The Iceman cometh…

I’m sorry to disappoint those of you who thought this post might be written about Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen. Instead, this weeks title was inspired by the frigid temperatures encountered by those of us present at Cars&Coffee/Irvine, the morning of January 12, 2013. Since I began attending this event back in 2008, the morning of the 12th was by far the coldest one I’ve ever experienced. But even with the record-breaking cold temperatures being experienced throughout Southern California, the Cars&Coffee faithful still showed up in droves, albeit decked out in heavy jackets, scarves, hats, gloves and uggs.

Grand Prix white1986 Porsche Carrera, red Speedster_Sunrise at Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/4 front view_January 12, 2013

Unfortunately the one piece of gear that I had forgotten to pack the night before were my gloves, and by 7 AM, my right hand (camera holder) was suffering from exposure. My friend Gene, who came fully prepared wearing cold weather gear, magically produced from the back of his car, an extra pair of gloves (fly fishing to be specific), that he kindly loaned me for the duration of the morning. The benefit of this type of glove is that with the finger tips removed, you can still handle your camera and make fine adjustments while retaining a sense of touch. Within a couple of minutes, my right hand and shutter finger had regained color and warmed up, allowing me to continue on my photographic quest.

One of the first cars that I observed drive into the lot by the glow of its headlights, and then settle on Porsche row, was this rare 2011 Porsche type 997 Speedster, in Pure Blue.

2011 Pure Blue Porsche 997 Speedster_front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013
Pure Blue Porsche 997 Speedster_angled front view w/ reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

To further commemorate the origins of their original Speedster, Porsche chose to limit the production of the 2011 model to a total of only 356 examples worldwide, and restricted the available color palette to only two colors; Pure blue as shown here and Carrara white.

2011 Pure Blue Porsche 997 Speedster_ front headlight detail and reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

2011 Pure Blue Porsche 997 Speedster_ 3/4 angled rear view, sunrise reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Placed on the glove box of each Speedster is the build plaque, which displays the series number of each car from the total number produced. This particular model is #154 of 356.

2011 Pure Blue Porsche 997 Speedster_ interior shot_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

2011 Pure Blue Porsche 997 Speedster_ rear deck badge and sunrise reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Porsche even chose the Los Angeles Auto Show back in 2010, as the venue for their first of  their two North American debuts of the 997 Speedster( the second location being Detroit).

2010 LA Auto show _debut of 2011 Porsche 997 Speedster

Parked immediately to the left of the 997 Speedster, was one of the newest members of the Porsche family; a 2013 type 991 Carrera, in Dark Blue metallic.

Dark Blue metallic 2013 Porsche type 991, 911 Carrera_3/4 rear view with sunrise reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Dark Blue metallic 2013 Porsche type 991, 911 Carrera_ rear view; badging with sunrise reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Dark Blue metallic 2013 Porsche type 991, 911 Carrera_ partial rear view with sunrise reflections and 997 Speedster in background_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Another unique Porsche and frequent visitor to Cars&Coffee, parked just down the row from the Type 991, was this Signal Orange, 1971 914-6 GT, Factory rally car.

1971 signal orange Porche 914-6 GT rally car_front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12. 2013

1971 signal orange Porsche 914-6 GT rally car_interior view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12. 2013

1971 signal orange Porsche 914-6 GT rally car_rear view /exhaust and badge detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12. 2013

The owner even had a small bound book placed on the roof, documenting the history behind this unique vehicle (below).

1971 signal orange Porsche 914-6 GT rally car_Rally car book on roof_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12. 2013

On this particular morning, the car showed up wearing a set of standard Porsche street wheels and tires, which appeared quite skinny, when compared to its standard Porsche 5 spoke, 15″ Fuchs alloy race wheels.1971 signal orange Porsche 914-6 GT rally car_3/4 rear view w/skinny tires_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12. 2013

Serving as a visual bookend to Porsche row, was another blue 2013 Type 991 (in Aqua Blue metallic), however this particular model was equipped with Porsche’s 2013 re-interpretation of their classic 1973 duck tail spoiler…

Aqua Blue metallic Type 991 Porsche 911 Carrera _side view w/reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Aqua Blue metallic Type 991 Porsche 911 Carrera _rear ducktail spoiler w/reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Aqua Blue metallic Type 991 Porsche 911 Carrera _rear view, ducktail spoiler w/reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

My next stop was over to the featured lot to see what hidden treasure awaited. Much to my surprise, parked amidst a group of Alfa Romeo’s was this beautiful black Ferrari 512BB, with its rear deck opened, revealing its 5 liter, flat 12 cylinder motor.

