“When everything is art, you’ve gotta take it in”…

On Saturday November 3,  those of us here in Southern California experienced another weekend of extended summer like weather. As a result, those in attendance at Cars&Coffee were treated to a truly eclectic gathering of automobiles.

With such a diverse cross-section of vehicles represented, I really felt as if I were walking through an outdoor art gallery, experiencing row after row of 4 wheeled art and sculpture. And with each new row, the experience resembled that of entering a new and different wing within a museum, and discovering the treasures within. And that was exactly the type of experience that would unfold before me that morning.

My first stop of the morning, with illumination courtesy of the rising sun, was with these two examples of classic, post WWII automotive art; in this case a pair of 1930’s vintage, American bred hot rods…

A pair of custom 1930s vintage hot rods_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

 1930s Custom hot rod pickup truck_engine detail_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

The 5 window coupe’s motor (as seen below).

 1930s vintage Hot Rod custom 5 window coupe_engine detail_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

The pickup truck even displayed what appeared to be a flying eyeball hood ornament, perhaps influenced by the famous flying eyeball logo /graphic created by California pin striping legend Von Dutch (below)…

Custom 1930s hot rod pickup truck_flying eyeball hood ornament _Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

Over at the featured lot, I encountered this beautiful British Racing Green Jaguar, with its sculpted curves being accentuated by some amazing reflections, courtesy of the early morning light.

British Racing Green 1957 Jaguar D type, XKSS roadster_front view_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

There was no mistaking the origins of this particular model due to its unique design, and the badge on the front hood only reinforced the fact that parked before me was one of the very rare,1957 Jaguar D-type XKSS roadsters.

British Racing Green 1957 Jaguar D type, XKSS roadster_hood emblem_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

With the sunrise and reflections both working their magic, the shapes and contours of the front hood and fenders were beautifully displayed, and further illustrated the sculptural impact to the styling of this car.

British Racing Green 1957 Jaguar D type, XKSS roadster_early morning reflections across hood_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012 British Racing Green 1957 Jaguar D type, XKSS roadster_wheel and center knock-off detail_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

Even when viewed from behind, the subtle contours of the body along with the angular, almost pinched profile of the side windows were further revealed and accentuated by the early morning sunrise.

British Racing Green 1957 Jaguar D type, XKSS roadster_early morning reflections/rear view_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

Seeing this car in person brought to mind a magazine article I remembered reading years ago about Steve McQueen, in which the author described his ownership of a 1957 Jaguar XKSS. The article had mentioned several specific modifications that McQueen had made to his car. The first was to repaint the car a proper British Racing Green. The second was to add a locking door to the glove box cubby in the dashboard ( the cars were delivered without glove box doors). McQueen turned to one of his friends (Pin striper Von Dutch) for the fabrication of a locking glove box door, to correct the oversight by Jaguar. The third modification made was to have the original interior kept stock, but to have the upholstery  redone in black leather, by none other than the Southern California-based drag racer turned custom car upholsterer Tony Nancy.  This particular car parked in front of me possessed all of the aforementioned details, so the question remained; could this car be the ex-Steve McQueen Jaguar XKSS?

(Postscript: After publishing this post, I received an email from the owner of the XKSS one week later, wanting to clarify the origins of his car. I learned that it is in fact an XKSS re-creation, and not an original model. The amazing fiberglass body was created by Realm Engineering, located in the U.K., and is mounted to a Reynard Racing chassis, specified with Jaguar running gear. Power is produced by a 4.2 liter Jaguar motor, pumping out 300 horsepower, and is transferred to the rear wheels via a Tremec 5 speed transmission. Seeing this car in person puts the automotive re-creation industry in a whole new light).

British Racing Green 1957 Jaguar D type, XKSS roadster_steering wheel and dash detail_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

My next stop would be to Porsche row, for my weekly visit.

Vintage Porsches all in a row_1970 914-6 and early 911s_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

A trio of early Porsche 911s, with the outer two displaying the optional Lietz roof racks…

1970s model Porsche 911s with classic roof racks_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

Caught in the middle; the white, 1972 911 RGruppe GT 2.7 coupe, complete with its unique, rear quarter window graphic.

Grand Prix white, 1972 Porsche 911 RGruppe GT 2.7_oil filler door & side reflections_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

Grand Prix white, 1972 Porsche 911 RGruppe GT 2.7_green hell window sticker_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

The early 911 triplets as seen below (foreground to background)- 1969 911E, 1972 911 GT, and 1973 911E.

A trio of Porsche 911s- 1969 E, 1972 GT, 1973 E_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

Located several rows over to the East, and down the aisle from the weekly Mercedes-Benz 190SL enclave, I discovered this trio of classic Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The first example (as seen below), in red and black, turned out to be a pre-war 1936 Mercedes-Benz 230 W-143 Cabriolet B; a spectacular and beautifully restored, touring car.

Red & Black 1936 Mercedes Benz 230 W-143 Cabriolet B_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

Red & Black 1936 Mercedes Benz 230 W-143 Cabriolet B_headlight & grill reflections_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

Red & Black 1936 Mercedes Benz 230 W-143 Cabriolet B_headlight & fender reflections_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

Sandwiched in-between the other two Mercedes-Benz vehicles, was this Ivory colored, 1930s vintage two-seat roadster with red interior, also appearing to have been restored.

