Happy New Years 2016!
Here’s to opening new doors in the coming year…
All photos by the Author
There’s something about the pre 1970s Porsche race cars that over the years have drawn me to them from a photographic and design standpoint, and the Porsche seen below is no exception.
The car in question is a 1969 908LH, Porsches winningest chassis (#908 025); one very low and sleek, built for speed streamliner, powered by a 2997cc air-cooled flat 8 motor, developing 350 horsepower. Sufficient to propel this car into the realm of 200 mph, and on this weekend, onto the memory card within my DSLR.
I first encountered this very car back in 1992 at the Monterey Historics, displayed by the Collier Collection, based out of Naples Florida. In 2009, The Rev’s Institute was founded, as an evolution of the Collier Collection, by its founder Miles Collier, with the goal of creating a venue for the further promotion of “automotive research and historical studies”.
(Below) The pilot for the weekend was none other than Gunnar Jeannette (dressed in black), intently focused on securing a GoPro onto the roof of the 908LH.
GoPro track coverage set, fore and aft…
Prepped and rolling out for its track session.
Staged on pit lane (below), as a participant in Saturday afternoon’s pit lane concours.
One striking detail that I noticed was changed from the last time I saw this car, were its colored body accents. This was a very graphic way for Porsche to differentiate their individual team cars when part of a multi car team. Back in 1992, I remembered the green accents being much darker, similar to Porsche’s Irish Green. However, when I spoke with a team member from The Revs Institute about the color, he said the current color is a more accurate representation of what was applied back in 1969. This current application in addition to being matte fluorescent green, also exhibited brush strokes. So my second question was regarding the actual paint make-up, and the response confirmed my suspicions. All of the green accents were painted using water based tempera paint, similar to what’s routinely used in grade school art classes.
This paint medium approach to nose graphics appeared to have been embraced by a variety of the other Porsche race cars (from the same time period), also wearing similar matte finish graphics in a variety of period colors. Unfortunately, the one question that I failed to ask was regarding the effect of weather on this paint. If it rained, would the fluorescent green paint wash off, or would it become a visual tracer, ideal for studying the aerodynamic airflow over the car? Or would the painted accents be intact, protected by a matte clear coat finish?
So if anyone from The Revs Institute happens to read this blog post, I would appreciate some closure to my question: matte fluorescent green accents; clear coat protected or ?
All photos by the author
After an extensive time away from my blog, it’s finally time to get back to the task at hand. And that dear readers means digitaldtour is back, and will once again be sharing Porsche centric, photographic content from near and afar.
To kick things off, I’m going to start with one of my favorite images captured from this past September’s Porsche Rennsport Reunion 5. For those unable to attend, the car below is a 1949 Porsche Gmund SL Coupe, which holds historical significance as one of Porsches earliest class winners at the Le Mans 24 hour race, dating back to 1951.
This car was lovingly ressurected just prior to Rennsport Reunion 5 by Southern California’s own Porsche guru Rod Emory, who’s metal fabrication skills made it possible for Porsche to showcase this car alongside two of their other Legendary Le Mans 24 overall winners seen below; the red & white scalloped Porsche Salzburg 917 from 1970, and this years outright Le Mans 24 hour winner, the 2015 Porsche 919 Hybrid.
So this concludes my first post in a very long time. I hope you will return to see what lies ahead…
All photos by the author
“It’s not a car… it’s a BUS – definitely a 1960s marketing slogan from Volkswagen, and given my surroundings Saturday morning February 14th, there was no mistaking that I was entering into a sea of Volkswagen transporters (buses).
Held each year at the Long Beach Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach, California, it’s always a morning of discovery, and an opportunity to hear the back stories behind the vehicles on display. The irony of this years O.C.T.O. Winter Meet was that given the clear blue skies and summer like temperatures being experienced in February, this could have easily passed as a summer meet.
Another of my favorite subjects to photograph…”automotive opthomology”
A return visit by a husband and wife pair of 21 window buses; the wife’s bus below…
and her husband’s blue 21 window parked to the drivers right (below). It has been interesting to watch the progress made from year to year on this dual restoration effort.
At the opposite end of the restoration spectrum was this early 1960s type 2 bus. Unfortunately, this bus was a painful reminder of the effects of time and exposure to the elements, as seen below.
Given the extent of the rust, it was amazing that the roof and its body parts were still connected. However, upon closer inspection, it became obvious that the roof had assistance in the form of strategically placed sheet metal screws.
In stark contrast and one row away, was another example of a beautifully restored type 2, in brilliant turquoise and white…
and wearing a rather interesting license plate.
