Like a deer in the headlights…

In sharp contrast to last weeks cool, gray and wet Saturday morning, this past Saturday morning dawned clear and crisp. And with the improvement in the weather came an abundance of amazing cars.

Driving through Porsche row I was greeted by a diverse collection of models already assembled and in place. As my headlights swept over the cars, I caught a flash of color,  graphics and a collection of driving lights to my right. As I passed, I realized that parked side by side were a pair of Porsche 914-6; one a Tangerine colored street car, while the other in Signal Orange, was a purpose-built, Porsche Factory 914-6 GT race car, complete with hood and bumper mounted driving lights, Motorsports inspired graphics, and an ultra – trick motor. After parking and quickly consuming my breakfast, I grabbed my camera and headed to Porsche row to check out the pair of 914-6  I had seen earlier.

 Tangerine colored 1970 Porsche 914-6 and a Signal orange 1971 914-6 GT factory race car_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

With the sun yet to reveal itself, and with one single pop of my camera flash, these car lit up like glowing embers in the darkness (as seen above).

Lime green 1970 Porsche 911E_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

Further down the row and illuminated by the early morning light, was this beautiful 1970 Lime green Porsche 911E complete with vintage roof rack…

One of my friends happened to walk by while I was looking at this Porsche, and asked if I had seen the white, right hand drive, Shelby 427 Cobra parked over in the Featured lot. I replied that I had not, so off I went in search of the mystery Cobra, especially since I had never seen one configured for right hand drive. As I approached, I could make out a Wimbledon white car gathering a crowd, and sure enough, here was the Cobra. As I moved closer, the owner and his son opened up the cars gloss black hood, to reveal an immaculate, big block Ford 427.

Wimbledon White, 1964 right hand drive Shelby 427 Cobra_with raised, gloss black hood_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

Wimbledon white, right hand drive Shelby 427 Cobra_427 big block detail_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

Obviously, with the car being configured for right hand drive, and based upon the graphic  on the nose (LOV I), as well as the pair of amber-colored headlight lenses, my assumption was that this must be an English model. This seemed like a correct assumption, given that the nose graphic seen on this car is the English equivalent of a U.S. license plate. As I rounded the back of the car and approached the driver’s side, I noticed a magazine opened and resting on the rear fender.  There on the pages, were photos of this very car (with the same LOV I ID), being driven in competition.

Wimbledon white, right hand drive Shelby 427 Cobra_magazine on fender detail_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

Wimbledon White, 1964 right hand drive Shelby 427 Cobra_Interior detail_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

As my friend Dave and I stood looking at the car, we overheard a discussion regarding the car’s history, and learned that it had been successfully raced by the team of Bob Bondurant and David Piper in England back in 1966 at Brands Hatch, where the pair finished in first place.

Wimbledon white, 1964 right hand drive Shelby 427 Cobra_side view_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

Wimbledon white, right hand drive Shelby 427 Cobra_front end view with amber colored headlight lenses__Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

As the morning progressed, the Cobra drew not only people but a trio of 1950’s and 1960’s vintage Porsches, as witnessed by the photos below.

A trio of 50s & 60s classic sports cars_ Blue 1957 Porsche 356A, Wimbledon White 1964 Shelby 427 Cobra, and the blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

To the Cobra’s left, a blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS, and to its right, a blue 1957  Porsche 356A coupe, and just out of frame, a departing Red 1957 356A Speedster with a rare black, hard top option.

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_ side mirror reflection_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012Wimbledon White 1964 427 Cobra reflection in blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS side mirror_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012Red 1957 Porsche 356A speedster w/ optional black hard top, and blue 356A Coupe_ 3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

 Blue 1957 Porsche 356A coupe_headlight & driving light detail_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012Red 1957 356A Porsche speedster reflection in blue 356A coupe hubcap_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

After leaving the Featured lot, I headed back to the main lot to look for new photographic subjects…

Mercedes Benz hood emblem_ silver 300S Cabriolet_Cars& Coffee_October 27, 2012

Black Porsche 997 Cabriolet and silver 2008 GT3_3/4 rear w/ reflections_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

Black Porsche 997 Cabriolet _with silver 997 GT3 reflection_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

Silver 2008 Porsche GT3_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

Silver 2008 Porsche GT3_Silver wheel and Yellow caliper / PCCB brakes_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

Red Ferrari F430 spyder_rear deck reflections_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

Grand Prix white Porsche 993 Turbo_rear wing & badge detail_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012Grand Prix white Porsche 993 Turbo_turbo tail detail_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012Porsche row_911 headlights & reflections_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012 One of the hidden treasures relegated to the overflow lot, due to Saturday mornings overflow crowd, was this beautiful two toned, red & white 1958 corvette convertible…

Red & white 1958 corvette roadster_front view_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

Red & white 1958 corvette roadster_white side scallop detail_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012 Red & white 1958 corvette roadster_headlight & trim reflections_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

Red & white 1958 corvette roadster_side mirror reflections_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

Since the event was now bathed in full sunlight, I decided to return to Porsche row and take a second look at the pair of Porsche 914-6 that I had seen under darkness several hours earlier.

