Here’s to celebrating 240 years of independence and freedom enjoyed in the United States.
Wishing you all a Happy and safe 4th of July, and a big thank you to all serving in the military, for your continued service to our country.
Here’s to celebrating 240 years of independence and freedom enjoyed in the United States.
The last picture show… the last thought on my mind as I pulled into the parking lot at 5:40 AM on the morning of Saturday, December 20, 2014. Normally at this hour there would have been space along Porsche row to park among my friends. However on this morning, all of the stops had been pulled out, and both sides of the row were filled (and not just by Porsches).
I knew there was the potential for this morning to be over the top regarding attendance, and even though I arrived earlier than usual, it quickly became apparent based upon the large crowd assembled, that the morning had the potential to deliver up an epic event.
And that’s exactly what it did…
My first stop was to visit with those friends parked along Porsche row, and check out the variety of cars assembled. Parked together as a group of 4 cars was this rare sight, and a unique collection of supercars. First up was the silver and orange Porsche GT3RS seen below.
Immediately to its left, was one very unique, 2015 Gulf Orange Porsche GT3. And this was not just any Gulf Orange GT3, but the sole 2015 GT3 to be painted and delivered in this rare color.
Parked to its left was another unique and also new 2015 GT3, in this instance a “PTS” (paint to sample) GT3 in Mexico Blue.
Rounding out this unique quartet was Porsches first model to be given the supercar moniker; one very rare, guards red 1988 Porsche 959S. Produced in limited quantities from 1986 through 1989, only 337 type 959 Porsches were built. And of those 337, twenty-nine were built as the 959S model (the even higher performance “Sport” option), as compared to the base model/”Komfort” package.
Porsches in classic 1970s and 1980s “jellybean” color palette…
Another of the classics on display in the featured lot was this early 1960s vintage Ferrari. As seen below, a beautiful black over red, Ferrari 250GT a.k.a. Ferrari Lusso. Produced in very limited quantity, this 250GT Lusso represents one of only 351 examples built between 1963 and 1964.
One of the many Porsche GT3s present on this morning…
and what one smartly dressed Porsche GT3RS was wearing; a fresh set of BBS (E88), 3 piece modular race wheels as seen below.
And did I mention the crowds?
Below is an example of the volume of excess vehicle overflow that was experienced Saturday morning December 20th. The rear parking lot at the recently completed Marriott hotel suddenly filled, becoming an extension of the primary show, as did the Yardhouse restaurant parking lot located to the west.
Fortunately, the ever-present Irvine P.D. quickly assumed the role of pedestrian traffic control.
Unfortunately many of those that arrived late only to find closed parking, and who were turned away, responded by making less than gracious comments to the long time hosts of cars&coffee, in the form of obscenity laden rants. So wrong on so many levels, and with their ultimate impact yet to be realized.
Back over at the main parking lot, the crowds continued to swell.
Making my way back along Porsche row, and with the morning haze burning off, I witnessed firsthand, the previously muted colors come to life, delivering up their full intense, saturated color.
Parked at the end of the rainbow-hued collection of Porsches, and next to the blue 914/6, was a study in contrast; a monochrome 911 beauty in Slate Gray, and on display courtesy of the company Autokennel. One very cool 1973 911 RSR / ST backdated recreation, the car’s owner having used a 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 as the foundation for his project.
A close up of its modified, 3.2 liter, carburetted twin plug flat six.
A little further down the row was the sole Porsche to come decorated for the holidays, appropriate since we were only five days away from Christmas.
The remaining three Porsches parked together on Porsche row, each representing a different model range. Starting with the car in the foreground, the red 1966 Porsche 911, represented the 1965 – 1973 ” Long hood” series. Parked In the middle, was the silver Porsche 993 Carrera representing the 1995 – mid 1998 model series. Last but not least, was the red Porsche 911 Carrera coupe, representing the 1984 -1989, “Short hood” model range.
As the morning progressed, the high scattered cloud cover delivered up some great reflections, which could be found on any of the dark-colored cars…
An instance of the old and the new; the silver, 1966 Porsche 912, and a brand new white, 2015 Porsche GT3.
Mirror, mirror on the door…
Another of the events weekly participants over the past six years, complete with vintage luggage.