Black Ferrari 512 BB_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_ 3/4 front view w/ reflections_January 12, 2013

The paint finish on the 512 had to be one of the nicest black paint jobs I’ve seen on a Ferrari (below)…

Black Ferrari 512 BB_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_ roof reflections_January 12, 2013

with all 12 cylinders of Ferrari magic revealed out back… including the 4 sets of triple choke Weber carburetors (which would indicate that this car is a pre 1981 model), since Ferrari switched over to fuel injection in 1981, and rebadged the car as the 512 BBi.

Black Ferrari 512 BB_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_ motor details_January 12, 2013

After heading back over to the main parking area, I  encountered Lotus row, however with considerably fewer cars in attendance on this morning…

Lotus row-Evora & Elise_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Then moving down the row, and parked to the outside of the curbing , I came across one of my favorite Porsche models; a 2011 GT3, in black.

Black on Black  2011 Porsche GT3_side view with reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Walking around the car and checking it out, was like looking at a black, purpose-built high-speed mirror, capturing and reflecting all of its surroundings…

Black on Black  2011 Porsche GT3_angled 3/4 rear view with reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

My next stop would be to the back row of the parking lot, in part to check out why a crowd had gathered. What I found was a collection of McLaren MP4-12C’s and a few select Audi R8 V-10’s thrown in for good measure.

Silver Audi R8 V10 coupe & McLaren MP4-12C's_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Blue & Orange Gulf Oil McLaren MP4-12C_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

An example of the new McLaren MP4-12C spider in Graphite Grey, as seen below.

Gray McLaren MP4-12C convertible_angled 3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

And below, the single MP4-12-C painted in the classic McLaren Orange, a color anyone familiar with the classic McLaren Can Am race cars of the 1970s will recognize…

McLaren Orange MP4-12C coupe_ side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

After the departure of the McLaren group, I wandered back through the lot to search for any cars that I had missed or that were late arrivals. As I approached Porsche row, I noticed that my friend Dave had opened up the rear deck lid on his slate gray, 1984 Porsche 930 turbo, revealing his new motor and its highly polished intercooler. I even had a willing subject in the background to serve as a backdrop for a quick experiment in composition…

Slate gray 1984 Porsche 930 turbo / foreground, &1986 white 911 Carrera / background_composition study_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

One of the last cars I came across before packing up for the morning, was this Grand Prix white 1993 Porsche Type 964 RS America, wearing Martini racing stripes and door graphics. This car is another frequent visitor, however this was its first time with its new graphics.

white1993 Porsche type 964 RS America_front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Porsche’s intention was to build this car for the 1993 model year only, however due to  increasing demand, production was extended out into early 1994. I recently learned that one of the telltale clues for differentiating between a 1993 and early 1994 model can be found by simply looking inside the car. For the late 1993 / early1994 models, Porsche chose to add the traditional rear folding jump sets, in place of the previously utilized, fixed storage bins found on all 1993 RS America models. Unfortunately, the rear seat area in this car was covered by a Martini racing beach towel, so no way to make a visual check on the rear seat configuration.

white1993 Porsche type 964 RS America_side view with door graphics_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

And with that the owner returned, opened the passenger door, and his dog climbed up into the back and settled on the towel. Then with a turn of the key, the engine came to life and the RS America and its occupants were gone. Now I will have to wait until the car returns, to determine whether it’s a 1993 or early 1994 model…

(All photos by the author)


Eggplant, Oranges, Limes, Fire, Smoke and Mirrors…

One of the factors that keeps me returning to Cars & Coffee each week is the diversity of  vehicles and owners that come together every Saturday morning. And with each weeks sunrise, the dawning light uncovers and seems to set the tone for the mornings pending explorations. Some weeks the focus is geared visually towards a particular make of car, in part due to the sheer number of similar makes or models present. Other times, the morning may appear like a scene taken directly from the paddock area at a vintage race track. But this past Saturday struck me as a morning set for celebrating the wonder of light and color.