Ivory colored, 1930s vintage Mercedes Benz roadster_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

Parked immediately to the right was what appeared to be a model 260D, W-138 series sedan, also sporting a two toned paint finish, in green with black fenders.

Green & Black (1936-1940),Mercedes Benz 260 D, W-138 series sedan_hood, grill and badging reflections_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

What made the 260 D model unique was that the D designation represented a diesel engined vehicle, and made this particular model the first diesel engined, series produced passenger car. And according to the Mercedes-Benz records, only 2000 of these vehicles were built between 1936 and 1940, at which time their production was stopped due to the war. All three of these cars literally looked like they had just rolled off of a Mercedes-Benz showroom floor.

Green & Black (1936-1940), Mercedes Benz 260 D, W-138 series sedan_hood and side mirror reflections_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

As I continued my trek through the “gallery”, a white, early model Porsche 911 caught my eye, so I walked over to get a closer look ( see below). I had seen this car arrive earlier that morning, and remembered a comment made by a friend standing over on Porsche Row regarding its exhaust note. He stated that this particular car sounded exactly how a Porsche 911 engine should sound; Tight and clear with a smooth idle, and without any extraneous noise or valve clatter. And anyone who has been around or is familiar with Porsche 911s, will know the specific sound I’ve described.

I soon realized that there was something familiar about this car; I had seen it before, but could not remember where. It was then that the owner came over and introduced himself, as I was photographing the motor. I quickly learned that this car had been previously owned by one of the two founding members of the Porsche car club “RGruppe”, and after being shown an article written years ago in Excellence magazine about this very car and two other 911s, it hit me. That was where I has seen this car before, having read the same article, and obviously it had made an impression.

As a result of this cars previous ownership, this car was equipted with many of the cool, go fast Motorsports purposed, Porsche factory parts. This car would become a visual blueprint used by many a Porsche owner who aspired to building their own unique version of an RGruppe inspired, pre 1974 Porsche 911.

White 1969 Porsche 911S_ founding member of RGruppe car club's personal car_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

Up front, an example of the custom finished, Porsche factory, 911R inspired “Deep 6” Fuchs alloy wheel.

White 1969 Porsche 911S_ founding member of RGruppe car club's personal car_custom finished deep 6 Fuchs alloy wheel_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

Race inspired, door mounted Talbot mirror…

White 1969 Porsche 911S_ founding member of RGruppe car club's personal car_reflection in Talbot racing side mirror_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

Shown below is the performance inspired interior; from the 911R styled, light weight door panels and pulls, to the Recaro sports seats for the driver and passenger, a Prototipo racing steering wheel (complete with the proper patina), and the removal of the radio, with a filler panel added and the void covered over. Even the speedometer and tachometer have been rotated to the left, to allow for the monitoring of critical vehicle speed and engine RPM at a glance; each gauge had been set in order to peg its orange needle at the twelve o’clock position).

White 1969 Porsche 911S_ founding member of RGruppe car club's personal car_interior_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012A 1969 Porsche 911S, 2.2 liter motor with mechanical fuel injection (as seen below)…

White 1969 Porsche 911S_ founding member of RGruppe car club's personal car_engine detail_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

Even the rear deck lid was given the RGruppe treatment. The stock, factory dimensional rear badging was removed, and replaced by adhesive backed vinyl graphics, once again taking inspiration from the early Porsche 911 race cars…

White 1969 Porsche 911S_ founding member of RGruppe car club's personal car_rear deck lid with applied graphics_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

My last stop of the morning was to check out this stunning Orange, 2007 Porsche GT3RS.  With the crowds and cars having thinned, I was able to move around and photograph the GT3RS without interference.

Orange 2007 Porsche GT3RS_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

The lighting by mid morning created some incredible highlights, reflections and shadows, and created the visual impression of an airbrushed rendering.

Orange 2007 Porsche GT3RS_rear fender, partial wheel & cast shadow_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012A study of light; Ground plane shadows, highlights to define shape and contour, and an ultra reflective carbon fiber rear wing…

Orange 2007 Porsche GT3RS_rear wing reflections & shadow_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

Form follows function; the GT3RS rear wing.  Purpose built for speed, generating downforce and capturing hidden reflections (see below)…

Orange 2007 Porsche GT3RS_rear wing with underside reflections _Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

My last shot of the morning and one of my favorite from the November 3rd event. The sunlight really brought this color to life, and showcased the collective styling cues unique to the GT3RS, re-stating the obvious: There is no substitute.

Orange 2007 Porsche GT3RS_3/4 rear view with reflections_Cars&Coffee_November 3, 2012

So should you find yourself in need of some artistic inspiration on a Saturday morning, come take a stroll through the automotive galley known locally as Cars&Coffee. You won’t be disappointed…

(All photos by the author)


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)

The devil’s in the details…

How many times have you looked at a particular make or model of car without ever stopping to take notice of the many smaller, unique features or design details that collectively combine to define each car, and create sufficient visual interest to grab your attention?

Saturday, July 28th was one of those mornings where I suddenly found myself drawn to a study of these lesser details, rather than obsessing about shooting each car as a whole.

