Waking up on Sunday morning July 20th, I was greeted by high gray cloud cover and warm temperatures, yet it was just 6:30 AM; Interesting weather for the start of this years 2014 Dana Point 356 concours. At least the cloud cover did not appear to possess the ability to deliver rain, as had occurred during the past two Dana Point 356 Concours.
I arrived at the Lantern Bay Park overlooking Dana Point harbor at around 7:30 am, anticipating an early entry to the grounds for Porsche 911 “display parking” by 8:00 AM, only to be told that this year the 911s would have to wait until 8:30. I was then told that I would need to leave the area at the top of the hill to make room for any of the late arriving Porsche 356. So with no place to wait, I turned around and descended the hill and headed back towards PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) for those unfamiliar with Southern California highways. Fortunately there was a Denny’s restaurant on the corner, so I decided that this would be a good place to park and wait for 8:30 AM. As I pulled into the lot, I could see there was already a group of early model Porsches parked together towards the back corner, so I headed in their direction. After parking near a pristine, Sand beige Porsche 912 Targa, I got out and struck up a conversation with the owner, who was standing beside his car. After talking with the owner (Ned) about the obvious topic (Porsches, and the pending concours), a Porsche 356 pulled into the lot, parked and joined in the conversation. Our conversation then shifted to the 356 he was driving (an “Outlaw” i.e. a highly customized 356 that most Porsche 356 purists frown upon due to the non-factory type alterations made to an original car). The driver turned out to be one of the mechanics from the shop that had worked on the car for a client, and who was now tasked with displaying the car at the concours. It was now getting close to 8:30, so the 356 was started up and driven off to the show. At the same time, the owners of the cluster of Porsche 912s returned from having breakfast, fired up their respective cars, and headed out single file back towards Lantern Bay. Ned and I followed their lead, and both made our way back to Lantern Bay.
Once back on top of the hill, it was obvious that the 356 competitors were now all in place, and neatly aligned in rows. However as I pulled onto the lawn, I was surprised to see a large gathering of early Porsche 911s (made up of members of the Early S Registry and the RGruppe car clubs), already parked on the lawn, opposite the 356 concours area. As I continued, parked to my left was another group of Porsches, all 912 models, and representing a full range of model years. Many of the 912s were in fact the very same cars I had just seen parked down the hill in the Denny’s parking lot. As I reached the end of the 912 row, I made a loop out behind the standing row of pine trees, and found an open spot, making sure to avoid any overhanging tree branches, since these Pine trees during the summer months have a reputation for weeping sap. So after grabbing my camera, it was time to take a closer look at the multitude of assembled Porsches.
Looking across the sea of Porsche scattered throughout the park, I believe that this years event drew one of the largest turnouts compared to the last couple years. Obviously with such a large selection to choose from, my photographic challenge was where to start. And since I was parked amidst my 911 and 912 brethren, this was where I would start…
Parked in the outer row with its fellow 911s was this beautiful, owner restored Sand beige 1967 911S as seen below…
with its spotless motor…
and wearing a set restored and increasingly rare, 4 -1/2 X 15 inch Fuchs 5 spoke alloy wheels.
While checking out this amazing 1967 911S, a buzzing noise could be heard overhead, and upon looking up to see what was making the noise, we caught a UFO hovering overhead. As we watched, it began to track over the rows of parked Porsches, and then without warning, reversed its direction and headed back in our direction. Since I was the only one equipped with a camera, I grabbed a quick shot skyward to record this flying object. The image below is the UFO just before it disappeared. Upon closer inspection of this image, it appears that we were being recorded, as evidenced by the GoPro attached to its underside.
Now back to the show… Two examples of the beautifully restored Porsche 912s gathered for this event; my new friend Ned’s 1969 Sand beige 912 Targa below…
and my friend Brad’s Irish Green 1968 912 coupe as seen below, complete with a unique back story. His Porsche had been purchased new by his father while stationed in Germany, and was driven throughout Europe while he served in the military. The 912 has remained in the family to this day, with Brad taking over as the current caretaker.
With the sun finally starting to burn through the morning haze, it was time to check out the 356 concours side, and begin my exploration through the pristine rows of multi hued coupes, cabriolets and speedsters.
Bridging the gap between the two display areas was the quartet of Porsches seen below.
Beginning at the far left, was the ultra rare, Ivory colored 1949 Porsche Gmund coupe.
To its left was another equally unique, early model Porsche 356. This particular coupe, a 1959 356 Carrera GT, was being displayed in an unrestored condition, and it too possessed a unique history.
As a sign on its windshield stated, this Carrera GT was the Swedish Ice Racing champion two years running from 1959 to 1960. There was even an example of the custom prepared, studded ice racing tires (below), worn by the Carrera GT back in the day on its way to consecutive Swedish ice racing championships.
Next in line was another historically significant Porsche race / street car; in this case the silver, 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS seen below.
This particular car (Chassis # 904-064) has an interesting resume, having raced in German Hill climb competitions, as well as races held at Monza. It had been owned and was restored by a previous owner, the late Vasek Polak. Mr. Polak was well known within the Porsche community as the owner of the Southern California (Manhatten Beach) Porsche dealership, and as one of Claifornia’s prominent race team owners.
Representing the Porsche 911 community, was the highly modified, RGruppe / Early S Registry inspired, Gulf Blue 911ST coupe, riding on a set of silver, period correct minilite race wheels.
Venturing over to the 356 display side, owners could be seen hurridly completing their last-minute detailing, prior to experiencing their pride and joy undergoing scrutiny by the roving bands of concours judges.
As seen below, one of several “356 Outlaws” present and awaiting judging.
A beautiful Stone gray 356 Speedster, equipped with the seldom seen hardtop option.
Another example of a 356 Outlaw on display. This particular silver Porsche 356 is owned by the Emory family who were responsible for popularizing the “outlaw style” of modification, and credited with coining the term.
Upon completion of the mornings judging and with the results being tallied, the trophy table (below) was being readied for a 2 PM start of the awards ceremony. This years trophies were once again modeled after last years theme of surfboards.
And what every concours participant aspires to; taking home the highly desirable Best of Show trophy.
The final awards of the day went to the red 356 cabriolet seen below. Not only did this cabriolet win best in class, but also received the concours top prize, the Best of Show trophy.
A group shot of the class winning Porsches from this years concours.
Once all of the winning cars were parked together, it became very apparent that the judges at this years concours had a thing for the color red, given the high percentage of red hued, winning 356s selected at this years show.
Unfortunately, we’ll all have to wait for the 2015 show, to find out what model and or color will appeal to next years judges, and influence their awarding of the multiple class winners, and the coveted “Best of Show” award.
(All photos by the author)