The Heartbeat of America and the quest to Find New Roads…

“Find New Roads” is the latest slogan from Chevrolet, as part of their marketing campaign  for 2013. And that’s exactly what a handful of 2014 C7 Corvette Stingrays did on Saturday, November 2.

Since the end of August, those in attendance at cars&coffee/Irvine have been treated to random, up close viewings of the brand new C7 Corvette, and on the morning of November 2, all present were treated to the largest gathering of 2014 Corvette Stingrays to date, and in previously unseen colors.

First up was this 2014 C7 coupe in Blade Silver, as seen below.

2014 Blade Silver Corvette Sting Ray_3/4 front view_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

A shock of color; the black interior accented by a pair of red seats, center console panels and door trim…

2014 Blade Silver Corvette Sting Ray_Interior view w/ red seats_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

2014 Blade Silver Corvette Sting Ray_3/4 rear view_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

2014 Blade Silver Corvette Sting Ray_ rear view_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

Next in line was this beautiful black on black, 2014 Corvette coupe.

2014 Black on black Corvette Sting Ray_ front view with reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

For 2014 the real thing; a front hood with louvers that are fully functional.

2014 Black on black Corvette Sting Ray_ front hood vents and reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

Polarized light captured and refracted within the top of the headlight lens (below).

2014 Black on black Corvette Sting Ray_ polarized light refractions visible on the headlight lens_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

2014 Black on black Corvette Sting Ray_ 3/4 rear view_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

2014 Black on black Corvette Sting Ray_ Velocity Yellow 2014 Corvette reflected in side door_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

The last of the trio of brand news Corvettes was this eye-popping, Velocity Yellow Stingray coupe.

2014 Velocity Yellow Corvette Sting Ray_ rear view_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

2014 Velocity Yellow Corvette Sting Ray_ 3/4 rear view_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

The new Stingray badge, found on the front fenders, positioned just behind each diagonal vent (see above and below).

2014 Velocity Yellow Corvette Sting Ray_ front fender sting ray badge_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

Ironically, parked a short distance away from this trio, was another 2014 Corvette Stingray. This particular C7 was wrapped in Torch red, and equipped with the Z-51 performance package. Included in this package are 19″ front and 20″ rear, 5 – split spoke wheels, which on this car had been finished in black (one of only three finishes available from Chevrolet), all wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport ZP rubber.

2014 Torch red Corvette Sting Ray_ 3/4 side view_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

Another example of the optional, two-toned interiors available.

2014 Torch red Corvette Sting Ray_ two tone interior view_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

The owners tribute to Chief Engineer and the recognized godfather of the Corvette: Zora Arkus-Duntov.

2014 Torch red Corvette Sting Ray_ rear view with reflections and ZORA NO1 license plate_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

DSC_00722014 Torch red Corvette Sting Ray_ rear view with reflections and raised front hood_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

The 6.2 liter, 460 horsepower LT1, complete with an extensive list of the Z51 Performance package whistles and bells, including dry sump lubrication.

2014 Torch red Corvette Sting Ray_ view of LT1 motor_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

Holding to the mornings Corvette theme, and parked across the row from the trio of 2014 Corvettes, was an early sibling in the form of a 1963 Corvette Sting Ray Split Window coupe. Dressed in Sebring Silver and sporting an early fuel injected motor.

1963 Sebring silver Corvette Sting Ray split window coupe_ 3/4 rear view_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

The trendsetting interior, circa 1963…

1963 Sebring silver Corvette Sting Ray split window coupe_ interior view_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

and state of the art, Corvette fuel injected motor from 1963 as seen below.

1963 Sebring silver Corvette Sting Ray split window coupe_ fuel injected motor_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

Another of the classic details found on the 1963 Sting Ray; faux, front hood louvers.

1963 Sebring silver Corvette Sting Ray split window coupe_ front hood reflections and faux hood grills_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

The source of inspiration for the 2014 C7 front fender vents?

1963 Sebring silver Corvette Sting Ray split window coupe_ front fender with inset details_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

The unmistakable lines of the 1963 Corvette, Split window coupe.

1963 Sebring silver Corvette Sting Ray split window coupe_ 3/4 rear view,passenger side_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

1963 Sebring silver Corvette Sting Ray split window coupe_ rear fender badge and reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

Continuing the Chevrolet theme for the morning, was this beautiful example of a Tri-5 Bel-Air coupe. And parked in close proximity, was a custom Harley-Davidson motorcycle with styling and design inspiration taken directly from the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air.