The following photos represent that mornings shift in visual perspective…

Roof detail - flying buttress_Red Ferrari 599GTO_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

Red Ferrari 599GTO_ Black prancing horse logo on rear trunk _ Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

Red Ferrari 599GTO_3/4 side view _ Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

Front hood contours, stripe and ducting_Black Ferrari 599 GTO_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_July 28, 2012

Black Ferrari 599 GTO_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_July 28, 2012Fender & mirror detail_Red Enzo Ferrari_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

Red Enzo Ferrari_3/4 rear view & reflections_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

Red Enzo Ferrari_front nose detail_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

Rear end detail_badging & reflections_Black Porsche 991_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

British Racing Green Jaguar E-type race car_1 of only 16 built_Front headlight & reflections_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

British Racing Green Jaguar E-type race car_1 of only 16_badging&reflections_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012British Racing Green Jaguar E-type race car_1 of only 16 built_cockpit detail_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

White Porsche GT3RS_front fender graphics & reflections_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

White Porsche GT3RS_rear wing & shadows_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

Gray 1953 Fiat 500 Topolino_Interior shot_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

Gray 1953 Fiat 500 Topolino_rear view/license plate & reflections_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012Gray 1953 Fiat 500 Topolino_side view_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

Ivory 1960 Mercedes Benz 300SL roadster_headlight detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_July 28, 2012 Ivory 1960 Mercedes Benz 300SL roadster_rear trunk badging & reflections_Cars &Coffee/Irvine_July 28, 2012

Black Porsche GT3_ Rear end reflections & themed license plate_Cars&Coffee / Irvine_July 28, 2012

Linen colored 1950's vintage Volkswagen_ rear  Split window_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_July 28, 2012

Linen colored 1950's vintage Volkswagen _opened rear deck lid, license plate & Split window_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_July 28, 2012

And if you look closely, you will actually see that each vehicle is truly a sum of its parts…

(All photos by the author)

Three to get ready and Porsches to show…

The last Saturday in April saw a full house at Cars&Coffee/Irvine, in part due to the crisp, clear morning weather that was once again served up but without the threat of rain. And by 7 AM, “Porsche row” was filled entirely by a variety of Stuttgart’s finest.

Porsche row_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28,2012

White Porsche 993 Carrera 4S_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28,2012

White Porsche 911 w/ RGruppe 2012 Treffen magnetic hood graphic_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

Several of the cars were even seen previewing the latest magnetic backed graphic, celebrating an RGruppe event…

Porsche row_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

White Porsche 911 w/Martini hood graphic & Butzi tribute badge sash_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012White Porsche 911 w/Martini hood graphic_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

White 1970 Porsche 911 w/ Martini Stripes & twin plug motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

White 1970 Porsche 911 w/ Martini stripes_rear deck lid_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

Green 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

Tangerine 1970 Porsche 914-6_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

Red RGruppe Porsche 911 & silver Porsche 993 turbo_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

Porsche 356 hucap reflection_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

Red Porsche 996 GT3_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

Over at the “Featured lot” there were a variety of cars on display, and one in particular that stood out from the rest was this beautiful blue Ferrari 275 convertible seen below…

And tucked into the back corner was this stately trio of Jaguars, each having mirror-like paint finishes and brilliant, chrome trim, and all readied for the mornings event.

Dark Green classic Jaguar touring sedan_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

Green Jaguar XK-150 roadster_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28 ,2012

A trio of Jaguars_side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

A trio of Jaguars_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

Located perpendicular to the Jaguars and just one row west, was this beautiful silver Porsche 356A coupe, as seen below.

Silver Porsche 356A coupe_front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

Silver Porsche 356A coupe_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

Silver Porsche 356A coupe_headlight/foglight detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

After admiring the 356, I headed back to the main parking area to see what other cars of interest awaited. And half way up on the second row, was  another Jaguar in black. But in this case the model was an E- Type coupe, and absolutely flawless. The owner had opened up the hood and rear hatch, and as I passed by I noticed a flash of blue color being reflected into the surface of the rear hatch. Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be the reflection from a Mexico blue Porsche 911 parked behind the Jaguar, just one row over…

Black Jaguar E Type coupe _rear hatch w/blur Porsche 911 reflection_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

The next aisle encountered was “Mercedes-Benz row”, and as I have noted in previous posts, is the gathering area each week for a wide variety of Mercedes -Benz vehicles.

Classic Mercedes Benz convertible_grill detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

And parked just several spaces over, was this 1935 Mercedes-Benz 200 Cabriolet A as seen below.

White 1935 Type 200 A Mercedes Benz Cabriolet_front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

This is just one of the many models showcased by the folks from the Mercedes-Benz Classics Center, also located in Irvine. In addition to their Restoration and Parts facility, they also have an automotive museum , so there is always a variety of very interesting cars for them to choose from.