Representing one of the model variations found within the type 2 transporter category, was this 1967 two-tone, dual-cab seen below.
If one looks closely, there are frequently clues to be found which aid in revealing a vehicles true identity.
(Below), one of several single-cabs present, but the sole participant carrying special cargo.
Another of the beautifully restored, 21 window safari type 2s in attendance; brilliant blue on white…
and several rows over, a second 21 window safari, dressed in orange over white.
One never knows what extremes an owner will go to, in order to personalize his/her bus as witnessed below.
(Below), one of my favorite type 2s in this years show. While photographing this bus, I was approached by the owner and we struck up a conversation. During our discussion, I learned that this 1961 bus had originally been owned by his grandfather, who purchased it back in 1963, and then used it as his daily driver. Many years later, and with the passing of his grandfather, he inherited the bus, and then proceeded to store it away in his garage. It ended up sitting there untouched, awaiting restoration for 18 years. With his kids graduated from college, he decided to finally tackle the restoration of the bus, with the majority of the restoration work having been completed by the owner himself.
The owner continued his story, sharing the memories that he and his brother had, of vacationing with their grandfather, and how hot they were sitting in the back of the bus during the summer. Because of the heat factor, the owner decided to added a set of safari front windows. He also shared stories of his grandfather driving the bus into mexico to his ranch, traversing dirt roads and creeks along the way, with evidence of these adventures uncovered during the buses restoration. Looking at the bus on that Saturday morning, it was hard to believe that it had not lived a pampered life.
Below, the bullet shaped front turn signal, identifying this type 2 bus as a 1961 model.
Far from the stock motor that the bus was delivered with back in 1961.
Once the restoration was complete, the owner unveiled the bus at their yearly family reunion, to the surprise of many relatives. The bus became the inspiration for a project his wife began; collecting and recording in written from, the stories from their many relatives with memories of grandpa’s bus.
Parked on the perimeter of the display area were several unique Volkswagen cars… not Buses, as seen below.
First up was one cool Karmann Ghia…
and parked on the opposite side of the parking lot; a beautifully restored VW Notchback.
Saturday morning reflections…
With this kind of weather and impressive turnout for the O.C.T.O. Winter Meet, one can only imagine what the O.C.T.O. Summer show will deliver.
(All photos by the author)
Porsche GTs in abundance at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, or so the rumors went. In a break with tradition, my son and I attended the 2014 Los Angeles Auto show on the next to last day of its week-long run. Normally, we have always attended opening day, but our collective schedules did not allow that for 2014.
As my son and I ascended the escalator into the convention center, he asked “first stop at Petree hall”? Our yearly tradition has been to start every show with a first stop at Petree Hall, to take in the surprises waiting at the Porsche display. And for 2014, our tradition was upheld.
And what better thematic setting for making an impression upon present or future Porsche owners than the first scene of their display within Petree Hall, with the view seen below.
Framed as a scene taken straight from a race track, and positioned center stage, was one of Porsche’s latest race cars; the 911 GT America. As we approached, it became obvious this race car possessed Southern California roots, campaigned by none other than Dempsey Racing; piloted by Southern California resident / actor Patrick Dempsey, and co-driven by teammate Joe Foster.
Strategically placed near the car, was a display case containing the helmet worn by Patrick Dempsey during the 2014 Tudor United Sports Car Championship racing season. Wrapped in what has become a signature motif, the helmet graphics were designed and executed by Troy Lee Designs.
Rounding the corner into “scene 2”, we encountered Porsche’s Hybrid display, showcasing the Cayenne and Panamera hybrid variants, all displayed in a white. However, the focal point of scene 2 was one centrally located, pearlescent white 918 Spyder as seen below.
In sharp contrast to the hybrid display, was the showcase / world premier display area for Porsches latest GTS model lines. As seen below, and as described by the wall graphic, was Porsches new 911 Carrera GTS; one in cabriolet form…
and to its left on a second turntable, a GTS coupe.
Even Porsche’s Cayenne model was a recipiant of the GTS treatment, wrapped in the same red paint finish, as witnessed by the image below.
The Cayenne GTS rear tail lights were also the souce of a visual reminder (to those who looked closley), as to the manufacturer behind these latest wonders on display.
I suspect that next years Porsche display at Petree Hall may have a decidedly RS focused theme, given the pending introduction of their brand new for 2015 GT3RS.
(All photos by the author)
I recently had the opportunity to renew my long-standing quest of recording as many series/ build numbers possible from my personal encounters with Porsches 911GT3 RS4.0 model. The example shown below has now become the latest addition to my ongoing sightings list.