A recently restored 1973 Porsche 911E, with its flawless slate gray paint finish…
and representing BMW, one of a handful of beautifully turned out models. As seen below, a pristine example of a pre-1974 BMW 2002 Tii.
Parked side by side, and located out on the very back row, was this pair of white, highly modified Nissan GTRs (below)…
and each with a unique approach to engine compartment aesthetics.
In stark contrast, and parked several rows over to the west, was this classic, work in progress Chevrolet pick-up truck…
complete with a transplanted V8, and pin striped firewall.
Another of the highly modified, standout Porsche 911s present the morning of December 20th. One Viper Green, 1973 Carrera RSR recreation, complete with an updated 3.6 liter motor.
A close up view of the European spec, amber H4 headlight lens (as equipped on 1970s vintage Porsche 911s destined for delivery in France).
And a treasure trove of detail revealed up front;
As observed; a fiberglass front hood, painted on the outside, but with an underside left unpainted, revealing and the fiberglass hood skin, and the period correct, strategically placed balsa wood stiffeners. Another unique detail was the relocation of the fuel filler; repositioned to the inside of the trunk area by the left fender, thus avoiding the need to cut a hole into the front hood. And lastly, to deliver race car handling and provide front suspension rigidity, was the massive silver, triangulated RSR inspired strut bar.
Representing a few of the motorcycle contingent present the morning of December 20th, as seen below;
One very cool Moto-Guzzi…
and to its right, a Norton Commando 967.
Around the corner, at the opposite end or motorcycle row was one crazy, custom-built, Honda 6 cylinder street racer. Hearing this motorcycle start-up and run was truly unique.
Last up, and only revealed once the crowds began to thin, was another trio of Porsches mimicking a reverse Oreo cookie. The three cars represented Porsche styling from mild to wild; starting on the right, a 1986 911 Carrera, with a stock Narrow body. In the middle, a black 1987 Porsche 930 turbo, complete with the front and rear turbo flares and signature whale tail rear wing. To its left was the Porsche representing “wild”; the white Porsche 964 turbo, having been given the “RWB”(Rauh-Welt Begriff) treatment. Typical modifications comprise wide body fender flares, suspension alterations and custom wheel upgrades. The unique signature wheels found on RWB Porsches are 3 piece forged modular “Tarmacs”, sourced from the local custom wheel company fifteen52 ( fifteen52.us).
Even the rear wing received the RWB treatment, which consists of the incorporation of a carbon fiber, Porsche GT2 EVO top wing element, complete with custom end plates.
And with that, the mornings gathering came to a close. After discussing our plans to meet up the following week for the last cars&coffee/Irvine, which would include a post event breakfast caravan, we all headed off to our respective destinations.
Unfortunately, Sunday morning did not get off to a smooth start, the result of an email blast that was sent out from the organizers of cars&coffee /Irvine.
The email stated that due to the massive crowds that showed up for the December 20th event, and because of the excessive overcrowding experienced, and their fear for the participants safety, the following gathering on December 27th was regretfully being cancelled. Thus, the December 20, 2014 / “next to last event” had in fact become the final cars&coffee/Irvine gathering that we all would attend. After the initial shock wore off, along with my anger towards those who had been so rude towards the event organizers, I went to work on creating this blog post as a way to celebrate what I had discovered my very first time attending cars&coffee back in 2008. The event was truly about the cars and their owners, the stories shared each week with each new discovery, and the friendships made. In my six years of weekly attendance, the kindness of those in attendance far outweighed the rare occasions of rudeness that did occur, and that occurred on Saturday. A huge thank you is owed to the organizers John and Linda Clinard, Freeman Thomas and the host of volunteers, who over the years made each weeks gathering a huge success. And a big thank you to the catering team, who each week served up a smile with every hot coffee, hot chocolate, donut, or breakfast burritos, to keep the participants well fueled for their Saturday morning adventures.
On a positive note, by Monday morning an email was distributed to many within the Porsche community, announcing the creation of a new, Saturday morning car show to be located in Orange County. An event that I have now taken to calling “Porsches and Pastries”, even though attendance is open to all makes of car. So far, the event has experienced three successful weeks of growth based solely upon word of mouth. Should any of you be interested in attending, drop me an email for directions…
So here’s to the continued success and growth of our new, Saturday morning car show.
