Under the influence…

What type of cars influence your automotive tastes? What current design or styling trends have made an impact on you recently? Do you prefer the classics over contemporary models? Regardless of your favorite make or model, design influences can be found everywhere, even in non automotive fields. Automotive designers have long been known to seek inspiration from the worlds of high fashion, jewelry, print. textile, sculpture, sports, military, aeronautical and Motorsports. And there is always the ability to draw inspiration from a manufacturers own design history and their brands genetic DNA.

A current trend making the rounds within the Porsche community is a renewed appreciation for the classics; be it the early 911’s (1964-1973)…

White 1965 Porsche 911_front view-cars&coffee-3/23/13

Black 1973 Porsche 911 E_3/4 rear view_cars&coffee_3/23/13

or a 1967 911R tribute…

White with blood orange stripe 1967 Porsche 911 R tribute_3/4 front view-_cars&coffee_3/23/13

or a celebration of Porsche’s 911ST models…

Grand Prix White 1972  Porsche 911 ST tribute_Phoenix Club show_3/3/13

Signal orange and white striped 1972 Porsche 911ST tribute_3/4 front view_Phoenix Club show_3/3/13

These latest trends have now overshadowed the previous craze of 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS recreations. And how appropriate that these newest trends are surfacing in 2013, a year in which Porsche celebrates their 50th anniversary of the iconic Porsche 911.

The focus and theme for this post came to me after a recent review of my slide archives, especially after coming across several images of an orange, 1967 Porsche 911 that I shot way back in May of 1974 at the Ontario Motor Speedway, two years after buying my very first Porsche 911 (a 1966 coupe).

Orange 1967 Porsche 911 racer_side view_Ontario Motor speedway_ May 1974

This particular orange 911 ended up making a huge impression on me back in 1974, in part because of my growing interest in Porsche race cars (in particular the 1967 911R and the new for 1973 & 1974, Porsche 911RSR).

Orange 1967 Porsche 911 racer_3/4 front view_Ontario Motor speedway_ May 1974

The modifications made to this car really spoke to me; from its Carrera RS front spoiler, to the full race, fiberglass whale tail out back, its lowered stance and the mini-lite racing wheels wrapped in Goodyear racing rubber. And with the removal of the bumper and rocker deco trim, it conveyed the purpose-built simplicity of a 911R. Ironically, several of these styling cues would find their way onto my 1966 911 over the next several years. It began with the addition of a 911S fiberglass front spoiler, and continued with the removal of the front, side and rear bumper deco trim, and in regards to my wheels, I decided to polish out my set of 4 -1/2″ X 15″  Fuchs 5 spoke alloy wheels, and concluded with the lowering of the suspension and adding a set of Koni shocks (see below)…

Yellow 1966 Porsche 911_side view_uptown whittier_January 1975

Which brings me back to the subject of influences. With this weekends upcoming “California Festival of Speed” event to be held at the AutoClub Speedway in Fontana on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (April 5, 6, 7), this is the perfect venue for being exposed to and learning about all thing Porsche, as well as witnessing firsthand some of the coolest trends being cultivated within the Southern California Porsche community. And with the 50th anniversary celebration of the Porsche 911 event being held on Saturday (April 6), what better way to view firsthand, examples of every production 911 model, culminating with the current 2013 type 991, 911 Carrera model. And who knows, you may even find yourself leaving the show under the influence…

(All photos by the author)

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