Thank you from digitaldtour…

Today marks a milestone for my blog, and I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge it.

I have just surpassed 1000 followers to my blog, and wanted to thank all of you that have found my blog (digitaldtour.com) to be of sufficient interest and worthy of following. I truly appreciate all of the comments and encouragement I have received, and hope that you will continue to enjoy my future postings…

Thank you all and Regards,

Chris

(Porsche GT2 photo by the author)

On a clear day you can see…Stuttgart

Sunday morning, July 15, 2012 started off slightly overcast, as the Porsche 356 Registry began staging cars for their yearly Concours event, once again held at the Lantern Bay Marriott, overlooking the harbor in Dana Point, California.

By 8 AM, the full range of 356 models gathered had been assembled and aligned in rows on the lawn. After the last 356 had been staged, the remaining Porsches queued up awaiting entry onto the grounds (911s, 912s, 914s, etc.), were allowed onto the lawn and staged just to the west of the 356 Concours display…

Porsche 356 Registry_ first row inhabitants_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

Porsche 356 Registry_ Porsche 911s on display _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

Around 9 AM, the judges were called and assembled for their last-minute instructions, at which time they donned their event – issued green polo shirts. Armed with clipboards, scoring sheets and stop watches in hand, they all headed off in teams towards the gleaming rows of Porsche 356s, patiently awaiting their turn to be judged.

Porsche 356 Registry_ judging underway_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

Porsche 356 Registry_ reflection in speedster hubcap/red 356 coupe_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

The first row of the event had been reserved as a showcase for the days most rare and unique examples of the 356 model. Situated within this row were examples of  4 cam Carrera 2s, in both Coupe and Cabriolet form, a sole example of  the ultra-rare 1952 Glockler Porsche, and several amazing examples of highly modified 356 models, commonly referred to as “outlaws”.

Porsche 356 Registry_ Green Carrera 2  coupe/ first row_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

Porsche 356 Registry_ Green Carrera 2  coupe/ engine detail_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

Porsche 356 Registry_ Pale Green Carrera coupe/ first row_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

Porsche 356 Registry_ Pale Green Carrera coupe / fender detail _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

Porsche 356 Registry_ Pale Green Carrera Cabriolet _ front row _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

Porsche 356 Registry_ Pale Green Carrera Cabriolet _ rear view _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012The rare #44, 1952 Glockler-Porsche special; #3 of only three “Glockler special” cars produced as seen below…

Porsche 356 Registry_ #44 Glockler-Porsche_ front row _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

 356 Registry_ #44 Glockler-Porsche_ interior/dashboard detail _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ #44 Glocker-Porsche_ rear view _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012Amidst the unaltered 356 model Porsches, were several examples of highly modified Porsche 356s, referred to as “Outlaws”. The title is due in part to the level of modifications / alterations made, and the cars departure from a “100% Stock” configuration.

Porsche 356 Registry_ Blue 1957 "Outlaw" coupe _3/4 front view_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012Porsche 356 Registry_ Blue 1957 "Outlaw" coupe with placcard _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ Silver 1957 "Outlaw" speedster "_ 3/4 rear view _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ Silver 1957 "Outlaw" speedster "_ dash detail _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ Silver 1957 "Outlaw" speedster "_ engine detail _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ Silver 1957 "Outlaw" speedster "_ front view_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012Now it was time to check out the remaining rows of 356s…

356 Registry_ Blue 356 fender with reflections_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012356 Registry_ Red & Black speedsters_under trees_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_  Black speedster_under trees with reflections_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_  Porsche 356 Rudge knock off wheel with reflections_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_  Porsche 356 speedster wheel with reflections_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

An example of the 1955 Porsche 356  “Continental”coupe as seen below. The Ford Motor Company apparently took exception to Porsches use of the “Continental” name, and as a result, Porsche stopped using the name on its 1956 models.

