motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

After shooting the Carrera RS, I moved down the row and noticed some of the reflections being cast onto the cars by their neighbors…

1966 Porsche 911 driving light reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

Red Porsche 356 hood emblem_reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

Red Porsche 356_ turn signal lens& housing_reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

Blue 1972 Porsche 911_driving light reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

It was while I was walking back to have another look at the red Speedster, that I saw this white 2011 GT3 RS4.0 parked at the end of the aisle. After noticing the red-painted headlight washers, I realized this was a car new to Cars&Coffee, and one that I had not seen before.  A BRAND NEW SIGHTING, making this the 9th car to be added to my GT3 RS4.0 sighting list…!  2011 white Porsche GT3 RS4.0_series # 222_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

Knowing that the dash mounted plaque would reveal this cars series number, I walked over to the passenger side, and peering through the open window, saw that this car was # 222 of 600.

Porsche GT3 RS4.0_series # 222_interior view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

I suddenly realized that this was A BRAND NEW SIGHTING, making this the 9th car to be added to my GT3 RS4.0 sightings list !

2011 white Porsche GT3 RS4.0_series # 222_side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

2011 white Porsche GT3 RS4.0_series # 222_rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, as I walked back to my car I spotted a second white GT3 RS4.0 parked right behind my car!  Not recognizing any of the people standing nearby, I walked over to get a look at the cars series number dash tag. I immediately recognized the number (#490) as being my 7th RS4.0 sighting, made several weeks earlier at Cars&Coffee. And with different lighting conditions this morning, it was time to capture a few more shots to add to my ever-increasing archive…

2011 white Porsche GT3 RS4.0_series # 490_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

2011 white Porsche GT3 RS4.0_series # 490_side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

2011 white Porsche GT3 RS4.0_series # 490_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

2011 white Porsche GT3 RS4.0_series # 490_front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/31/12

(I  received an email from a friend this afternoon, letting me know of a special tribute being planned for tomorrow morning (April 7) at Cars &Coffee, in remembrance of Ferdinand Alexander (Butzi) Porsche who passed away on Thursday. Please stay tuned for my coverage from Saturdays event…

(All photos by the author)

Remembering Ferdinand Alexander (Butzi) Porsche…

It was with great sadness that I read the news today announcing the passing of Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. His passing is not only a terrible loss for the Porsche family, but a sad day for the global Automotive and Design community.

His automotive design and styling influences will be forever linked to the company  founded by his grandfather and father, and by two of his penned automotive masterpieces; the iconic Porsche 911, and shortly after, the fiberglass bodied 904 Carrera GTS as seen below.

Red 1966 Porsche 911_front view_Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV_ October 2011

A beautifully restored example of a 1966 Porsche 911…

Red 1966 Porsche 911_side view_Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV_ October 2011

Red 1966 Porsche 911_3/4 rear view_Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV_ October 2011

…And the historically significant 1964 Porsche 904 GTS (shown below), ironically with special ties to F.A. Porsche. This particular car is serial number 904-002, a pre production model possessing many one-off, custom features, and a car actually owned by its designer, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. Thus the “Butzi S” reference on its license plate…

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_Feb. 2012

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_Feb. 2012

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_Feb. 2012

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_headlight & fender detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_Feb. 2012

Then in 1972, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche shifted his design focus, and created the product design firm that came to be known as Porsche Design.  His innovative designs for the satin black, chronograph watch with a face inspired by the gauges found within the 911, and the satin black framed, aviator style sunglasses with interchangeable lenses, both went on to become instant classics, and established Porsche Design as a force to be reckoned with. As a testament to his sense of design and creative vision, the original Porsche Design chronograph has become a highly sought after collectible watch, and their aviator styled sunglasses are still being produced to this day.

So thank you Professor Porsche, for elevating the art of Automotive and Product Design, and for giving life to the Porsche 911 and 904.  Godspeed…