My first encounter that morning was with this beautiful 1973 Porsche 911T as seen below, wearing the rare, period correct color; “Aubergine” (Porsche paint code # 025).

Aubergine 1973 Porsche 911 T _and Ferrari California_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012Ironically, the French word for eggplant (which is exactly what this color resembles) is “Aubergine”. And to give you an idea of just how rare this particular color is, this is only the fourth car I have seen in person painted this color, after experiencing it for the very first time back in 1973.

Aubergine 1973 Porsche 911 T _Front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Ironically, that first sighting occurred on the occasion of my dad taking me with him to shop for his very first Porsche. The dealers demo car at the time, and the one that we got to test drive, could have been the twin to the 1973 911T shown here (also Aubergine with a tan interior). On a side note, our 1973 test drive was a huge success; upon returning to the dealership, my dad placed an order for a 911, and two weeks later took delivery of a brand new silver metallic, 1973 1/2 Porsche 911T with black interior.

Aubergine 1973 Porsche 911 T _3/4 side view with white Porsche 993 reflection_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

My next stop was over at the “Featured Lot”, to check out the cars on display. Situated towards the back of the lot, and parked in proximity to one another were two orange hued supercars. The first was this stunning burnt orange, 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP-700-4 as seen below.

Burnt orange 2012 Lamborghini  Aventador LP 700-4_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Burnt orange 2012 Lamborghini  Aventador LP 700-4_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Burnt orange 2012 Lamborghini  Aventador LP 700-4_ rear view/glass louvers_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

The second car was this 2012 McLaren MP4-12C, painted in the classic “McLaren Orange”…

"McLaren Orange" McLaren MP4-12C_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

"McLaren Orange" McLaren MP4-12C_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

"McLaren Orange" McLaren MP4-12C_ rear deck  and exhaust detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Returning to the main lot, I picked a route that paralleled motorcycle row. And at the end of the row was this trio of custom motorized bicycles on display. All three were equally impressive, however it was the lime green model that really caught my eye, probably because my very first bicycle had been lime green…

a trio of Dutchman Motorbikes_motorcycle row_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Upon closer inspection, it became obvious that the top tube on this custom bike had been repurposed, and now served a dual function; to not only provide structural support to the frame, but also serve as the fuel tank for the motor, securely anchored to the frame below. According to the builder, the bikes can be configured with either a 2 stroke 49 cc or a larger 80 cc motor.

Lime Green Dutchman Motorbike_motorcycle row_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

The fit, finish and detailing visible on all three bikes was top-notch, and the display really drew a  crowd. For more information on these three cool bikes and others under construction, check out the builders website –

Lime Green Dutchman Motorbike_fuel tank and logo_motorcycle row_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

It was now time for me to check out the cars parked out on the very back rows of the parking lot, and then work my way back towards the front, row by row. Arriving on the  back row, I was rewarded by the sight of two more exotics; one French and one Italian. Representing France was a fire engine red Bugatti Veyron 16.4, as seen below.

Fire engine red Bugatti Veyron 16.4_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Fire engine red Bugatti Veyron 16.4_thru the wing view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Fire engine red Bugatti Veyron 16.4_rear view / motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

And representing Italy was a second Lamborghini Aventador LP-700-4, this one however dressed in black.

Black Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4_3/4 side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Black Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4_3/4 rear view with open doors_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Black Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4_3/4 rear view with green glass louvers_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

And parked immediately across from the Bugatti and Lamborghini was the beautifully restored, charcoal gray Ferrari Dino.