White 1935 Type 200 A Mercedes Benz Cabriolet_Bosch headlight detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

And immediately to the right, was this Silver Mercedes AMG SLS, complete with its gull-wing doors…

Silver Mercedes Benz AMG SLS_front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

Silver Mercedes Benz AMG SLS_grill detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

Silver Mercedes Benz AMG SLS_red&black interior_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 28, 2012

This weekend I will once again be absent from Cars&Coffee, and instead be heading North (by invitation) to participate photographically in a special Porsche event. There are some references placed within this post that will serve as a clue to the event in question. So please stay tuned for my next post, which will recount and reveal this weekends special event…

(All photos by the author)

A Coventry inspired rain, reflections and rainbow colored cars…

This past Saturday morning saw scattered English country like showers pass through the Cars & Coffee parking lot several times in the pre-dawn hours. And how appropriate for christening the local Jaguar Clubs rally participants, all gathered together for a Saturday morning event at Cars&Coffee…

Once again the parking lot to the right of the main entrance was called into action to serve as the venue for a wide variety of Jaguar models,  including an incredible array of XK and E-types roadsters and coupes, all on display as part of the clubs early morning get together.

Green Jaguar E-Type roadster racer_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12In between the episodes of drizzle, the Jaguar owners would break out their chamois or microfiber towels to quickly dry off their cars and the exposed leather interiors…

Green Jaguar E-Type roadster racer_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Dark Green Jaguar XK roadster with black tonneau cover_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

And then there were the Jaguar owners who had the foresight to install their tonneau covers in case of rain…

Green on tan, Jaguar XK coupe_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Green on tan, Jaguar XK coupe_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Green on tan, Jaguar XK coupe_tail light_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Located at the end of the first row of Jaguars was this beautiful black on red, 1956 Jaguar XK 140 MC OTS. The owner even included a biography about the car, posted on his windshield (see below)…

Black on red, 1956 Jaguar XK roadster_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Black on red, 1956 Jaguar XK roadster_grill and hood badge detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Black on red, 1956 Jaguar XK roadster_vehicle biography_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Black on red, 1956 Jaguar XK roadster_Interior shot_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Black on red, 1956 Jaguar XK roadster_rear boot badging_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

And parked just across the aisle, was this amazing pale green on red, Jaguar XK 150 coupe…

Pale green on red, Jaguar XK 150 coupe_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Pale green on red, Jaguar XK 150 coupe__Rear boot_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Pale green on red, Jaguar XK 150 coupe__Rear boot & cast glass lens_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Pale green on red, Jaguar XK 150 coupe__Rear boot badging_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

And then there were the E -type Jaguars; in an assortment of rainbow colors, lined up side by side… dark green, light green, metallic green, yellow, dark blue, red and white.

It was amazing to see so many E -types gathered together in one setting…

Green metallic Jaguar E type coupe_CArs&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Green metallic Jaguar E type coupe_CArs&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Yellow Jaguar XKE on E type row_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Dark blue on linen E type roadster_E Type row_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

And down at the opposite end of the Jaguar E -type row, was this pair of beautiful red and blue XK 150 roadsters…

Red & Blue, Jaguar XK 150 roadsters_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Red Jaguar XK 150 roadster _grill & hood badge_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Red Jaguar XK 150 roadster _Interior_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Blue Jaguar XK 150 roadster _grill & hood badge_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Over on Porsche row, no car had been safe from the rain. These particular Porsches seen below had arrived in the early morning hours, evidenced by the amount of rain drops still clinging to their highly polished exteriors. What I found equally interesting, was the unique water droplet run-off patterns found on each cars roof and hoods…

Orange Porsche 356 coupe_raindrop covered_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Orange Porsche 356 coupe_raindrop covered_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Black Porsche 911S coupe_raindrop covered_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Black Porsche 911S coupe_raindrops & front hood badge_ Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Red, 1987 Porsche 930 turbo_Cars&Coffee_2/11/12

And as I reached the end of the row, I encountered an unexpected surprise; a brand new white, 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S (type 991). This is the first 2012 model that I have seen on the street, since witnessing its debut back in October at Porsches Rennsport Reunion IV…

White 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S (type 991)_side shot_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

White 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S (type 991)_rear shot_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

White 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S (type 991)_passenger side shot_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

White 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S (type 991)_front end_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S (type 991)_headlight detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

I’m still having to get used to this new design and styling, along with the various Panamera influences found about the car. Personally, I’m disappointed that the new 911 (type 991) has lost some of the unique characteristics that over the year have come to define the Porsche 911. Or maybe its just the references to the Panamera, used in context to this new model that I find troubling…

Moving on, my next stop was to the very back row of the parking lot, which on this cold, rainy morning looked like a scene straight from the local Lamborghini dealership. Here sat a rainbow assortment of Lamborghini Gallardos, with a couple Gallardo Superlegerra models squeezed in for good measure…

  Lime green Lamborghini Gallardo and friends_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Yellow Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera and friends_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

White Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera and friends_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

Then just as I finished shooting the Lamborghini’s, it started to drizzle again. Out came the umbrellas (for those with umbrellas), and signaled to me it was time to head back to my car.

On my way back, I came across this bright red Porsche 550 spyder replica below, still dry having escaped the earlier showers. However it didn’t look like it would stay that way for long, as the drizzles intensity began to increase. And with that, the remaining cars on site began to depart, returning to the shelter of their garages, in preparation to do it all over again the following Saturday morning, rain or shine…

 Red Porsche 550 spyder replica_in the rain_CArs&Coffee/Irvine_2/11/12

(all photos by the author)

A new Porsche GT3RS 4.0 sighting, a rare 904 Carrera GTS and more…

Saturday morning dawned cool and clear as I made my way into the Cars&Coffee parking lot. After parking and then consuming my weekly donut and hot chocolate, I made my way back to my car to grab my camera and head out into the parking lot in search of my first subject for the morning. Ironically, my first car turned out to be the one parked right behind me, one row over.

