Porsches, Poodles with attitude, an Ultima Can Am and a 1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT…

Saturday morning, August the 25th dawned cool and clear as I set out from my house towards my final destination, Cars&Coffee / Irvine. These early morning conditions were a welcomed break from the heat wave conditions being experienced by Southern California. However, it was the low coastal cloud cover and light drizzle that I encountered as I neared Irvine. These conditions came as a surprise, and would wind up setting the tone for the rest of the mornings activities.

Regardless of these damp conditions, by 6:30 AM the parking lot at C&C was already filling up, with many of the participants eager to share their stories from the previous weeks Monterey Motorsports Reunion events.

Porsche row was once again well represented by a bevy of early 911s…

Early Porsche 911s_rear end shot along Porsche row_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_August 25, 2012

Green 1967 Porsche 911_3/4 rear view Porsche row_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_August 25, 2012The morning’s dew cloaking Porsche row…

Lime Green 1970 Porsche 911E_3/4 front view Porsche row_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_August 25, 2012

Parked amongst its Porsche siblings, was this 1973 911E in Gemini Blue (shown below), with only 52,000 miles showing on its odometer. This particular car turned out to be for sale, and represented by one of the local Orange County automotive brokers ; the firm autokennel. Even more surprising was the asking price -$99K.  Its been amazing to see how much these early 911s are appreciating in value, in addition to the increasing difficulty in finding a clean example for sale…

Gemini Blue 1973 Porsche 911E_3/4 rear view Porsche row_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_August 25, 2012

Gemini Blue 1973 Porsche 911E_3/4 front view Porsche row_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_August 25, 2012As I’ve noted in previous posts, I began attending Cars&Coffee back in 2008, and have observed over time an increase in the number of participants bringing their pets (primarily dogs) to the show each week, thus my “poodles with attitude reference”. Unfortunately, not every pet is well-trained or behaved; the worst example I’ve seen was a dog that decided to relieve himself on a freshly polished custom chrome wheel, attached to a stunning hot rod. Unfortunately, the dogs owner appeared oblivious to the carnage that his dog had just rendered to the wheel finish, and the two of them simply walked away. The other down side with some of the untrained pets are the land mines they leave behind for the unwary pedestrian, both on the parking lot surface and planted medians that divide the parking lot rows. (This condition reminds me of navigating the sidewalks of Paris, France during the summer months, when they are visited by the owners and their pets out for their daily walk).

Another interesting observation I’ve made is recognizing distinct personalities exhibited by many of the dogs present each week. A classic example of this was the “Poodle with attitude” (as seen below)…

After walking through the event, the owner returned to his car, opened up the door for his dog to climb in. The dog jumped in, sat down on the front seat, leaned back and then proceeded to put its paw up on the owners arm just as they were leaving; quite the hilarious sight…

"Poodle with attitude" _ as a passenger_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_August 25, 2012

Parked right next to the “poodle with attitude” car, was my friend Matt’s Porsche; his incredible 2007 viper green GT3RS…

2007 Viper Green Porsche GT3RS _ 3/4 side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_August 25, 2012Another of the friends that I have made since attending Cars&Coffee is the owner of this British Racing Green Ultima Can Am, as seen below…

British Racing Green Ultima Can Am_3/4 side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_August 25, 2012

During a conversation that morning with my friend Eric, I happened to mention that the very first time I saw an Ultima Can Am was on the Cable TV Show “Supercars Exposed”, being driven by the host of the show, Tanner Foust.  I told Eric that the car in the show sure looked allot like his car, to which he replied “it should, because that was my car featured on that episode”.  Talk about a small world…

At this point of our conversation, several people approached Eric to ask about his car. Through Eric;s discussion, I learned more about the car, and that he had purchased this car in kit form, and proceeded to build it component by component from the ground up.

British Racing Green Ultima Can Am_motor and Hilborn fuel injection detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_August 25, 2012And because the car was classified as a” rolling chassis”, it did not come with a motor or transmission. So Eric had to source both; He had a friend build up the potent V8, which includes the unique Hilborn fuel injection system (seen above and below), and for a transmission, he ended up sourcing a transaxle from a Porsche 911.
British Racing Green Ultima Can Am_motor - top view of Hilborn fuel injection system_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_August 25, 2012

Parked out on the very last row of the lot, was a Ferrari that I had seen drive into the event earlier that morning, but at the time did not have a clue as to its year or model designation. I had been looking for this particular Ferrari for the better part of the morning, and finally located it due to the large crowd of people gathered around it. Still not knowing the build date year or even the model designation, I decided to photograph the car in hope of finding some type of identification, or to overhear a conversation regarding details. One of the most striking visual features is its two-tone paint treatment; the basic body color in white, and on this particular car its painted, teal colored roof (as seen below)…

White and teal green 1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT_front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_August 25, 2012

Regardless of this vehicles age, the chrome plated bumper, grill trim, driving lights and headlight bezels all appeared as if brand new…

White and teal green 1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT_front grill, bumper and driving light detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_August 25, 2012

White and teal green 1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT_3/4 side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_August 25, 2012

White and teal green 1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT_rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_August 25, 2012

Even the Borrani wire wheels appeared like fine Italian jewelry…

White and teal green 1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT_rear Borrani wire wheel detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_August 25, 2012

By the time I made my way around to the passenger side of the car, I began hearing conversations regarding some background details on this car. Several of the C&C regulars, obviously well versed in all things Ferrari, acknowledged that this particular car was in fact a 1955 250 Europa GT, and added that it had also been a participant in the 2011 Mille Miglia event (the participant decals were displayed on the windshield, placed low on the passenger side).  Confirmation of these discussion was found within the interior, in the form of a commemorative placard from the 2011 Mille Miglia event, that was found resting on the passenger’s side, teal colored carpet (see below).

White and teal green 1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT_interior carpet detail and Mille Miglia 2011 commemorative placard__Cars&Coffee/Irvine_August 25, 2012

It was hard to believe that this car had in fact competed in the event, since it was in  flawless, museum-like condition.

White and teal green 1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT_Side view__Cars&Coffee/Irvine_August 25, 2012

When I returned home later that morning, I decided to educate myself further regarding this particular Ferrari model, so imagine my surprise when I googled “1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT”, and up popped an image of this very car!  A classic example of the automotive depth of treasures that reside right here in Southern California, and why each weeks Cars&Coffee event holds the promise of another new discovery…

(All photos by the author)


10 thoughts on “Porsches, Poodles with attitude, an Ultima Can Am and a 1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT…

  1. Incredible! This blog appears just like my previous one! It is on the totally different subject but it has just about exactly the same layout and design. Fantastic option of colors!

  2. I you could, I attend C&C often.
    I would like to contact Eric w the Can AM, I am thinking of building one also. Would like to know when he shows up to the next C&C

    Thank You

    • Hi Mike,
      Eric is a regular at cars&coffee, and you should be able to track him down over at the Mercedes Benz row.
      He usually parks close by the 190 SL’s, in either his Ultima or his Porsche 911 targa.
      I will look for him this coming Saturday morning, and let him know that you would be interested in tlking with him about the Ultima Can Am.

      I hope this helps.

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