Charcoal gray Ferrari Dino_with open front trunk and rear decklid_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

The Dino’s front hood made for the perfect mirror, and it wasn’t until I got home and was reviewing my shots that I realized the full extent of the reflections captured. I had not only recorded the reflections from the Bugatti and Lamborghini parked just across the row, but  had also captured the images of two of the commentators from the Speed Channel (Bob Varsha and Mike Joy) standing nearby, who happened to be in town broadcasting from the Barrett – Jackson / Orange County auction.

Charcoal gray Ferrari Dino with  front hood reflections_Speed Channel personalities_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Feeling inspired by these cool reflections, I decided to go in search of other interesting reflections as my quest for the rest of the morning.

Parked just off from the main parking lot, was this beautiful 1962 black on red Chevrolet Corvette roadster as seen below.

Black on red 1962 Chevrolet Corvette_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

 And the amazing hidden treasure found beneath the hood…

Black 1962 Corvette roadster_engine detail&reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

My last stop of the morning would be back at the featured lot, as my final challenge to capture the last few reflections for the morning. And luck was on my side; the two Lamborghini Diablo’s flanking the orange McLaren MP4-12C were still in place, and capturing some amazing reflections.

Lamborghini Diablo_with McLaren MP4-12C reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Black Lamborghini Diablo_ with McLaren MP4-12C reflection in side_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_June 23, 2012

Now only four days to go until Saturdays sunrise once again reveals its magic, and sets the tone for a whole new set of discoveries…

(All photos by the author)

The elusive white Porsche GT3 RS4.0 finally captured, and more…

Well, it finally happened Saturday morning. I finally came face to face with the elusive white Porsche GT3 RS4.0 that I have been chasing since December.  But first, the events that led up to my Saturday morning encounter…

The first part of my morning was spent making my way up and down Porsche row and visiting with friends (“the Porsche faithful”, aka members of the RGruppe). Project cars were on display, with discussions of ongoing restorations and techniques used, and with hoods, doors and deck lids opened to showcase the recent work. A prime example of this process was represented by the beautiful silver,1973 Porsche 911S seen below…

Silver European spec 1973 Porsche 911S & Polo Red 1966 911_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

This particular car is a European model, having been delivered by the French dealership Sonauto. This association was commemorated by the small metal badge affixed to the lower edge of the rear deck lid.

Silver European spec 1973 Porsche 911S_Sonauto rear deck badge_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

And tucked in beneath the rear deck lid was a beautifully restored, 2.7 liter Carrera RS motor. This was the motors first showing, since the completion of its cosmetic restoration as undertaken by the owner, with a re-sealing of the motor performed by ex IMSA racer Wayne Baker out of San Diego, California.  This motor was spotless, and looked like it had just rolled off of the assembly bench in Stuttgart, circa 1973.

Silver european spec 1973 Porsche 911S_2.7 motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

Silver european spec 1973 Porsche 911S_2.7 motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

Up front the same attention to detail was carried through to the assembly of the european spec (French) amber headlights and fog lights. The headlights had been restored using a combination of period and backdated parts; rings, buckets and clips, and highlighted by the rare Cibie Biode headlights, but in this case the proper amber-colored (French) units.

Silver european spec 1973 Porsche 911S_amber headlights & fog lights_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

The front trunk lid was then opened to reveal its contents; a new, plastic molded fuel tank, visually perfect and Porsche correct, but re-manufactured using present day technologies, which included a date stamped of 2011, and serves as a direct,  bolt- in replacement for the original 39-year-old fuel tank. And as the photo illustrates, the finish and detail found within the trunk, was equal to the attention paid the rest of the car.

Silver european spec 1973 Porsche 911S_front trunk_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

Silver european spec 1973 Porsche 911S_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

And parked one spot over to drivers left, was this equally impressive Polo red 1966 911, showcasing a beautifully restored 2.0 liter motor…

Polo red 1966 Porsche 911_engine detail_Cars&Coffee.Irvine-1/14/12

And parked to the left of the 1966 911, was this beautifully restored Tangerine colored Porsche 914-6; yet another car that appeared to have just rolled off the assembly line in Germany…

"Tangerine" 1970 Porsche 914-6_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

After completing my journey down Porsche row, it was time to check out the remaining cars on site. My next stop would be the parking area immediately to the right of the main entrance. And on this Saturday morning, said lot had a very decidedly British flavor. Tucked back into opposing corners of the lot was a collection of Triumph sports cars, and aligned right next to the Triumphs, was an equally impressive collection of Austin Healey roadsters.

