Here comes the rain again…

Even as the light drizzle descended upon Saturday mornings Cars&Coffee gathering, the weak storm front was unable to dampen the spirits of the early morning, die-hard participants. What initially appeared as lighter than usual attendance at 6 AM, progressed into a steady stream of cars that continued arriving well past 8 AM.

Obviously, the drizzle had a major impact on the owners of convertibles, but for the most part, the majority had come equipped with tonneau covers and kept their interiors dry…

Red & Green Austin Healey convertibles sandwiching a blue Triumph TR 6_Cars&Coffee_October 20, 2012

Even these classic Jaguar’s ( XK 140 roadster & XK 150 coupe) as seen below, came out and braved the less than sunny morning.

Green Jaguar XK 140 roadster with tonneau & white Xk 150 coupe_in the rain_Cars&Coffee_October 20, 2012

What was even more amazing (at least to me), was observing that the owners of these beautifully restored cars appeared unfazed by the drizzle falling onto their prized possessions.

Green Jaguar XK 140 roadster_front end detail in the rain_Cars&Coffee_October 20, 2012

Green Jaguar XK 140 roadster_rear view with rain drops_Cars&Coffee_October 20, 2012

One of a handful of gumball hued cars in attendance, and delivering an intense splash of color to an otherwise gray morning, was this sunflower yellow hued, Morgan Plus 4 roadster (below).

Sunflower yellow hued Morgan Plus 4 roadster_hood emblem_Cars& Coffee_October 20, 2012

With the abbreviated racing windscreens as seen below, probably not much protection at speed from the rain.

Sunflower yellow hued Morgan Plus 4 roadster_front view_Cars& Coffee_October 20, 2012

Back over on Porsche row, the regulars were once again assembled; I’m not sure if this arrangement by color was staged or purely by accident.

Porsche row_Red & white 911s lined up & getting wet_Cars&Coffee_October 2012

The cumulative effect of the mornings drizzle as seen on the hood and driving light;  Rolly’s red, white and black 1966 Porsche 911.

Rain drop covered 1966 911 coupe & driving lights_Cars&Coffee_October 20, 2012

Rain drop streaked 1966 911 coupe_ hood & graphics_Cars&Coffee_October 20, 2012

 A dual set of color matched Porsche bookends.

Porsche row line up_ Red & white 911's and one 912_nose shot_Cars&Coffee_October 20, 2012

And just across the aisle from Porsche row was this 550 Spyder recreation, fully exposed to the elements…

Silver Porsche 550 Spyder re-creation in the rain_rear view_Cars&Coffee_October 20, 2012

and literally dripping with badges.

Silver Porsche 550 Spyder re-creation in the rain_rear grill detail w/ badging_Cars&Coffee_October 20, 2012

Silver Porsche 550 Spyder re-creation in the rain_dual headrests_Cars&Coffee_October 20, 2012

Located several rows over towards the west, and shining like an orange beacon through the mist, was this beautiful, Lamborghini Gallardo.

Orange Lamborghini Gallardo_rain covered_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_October 20, 2012

And representing the die-hard hot rod contingency, was a very cool, gold customized roadster parked out towards the back row.

This particular car arrived at the event rather late, but made its presence known by virtue of its unrestricted headers, which delivered an amazing rumble as it rolled through the parking lot. And as this photograph illustrates, the drizzle had stopped by the time this hot rod arrived, sparing the driver, his passenger and the car.

Gold hot rod with Chrysler Fire Power V8_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_October 20, 2012

Propulsion was provided by a massive Chrysler Fire-Power V8, sporting six individual carburetors and sparked by a magneto as seen below…

Gold hot rod with Chrysler Fire Power V8_engine, carburetor & magneto detail_Cars&Coffee_October 20, 2012

Gold hot rod with Chrysler Fire Power V8_carburetor & magneto detail_Cars&Coffee_October 20, 2012

Ironically, just as the owner of the hot rod was getting ready to leave, his transmission got stuck in reverse. But since this was Cars&Coffee, two bystanders that had been talking with the owner, stepped up and helped trouble shoot the jammed transmission. As the photo below illustrates, after some discussion, adjustments were made to the shifter rod linkage, and the transmission was once again successful at engaging its forward gears. The owner then fired up his car, grabbed first gear, let out the clutch and rumbled off…

Gold hot rod with Chrysler Fire Power V8_working on tranny_Cars&Coffee_October 20, 2012

So should you ever experience an automotive breakdown as a participant at this event, rest assured that regardless of the make or model of your car, there will probably be someone close by with a working knowledge to assist you, and get you back on the road.