356 Registry_  Black Porsche 356 Continental coupe with reflections_3/4 front view_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_  Black Porsche 356 Continental coupe with reflections_ front view_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_  Black Porsche 356 Continental coupe _interior /dash details_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_  Black Porsche 356 Continental coupe _rear view_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_  Red Porsche speedster with optional black hardtop _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_  Red Porsche speedster _detail of vent window on optional black hardtop _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ Porsche 356 rows / rear ends _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

After making my way through the multiple rows of Porsche 356s, it was time to check out the “other Porsches” that had shown up in support of their 356 siblings…

356 Registry_ Black Porsche 914/6 GT_side view_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ Black Porsche 914/6 GT_3/4 rear view_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ Black Porsche 914/6 GT_ rear badging and reflections_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ Burgundy Porsche 993 turbo_3/4 front view_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ Burgundy Porsche 993 turbo_rear view & reflections _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012 356 Registry_ Red, Early Porsche 911 race car_3/4 rear view & crowd _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ Black Porsche 911S race car_3/4 rear view & reflections _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ group shot / Blue, Black and Silver 911 S models  _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ group shot / Blue, Silver and cream colored Porsche 911s _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ group shot / gulf oil & shell oil 911s_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ dark blue Porsche 964 Turbo S_3/4 front view w/reflections_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ dark blue Porsche 964 Turbo S_3/4 rear view w/reflections_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ dark blue Porsche 964 Turbo S_ rear fender reflections with wheel detail_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ Red Porsche with reflections in side door and fender _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ pea soup green Porsche with reflections in side mirror _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ 1973 911 and blue 993 Carrera RS club sport_Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ Porsche 911 rows_Blue 1973 911S _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

356 Registry_ Porsche 911 display_Red 1966 911 _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

By 1:30 PM, the judging had been completed,  scores tallied, and the awards presentation began. One by one, as each of the class winners was announced, the winning car and owner would drive up to the front of the show area, where they were presented with their trophies.

The silver 1957 “outlaw” speedster shown below won first place in the “outlaw class”; an even more impressive result given that this event was the cars debut, and very first concours competition…

356 Registry_ silver 1957 speedster_outlaw class  winner _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012

The class winners from the event on display below, each representing a specific class and model year.

356 Registry_ 356 class winners row _Dana Point concours _July 15, 2012And after observing this impressive gathering of Porsche vehicles, both vintage and newer models, it’s easy to see why Southern California is often referred to as Stuttgart West, as witnessed by the incredible diversity of Porsches found at this event.

(All photos by the author)

Lighting strikes twice; an encounter with a Porsche 356/2 Gmund Coupe

Well, it happened again; another encounter that spawned a delayed case of extreme Porsche deja-vu.

It all began with my coming face to face with an incredibly rare Porsche 356 on Saturday morning July 7 at Cars&Coffee. As I was driving into the parking lot around 6 AM, I noticed a curiously proportioned Porsche 356 already parked between several other Porsches. After finding my spot and parking, I headed straight towards the middle of Porsche row, where this unique Ivory colored 356 was located.

Ivory Porsche 356/2 Gmund coupe_Porsche row_cars&coffee_July 7, 2012

I quickly realized based upon the profile, unique contours, the shape of the hood, the presence of a split windshield and several other subtle design details, that this Ivory colored 356 parked before me had to be one of Porsches earliest production models; a Gmund coupe. By the time I made my way to the back of the car, the details observed out back helped to validate its identity.

Ivory Porsche 356/2 Gmund coupe_rear view_cars&coffee_July 7, 2012

The broad contoured rear fenders, accented by the pair of small, dual beehive rear tail lights, combined with the small, sharply raked rear window and vintage California license plate, all worked together to establish this car as a true Porsche Gmund Coupe.

The single grill on the rear deck lid also held a subtle clue as to this cars identity; a commemorative badge proudly displayed, which translates to “A Legend becomes 50”; a reference to the 1948 debut of Porsches Gmund built vehicles, beginning with the first 356 (356-001).

Ivory Porsche 356/2 Gmund coupe_rear grill badge_cars&coffee_July 7, 2012

Ivory Porsche 356/2 Gmund coupe_3/4 rear view_Porsche row_cars&coffee_July 7, 2012

As I circled the coupe, photographing it from a variety of angles in an attempt to record its very presence at the event, I could hear parts and pieces of conversations taking place in the groups standing around the car. The common questions being asked had to do with the nature of this car; what model is it, and what year was it built? The thing I find very interesting is that there seems to be three very distinct camps with opinions regarding the total number of Gmund vehicles built. In one book that I read, the author suggested that between 1949 and 1951, Porsche produced a total of only 49 Porsche 356/2 Gmund models. He went on to state that of the 49 total produced, 41 had been built as coupes, while the remaining 8 cars were constructed as cabriolets. The second camp believes the Gmund production numbers to be at 50 cars.  However, it is the third group that appears  the most optimistic. Accordingly, their research suggests that Porsche initially produced a total of 52 Gmund vehicles, and later crafted an additional 11 Gmund bodies, intended solely for racing.