(All photos by the author)
With life and work placing an ever-increasing demand upon my spare time, I’ve found myself with less time to devote to my blog. So in an effort to continue providing content to those of you who have been kind enough to become followers and /or subscribers of my blog, I will be altering my format slightly. These changes should get me back on track to providing a greater frequency of blog posts.
So here goes…
In previous posts I’ve written about how external influences can affect one’s photographic inspiration, be it from weather, temperature, lighting, a particular event or even participation in a weekend car show. In many cases the experience, as well as the perceptions during an event can blur. It’s only when uploading the imagery onto the computer and beginning my post production work, that these patterns and the influences become apparent.
Over the past several months, I’ve experienced this phenomenon multiple times, and the following digital snippets represent the end results of my photographic observations.
Please stay tuned for my next installment…
(All photos by the author)
Saturday morning, January 4, 2014 dawned cool and clear, good weather I thought for the first cars&coffee of 2014. However, on my drive down to Irvine and just as I passed Anaheim, I was greeted by a dense fog bank that had descended across the freeway. My immediate concern was that this fog was going to remain for the remainder of my drive. A couple of miles further south, the fog broke and once again I had a clear view. But unfortunately, as I approached Irvine, and starting at the Sand Canyon off ramp, the fog reappeared, now draped over the entire region. So under the cover of fog, I arrived at cars&coffee. Much to my surprise, Porsche row was almost completely filled, and it was just 6AM ! I was lucky enough to snag one of the last two remaining parking spaces on the row. And keeping with tradition, my first stop was for my weekly donut and hot chocolate, and on this morning, hopefully it would be enough to fend off the damp, foggy morning. After grabbing my camera, it was time to begin my search for awaiting treasures.
An extensive cache of Porsches assembled along Porsche row (below).
A return visit by the special order, Riviera Blue 2014 Porsche 991 coupe, wearing its Aerokit Cup option package.
With the return of heavy crowds and no rain, those cars arriving late were relegated to the overflow lot. The following photos represent several very cool Porsches that found themselves redirected to the overflow space.
The first Porsche encountered was the charcoal gray 930 turbo below.
The second Porsche was the 997 GT3 seen below, complete with an extensive graphics wrap.
Back on Porsche row, a friends signal red 1966 911, having shed its Fuchs 5 spoke alloy wheels for a set of original issue, period correct 4 -1/2″ X 15″ steel wheels.
Given the number of cars assembled each week, it helps to have friends who walk the rows, and check out the cars present. That way, if something really catches their attention, they are nice enough to share their discoveries with me for photographic consideration. That was exactly how I learned of the Koenigsegg CCX, parked out in the back rows of the lot. I had only seen the car in magazines, so this was my first time seeing one in person. Not knowing much about the details relating to this car, I decided some research was in order.
I quickly learned that the mid engined super car seen below was manufactured in Angelholm, Sweden and that this was a CCX model, and equipped with the optional rear spoiler. The CCX designation stands for “Competition Coupe 10”, celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the first Koenigsegg competition coupe produced. The CCX model was produced from 2006 through 2010, with only 14 CCX models delivered.
Located beneath the rear glass window, is the Koenigsegg’s aluminum, DOHC 4.7 liter, twin supercharged V8, producing 806 bhp. Power is transferred to the rear wheels by a 6- speed transmission, reported to be good for delivering a top speed of 245 mph.
The 12 spoke wheels found on the CCX are a unique Konigsegg design, and sized 9.5″ X 19″ up front, 12.5″ X 20″ out back. Grip is provided by a set of Michelin Pilot sport tires, with stopping power provided by a set of Brembo 8 piston calipers up front, and AP racing calipers out back.
Another exotic parked only several rows away was the Ferrari F12Berlinetta seen below.
At first glance, I thought it to be a Ferrari 599, but as I got closer, I realized that it was in fact a brand new F12Berlinetta. Ferrari designed the F12 as the replacement for their 599 model, with production initiated in 2012. Propulsion for this model is provided by a 6.3 liter, V-12 motor, producing 730 horsepower, able to deliver a top speed of 210 + mph.