Signal orange 1971 Porsche 914-6 GT factory race car_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

From all outward appearances, the black colored headlight bezel would lead one to believe that this race car could be a 1973 model, since Porsche installed white bezels on the 914 models from 1970 -1972. However, because this is actually a 1971 914-6 GT factory race car, maybe they used the black bezel for the sake of aesthetics (to match the black trim of the driving lights and front bumper)?  For a brief back story on Porsche 914 headlights, please use this link, for details from one of my previous posts.

Signal Orange 1971 Porsche 914-6 GT factory race car_headlight detail_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

Signal Orange 1971 Porsche 914-6 GT factory race car_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee_October 27, 2012

Looking back on the mornings encounters, I realized that an underlying theme to this post and to a majority of my photos had been car headlights. And all it took was this signal orange Porsche 914-6,  and its abundance of illumination to set the stage…

(All photos by the author)


Of Ford GT’s and the “Gumball Rally” 427 Shelby Cobra…

While still under the cover of darkness, I made my way south on the 5 freeway towards Cars&Coffee / Irvine on Saturday morning March 3. As I neared Irvine, I noticed in my rear view mirror a pair of headlights closing quickly. And in a matter of seconds, a low slung, black Ford GT with white stripes and large white meatball with a black number 2 centered on its door was right next to me. As we continued south, the driver accelerated and pulled ahead by about 3 car lengths. Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, a California Highway Patrol cruiser with yellow lights flashing passed me and took up a position right behind the black Ford GT. And instead of pulling over, the Ford GT continued southbound with the CHP right on its bumper. While watching this event unfold in front of me, I heard a loud rumble, and looked over to see a bright yellow Ford GT  pull up beside me, also watching the events ahead. We continued south, running side by side, and watching the CHP and Black Ford GT running nose to tail for about a mile.  And then the strangest thing happened. The CHP cruiser pulled out, passing the black Ford GT, and sped away with its lights still flashing ( guess it was the Ford GT owners lucky day). The yellow Ford GT then picked up his pace, and with a single upshift, spit a pair of blue fireballs out of it dual exhaust, and began accelerating away from me. But I had already dropped down a gear, and accelerated to match his pace.  I tucked in behind him and we ran like this all the way to the freeway off-ramp, where I was once again treated to a light show of blue colored fireballs erupting from the exhaust with each downshift. By the time we arrived at the parking lot entrance to Cars&Coffee, I immediately knew what the featured make of car would be for the day. Both the black and yellow Ford GT’s were soon waived into the reserved parking lot, to join the cars already on display. After finding a parking space, and having consumed my breakfast, with camera in hand, it was time to head out and see what amazing cars Saturday morning had in store…

Black with white stripes #2 Ford GT_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/3/12

Walking through the Ford display area, I encountered the Black Ford GT with white stripes and racing number that I had watched being stalked on the freeway earlier that morning by the CHP…

Black with white stripes #2 Ford GT_view of motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/3/12 Gulf color schemed #88 Ford GT_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/3/12

The yellow fender showing in this image above, belongs to the fire-ball spitting GT 40 that I shadowed on my way to the show that morning…

Gulf color schemed #88 Ford GT_View of motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/3/12 Gulf color schemed #88 Ford GT_Top view of motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/3/12 Gulf color schemed #88 Ford GT_ view of motor through rear deck window_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/3/12 Gulf color schemed #88 Ford GT_ 3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/3/12 A second Gulf colored Ford GT_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/3/12 A second Gulf colored Ford GT_fender mounted mirror reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/3/12 A second Gulf colored Ford GT _w/Gurney Weslake motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/3/12 Red Ford GT with black center wheels_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/3/12 Red Ford GT with black center wheels_side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/3/12 Red Ford GT with black center wheels_engine compartment_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/3/12 Red Ford GT with black center wheels_detail of Gurney Weslake motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/3/12 Red Ford GT with black center wheels_3/4 rear view with opened rear deck_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/3/12

Intermingled with the Ford GT’s were other Ford powered vehicles, ranging from Shelby Cobras, Sunbeam Tigers and an assortment of Pantera’s.

One of the standouts from the Shelby Cobra’s gathered that morning was this Guardsman Blue, 1966 427 Shelby Cobra seen below. What made this car even more unique, was the role it played in the 1976 movie “The Gumball Rally”. For those of you that remember the film, yes, this is the actual Guardsman Blue, 427 Shelby Cobra featured throughout the movie.

1966 427 Shelby Cobra_Guardsman Blue_Gumball Rally movie car_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/3/12

1966 427 Shelby Cobra_Guardsman Blue_Gumball Rally movie car_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/3/12

1966 427 Shelby Cobra_Guardsman Blue_biography_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/3/12

The current owner had even included a biography on the car as shown above, highlighting its history and involvement in “The Gumball Rally”…

1966 427 Shelby Cobra_Guardsman Blue_trunk reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/3/12

1966/67 427 Shelby Cobra_Guardsman Blue_rear view & reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/3/12

 Even the Cobra’s license plate was a clue to this cars identity for those in the know. Now all that was missing was a red Ferrari 365 Daytona Spyder and “Franco”…

(All photos by the author)