Digital snippets…

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.

Blue porsche 964 turbo_front view_cars&coffee_October 4, 2014

Blue porsche 11 Carrera 3.0 _rear spoiler reflections_cars&coffee_October 4, 2014

Black Porsche 991_3/4 rear view w/reflections_cars&coffee_October 18, 2014

Red Porsche 991 GT3_rear wing endplate with reflections _cars&coffee_October 4, 2014

White 1972 Porsche 911ST recreation_ rear decklid detail_cars&coffee_September 27, 2014

White 1972 Porsche 911ST recreation_ front view_cars&coffee_September 27, 2014

2014 Red Corvette C7_3/4 front view with reflections_cars&coffee_OCtober 18, 2014

Red Corvette C7_front view w/reflections & Ford reserved painted parking space graphic_cars&coffee_October 18, 2014

white 2014 Porsche GT3_3/4 rear oblique angle_cars&coffee_October 18, 20142014 Porsche GT3_rear wing with graphics detail_cars&coffee_October 18, 2014Chevrolet Bel -Air with Chrysler Hemi_3/4 side view_cars&coffee_October 18, 2014

Chevrolet Bel -Air with Chrysler Hemi_motor detail _cars&coffee_October 18, 2014

VW type 2 transporter 21 window safari_3/4 front view w/ reflections_cars&coffee_September 13, 2014

Green late 1950s VW Oval window beetle_front hood reflections_cars&coffee_October 18, 2014

Green late 1950s VW Oval window beetle_hub cap detail_cars&coffee_October 18, 2014

Silver BMW 3.0CSL batmobile _rear trunk lid/holddown shadows_cars&coffee_September 13, 2014

Red 1953 Cadillac Eldorado convertible_front fender detail_cars&coffee_October 18, 2014

Red 1953 Cadillac Eldorado convertible_front grill detail_cars&coffee_October 18, 2014British racing green jaguar E type roadster_Penny Laine fender graphic_cars&coffee_September 13, 2014British racing green jaguar E type roadster_Penny Laine_front view_cars&coffee_September 13, 2014Mercedes Benz 280SL_headlight detail_cars&coffee_September 13, 2014Porsche stablemates_white 964 and blue backdated 911_headlight detail and reflections_cars&coffee_September 13, 2014

Orange Porsche 911ST_thru hood gas cap detail with shadows_cars&coffee_September 27, 2014

Stone gray Porsche 356 SC coupe_hood badge reflections_cars&coffee_September 27, 2014

Stone gray Porsche 356 SC coupe_3/4 front view with reflections_cars&coffee_September 27, 2014

Black 1932 ford highboy roadster_headlight reflections and suspension detail_cars& coffee_

Red Porsche 911SC) 3/4 front oblique view with reflections_cars&coffee_Septermber 27, 2014

2 Porsche 911 hot rods, rgruppe  style_rear view with opened deckles_cars&coffee_September 27, 2014

Orange Porsche 911ST_hood reflections and people shadows_cars&coffee_September 27, 2014Hopefully, my first experiment has not been a total train wreck, and to my kind followers / subscribers, you have found these images to be worthy of your time.

Please stay tuned for my next installment…

(All photos by the author)

 

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A look inside O.C.T.O.’s Winter Swap and Display meet for 2013, or dreams of VW Type 2 Transporter ownership…

Like swallows returning to the Mission in San Juan Capistrano, Saturday, February 23 witnessed the return of the O.C.T.O. (Orange County Transporters Organization) Winter Meet, Swap and Display to Veteran’s  Stadium in Long Beach California.

This year marks my second time attending this event, and I’m sure there were a lot of other people who like myself, came with aspirations of VW Type 2 ownership. And just like last years event, there was a parking lot filled with the prospect of amazing vehicles to suit just about any taste.

And there’s nothing quite like the sense of anticipation, as one approaches a parking lot filled with nothing but Type 2 Transporters as far as the eye can see..

Dove Blue Chick Iverson Panel van_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

White safari windowed & sunroofed Type 2_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

Single cab and double cab row (below)…

Single and double cab row_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

A beautifully restored, Dove Blue single cab wearing DunnTech Motorsports graphics…

DunnTech Motorsports Dove Blue single cab _OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

DunnTech Motorsports single cab _Door graphic & reflections _OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

and its equally impressive engine compartment and detailed motor.

DunnTech Motorsports single cab _motor _OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

A pair of “his and hers” buses (below). His – a two-toned copper and white, 1964 deluxe, and Hers -a 1967, blue and white 21 split window…

His & Hers 1964 & 1967 Type 2's _OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

Another two toned, safari windowed bus, representing the “Oil Drippers” car club.

Two toned "Oil Drippers " club  Type 2 _OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

Two toned "Drippers " club  Type 2 _Rear window graphic_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

Another of the current automotive trends is matte finish paint. Below are some of the Type 2’s in attendance wearing matte paint finishes, in both monochrome and two-toned schemes.