I later learned from a very reliable source that this particular car is actually chassis number 50 (356/2-050). That number makes it one of the last Gmund coupes produced by Porsche. The one missing piece of the puzzle however, has to do with the cars build date.  Is this a late 1950 or 1951 model?

Ivory Porsche 356/2 Gmund coupe_Interior view__cars&coffee_July 7, 2012

The genesis of the 356 hood handle and early Porsche badging (as seen below)…

Ivory Porsche 356/2 Gmund coupe_front hood detail__cars&coffee_July 7, 2012For turn signals, the Gmund models utilized “trafficators”; a semaphore type device that would rise up out of the side of each front fender, and centrally located between the front edge of each door and the front wheel well (as seen below)…

Ivory Porsche 356/2 Gmund coupe_3/4 front view_Porsche row__cars&coffee_July 7, 2012

Ivory Porsche 356/2 Gmund coupe_split windshield and wiper details_Porsche row__cars&coffee_July 7, 2012

Fresh on the heels of my encounter with the Porsche Gmund coupe at Cars&Coffee, when I arrived home after work on Monday evening, I was greeted by two car magazines that had just come in the mail. The first was “Excellence”, the Magazine about Porsche, and the second was “Christophorus”; the Porsche Factory’s in-house publication that celebrates all things Porsche. Because the June /July 2012 issue of Christophorus would be # 356, it was only fitting that Porsche dedicate the entire magazine to a celebration of the 356. As I thumbed through the issue, I discovered a section highlighting five cars of significance selected from the Porsche museum, one of which just happened to be a 356/2 Gmund coupe. Interestingly enough, in the brief write-up about the museum car, a reference was made regarding its rarity; a total of only 52 Gmund vehicles produced. After finishing my review of Christophorus, I shifted over to Excellence and began skimming the articles. Midway through the magazine, I turned the page only to discover an article titled “Pure Joy”: 356/2-045 – Out of the mud grows the lotus”, and a photo taken of the front end of a red 1950 Porsche Gmund coupe. That’s when it hit me; this car was virtually identical to the Ivory colored coupe that I had just seen in person. After eagerly reading the article, I learned that the car featured in the article (chassis # 045) had undergone an extensive 2 year restoration, which concluded with its entry into the Pebble Beach Concours event in the summer of 2011, where it scored a first place victory in the “Postwar Sports Cars, Closed” category. Even more impressive is the fact that the car is owned and had its restoration commissioned by a member of the Porsche family; in particular Hans-Peter Porsche, one of Dr. Porsches four sons.

My wife frequently asks why I attend a car show every week, and asks “aren’t the cars always the same ones? And my answer is always the same – “there is something new every week, and you never know what rare and exotic treasures will show up “. This statement could not have better described my early morning encounter with the Gmund coupe…

Ivory Porsche 356/2 Gmund coupe_front view_Porsche row__cars&coffee_July 7, 2012

(All photos by the author)

Eggplant, Oranges, Limes, Fire, Smoke and Mirrors…

One of the factors that keeps me returning to Cars & Coffee each week is the diversity of  vehicles and owners that come together every Saturday morning. And with each weeks sunrise, the dawning light uncovers and seems to set the tone for the mornings pending explorations. Some weeks the focus is geared visually towards a particular make of car, in part due to the sheer number of similar makes or models present. Other times, the morning may appear like a scene taken directly from the paddock area at a vintage race track. But this past Saturday struck me as a morning set for celebrating the wonder of light and color.

My first encounter that morning was with this beautiful 1973 Porsche 911T as seen below, wearing the rare, period correct color; “Aubergine” (Porsche paint code # 025).

Aubergine 1973 Porsche 911 T _and Ferrari California_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012Ironically, the French word for eggplant (which is exactly what this color resembles) is “Aubergine”. And to give you an idea of just how rare this particular color is, this is only the fourth car I have seen in person painted this color, after experiencing it for the very first time back in 1973.