(All photos by the author)

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Archaeological opportunities at Cars&Coffee/Irvine…

Webster’s dictionary defines Archaeology as “the scientific study of material remains, artifacts and monuments) of past human life and activities”. With each new sunrise illuminating Saturday mornings Cars&Coffee event, this study can be undertaken by anyone present.  And as I have noted in previous posts, one never knows what treasures await discovery.

Last Saturday morning while still under the cover of darkness, my friend Jeff and I watched as a slate gray Detomaso circled the parking lot, apparently trying to decide where to park. As it circled, we tried to figure out whether it was a 1970’s vintage Pantera, or a mid sixties Lamborghini. As it approached where we were standing, it passed us and then  circled back to stop right next to us. It was then that we realized it was a 1969 Detomaso Mangusta, predating Detomaso’s Pantera model.

1969 slate gray Detomaso Mangusta_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012Once the owner was out of the car, he walked to the back and opened up the rear deck, which on this particular model articulate like the wings on a butterfly (above and below)…

1969 slate gray Detomaso Mangusta_engine compartment_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012

1969 slate gray Detomaso Mangusta_rear view with opened  rear decks_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012

In my four years of attending this event, I think this is the first Detomaso Mangusta that I have seen participate.

1969 slate gray Detomaso Mangusta_rear deck badging detail & reflections_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012

In stark contrast to this european model, and parked on the opposite side of the lot, was my next find; an example of a classic american custom, as represented by this chopped top, lowered 1951″Purple” Mercury, built by RD Kustoms.

1951 Purple chop top Merc by RD Kustoms_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012

1951 Purple chop top Merc by RD Kustoms_fender badge detail_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012

1951 Purple chop top Merc by RD Kustoms_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012

From here, I headed over to the featured lot, where I uncovered yet another classic; a silver Porsche 904 Carrera GTS, circa 1964 (as seen below).

1964 Silver Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012

1964 Silver Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_rear view_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012

1964 Silver Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_right rear fender badging & reflections_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012

1964 Silver Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_3/4 rear view & reflections_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012

Over on Porsche row, I encountered this beautifully restored, Irish Green 1965 Porsche 911.

1965 Irish Green Porsche 911_front view_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012Back in the engine compartment, one telltale clue as to the build date for this particular 911 (as seen below), are the dual Solex carbs as installed. These could also be found on the early 1966 911 models, only to be replaced by a pair dual Weber, 40IDA3C carbs when Porsche resumed their production on March 2, 1966.

1965 Irish Green Porsche 911_engine detail, Solex carbs_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012Several rows over towards the west was another rare Porsche; in this case an Ivory colored,1955 Porsche Continental coupe (below).

Ivory 1955 Porsche Continental coupe_front view_Cars&Coffee_October 6. 2012

As seen below, this designation as well as the fender badging displayed was unique to the 1955 model year only, as it was discontinued for the 1956 model year, due to a cease and desist letter from the Ford Motor Company, claiming the U.S. rights to the name Continental.

 1955 Porsche Continental coupe_front fender badging detail_Cars&Coffee_October 6. 2012

Ivory 1955 Porsche Continental coupe_interior view with red upholstery_Cars&Coffee_October 6. 2012

The 1500 cc motor (below), as used to power the 1955 Continental coupe.

Ivory 1955 Porsche Continental coupe_view of 1500cc motor_Cars&Coffee_October 6. 2012

And out back on display, a period correct California license plate, circa 1955.

1955 Porsche Continental coupe_rear view, period correct Calif. license plate_Cars&Coffee_October 6. 2012

The next treasure discovered was this beautifully restored classic; a red 1963 Plymouth Sport Fury, as seen below…

Red 1963 Plymouth Sport Fury _3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012

and residing under the hood, a surgically clean and massive 426 Hemi motor.