Matte Orange bus_front view_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

Matte black & tan bus_3/4 front view_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

Matte lime green panel van_3/4 front view_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

Matte tan Type 2_side view_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

Parked amongst its normal proportioned peers, was this  blue “Shorty” bus, a post 1955 vintage panel van; a very well executed modification, with one very short wheelbase…

Blue Shorty panel van_3/4 front view_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013
Blue Shorty panel van_3/4 rear view_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

Another beautifully restored, two toned Type 2 bus…

Two toned cream & black Type 2_3/4 front view_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

complete with safari front windows and side pop-outs (above & below).

Two toned cream & black Type 2_ front view_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

Classic banjo styled steering wheel and custom upholstered interior.

Two toned cream & black Type 2_interior /dash view_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

And out back, an unexpected surprise: a custom turbocharged motor.

Two toned cream & black Type 2_turbocharged motor_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

In stark contrast, and located several rows over, was this Dove Blue single cab with its OG finish, yet sporting a set of polished, Porsche Fuchs 5 spoke alloy wheels.

Dove Blue single cab w/OG paint _side view_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

Dove Blue single cab w/OG paint _polished Porsche 5 spoke ally wheel detail_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

And no Type 2 show would be complete without at least one pre 1955 bus, in the classic two-toned color combination of Chestnut Brown over Sealing Wax Red.

1950's vintage 2 toned chestnut brown and sealing wax red Type 2_3/4 front view _OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

An example of the rare, European fluted headlight lens (above & below)…

1950's vintage 2 toned chestnut brown and sealing wax red Type 2_headlight detail _OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

1950's vintage 2 toned chestnut brown and sealing wax red Type 2_hubcap reflections _OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

One of my personal favorites from the show was this amazing, 1958 Dove Blue single cab (as seen below).

1958 Dove Blue single cab_3/4 front view_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

1958 Dove Blue single cab_front license plate detail_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

Another example of the very cool European fluted headlight lens.

1958 Dove Blue single cab_headlight lens detail_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

This particular single cab was fully equipped with safari front windows, a single driving light, wood slat roof rack and rear bed rack…

1958 Dove Blue single cab_3/4 front view-drivers side_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

A beautifully restored interior, right down to its three spoke steering wheel…

1958 Dove Blue single cab_dash detail_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

And once again, another Type 2 wearing a set of polished Porsche Fuchs 5 spoke alloy wheels, but in this case running a wider wheel set up front, instead of the traditional (narrower) 4-1/2″ X 15″, 5 spoke wheels.

1958 Dove Blue single cab_polished alloy wheel detail_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

Period correct details, right down to the combined brake light / tail lights, and rear and side gates with the stamped panel reinforcement details…

1958 Dove Blue single cab_3/4 rear view_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

1958 Dove Blue single cab_ rear engine lid reflections_OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

Another of the beautifully restored, mid 1960’s vintage, two-toned buses, fitted with dual wooden slat roof racks and wrapped in a flawless, mirror like paint finish, perfect for reflecting its surroundings.

Two toned wine red and white Type 2_3/4 front view w/side reflections_ OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

As the license plates notes (see below), this is another 1966 vintage, two toned bus (Velvet Green over Pearl White), fit with a pair of fully functioning Safari front windows and side pop outs. Equally impressive is knowing the amount of time needed to produce these type of visual results and flawless paint finishes as displayed.

Two toned green and white Type 2_3/4 front view w/side reflections_ OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

The second of my favorite buses from the show was this spectacular 1966 model (as seen below), complete with front safari windows and its unique two toned paint. The owner  when asked about the paint colors, shared with me that he had stayed brand loyal, and specified a 2004 VW color for the pale blue lower panels, and a 2009 VW color for the pale cream panels (nose, roof and dash).

1966 Two toned blue & cream white Type 2_front view_ OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

Seeing this bus, and appreciating all of the hard work and efforts put into creating such stunning results, is what provides inspiration for those of us with dreams of Type 2 Transporter ownership.

1966 Two toned blue & cream white Type 2_3/4 front view_ OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

This unique color palette even carried over into the interior, with the owner using a light tan upholstery, complemented by the light cream colored piping accents found on the seating.

1966 Two toned blue & cream white Type 2_interior & dash_ OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

Another perfect choice of wheels as seen below; Polished Porsche 5 spoke Fuchs alloys, mounted front and rear.

1966 Two toned blue & cream white Type 2_Polished Porsche alloy wheel_ OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

1966 Two toned blue & cream white Type 2_Rear view_ OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

1966 Two toned blue & cream white Type 2_3/4 side view_ OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013
And for the finishing touch; a dash mounted hula girl, serenading and watching over the occupants…

1966 Two toned blue & cream white Type 2_dash mounted hula girl_ OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

On the way back to my car, I happened to pass by this pale gray colored single cab, and in the process, caught a glimpse of a silvery object resting in the rear bed.

Pale gray Type 2 single cab_3/4 front view_ OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

As I approached, It quickly became apparent that the silver object in the rear bed was in fact a scaled down version of a Porsche 550 Spyder.