Red Tri-5 Chevrolet Bel Air and 1957 Bel Air inspired Harley Davidson motorcycle__side & rear views_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

Red & white,1957 Chevrolet Bel Air inspired Harley Davidson motorcycle__show sign_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

I was surprised to learn that this custom-built Harley Davidson with Bel Air overlay, and parked before me had been built in Europe, by the company Luporacing (based in France). For information about Luporacing, or to view the progress /build photos of this motorcycle (“HD Bel Air”), please refer to the following link (for luporacing.com).

Red & cream,1957 Chevrolet Bel Air inspired Harley Davidson motorcycle__rear view, motorcycle and car_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

Red & cream,1957 Chevrolet Bel Air inspired Harley Davidson motorcycle__side view_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

Red & cream,1957 Chevrolet Bel Air inspired Harley Davidson motorcycle__side view and motor reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

Red & cream,1957 Chevrolet Bel Air inspired Harley Davidson motorcycle__close up motor reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_November 2, 2013

So taking a cue from Chevrolet, and regardless of whether you ride a motorcycle or drive a car, a challenge has been made: “Find New Roads”. I suspect that the owners of the 2014 Corvettes identified above are already way ahead of the rest of us…

(All photos by the author)

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Living in the past…

This past Saturday was one of those mornings that felt like I was living in the past. It was bursting at the seams with nostalgia, especially for fans of automotive classics. Where else could you experience multiple examples of BMW’s rare, 1970s classic coupe (specifically the 3.0 CSI model), or two pristine 1967 Corvette Sting Rays parked side by side, in both coupe and convertible variants. And where else could you discover a rare example of Porsches 964 Turbo (in this case a stunning example of the limited production model / one year only variant; the 1993-94 3.6 liter Turbo).

When it comes to BMW’s, one of my favorite models is the E9 series, 3.0 CSI produced from 1971 through 1975. I remember becoming aware of this particular model back in 1972; a classmate in high school was driven to school one day by his dad, who just happened to own a red with black interior, 1972 CS. Seeing that car in person for the first time made a huge aesthetic impact on me. I was immediately impressed by its proportions, details and stance. And to this day, every time I see one I’m taken back to my initial encounter back in 1972.

So on this very morning, imagine my surprise when I encountered not one but three examples of the E9 BMW 3.0 (two in the CS form and one CSI model).

A pair of E9 BMW 3.0 CS models_3/4 rear view_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

A pair of E9 BMW 3.0 CS models_3/4 front view_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

Fjord blue BMW 3.8 CSI model_ front hood lighting & reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

Fjord blue BMW 3.8 CSI model_ 3/4 front  with grill & reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

Fjord blue BMW 3.8 CSI model_ headlights and grill detail w/reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

E9 BMW 3.0 CS models_ 3/4 front end shot_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

Fjord Blue BMW 3.8 CSI model_  front wheel detail_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

And as noted by the rear badging and license plate, this particular car has undergone an owner upgrade to its motor in the form of a displacement increase; a bump up from the original stock 3.0 to 3.8 liters…

Fjord Blue BMW 3.8 CSI model_ rear view_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

while its neighbor retained its stock 3.0 liter CS motor.

Malaga / Burgundy BMW 3.0 CS model_ rear view_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

The third coupe (also a CS 3.0) ironically was parked just across the aisle from the first two, dressed in black.

Black BMW 3.0 CS model_ 3/4 front view_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

Black BMW 3.0 CSI model_ interior  view_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

The classic, purpose-built 3.0 CS coupe interior, complete with tan leather interior, wooden trim and wood rimmed Nardi steering wheel, as seen above.

Over at the featured lot I experienced another example of living in the past. In this case, two cars fresh from 1967; a pair of 427 Corvette Sting Rays parked side by side. The coupe in Marlboro Maroon with a black stinger hood, and the roadster in Tuxedo Black with a white stinger hood.

Marlboro Maroon 1967 427 Corvette Sting Ray coupe_3/4 front view_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

Marlboro Maroon 1967 427 Corvette Sting Ray coupe_rear fender reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

Marlboro Maroon 1967 427 Corvette Sting Ray coupe_rear fender badge & reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

The beautifully restored Tuxedo Black, 1967 427 Corvette Sting Ray roadster.

Tuxedo black 1967 427 Corvette Sting Ray roadster_3/4 front view & reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

1967 427 Corvette Sting Ray roadster_close up front view, white stinger & reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

1967 427 Corvette Sting Ray roadster_front view, white stinger & reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

1967 427 Corvette Sting Ray roadster_rear view & reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

A showroom fresh interior (below).