Even under the cover of darkness, it had already collected a crowd. At first glance, it looked to be a stock, silver Jaguar 4.2 liter E-type.  However, after walking around the car several times, it became apparent that the body lines and contours were somehow different.  As the crowd thinned, I moved in for a closer look. And with its hood opened, I could see that there were a number on non-Jaguar components present. Several large diameter pipes appeared to be plumbing for a turbocharger with some additional, braided stainless steel injection lines thrown in for good measure. After asking the owner where he had hidden the turbocharger, I was informed that the motor was instead supercharged, and also included a Nitrous Oxide (NOS) system.

Supercharged Jaguar E-Type motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

The owner then shared with me the extensive body modifications he had made to the car (chopped, channeled and sectioned body), to render the altered proportions, yet still retain the basic contours of the E -Type body. He even went as far as widening the rear end to accommodate wider wheels to handle the additional horsepower. Inside, his modifications included the addition of a roll cage, sport seats, and a fuel cell, with a dry-break system, accessed through a fuel filler which had been moved from the top of the rear fender to the rear deck lid, just below the window.

Supercharged, silver Jaguar E-Type coupe_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

When viewed from the rear, it soon became obvious how extensive the rear fenders had been widened over the stock profile.

Supercharged, silver Jaguar E-Type coupe_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

For comparison, below is a stock 4.2 liter Jaguar E-type…

Green Jaguar E-type 4.2_Cars&Coffee/Irvine

My next destination was Porsche row. As I waded through the various models, studying each car, the details unique to each and looking at reflections,  I noticed what appeared to be a black GT3 RS parked next to a red Porsche 356 coupe. However, the front end had the unmistakable nose dive plane, and accent stripe framing the front corner air intake. As I made my way to the rear of the car, my suspicions were confirmed; there placed in the center of the rear deck was the telltale RS 4.0 graphic. I was now gazing at my sixth GT3 RS 4.0, and the encounter begged for documentation. However, with my very first shot, the flash revealed yet another surprise; the car was not black, but instead a dark blue…

2011 Blue GT3 RS4.0_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12Now I was once again faced with the challenge of searching out the owner, in order to ask my favorite Porsche GT3 RS4.0 spotters question:  What series production number is your car (from the total production of 600 cars worldwide)?

2011 Blue GT3 RS4.0 & red Porsche 356 coupe_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

And as the sun came up, it illuminated the way for even more Porsches…

Gray & red Porsche 356 coupe_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Black Porsche 997 GT3RS and yellow Porsche 996 GT3_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Porsche 911S targa_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Porsche 911S targa_w/fitted luggage_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Short wheelbase Porsche 911 GT_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12Located down towards the end of Porsche row and one aisle over, was this stunning yellow Ferrari 458 Italia. I later found out from a friend of the owner, that this car had just recently been repainted, transformed from black to this now vibrant yellow. The paint finish was absolutely perfect; elevated even above that of a factory finish…

Yellow Ferrari 458 Italia_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Yellow Ferrari 458 Italia_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Yellow Ferrari 458 Italia_tinted headlight lens_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Yellow Ferrari 458 Italia_rear fender detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Yellow Ferrari 458 Italia_rear wheel & brake caliper_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Yellow Ferrari 458 Italia_rear end shot_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Yellow Ferrari 458 Italia_tail light detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Yellow Ferrari 458 Italia_motor thru rear window_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Yellow Ferrari 458 Italia_prancing horse logo_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

After leaving the Ferrari, I headed over to a bright red Corvette that had caught my eye. And as it turned out, it was of my favorite models; a 1963 split window coupe, and in beautiful condition. Another classic Corvette that looked like it just rolled out of a Chevrolet dealer’s showroom circa 1963…

Red 1963 Corvette split window coupe_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Red 1963 Corvette split window coupe_327 motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Red 1963 Corvette split window coupe_rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Red 1963 Corvette split window coupe_rear taillights & sting ray badge_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

After finishing with the Corvette, I headed off into the parking lot in search of a friend’s car (with a brand new turbo motor), but no sign of his car.  I did however come across this beautiful black, 1964 Ferrari 250 Lusso. Here was the car, easily worth a high six figures sum, casually tucked in between a mid sixties Ford mustang convertible and a 4 wheel drive truck…

Black Ferrari 250GT Lusso_reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Black Ferrari 250GT Lusso_reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Black Ferrari 250GT Lusso_fender reflection_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Now it was time to head back to Porsche row and the Blue Porsche GT3 RS4.0, to see if I could find out some information regarding the car…

Dark blue 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Within a few minutes, I learned that the car belonged to photographer and Porsche racer Jeff Zwart.  And with a crowd of fellow Porsche owners gathered around, all asking questions, Jeff was kind enough to share his insights and details regarding his latest aquisition. It turns out that his car was a special order, and that the color was based upon a “sample to match” that Jeff had provided. (Those in the crowd familiar with older Porsche color palettes thought that the color was very close to either a Bali or Azure Blue).  He had also specified the car as a “graphic delete”, eliminating the 4.0 striping across the hood, along the sides, and across the top surface of the rear wing. He said what he was after was an understated,  stealth appearance, which he definitely achieved…

