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)

9 thoughts on “A tribute to Ferdinand Alexander Porsche at Cars&Coffee/Irvine…

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