As I approached this white RS4.0 for a closer look, my initial thought was could this be one of my previous white bodied, white wheeled RS4.0 sightings? However, as soon as I saw its license plate, I knew this would be a brand new sighting. Now there was just one remaining clue to search out, which would reveal the final clue as to this RS4.0s true identity.
So onto the interior… as seen, standard issue on the 911 GT3 RS4.0.
A quick look at the glove box mounted, serial number build plaque revealed that this GT3 RS4.0 was chassis #040 of 600 total worldwide! This car immediately jumped to the top of my spotters list (and marked my 12th sighting), by virtue of this car being the absolute lowest series number I’ve encountered to date.
As I’ve noted in previous posts, my very first in – person GT3 RS4.0 sighting occurred back in October 2011, at Porsches Rennsport Reunion IV held in Monterey, California (as recorded below).
Back at cars&coffee, time to continue the photo documentation of my latest sighting.
As I made my way to the rear of the car to continue my explorations, the owner (who had been standing back watching me shooting his car), came over and introduced himself. I told him about my long-standing interest and passion for Porsches and my quest to record as many GT3 RS4.0 sighting as possible. He responded by sharing with me his passion for collecting Porsche 911 RS models, and in particular Porsches top-tier 911GT3 RS. It turns out that this owner has a rather deep collection of 911RS and GT3RS models in addition to his GT3 RS4.0. However, there is still one key player absent from his collection, and that has alluded him, and ironically the one that started it all; Porsches 1973 911 Carrera RS.
Our next topic of conversation addressed the incredibly low series build number assigned to his RS4.0. It turns out that the owner has an interest in numeration. Webster’s dictionary defines numeration as “an act or instance of designating by a number”. The owner was also a strong believer in lucky numbers.
I then learned that when Porsche introduced the GT3 RS4.0 in 2011, the owner contacted Porsche and expressed his interest in purchasing one of the new models, in particular chassis # 040, to commemorate his 40th birthday. Obviously the car parked before me was proof of his negotiation skills. This same interest and focus applied to his quest for the license plate seen below.
According to a friend standing nearby, the owner spent a small fortune to secure the license plate with the 777 designation, which apparently is his lucky number, and is now proudly displayed at both ends of the Porsche.
When the owner returned to his car, our conversation continued, and he shared his anxiety over waiting to take delivery of his latest Porsche acquisition ; one special ordered 918 Spyder. Any guess at what the chassis / series build number will be (out of the 918 total Porsche is targeted to produce)?
For now, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if a certain, low series build number Porsche 918 Spyder gets imported into the states, and reveals itself some early Saturday morning at a certain car show.
(All photos by the author)
September 17, 2014, or 9/17, a date that each year marks the anniversary of my blog. And this year, 09/17/14 marks three years since the debut of digitaldtour.
In looking for an appropriate image to use for this anniversary posting, I selected one that I shot at a recent event, and perfect for the theme of this posting. The car in question, the signal orange Porsche 911 ST (below) owned by Chad McQueen, arrived at the show wearing the perfect, symbolic license plate.
I would like to take this time to once again thank everyone who have become followers of my blog, and have taken the time to email me with feedback on my postings. I’d also like to thank those of you that I have had the pleasure of meeting in person at a variety of cars shows and events throughout Southern California, and have become friends with over the past three years. And thank you for continuing to share your car history and back stories with me.
As digitaldtour approaches its 4th year, expect to see some changes over the year, but know that I will continue to write about and photograph the Southern California car culture. And for those of you who have asked, yes, I am still working on part 2 of my 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans blog post, and expect to have it completed and ready for posting soon.
So please stay tuned for some surprises, and watch as digitaldtour continues to grow and evolve.
(911ST photo by the author)
As the sign outside Deus Ex Machina stated, Sunday September 7 was to be the site for Luftgekuhlt, which loosely translated, implies a celebration of air-cooled cars, and as stated on this morning,”Porsches”. Not unlike the sign sent to Paul Revere many years ago, but in this case a signal sent out to rally the Porsche community.
And what a signal it was. The amazing turnout clearly demonstrated that the message had been received. By the time my son and I arrived at 8:30 AM, the parking lot was already packed to the gills…
Fortunately, the event hosts (Patrick Long and Howie Idelson) were able to squeeze me in, and found a spot for me to park amid my fellow Porsche 911 owners. Since this was intended as a celebration of air-cooled Porsches, a full compliment of models were present, starting with a variety of 356 models, displayed in coupe and cabriolet form…
and supplemented by an eclectic cross-section of Porsche 911s. Examples ranged from early 911s (aka Longhoods), represented by an early 1966 911 GT, one 1968 911, a variety of 911S models, and an example of Porsches ultimate 1973 911; the 911 Carrera RS.