While there was a brief lull in the question /answer session, I was able to go over and talk with Jeff and share with him my interest in the GT3 RS4.0, and ask him the question I had  wondered about all morning; what is the series number of your car? I was rewarded with his response; #461 out of 600. I then told him that his car was my sixth sighting of a GT3 RS4.0 since October’s Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV.  Now only 594 remaining…

Dark blue 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_headlight detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Dark blue 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Dark blue 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Dark blue 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Dark blue 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_rear wing & reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Dark blue 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_ reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Dark blue 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_ wheel & brake detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Dark blue 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_ front hood reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Dark blue 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_ headlight reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Dark blue 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_ reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Throughout the morning, there had also been rumors circulating about several Porsche 904’s being on site; one silver and one blue. Scanning the remaining cars parked throughout the lot, I caught a glimpse of a blue roof and windshield that I recognized as belonging to a Porsche 904. So off I went in the direction of the blue roof, and once I had a clear view, I immediately recognized the car as “Butzi S”; a 1964 Porsche 904 GTS with a very significant place in Porsche history…

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 GTS_#904-002Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

According to the owner, this particular car is serial # 904-002, and is one of the earliest pre-production 904 models built by Porsche. And in keeping with the license plate theme, “Butzi S” is an acknowledgement of  its original owner (Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche), the eldest son of Dr. Porsche, and the designer responsible for creating both the Porsche 904 and he iconic 911. In addition to the car having been in the possession of its creator, it also benefitted from some very special modifications made by the factory, and not found on later models.

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 GTS_#904-002_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

From the outside, one of the most notable changes is that this car wears shortened doors; half height doors that stop at the top of the dark blue rocker panel. The standard production 904 doors extended well into the lower rocker panel area, stopping just short of the bottom.  Rumor has it that the shorter doors were designed to allow for urban use;  if parked curbside, the  short doors could be opened without striking the curb, allowing for unrestricted egress.

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 GTS_#904-002_rear grill shadow_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 GTS_#904-002_rear fender badging_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 GTS_#904-002_rear shot_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 GTS_#904-002_rear grill & roof shot_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 GTS_#904-002_door & interior shot_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Another unique feature to this car was the inclusion of the full, blue leather interior instead of the standard blue velour upholstery found in other 904 models. Also unique is the leather wrapped three pod gauge cluster, which included the addition of a single, custom triple function gauge to compliment the existing tachometer and speedometer.

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 GTS_ #904-002_917 steering wheel & dash shot_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

And in regards to the steering wheel, I was told by the owner that this was in fact a period correct Porsche 917 race wheel…

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 GTS_ #904-002_side mirror reflection_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 GTS_ #904-002_front shot_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 GTS_ #904-002_headlight & fender detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_2/4/12

What an amazing way to finish off the morning, experiencing one of Porsches iconic models from the 1960’s, contrasted against their icon of the 2011 model year, the GT3 RS4.0.  And for 2012, it will be very interesting to watch the development of the new Porsche type 991, as it strives to establish itself within the Porsche family tree…

(All photos by the author)

A cornucopia of cool cars that is Cars&Coffee / Irvine…

Webster’s dictionary defines cornucopia as “an inexhaustible store”: ABUNDANCE. This is a perfect description of what Cars & Coffee is each week; an inexhaustible store of very cool cars. From week to week, one never knows what make or model of car might appear.

And this past weekend was no exception. One gentleman even drove his Porsche 917; a recreation of the 1970, red and white Le Mans winning Porsche Salzburg 917 short-tail. The only noticeable absence was the 4.5 liter, flat 12 cylinder motor. However, in its place was a potent flat 6 Porsche power plant, based upon the growl of its exhaust note…

Porsche Salzburg 917 short tail recreation_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Porsche Salzburg 917 short tail recreation_headlights_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Porsche Salzburg 917 short tail recreation_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Porsche Salzburg 917 short tail recreation_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Porsche Salzburg 917 short tail recreation_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

 Representing two rival Italian manufacturers on Saturday morning were these stunning cars parked nose to tail; an aubergine colored Ferrari California, and a brand new black on black, Lamborghini Aventador…

Ferrari California_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Ferrari California_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Ferrari California_Interior_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Ferrari California_Tail light_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Ferrari California_Tail light_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

gloss black Lamborghini Aventador_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

gloss black Lamborghini Aventador_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

gloss black Lamborghini Aventador_Interior_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

The Lamborghini Aventador has to be one of the most visually stunning cars on the road today. In gloss black, and when combined with the contours, line and facets of the body, the Aventador could easily pass as a ground based stealth fighter, developed as a spin-off and befitting of military technology. The lighting further accentuated the multi faceted body panels, which made that car appear to have stripes…

gloss black Lamborghini Aventador_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

gloss black Lamborghini Aventador_rear glass louvers_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

And tucked in below the louvered rear glass window and beneath the diagonal chassis cross bracing is the Aventador’s V-12 motor, along with the rear suspensions exposed, transverse mounted shock absorbers with their bright yellow coil springs visible across the back…

gloss black Lamborghini Aventador_V12 motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

gloss black Lamborghini Aventador_rear wheel_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

gloss black Lamborghini Aventador_Interior_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

gloss black Lamborghini Aventador_Reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

gloss black Lamborghini Aventador_Reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