Red 1963 Plymouth Sport Fury _426 hemi motor detail_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012

The interior had been treated with the same attention to detail as the rest of the car, and appeared showroom fresh.

Red 1963 Plymouth Sport Fury _interior detail_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012

While on my walk back towards Porsche row, I came across this unique example of a 1991 Porsche 964, in Grand Prix white. And upon closer inspection, I realized that this was in fact a 964 turbo.

Grand Prix white 1991 Porsche 964 turbo_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012

It even wore a set of the always very cool, 3 piece modular BBS racing wheels.

Grand Prix white 1991 Porsche 964 turbo_3 piece modular, gold BBS race wheel_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012 Even though Porsche built the 964 from late 1989 through 1994 and the Turbo model from 19991 to 1994, it’s surprising how few of these turbo models one sees here in Southern California, when compared to the earlier 911 Carrera’s and the model 993 that immediately followed the 964.

Grand Prix white 1991 Porsche 964 turbo_3/4 side view_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012

Parked towards the middle of Porsche row, (next to a non-Porsche), was this red, white and black,1966 Porsche 911 race car. With all of its collective details ( 911R front fenders, rally lights, blacked out american racing wheels, racing hood hold downs, plexiglass louvered quarter windows and the center mounted, through the hood fuel filler) this car screamed early Porsche 911.

Red, White and Black, 1966 Porsche 911 race car_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012

Even its license plate had a secret to reveal. Upon closer inspection, the yearly registration tags appeared like geological strata, with each colored layer revealing yet another years tag. According to the owner, this layered collection represents between 16 -18 years worth of registration.

Red, White and Black, 1966 Porsche 911 race car_license plate sticker strata_Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012

The single vehicle at the event that morning that came the closest to relic status (as seen below), was this post WWII belly tank racer, appearing like something straight out of an Indiana Jones epic. These type of vehicles were purpose-built for top speed runs on the Bonneville salt flats, and designed using parts from numerous sources. The bodies were actually crafted from military surplus sourced, auxiliary belly fuel tanks carried by fighter jets. The running gear on this particular vehicle appeared to be vintage Ford.

Bonneville belly tanker_3/4 side view Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012

With the upper body panels removed, this racer definitely took on the look of a relic. The vehicle had the feel of a barn find, with a frame draped in the patina of age, and included weight savings measures employed through the use of drilled out gussets and brackets. Even the seat belt was a military surplus sourced piece.

Bonneville belly tanker_w/ bodywork removed_ Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012

Located behind the seat was the radiator, positioned as a bookend to the centrally located, flathead V8 motor with its dual carbs and side exiting exhaust. The smaller tank located between the rear of the motor and the rear axle appeared to be the fuel tank. Obviously the builders challenge was to design and capture all of these component within the confines of the outer skin. The single exception to this design criteria is the exposure of the driver helmeted head, since visibility is a critical design element.

Bonneville belly tanker_flathead V8 motor detail_ Cars&Coffee_October 6, 2012

So for anyone interested in automotive archaeology, this event is truly worth experiencing, for one never knows what treasures await discovery…

(All photos by the author)

A decidedly 1960’s themed morning…

Saturday morning saw Porsche row at Cars&Coffee filled shortly after 6 AM. By the time I pulled in at around 6 AM, there were only a half-dozen spaces remaining, scattered throughout the row. And as I was making my way over to the catering table for my weekly donut and OJ, those remaining space were reduced down to just two.  By 6:15, the entire row had been filled, but not entirely by Porsches. The last two cars were a Mini Cooper and a sunbeam tiger, both friends of the owner of the Mini that was already parked when I arrived.  While finishing my donut and talking with several friends, we noticed a red sports prototype pass behind Porsche row and come to a halt on the outside end of our row. From what I could see of the car under the early morning darkness, it looked to be a mid 60’s vintage Ferrari race car (perhaps a P3 / P4 model), so the next question was what is it, and is it the real deal?

The middle of Porsche row was occupied by several very cool, mid sixties vintage Porsches; one a pristine red,1966 911, and immediately to its left, a white, 1966 Porsche 906 Carrera race car, both frequent visitors to this event.