1967 427 Corvette Sting Ray roadster_interior shot_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

1967 427 Corvette Sting Ray roadster_wheel detail and red striped tire_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

The spotless, period correct 1967 Corvette wheels, wrapped in a set of red striped tires (above).

Upon my return to Porsche row, I found this beautiful Silver Porsche 964 Turbo parked all alone. Upon closer inspection, I realized this car was far from the stock turbo model. The Speedline wheels and the badge residing on the rear deck lid confirmed that this was in fact one of the limited production, 3.6 liter models, and was fit with a competition rear wing sourced from Porsche’s 3.8 964 RS model.

Silver 1993-94 Porsche 964 Turbo 3.6_side view_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

Silver 1993-94 Porsche 964 Turbo 3.6_3/4 rear view_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

Silver 1993-94 Porsche 964 Turbo 3.6_RS 3.8 rear wing detail_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

Silver 1993-94 Porsche 964 Turbo 3.6_rear deck badging_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

Silver 1993-94 Porsche 964 Turbo 3.6_Speedline wheel detail/front 8J X18_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

The custom-built, 3 piece modular wheels from Speedline unique to the 3.6 Turbo; sized 8J x !8  up front, and 10J X 18 out back.

Silver 1993-94 Porsche 964 Turbo 3.6_headlight, fender & hood reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

Silver 1993-94 Porsche 964 Turbo 3.6_3/4 side view_cars&coffee/irvine_10/05/13

What brings me back to this event week after week is the ability to reconnect with automotive memories forged in the past, by simply seeing a particular make or model of car. And in talking with the other participants, this seems to be a common thread that we all share; a brief moment for living in the past.

(All photos by the author)

What’s blue or black and wears a split window out back?

What color is that? Prior to the sun coming up, by all accounts it appeared to be black. However as the sun began to rise, there was a faint glint of blue that could be perceived. Or was it just the early morning sky reflecting off of the pristine bodywork?

Depending on the model year, if this had been 1951, the vehicle in question could have been be a split window Volkswagen Beetle (as seen below).

Blue 1951 split window Volkswagen  Beetle_ Rear window detail_Cars&Coffee_9/07/13

However, in this case the subject just happened to be a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray, a.k.a. the split window coupe. A unique design feature available for only one year, and it just happens to be one of my all time favorite Corvettes.

So with the sun finally coming up, i could clearly see that this 1963 Sting Ray was in fact Daytona Blue and not the alternative, which in 1963 would have been Tuxedo Black. So now it was time to get serious and record my chance encounter with this stunning split window coupe…

Daytona Blue 1963 Corvette Split window coupe_3/4 side view_Cars&Coffee_9/07/13

Daytona Blue 1963 Corvette Split window coupe_front view_Cars&Coffee_9/07/13

These very cool knock-off wheels were offered as an option (P 48) for 1963. However, after doing some research, I learned that back in 1963 Chevrolet did not deliver any of their optional, knock off wheels on the Corvette, due to quality issues. So I suspect that these wheels were likely sourced from a later model Corvette.

Daytona Blue 1963 Corvette Split window coupe_front wheel detail_Cars&Coffee_9/07/13

Daytona Blue 1963 Corvette Split window coupe_side view_Cars&Coffee_9/07/13

Daytona Blue 1963 Corvette Split window coupe_rear view & reflections_Cars&Coffee_9/07/13

The classic 1963 Sting Ray contours; split rear windows and the raised, central spine detail that bisects the roof and continues down the back of the car, all blending seamlessly into the rear bodywork.

Daytona Blue 1963 Corvette Split window coupe_split window, roof detail & reflections_Cars&Coffee_9/07/13

Daytona Blue 1963 Corvette Split window coupe_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee_9/07/13

A stepping stone in the evolution of Corvette interiors, circa 1963. Design elements found in the 1963 interior continued to evolve, and their influences can still be found in Chevrolet’s latest offering for 2014, in their new Corvette Stingray.

Daytona Blue 1963 Corvette Split window coupe_dash & interior detail_Cars&Coffee_9/07/13

Front hood reflections and the unique, dual faux grills.

Daytona Blue 1963 Corvette Split window coupe_front hood detail and reflections_Cars&Coffee_9/07/13

Daytona Blue 1963 Corvette Split window coupe_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_9/07/13

As cool as the 2014 Corvette Stingray is, when all is said and done, it’s going to be hard to beat an original, and especially a 1963 split window.