And then out of nowhere, this vintage Ferrari roadster appeared, obviously undergoing a restoration, yet still being driven and enjoyed…

Vintage ferrari roadster_hot lapping the parking lot_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Vintage ferrari roadster_under restoration_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Vintage ferrari roadster_under restoration_ hood emblem_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Vintage ferrari roadster under restoration_12 cylinder motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Vintage ferrari roadster under restoration_cockpit_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12 Representing the long hood Porsche 911’s was this beautifully prepared, early 1973 911E coupe…

Early 1973 Porsche 911E_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Early 1973 Porsche 911E_w/euro spec lights & lenses_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

The silver car seen below is a 1960 Beutler-Porsche; a very rare model according to the owner and his wife, and one of only five produced. As the license plate frame states: A  2+2 Porsche 356, complete with standard sized rear seats, instead of the smaller rear jump seats normally associated with a Porsche 356 coupe. After returning home and doing some research, I learned that the Beutlers were actually two brothers from Thun, Switzerland, with a common desire to create a 4 seater Porsche. So in 1958, they purchased a new 356B and began making modifications to the chassis, in order to lengthen its wheelbase, which would allow sufficient room for a full size rear seat. Once completed, the car was shown at the Geneva auto show in 1959. However, due to limited interest, their first attempt was considered unsuccessful, and the car became a one-off.  However, they did try a second time, and with some simple restyling (specifically to the rear fenders), were successful in creating the Beutler-Porsche model as seen below.

silver 1960 Beutler-Porsche_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

silver 1960 Beutler -Porsche_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

silver 1960 Beutler-Porsche_Interior w/356 dash_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

silver 1960 Beutler -Porsche_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

And parked several rows over from the silver Beutler-Porsche was this pair of Grand Prix white, Porsche 997 GT3’s, with the model in the foreground configured for serious competition…

white Porsche 997 GT3's_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

white Porsche 997 GT3_hood crest_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

white Porsche 997 GT3_BBS race wheel_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Representing the English manufacturers this week were a pair of British racing green, Jaguar 4.2 liter E-Types; one roadster and one coupe.

British Racing Green Jaguar 4.2 E type roadster_Interior_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

British Racing Green Jaguar 4.2 E type roadster_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

British Racing Green Jaguar 4.2 E type coupe_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

British Racing Green Jaguar 4.2 E type coupe_wheel shadow_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

The hood with badging and emblem seen below, all belong to a beautiful, creamy white Jaguar XK 150 coupe, which was parked just two cars over from the green E-type coupe…

white Jaguar XK 150_hood emblem_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

And representing Volkswagen type 2 transporters was this restored 1967 yellow dual cab, complete with a black canvas bed cover …

Yellow 1967 VW type 2 crew cab_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Yellow 1967 VW type 2 crew cab_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Yellow 1967 VW type 2 crew cab_motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Located just several cars over and to the drivers right from the yellow VW crew cab, were these two stunning Mercedes-Benz models; a red,1955 300SL Gullwing, and a black 190 SL roadster, each capturing reflections from one another…

Black Mercedes Benz 190 SL & Red 1955 MBZ 300 SL gullwing_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Red 1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL gullwing_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Chrome knock-off wheel_1955 Red Mercedes Benz 300SL gullwing_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Black Mercedes Benz 190SL with red 300 SL gullwing reflection in side_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

And last but not least was this beautiful red and white, 1959 BMW Isetta 600 in showroom condition. According to the owner, this model is even more unique and rare than the standard BMW Isetta, due to its 2+2 configuration, and which includes a side door for accessing the rear seat. Power is from a two-cylinder, 582 cc motor, and the car rolls on a set of 4.80 X 10″ tires. Ironically, the owner (who stands at least  6′-4″), was able to climb in, close the front hinged door, and drive off to enjoy the rest of the warm, sunny Saturday morning…

Red & white BMW Isetta 600_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Red & white BMW Isetta 600_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Red & white BMW Isetta 600_ 2 cylinder, 582cc motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Red & white BMW Isetta 600_ side air intake with logo_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Red & white BMW Isetta 600_ front end opened up_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Red & white BMW Isetta 600_ front end opened up_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

Red & white BMW Isetta 600_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/28/12

(All photos by the author)

A unique automotive offspring, a Goggomobile, car badging, Porsches and more…

What would you call the offspring of a Ford Mustang fastback and a Lamborghini Gallardo?  A Forghini, or maybe Lambostang?  The answer is neither one, as the badging on said offspring at Cars&Coffee on Saturday morning read “Tractorri”.


Visually, the car appeared to be a lowered, customized Ford Mustang fastback, however upon closer inspection, it became apparent that the low profile wheels, tires and running gear had been sourced from a Lamborghini Gallardo. And looking beneath the opened rear hatch revealed another surprise; the heart and soul of a Lamborghini Gallardo – a  mid – chassis mounted, Lamborghini V-10 power plant.  And keeping in character, positioned along the rear flanks, and located just behind each door, were truly functional air intakes.


And located out back, a set of Lamborghini Gallardo tail lights and a vertical, rear mesh grill had both been seamlessly integrated into the Lamborghini contoured rear fenders and bumper.


