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)

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Reflections on a summery Saturday morning, and two new Porsche GT3 RS4.0 sightings…

For the second weekend in a row, Southern California was once again blessed with summer like weather, complete with warm breezes and sunny, cloudless crystal blue skies. This past Saturday was another stunning example, and what better time to undertake another study of reflections, and explore the contrast of shadow and light and their collective impact on the automotive form.

The following photos represent my latest study, with lighting effects provided courtesy of Mother Nature, and additional fill provided by my Nikon SB600 Speedlight…

Porsche Row__356 in foreground/reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Red 1987 Porsche Carrera__reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Black Porsche 930 turbo_reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Blue metallic 1972 Porsche 911T_reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Blue metallic 1972 Porsche 911T_front hood reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Silver Porsche 911 coupe_3/4 front view reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Silver Porsche 911 coupe_motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Red Mercedes- Benz 300SL gullwing_reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Red Jaguar XK roadster_reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Blue Shelby Daytona coupe_reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Blue Shelby Daytona coupe_rear view _reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Blue Ford woody wagon_reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Blue Ford woody wagon_ front grill emblem reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Blue 1950 Mercury coupe_rear bumper reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Blue 1950 Mercury coupe_3/4 front view_reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Pale blue 1960's vintage Ford thunderbird coupe_reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Black Ferrari 458 Italia_reflections_front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Charcoal gray Fisker Karma_hood reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Red Ferrari 365 Daytona coupe_side view_reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Red Ferrari 365 Daytona coupe_hood_reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Red Ferrari 365 Daytona coupe_Borrani wire wheel reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Red Ferrari 365 Daytona coupe_tail light details_ reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

After shooting the Ferrari Daytona coupe seen above, I ran into a friend who asked if I had seen the Ferrari Enzo and Bugatti Veyron parked by the catering tables. I told him no, and then asked if the Bugatti was the blue-tinted carbon fiber model that had been at the event 2 weeks earlier. He said no, that this one was a two-tone, red on black, and that the Enzo parked just in front was a blood orange color. So off I went in search of these two cars, which can be seen below.  I was definitely surprised to see each car displaying a KONY 2012 placard, an apparent effort by each owner to draw attention to the atrocities committed by African warlord Joseph Kony, against the children of his country…

Blood Orange Ferrari Enzo_Kony 2012 graphics_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Red & Black Bugatti Veyron_Kony 2012 graphics_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

I then noticed that another crowd was gathered towards the middle of the parking lot and decided to find out what was drawings the crowd. There parked at the end of the row, was a spectacular looking hot rod, and then it hit me. This was a Chip Foose creation, and walking towards the back confirmed it. This was the Foose HemiSFear…

Chip Foose_HemiSFear_rear view& reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Chip Foose_HemiSFear_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

And with the rear deck opened, even the valve covers confirmed that this was in fact the HemiSFear.

Chip Foose_HemiSFear_ front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Chip Foose_HemiSFear_ headlight reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Chip Foose_HemiSFear_ front suspension detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Chip Foose_HemiSFear_ front suspension components_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Chip Foose_HemiSFear_ glass roof & reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Chip Foose_HemiSFear_ Interior_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Chip Foose_HemiSFear_ side reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Chip Foose_HemiSFear_ motor viewed through rear window & reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Chip Foose_HemiSFear_ undercarriage detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

My next stop was on Mercedes row, to check out a beautifully restored Triumph motorcycle parked next to an amazing black Mercedes-Benz 190 SL roadster, both the source of some amazing shadows and reflections…

Vintage motorcycle helmet & goggles_reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Aqua blue Triumph motorcycle_shadows & reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Black 1956 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL roadster_motorcycle reflection_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Black 1956 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL roadster_reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

And now an update on my two latest Porsche GT3 RS4.0 sightings…

On Saturday March 3, I added another GT3 RS4.0 sighting (#7) to my list of cars encountered since October 2011 at Porsches Rennsport Reunion IV.  This car was another example of the white exterior with the RS4.0 exterior graphics package, with the white wheel configuration.

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0 with white wheels_3/4 front view & reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0 with white wheels_3/4 front view & reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0 with white wheels_headlight detail & reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0 with white wheels_rear wing shadows & reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0 with white wheels_wheel detail & reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0 with white wheels_rear wing & reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0 with white wheels_3/4 front view & reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

After talking with the owner, I learned that he’s had the car for only three months, but from the smile on his face it was obvious he thoroughly enjoys ownership. It was then time to ask him my standard GT3 RS4.0 question – What series number is your car out of the total 600 built?  Fortunately, every RS4.0 owner faced with my question has been gracious enough to share their cars series number. And keeping the trend alive, this owner shared with me that his car was #490 out of 600.

Sighting #8, and my second sighting for March, occurred this past Saturday, and was once again at Cars&Coffee /Irvine. This particular car appeared to be brand new; also white and wearing the traditional RS4.0 exterior graphics package, but in this case its wheels were black.