Aubergine 1973 Porsche 911 T _Front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Ironically, that first sighting occurred on the occasion of my dad taking me with him to shop for his very first Porsche. The dealers demo car at the time, and the one that we got to test drive, could have been the twin to the 1973 911T shown here (also Aubergine with a tan interior). On a side note, our 1973 test drive was a huge success; upon returning to the dealership, my dad placed an order for a 911, and two weeks later took delivery of a brand new silver metallic, 1973 1/2 Porsche 911T with black interior.

Aubergine 1973 Porsche 911 T _3/4 side view with white Porsche 993 reflection_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

My next stop was over at the “Featured Lot”, to check out the cars on display. Situated towards the back of the lot, and parked in proximity to one another were two orange hued supercars. The first was this stunning burnt orange, 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP-700-4 as seen below.

Burnt orange 2012 Lamborghini  Aventador LP 700-4_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Burnt orange 2012 Lamborghini  Aventador LP 700-4_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Burnt orange 2012 Lamborghini  Aventador LP 700-4_ rear view/glass louvers_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

The second car was this 2012 McLaren MP4-12C, painted in the classic “McLaren Orange”…

"McLaren Orange" McLaren MP4-12C_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

"McLaren Orange" McLaren MP4-12C_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

"McLaren Orange" McLaren MP4-12C_ rear deck  and exhaust detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Returning to the main lot, I picked a route that paralleled motorcycle row. And at the end of the row was this trio of custom motorized bicycles on display. All three were equally impressive, however it was the lime green model that really caught my eye, probably because my very first bicycle had been lime green…

a trio of Dutchman Motorbikes_motorcycle row_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Upon closer inspection, it became obvious that the top tube on this custom bike had been repurposed, and now served a dual function; to not only provide structural support to the frame, but also serve as the fuel tank for the motor, securely anchored to the frame below. According to the builder, the bikes can be configured with either a 2 stroke 49 cc or a larger 80 cc motor.

Lime Green Dutchman Motorbike_motorcycle row_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

The fit, finish and detailing visible on all three bikes was top-notch, and the display really drew a  crowd. For more information on these three cool bikes and others under construction, check out the builders website – www.dutchmanmotorbikes.com

Lime Green Dutchman Motorbike_fuel tank and logo_motorcycle row_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

It was now time for me to check out the cars parked out on the very back rows of the parking lot, and then work my way back towards the front, row by row. Arriving on the  back row, I was rewarded by the sight of two more exotics; one French and one Italian. Representing France was a fire engine red Bugatti Veyron 16.4, as seen below.

Fire engine red Bugatti Veyron 16.4_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Fire engine red Bugatti Veyron 16.4_thru the wing view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Fire engine red Bugatti Veyron 16.4_rear view / motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

And representing Italy was a second Lamborghini Aventador LP-700-4, this one however dressed in black.

Black Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4_3/4 side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Black Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4_3/4 rear view with open doors_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Black Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4_3/4 rear view with green glass louvers_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

And parked immediately across from the Bugatti and Lamborghini was the beautifully restored, charcoal gray Ferrari Dino.

Charcoal gray Ferrari Dino_with open front trunk and rear decklid_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

The Dino’s front hood made for the perfect mirror, and it wasn’t until I got home and was reviewing my shots that I realized the full extent of the reflections captured. I had not only recorded the reflections from the Bugatti and Lamborghini parked just across the row, but  had also captured the images of two of the commentators from the Speed Channel (Bob Varsha and Mike Joy) standing nearby, who happened to be in town broadcasting from the Barrett – Jackson / Orange County auction.

Charcoal gray Ferrari Dino with  front hood reflections_Speed Channel personalities_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Feeling inspired by these cool reflections, I decided to go in search of other interesting reflections as my quest for the rest of the morning.

Parked just off from the main parking lot, was this beautiful 1962 black on red Chevrolet Corvette roadster as seen below.

Black on red 1962 Chevrolet Corvette_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

 And the amazing hidden treasure found beneath the hood…

Black 1962 Corvette roadster_engine detail&reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

My last stop of the morning would be back at the featured lot, as my final challenge to capture the last few reflections for the morning. And luck was on my side; the two Lamborghini Diablo’s flanking the orange McLaren MP4-12C were still in place, and capturing some amazing reflections.

Lamborghini Diablo_with McLaren MP4-12C reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Black Lamborghini Diablo_ with McLaren MP4-12C reflection in side_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Now only four days to go until Saturdays sunrise once again reveals its magic, and sets the tone for a whole new set of discoveries…

(All photos by the author)