Inside, the cockpit was a lift right out of a Gallardo, correct right down to its black leather dash, door panels and seats, all with the contrasting stitching.


With the front hood opened, yet another surprise was revealed…a relatively empty front “engine” compartment, with the exception of the strut bar, cockpit ventilation / blower assembly, anti-lock brake system and a painted and striped sheet metal shroud (all located where the Mustang power plant and radiator would normally reside).

Tractorri__w/ front hood opened_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

For the rest of the morning, this car was surrounded by a crowd that was at least 3-4 people deep, which made getting additional photos of the car difficult. (These photos of the Tractorri were taken at 6:30 AM while still under the cover of darkness, and before the arrival of the crowds).

Talk about a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And what about that name…

Was this perhaps an obscure reference made by the builder of this car, as a tribute to Ferruccio Lamborghini’s business interests prior to the building his automotive empire?

(For those of you unfamiliar with Lamborghini history, Ferruccio Lamborghini was the premier manufacturer of tractors in all of Italy, prior to his start as a manufacturer of exotic sports cars).


The Porsche community was once again represented by a diverse cross-section of models, color and vintage…

Porsche row_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Black Porsche 930 turbo_w/reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Black Porsche 930 turbo_w/reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

1972 Grand prix White Porsche 911 GT_Rgruppe award winner_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Porsche 911GT & 911's_Porsche row_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Porsche 911GT_ driving light w/ reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Blue Porsche 911_Rgruppe_Porsche row_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Speed yellow Porsche 996 GT3_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Speed yellow Porsche 996 GT3_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

My next stop was to check out the British imports assembled. I started by checking out  this nice black on black Triumph TR3, identical to the one my dad owned when I was 5 years old.

Black on black Triumph TR3_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

I then came across a trio of Austin Healey roadsters, each one a different model representing the 3000 series. From left to right, a red, 3000 Mark II series, in the middle, a green 3000 Mark III series, and on the right, a red 3000 from the original series.

A trio of Austin Healeys_MarkII, Mark III, original_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Austin Healey 3000_chromed wire wheel_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Red Austin Healey 3000_grill badges and lights_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

British racing green Austin Healey 3000 MK III_front end w /grill badges_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

A few row over from the Healeys, was this stately Jaguar sedan…

Black 3 1/2 liter Jaguar sedan_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Black 3 1/2 liter Jaguar sedan_radiator cap emblem_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Black 3 1/2 liter Jaguar sedan_grill badging_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

And another couple of rows over was this amazing Rolls Royce…

Black Rolls Royce_radiator cap emblem w/ Healey reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Black Rolls Royce_radiator cap emblem w/ reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Black Rolls Royce_w/Audi TT reflection_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Another interesting aspect of this show for me is the ability to focus in on just details, whether it be unique wheels, hood ornaments, badging or reflections…Deutsch-Bonnet_split rim and cast hub_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Volvo 1800 C pillar badge_CArs&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Black 1957 Corvette roadster_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

1956 Mercedes Benz 300S coupe_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Buick Special coupe_hood emblem_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Buick Special coupe_fender emblem_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

"McLaren Silver" McLaren MP4-12C _rear deck emblem_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Out towards the back rows of the parking lot, I came across this pair of McLaren MP4-12C’s. The “McLaren Silver” MP4-12C model below is the first example I have seen with the “Stealth” finished wheels…

"McLaren Silver" McLaren MP4-12C_w/"Stealth" finish wheels_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

"McLaren Silver" McLaren MP4-12C_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

This Volcano Orange MP4-12C is apparently a demo model from the local McLaren dealership located in Newport Beach, and has become a frequent visitor to the show.

Volcano Orange McLaren MP4-12C_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

As the parking lot began to thin out, a tiny red and white car was revealed. The badging identified it as a 1958 TS 400 Goggomobile; a rear engined, rear wheel drive “Micro car” complete with suicide doors…

1958 Red & white Goggomobile_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

1958 Red & white Goggomobile_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

1958 Red & white Goggomobile_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

1958 Red & white Goggomobile_front hood badge_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

1958 Red & white Goggomobile_w/open suicide door_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

The rumor was that the car was powered by hamsters, as evidenced by the little guy caught resting and still in his wheel, tucked in behind the driver’s seat…

1958 Red & white Goggomobile_w/ hamster_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

1958 Red & white Goggomobile_trunk badging_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

1958 Red & white Goggomobile_trunk badging_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Red & white Goggomobile_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

However, in reality the car is powered by a 400 cc, 2 cylinder motor, good for a whopping 20 horsepower.

Another facet of this event is the opportunity to observe and attempt to decipher a multitude of personalized license plates attached to a broad range of vehicles. Some can be very challenging, whereas others are pretty basic. They also appear to reflect the passion found throughout the Southern California car culture. The following are just a few recent observations…

Green Isuzu Vehi-Cross_w/personalized plate_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Green Isuzu Vehi-Cross_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Green Isuzu Vehi-Cross__w/personalized plate_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Speed yellow Porsche 996 GT3_w/personalized plate_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Orange Porsche GT3RS_w/personalized plate_Cars&Coffe/Irvine_1/7/12

Silver 2000 Audi TT quattro_w/personalized plate_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

Black Audi R8_w/personalized plate_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/7/12

(All photos by the author)