Below, a 1969 911S race car, club raced back in the day by the late Paul Newman and by Bill Freeman. This car represents one of the latest acquisitions by the automotive group TruSpeed, based in Costa Mesa , CA.
Another of the race inspired RGruppe 911, in this case a 1969 911ST, owned by Chad McQueen, obviously influenced at an early age by his father (the late Steve McQueen), and his collection of Porsches, and their families involvement in racing.
One of the several Porsche 911S models on display, and representing the RGruppe car club.
A hint to this motors modifications beyond stock; a twin plug ignition, with its snake nest of 12 spark plug wires. An obvious clue that this is no longer a stock 2.2 liter 911S motor.
Like begets like; a silver 911S reflected in the fender of the host 911S.
Representing the 1973 model year, was an example of a Porsche iteration that firmly established the 911s competition pedigree; the Porsche 911 Carrera RS…
and a model that introduced the world to the brands new duck tail spoiler.
The sole representative from the 914 community was one very cool, blue Porsche 914-6 (below), seen hanging out with a variety of Porsche 911s.
The unintentional Porsche 911 evolution row, from front to back; white 1986 911 Carrera, blue 1979 -1983 911SC, white 993 Turbo and at the opposite end, a white 964 Carrera coupe.
The view of Evolution row from the opposite end (below).
Parked immediately across from Evolution row, and next to a trio of Porsche 911s from Magnus Walker’s collection, was another rare and highly modified Porsche; one of the latest 911 creations in white from the team at Singer Vehicle Design (as seen below).
A glimpse of the Singer’s austere engine compartment and its highly modified, purpose-built motor (below).
Interesting details and technology abound from any angle.
Rear decklid with graphics and Singer badging.
(Below), A close up view of the Singer’s dimensional rear decklid badging.
Parked out front of the Deus facility, helping garner attention to the mornings activities, was this beautiful red VW single cab transporter, embellished with hand painted Porsche super graphics.
Another of the Porsche parked out front of the Deus Ex Machina facility; in this case one very cool, black 993 Carrera C4 coupe.
A four-wheeled, Porsche 993 mirror… (above and below)
As the morning progressed, and with participants coming and going, our hosts were challenged with being sensitive to the surrounding businesses. So for some of us, that meant the need to move to the primary Deus parking lot, and consolidate with the remaining cars parked in the Deus lot. So imagine my surprise when I found myself now parked between two icons; Porsche ultimate expression of the 993 model, the GT2, to my left, and to my right, the Signer 911…and all three cars in white !
For those unfamiliar with Porsche 993 GT2, just seeing one in person is incredible, given the rarity of this model. This is only the second true 993 GT2 that I have seen in person (my first sighting was of a silver 993 GT2 parked on the streets of London, while on a business trip back in 2000).
Porsche only produced the 993 based GT2 from 1993 to 1998. The 993 GT2 was powered by a 3.6 liter, twin turbocharged flat six motor producing 430 horsepower. Then in 1998, Porsche increased the GT2s performance, boosting horsepower up to 450. Power was managed through a six speed manual transmission, and capable of delivering 0-60 times of 3.9 seconds, and 0-100 mph times in only 8.7 seconds. According to my research, Porsche only built a total of 57, 993 based GT2 road cars, with 7 of those models manufactured for the right hand drive market.
Another of the unique, identifying design details found on the 993 GT2 (as seen below); the three-piece modular, Speedline racing wheel.
The model specific rear wing, with dual air intakes, designed to feed cool, fresh air to the twin turbocharged motor, and wearing dual GT2 embossed end plates.
The owner of this GT2 was kind enough to field a mornings worth of questions about his car;the most common question being what is it? For those in the know, it was obvious that this was in fact a 993 GT2, and not a clone or re-creation. The owner also shared with us that this particular car possessed the horsepower upgrade (450 horsepower), making it one of the 1998 models. We also learned two more interesting facts about this particular GT2. The first was that this car had been purchased from its original owner in Japan, and secondly, upon its successful importation into the United States, it became what is to be believed only one of two true 993 GT2s residing within the USA.
Where else but in Southern California, could an event of this magnitude be held, and draw as diverse and rare a collection of Porsche as those that participated.
Given the success and turnout experienced on September 7, and based upon comments shared by one of the events host (Patrick Long), it appears it will only be a matter of time before a second Luftgekuhlt event will once again be held.
(All photos by the author)
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)