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0 w black wheels_3/4 front view & reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

Realizing that this was a brand new car, and not one that I had seen before, I immediately looked around for the owner in hopes of asking him about his car, and adding its series number to my GT3 RS4.0 sighting list. No owner was to be found, so I circled that car a few more times, adding more images to my collection and studying the various reflective surfaces found on the car.

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0 w black wheels_rear view & reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0 w black wheels_3/4 rear view & reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0 w black wheels_Interior_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0 w black wheels_front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/10/12

I returned to the car a little later and was lucky enough to catch the owner, just as he was getting ready to leave. I quickly introduced myself, and explained my interest in the Porsche GT3 RS4.0, along with my quest to document each of my RS4.0 sightings since seeing my first at Porsches Rennsport Reunion IV. I learned that the owner had also attended Rennsport Reunion IV, and had even participated in the weekends racing. It was then time for me to ask my question, and this owner kept the tradition alive by sharing with me that his car was series #491. I then shared with him that I had encountered another white GT3 RS4.0 one week earlier, which was series # 490.  We both agreed on the rarity of finding two cars with sequential series numbers, from such a limited worldwide production.

Now only 592 GT3 RS4.0’s remaining…

(All photos by the author)

A Carbon fiber Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, and a smorgasbord of Porsches…

Sunrise this past Saturday morning revealed a treasure not seen at Cars&Coffee in some time: a Bugatti Veyron. But this particular model was not just any Bugatti, but one of the latest Veyron Super Sports, optioned out in Dark blue-tinted carbon fiber bodywork.

Dark blue tinted carbon fiber Bugatti Veyron Super Sport_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

Dark blue tinted carbon fiber Bugatti Veyron Super Sport_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

Dark blue tinted carbon fiber Bugatti Veyron Super Sport_rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

As soon as the driver from Symbolic Motors parked the Bugatti, it was immediately swarmed by those in attendance, and remained that way until it departed. It was flanked shortly after by two other vehicles, also from Symbolic Motors, and both Lamborghini Gallardo Spyders. One in bright yellow and the other in matte black. Combined, they served for the morning as protective bookends for the Bugatti.

Lamborghini Gallardos and Bugatti Veyron_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

At one point, the driver of the Bugatti climbed back into the Veyron, started the engine and after flipping a switch or two, the rear wing and air brake ascended from their resting place in the rear bodywork for all to see…

Dark blue tinted carbon fiber Bugatti Veyron Super Sport_rear wing details_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

Dark blue tinted carbon fiber Bugatti Veyron Super Sport_rear wing details_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

Equally impressive were the components revealed by the raising of the wing; heat shielding throughout the compartment, what appeared to be a titanium exhaust, silver expanded metal mesh cladding, in addition to the silver, satin finished rear wing struts, machined linkages and hydraulic fittings. Not to mention some amazing reflections cast in the surrounding surfaces from a variety of hardware.

Dark blue tinted carbon fiber Bugatti Veyron Super Sport_rear view & wing details_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

And tucked in beneath the streamlined rear cowling was the motor, set like an ornate piece of jewelry, displayed within a protective blue-tinted carbon fiber jewel case…

Dark blue tinted carbon fiber Bugatti Veyron Super Sport_rear view /motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

But now it was time to check out the rest of the show, so off I headed to Porsche row… Once again there was a diverse collection of Porsches present from early 911’s, several different models of 911 GT3’s, a 2011 GT3RS, as well as a brand new 2012 911 Carrera S (type 991)…

Olive 1973 Porsche 911E_ front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

Olive 1973 Porsche 911E_ 3//4 rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

White 1970 911 with Martini stripes_twin plug motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

White 1970 911 with Martini stripes_driving light_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

Blood orange Porsche 914/6_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

Red 1987 Porsche Carrera 3.2_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

Gray 2011 Porsche 911 GT3RS_rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

1973 Porsche Carrera RS_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

1973 Porsche Carrera RS_2.7 liter motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

Silver "Sonauto Porsche 911S_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

Red 2011 Porsche Turbo S_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

 Yellow 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S (type 991)_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

White 2010 Porsche GT3_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

Yellow 2004 Porsche GT3_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

After checking out the Porsches and then the other cars in attendance, I made my way back to the Bugatti and check out the crowd…

Dark blue tinted carbon fiber Bugatti Veyron Super Sport_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

And I was just in time to observe the driver climb back into the car, fire it up and watch the rear wing retract (refer to the photos below)…

Dark blue tinted carbon fiber Bugatti Veyron Super Sport_fully extended rear wing_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

Dark blue tinted carbon fiber Bugatti Veyron Super Sport_retracting rear wing_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

Dark blue tinted carbon fiber Bugatti Veyron Super Sport_retracting rear wing_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

And with the engine sufficiently warmed, the Bugatti was put into gear and rolled out towards the exit.  As it made its way, it collected a huge procession of bystanders, who followed it out with cameras and cell phones capturing the action, recording its very presence that morning and its departure.

Blue carbon fiber Bugatti Veyron Super Sport_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/25/12

I found out later that morning from my youngest son, that someone had already posted photos of the blue Bugatti from Cars&Coffee on Facebook. The passion for all things automotive is definitely alive and thriving here in Southern California…

(all photos by the author)