(All photos by the author)

A last look at the final Cars&Coffee / Irvine show for 2012…

December was a difficult month for Cars&Coffee/Irvine, given the rainy Saturdays mornings that carried over from the end of November and into the first several weeks of December. Fortunately, for the last two weeks, the weather has cooperated and the event has been rain free. However, along with the arrival of winter to Southern California, came cold and brisk Saturday mornings as those experienced over the past two weeks; perfect for dusting off those racing jackets and for the consumption of the events namesake beverage, Coffee…

The final Cars&Coffee event for 2012 stayed true to form, and delivered up another cool morning with scattered gray clouds, but without rain. Porsche row was well represented and filled up quickly with some amazing cars.

Porsche Row_Early 911s and a 1966  906 Carrera_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0518

The clear weather also brought out another frequent visitor to the show; the white 1966 Porsche 906 Carrera as seen below.

White 1966 Porsche 906 race car_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0524

White 1966 Porsche 906 race car_3/4 rear view, right side_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0520White 1966 Porsche 906 race car_ rear quarter and window louver detail _Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0574The owner was kind enough to open the rear deck, revealing the period correct, F.I.A. spec 2.0 liter boxer six race motor.

White 1966 Porsche 906 race car_ 2.0 liter, boxer six race motor detail _Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012DSC_0530White 1966 Porsche 906 race car_ front fender mounted, right side Talbot racing mirror with reflections _Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0580 White 1966 Porsche 906 race car_ front view _Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0535

White 1966 Porsche 906 race car_ drivers side, front fender mounted Talbot racing mirror with reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012DSC_0585

White 1966 Porsche 906 race car_ Participant badging from Vintage car racing events_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0655 White 1966 Porsche 906 race car_ flanked by 2 Porsche 911 RGruppe vehicles_white 1972 911 GT and red 1966 911R racer_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0525Porsche row_with orange 914-6 in foreground_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0567

Parked over at the featured lot was this white 2011 Porsche GT3RS, with its tinted windows reflecting the approaching gray cloud banks…

White with red accents, 2010 Porsche 911 GT3RS_3/4 side view with reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0555

 Porsche 911 GT3RS_rear view with wing reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0558

A black, 1957 Corvette roadster, reflecting on its surroundings…

Black 1957 Corvette roadster_side reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0554

Parked across from Porsche row, was this like-new, low mileage Red 1989 Porsche Speedster, for sale and on display by the firm AutoKennel.

Red 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0587Red 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster_3/4 right side rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0591Another frequent visitor to  Cars&Coffee is this beautiful silver, 1963 Corvette split window coupe, complete with fuel injected motor.

Silver 1963 split window Corvette coupe_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0559

Silver 1963 split window Corvette coupe_engine detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0562

Another marque represented in large numbers that morning was Lotus, which included several examples of the new Evora coupe.

Solar Yellow 2012 Lotus Evora coupe_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0611

Solar Yellow 2012 Lotus Evora coupe_rear wing detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0613

Solar Yellow 2012 Lotus Evora coupe_rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0615

And located out on the very back row of the parking lot representing Audi, was this brand new 2012 R8, V10 Spyder, in Teak brown metallic.

2012 Teak Brown metallic Audi R8 V10 Spyder_top down, 3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0636

2012 Teak Brown metallic Audi R8 V10 Spyder_rear view, rear deck reflections_Cars&Coffee/irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0640

Teak Brown metallic Audi R8 V10 Spyder_Luxor beige, drivers side interior detail_Cars&Coffee/irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0642

Back on Porsche row, I had returned just in time for a brief conversation with Magnus Walker, just prior to his getting ready to leave. I wanted to ask him about the status of his latest creation, his 1972 911 STR 002, that I had been reading about on his website. He shared with me that the car was still undergoing its final shake down, fine tuning and detailing, but once the work was complete, he would return to Cars&Coffee to display his latest project. He then reached over to his passenger seat, grabbed several Urban Outlaw stickers and gave them to me, then wished me a Happy New Years, fired up his 911 and drove away.

Magnus Walker 1971 Porsche 911 race car_side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_December 29, 2012_DSC_0656

Shortly after his departure and my grabbing this shot, the gray clouds that had been present all morning grew even darker, and a light drizzle began to fall. Reading this as a sign, I headed back to my car, and packed up my gear to return home. By the time I reached Anaheim on the northbound 5 freeway, the spotty drizzle had turned into full-blown rain, which continued for the rest of my trip home.

Ironically, I checked out the Magnus Walker website on Sunday the 30th and found the following post (Sunday December 30, 2012, “Hoosier in the rain”), recounting his sketchy return trip home from Cars&Coffee in the rain, which can be accessed via the following link.

This marks my last blog post for 2012, and I would like to thank everyone who visited digitaldtour.com this past year, and also to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy and prosperous 2013.

(All photos by the author)