The wheel / tire combination for the F12Berlinetta is as follows: Front tires are 255/35ZR20, mounted to a 9.5J X 20 wheel. The rear tires are sized at 315/35ZR20, and mounted to rear wheels measuring 11.5J X 20. Stopping power is provided by Ferrari’s Carbon Ceramic brake system (CCM), and on this particular car equipped with brake calipers painted Giallo Modena (yellow).
My last stop of the morning was to check out one of my personal favorites: the brilliant orange 2007 911 GT3RS seen below.
Representing one of the amazing branches in the Porsche GT3RS family tree…
purpose built and exuding cool from every angle.
As southern California continues to enjoy its uncharacteristically warm winter, and with no rain in sight, the crowds at cars&coffee continue to grow each week. As a result, arrival time ( 6 AM or earlier) has become increasingly important. A late arrival will result in bing directed to the overflow lot. At least it’s better than being unable to enter the show at all because of overcrowding. Given the forecast of another weekend of warm weather, this coming Saturday morning promises to be a repeat of the last; bursting at the seams with truly amazing cars.
(All photos by the author)
Let me begin this post by noting that our trip to this years LA Auto Show 2013 came very close to not occurring at all. In the past, we have always arrived on opening day, just prior to the doors opening, and as a result have never had a problem with parking. However, this year we were unable to arrive until after 1 PM. So imagine my dismay, after circling the convention center for close to 40 minutes, trying to find parking, moving from lot to lot, waiting in line only to have the lot close down three cars in front of us. The few remaining lots that were open, ironically right across the street from the convention center, were charging $40.00 to park. Finally, my son and his girlfriend came to the rescue, and after a brief cell call, we drove several miles south from the Convention Center, where we met up with them at a parking structure, paid our $10.00 fee, phoned the service “Uber”, and got a ride back up to the convention center. By 2 PM, the four of us finally arrived and entered the show amid a crush of like-minded people. Attendance at this years show took on extra meaning, since both my wife and son had come with the intent of shopping for a new car.
In the past, our show strategy has always been to start by visiting the West Hall and the Petree Hall / Porsche exhibit first, and from there we would explore the remaining exhibit halls. However, this year we started the process in reverse, by beginning our visit at the South Hall and concluding our visit at Petree Hall, with the Porsche exhibit saved for last.
Prior to this years LA Auto Show, Porsche let it be known within the Southern California Porsche community that they were looking for a 1989 Porsche 930 Turbo cabriolet, for inclusion into this years 2013 Porsche at Petree Hall display. Obviously, they were successful in their quest, as witnessed by the Grand Prix white 1989 911 Turbo Cabriolet on display just outside of the main entrance into the Porsche exhibit (as seen below). Once inside, the intent of this 911 Turbo Cabriolet display made perfect sense.
Parked just inside and to the immediate left of the entrance was the first of several debuts as seen below; in this case the world premier of Porsches new 911 Turbo Cabriolet for 2014.
And parked to its immediate right, another model also made its world debut: a white 911 Turbo S Cabriolet, flanked by the silver, 2014 Porsche 991 GT3 coupe (as seen below).
However, as you can probably tell, my attention was fixed more on one of my favorite Porsche models. I was finally face to face with the new, 2014 type 991 Porsche GT3.
The photos that I’d seen in magazines of the new GT3 just didn’t do the car justice. However, seeing it in person made a greater impression, as it definitely exudes the “race car for the street” vibe, confirming impressions made and written about by those fortunate enough to have driven the brand new 2014 GT3.
Alluring from any angle…
An up-close look at the GT3’s new for 2014 wheel and tire combo;12J X 20 rear forged alloy center-lock wheel, clad in the newly created 305/30ZR20 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tire (as seen below).
This particular GT3 has also been optioned with Porsches top of the line PCCB (“Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake”) system. Porsche has long used color to visually distinguish the difference between their high performance brake packages. In the case of the ultra high performance / race track focused PCCB brake option, the calipers are painted bright yellow, and matched to their cross drilled, carbon ceramic rotors. The standard (stock) GT3 brake package consists of red calipers, matched with cross drilled steel rotors which appear to be better suited for cars not destined to see track days.