Triumph sports cars_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

Triumph TR3 with Austin Healeys in the background_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

And believe it or not, classics wrapped in domestic sheet metal also attend the show each week. Below is an example of an all american made classic; a 1946 Ford woody wagon…

And over in another section of the parking lot was this classic, two – toned Buick  “Caballero” station wagon…

And tucked in by the entry to this portion of parking lot, was this very cool, red 289 F.I. A. spec’d Shelby Cobra…

Red Shelby Cobra_289 F.I.A. spec model_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

Red Shelby Cobra_289 F.I.A. spec model_motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

Red Shelby Cobra_289 F.I.A. spec model_Interior_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

Red Shelby Cobra_289 F.I.A. spec model_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

After completing a thorough review of the Cobra, I headed out toward the center of the lot to see what other surprise awaited, and I was not disappointed.  Parked next to a lime green Lamborghini Gallardo, was this Carbon black on red McLaren MP4-12C, once again brought out to the show by Newport Beach McLaren. This is the first Carbon black MP4-12C that I have seen, and this color really compliments the contours and body lines. Black McLaren MP4-12C_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

Another subtle detail was the inclusion of the “Stealth ” finished wheels, which were in turn set off by the visual “pop” of the bright red calipers…

Black McLaren MP4-12C_w/Stealth finished wheels and red caliper_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

…which in turn was carried over into the black interior and integrated as red leather sport seats with black inserts, and the red dash and door accent trim.

Black McLaren MP4-12C_w/ black & red Interior_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

Parked several rows beyond the McLaren, was another black beauty; in this case a beautiful black on red, Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster, wearing its optional hardtop…

Black over red_Mercedes Benz 300SL roadster w/ hardtop_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

And two spaces down from the 300SL, was this equally impressive black on tan Mercedes-Benz 190 SL roadster…

Black on tan_Mercedes Benz 190 SL roadster_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

Black on tan_Mercedes Benz 190 SL roadster_Interior_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

Black on tan_Mercedes Benz 190 SL roadster_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

As I made my way through the several remaining rows yet unexplored, and just as I rounded the end of the previous row, I spotted a white Porsche 997 parked half way up on the left side, sandwiched between two cars. As I approached, the car to the left pulled out, revealing GT3 RS4.0 graphics on the side of the white Porsche. Could this be the RS 4.0 that I had seen back in December? It  had the optional silver wheels which I remembered seeing, but the proof would be its license plate. Sure enough, the California license plate on the back confirmed to me that I had finally caught up with my elusive GT3 RS4.0.

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

As I waited to speak with the owner, I stepped back to admire the RS 4.0, and add some more photographs to my GT3 RS 4.0 collection…

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_w/optional silver wheel_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_rear wing_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

Once the owner had finished his conversation, I approached and introduced myself, and shared with him my interest in the Porsche GT3 RS4.0 model. I told him of seeing my first RS 4.0 on display at the Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV, and about my success in having spotted four other GT3 RS 4.0’s since Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV held back in October. Seeing his car today would now bring my grand total up to five cars. I also shared how amazing it has been for me to have personally seen this many, given their very limited production (only 600 worldwide). Obviously, my next question was to ask if he could share with me the series number of his car. The owner was gracious enough to reveal that his car is # 270.

White 2011 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_1/14/12

After our conversation, two gentlemen standing nearby approached, obviously friends of the owner, to discuss some work planned for his RS4.0. The two men turned out to be the owners of the performance tuning company “GMG” / Global Motorsports Group (James Sofronas and Fabryce Kutyba), based in nearby Santa Ana, California. My interests in the Porsche GT3 RS 4.0 were once again shared with them, and as a result I learned that there may be several additional RS 4.0 models residing right here in Orange County.

Now all I have to do is hope they find their way to Cars&Coffee…

(All photos by the author)