White 1966 Porsche 906, red 1966 911_Porsche row_side view_Cars&Coffee_September 29,2012

White 1966 Porsche 906, red 1966 911_Porsche row_3/4 side view_Cars&Coffee_September 29,2012

And surrounding these cars on both side were a mix of early 1970s vintage 911s , Porsche 356 and one spectacular 1970 914-6.

Porsche row_Orange 914-6 in foreground_Cars&Coffee_September 29,2012

Hidden away towards the west end of the row was yet another surprise; a blue, 1950’s vintage Porsche 550 Spyder, one of several late arrivals to Porsche row…

Blue Porsche 550 Spyder_Porsche row_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee_September 29,2012

Blue Porsche 550 Spyder_Porsche row_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee_September 29,2012Blue Porsche 550 Spyder_Porsche row_rear deck badging_Cars&Coffee_September 29,2012

Blue Porsche 550 Spyder_Porsche row_rear view w/lit tailights_Cars&Coffee_September 29,2012

Another of the late arrivals, but relegated to parking out on the last row of the lot, was another rare, 1960’s vintage Porsche; the green 356 Carrera 2 as seen below…

Green Porsche 356 Carrera 2_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_September 29, 2012

Green Porsche 356 Carrera 2_ front end detail_Cars&Coffee_September 29, 2012

Green Porsche 356 Carrera 2_ rear view ,badging_Cars&Coffee_September 29, 2012

And rounding out the assemblage of late arrivals, was this always impressive and historically significant, blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS as seen below…

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_September 29, 2012

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_side view_Cars&Coffee_September 29, 2012

For those unfamiliar with this particular car, this is 904-002, a car not only designed by Ferdinand Alexander “Butzi” Porsche, but the one that served as his personal car, with many unique design features found only on this car.

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_3/4 left rear view& reflections_Cars&Coffee_September 29, 2012Blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_3/4 right rear view& reflections_Cars&Coffee_September 29, 2012

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_ rear fender badge & reflections_Cars&Coffee_September 29, 2012

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_ front fender mirror & reflections_Cars&Coffee_September 29, 2012

Now back to the mystery Ferrari; while still under the cover of darkness, I made my way towards where it had been parked.

Red 1967 Ferrari 330 P4 recreation_front view_Cars&Coffee_September 29, 2012

Walking around the car, it sure looked like the Ferrari Prototype race cars I had seen in magazines from back in the 1960’s.

Red 1967 Ferrari 330 P4 recreation_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_September 29, 2012

Red 1967 Ferrari 330 P4 recreation_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee_September 29, 2012

It had the Ferrari badging, gold Campagnolo wheels, and a weber carburetted Ferrari motor with racing exhaust feeding into dual mufflers, all visible through the rear window.

Red 1967 Ferrari 330 P4 recreation_ view of motor thru rear window_Cars&Coffee_September 29, 2012 Red 1967 Ferrari 330 P4 recreation_interior_Cars&Coffee_September 29, 2012

Purpose built interior with a gated shifter (above and below)

Ferrari 330 P4 recreation_interior /drivers side_Cars&Coffee_September 29, 2012Red 1967 Ferrari 330 P4 recreation_rear deck& window view_Cars&Coffee_September 29, 2012

Another somewhat deceptive clue was the license plate; 67 330 P4. So the question still remained: was it really a 1967 Ferrari 330 P4? So off I went in search of an answer. After talking with several people knowledgeable about Ferrari’s, I learned the following: No, it was not an actual Ferrari 330 P4 race car, but a really cool re-creation, apparently using all Ferrari parts from a donor street car. An ideal alternative to owning a six figure, Ferrari race car, but one with the ability to be driven on the street. Kind of like the ultimate Ferrari project car…

Red 1967 Ferrari 330 P4 recreation_rear view_Cars&Coffee_September 29, 2012

Seeing just one of these 1960’s classics is a treat, be it Porsche or Ferrari, but leave it to Cars&Coffee to deliver automotive diversity in quantity each and every Saturday morning, and for me that is what keeps me returning each week.

(All photos by the author)