The 20 inch wheel / tire combination found on the 2014 GT3 definitely fills out the wheel wells, and are reportedly a key factor to the new models handling, over that of the previous GT3 model equipped with 19 inch wheels.
Another unique type 991 model on display, and parked immediately to the right of the GT3, was this 2014 50th Anniversary Edition as seen below, built to celebrate 50 years of Porsche 911 production and evolution.
If you look closely, you can see several carry-over design details incorporated into this 50th anniversary edition model, borrowed from the earliest 911 models of the mid 1960’s. Two of the most obvious design details ( influences) can be seen in the new wheels, which appear to be a stylized variation on the original 5 spoke Fuchs alloy wheel. On the interior, the prominent visual detail is the use of a houndstooth patterned fabric for the front and rear seat inserts, similar in concept to how many of the original Porsche 911s had been delivered. Granted two small design details, yet each carrying unique Porsche 911 DNA, forever linked to the early 911 models that made their debut 50 years ago.
Out back, another visual cue taken directly from the original 911; the silver brushed metal trim making up the rear engine decklid grill (reinterpreted for 2014), along with the lower horizontal accent vent trim, positioned just below the rear decklid and between the rear tail lights.
A look at the unique, 50th Anniversary Edition commemorative badging, celebrating the Porsche 911s production milestone.
I had read that Porsche would be displaying their 918 Spyder at this years show, so after looking around Petree Hall, I assumed that the huge crowd standing opposite from me, focusing their attention on a glass room must have found the 918 Spyder. As I approached the glassed – off enclosure, I could see that the sole occupant being displayed was in fact the 918 Spyder. From all the press leading up to this years auto show, I had hoped that Porsche would debut their new 918 Spyder at his show. And now here it was in person…
For comparison, below are several photos that I shot during Porsches Rennsport Reunion IV back in October 2011, of the 918 RSR concept car in development at the time.
What is interesting to note are the design elements and styling cues seen in the 918 RSR concept that Porsche chose to keep, and other features that Porsche elected to redesign. However, in typical Porsche fashion, the final iteration of the 918 Spyder displayed at the LA Auto Show still retained the genetics of the Porsche 918 RSR, yet had taken a substantial step towards the future by incorporating its race developed hybrid technology (an adaptation of its KERS / “kinetic energy recovery system”). This set- up also included the addition of an electric drive motor to each front wheel, all integrated into its latest super car for the street.
Representing yet another vehicle infused with Porsches hybrid technology, was the silver Panamera S E-Hybrid seen below; Porsches first luxury plug-in hybrid. Externally, two visual clues that reveal the cars dual identity are the subtle hybrid badges found on the front doors, as well as the color coded, day – glow fluorescent green brake calipers. Porsche has adopted this fluorescent, day glow green color as an identification marker on their hybrid models.
The last of the Porsche models making its debut at this years show was the brand new Macan. This new model represents Porsches venture into the smaller scaled SUV market, apparently designed to fill the void niche below its larger sibling, the Porsche Cayenne.
Given the size of the crowd around the Macan display, and the lines at each vehicle just to sit inside, I suspect that Porsche will have another hit on their hands. Based upon the younger demographic that I observed flocking to this vehicle, Porsche seems to have created a model that will appeal to the consumer who aspires to the Porsche brand, yet desire an SUV smaller than a Cayenne, while still retaining the looks of a Porsche.
Given the sheer number of World Premiers and model debuts on display in Petree Hall, 2014 promises to be an impressive year for Porsche. And with their return to Le Mans in June of 2014 with a brand new LMP-1 prototype, and their continued development of the 991 based RSR and GT3 Cup race cars, who knows what Porsche will unveil next year at Petree Hall…
I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot of the Porsche marque during 2014…
(All photos by the author)
This years California Festival of Speed, held at the Autoclub Speedway in Fontana California, during the weekend of April 5 – 7, was once again advertised as the “Biggest Porsche Event in the Southwest”. Based upon my observations and the comments I overheard, this years event more than lived up to the claim. In addition to the regular activities listed for the weekend (Swap meet, Concours, Zone 8 Club Racing and Autocross, and Vendor row), Saturday had been selected for the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Porsche 911 event. Given the sheer number of people crowded around the 50th anniversary display, this focused event would prove to be a huge success (see photo below).
But even before entering the track’s infield area, there were plenty of Porsches to be found within the Porsche Corral (i.e. Porsche only parking lot). This area became its own mini car show, with a diverse cross-section of model years and body styles represented. I later came to find out that the trio of early model Porsche 911’s that I was parked next to, belonged to three generations all from one family; the grandfather and his white 1967 911S, his sons silver 1972 911S, and his grandson’s orange 911T.
Even more impressive was the fact that the grandson had just learned to drive a manual transmission vehicle three days earlier, behind the wheel of the very same orange Porsche 911 T that he drove to the show. Three generations all with a passion for Porsche, and just one of many examples reflective of the success of the Porsche brand.
Word had gone out to the Porsche community back in February, that the Porsche Club of America was looking for owners (from within the Zone 8, PCA regions), with Porsche 911s representing model years 1964 through 2013, to participate in a 50th anniversary celebration of the Porsche 911, to be held at the California Festival of Speed weekend in early April. Owners were requested to submit information about their car and also include a photo for review. Given the sheer number of Porsches that reside within Southern California, this challenge was quickly met, and on the morning of the event, every production year was represented. PCA had located models from the earliest example represented (an ultra-rare 1964 Porsche 901), to the present day model, a 2013 Porsche Type 991 911 Carrera S. The display was arranged by model year, beginning with the earliest model, starting at the left end of the row and then moving chronologically to the right. Each vehicle was also displayed with a printed biography, mounted behind each car on the chain link fence, and which served as the backdrop for the entire display.
For those unable to attend the event, the following photos represent each of the participants from the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Porsche 911; every car has been documented by a front view shot and is then followed by a close up photograph of its biography…
Several overview shots of the collective “50th anniversary of the Porsche 911” lineup below…
Around 11:30 AM, all of the participants and their cars were gathered up for a group photo, to be taken out on the race track at the start / finish line; queued up on pit lane, ready to head out onto the track (as seen below).
Once all of the cars had gathered on pit lane, they were then released out onto the track to begin their staging for the group shot (see below).
The early 911s beginning to be staged on the track at the start / finish line (below)…
Heading to the start / finish line to be staged for the group photo…
The first row of the early 911s being moved into position…
Cars and owners lined up and ready for their close-ups…
Fourth row of assembled Porsche 911s from the group photo (below).
Back row from the group photo…
With all of the cars aligned and the owners positioned outside of their cars, a series of photos were taken, and upon completion, the vehicles were quickly reorganized and then sent off to enjoy several parade laps around the race track.
Please stay tuned for my continued coverage from the California Festival of Speed / Part 2; featuring Club racing, vehicle encores and debuts.
(All photos by the author)
With winter weather having blanketed Southern California over the past several weeks, washing out each weekends planned car shows, I figured this was as good a time as any to revisit my photographic archive, for inspiration and as potential imagery to use in my next blog post.
One of my favorite cars, and a fixture within many of my previous posts has been the Porsche GT3, along with its performance enhanced brethren, the GT3RS and GT3 RS4.0. However, due to the lack of recent cars shows to attend, now seemed like an ideal time to select some of my favorite GT3 images, as source material for use in my next blog post, showcasing this amazing car. And in regards to my ongoing interest in the Porsche GT3 RS4.0, I’m still pursuing my quest to photograph as many GT3 RS4.0 models as possible, in addition to recording each cars unique serial / build number. And even though my RS4.0 sightings have slowed, I’m still determined to try to capture as many of the 600 total that Porsche produced (my current tally stands at 10 cars). I was even fortunate enough during 2012 to have experienced some seat time behind the wheel of a friends 2007 GT3RS (thanks Matt), which was an eye-opening experience to say the least, especially when compared to my 1986 Carrera coupe.
The following GT3 images were shot at a variety of automotive events, and were all sourced from the digitaldtour archives…
And last but not least: Santa’s sleigh of choice for 2012, staged and awaiting Christmas Eve…
(All photos by the Author)