Pale gray Type 2 single cab_silver Porsche 550 Spyder model in bed_ OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

After talking with the owner, I learned that this single seat replica was in fact an electric-powered, and potentially a very cool ride for a small child.

Pale gray Type 2 single cab_w/ silver Porsche 550 Spyder , 3/4 rear view in bed_ OCTO 2013 Winter show_February 23, 2013

And what an ironic way to wrap up my morning spent at the O.C.T.O. Winter meet;  at the weekly car show that I usually attend, there is a high percentage of Porsches in attendance, with a handful of vintage VW’s present, and now here at an all VW Type 2 show, what should I encounter but a scaled down replica of a Porsche 550 Spyder.        Go figure…

(All photos by the author)

Observations from the 2012 O.C.T.O Show; a showcase of VW type II transporters…

Last Saturday morning saw a major departure from my usual weekend routine. On this particular morning, I found myself heading south down the 605 freeway towards Long Beach, to check out the VW type II transporter show titled “The 2012 O.C.T.O Show”. The event was hosted by the Orange County Transporter Organization, staged in the parking lot at Long Beach Veterans Memorial Stadium, as a vehicle display and swap meet. For anyone with an interest in Volkswagen type II transporters (produced from 1949 through 1967), these are the ideal type of event to attend. Then imagine finding yourself surrounded by a parking lot full of nothing but vintage type II  buses; with each new row encountered, there existed the possibility of coming face to face with an even more amazing bus than the last…

VW type II transporters _Purple & white bus / nose to tail, front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporters  _ Lime green and white bus side view_The 2012 O.C.T.O show_June 9, 2012

And in the middle of it all was the events featured “Barn-Door display”, as seen below

VW type II transporter _Barndoor display _red & black lowered bus, 3/4 front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporters _Barndoor display _hubcap reflection_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter _Barndoor display _red & black lowered bus, 3/4 side view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporters _Barndoor display _a trio of buses, 3/4 front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

No matter ones preference regarding Volkswagen type II’s (barn-door, Single Cab, Dual Cab, Panelvan, Safari windowed bus, etc.), you were assured of finding an example or two on display. And if looking to buy parts to restore a bus, or maybe even purchase a vehicle, the event was able to accommodated either pursuit.

VW type II transporters _swap meet section, body parts_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporters _swap meet section, vintage bus for sale_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

1967 13 window deluxe bus_green & white for sale_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

1967 13 window deluxe bus_ for sale description_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

The following photos represent a small percentage of the total number of participants present the morning of the show…

VW type II transporter_ Blue Panelvan_ side view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter_ Blue panel van_ OG finish, side view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter_ Surf Canada panel van_ aged finish, side view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter_ green double cab_3/4 front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

W type II transporter _ green double cab_front bumper reflections_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter _ charcoal gray/carbon fiber double cab_rear view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter _ charcoal gray/carbon fiber double cab_3/4 front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _ Red and white double cab_3/4 front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _ Red and white double cab_turbo motor detail_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _ Gray Panelvan_3/4 front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _ Gray Panelvan_3/4 rear view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

Interior view below, showing optional equipment code # M199 – Drivers seat swivel…

VW type II transporter  _Gray Panelvan_blue tinted interior _The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Gray Panelvan_3/4 side view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Dove blue single cab__3/4 front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Dove blue single cab__steering wheel detail_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Dove blue single cab__motor detail_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

Type II transporter_Wolfsburg West,  Lite Gray Panelvan_The 2012 O.Ct.o Show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _turquoise OG paint finish_side view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Red & white safari windowed bus_side view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Two- toned gray Panelvan_3/4 front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Two- toned gray Panelvan_rear view- motor, fuel tank, spare tire_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Two- toned bus_lite mint green and black_3/4 front view & reflections_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Two- toned bus_lite mint green and black_Side panel reflections_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Two- toned bus_lite mint green and black_Door reflections_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Two- toned bus_pale beige and black_3/4 front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Dove Blue with yellow fog lights_ front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

For a listing of upcoming VW shows and events near you, please check out the following website:  www.thesamba.com

(All photos by the author)

“I Keep Holdin’ on to Yesterday”…

My title for this post came from what I perceived as the theme for last weeks gathering at Cars&Coffee, and reinforced after recently hearing the song with the same title by the 1970s group Ambrosia. Saturday morning May 26th definitely had a nostalgic feel to it, given the sheer number of vintage cars that were in attendance.

This was especially true regarding the first pair of vehicles I encountered that morning; a Dove Blue Volkswagen type II transporter, parked alongside a pale yellow Porsche 356 A coupe. This setting looked like a scene straight out of the 1950s…

Dove blue VW type II transporter and pale yellow Porsche 356 A coupe_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

Dove blue VW type II transporter _rear view_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

Dove blue VW type II transporter _rear view details_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

And just two cars to the west of this pairing sat another classic; a black, 1950s vintage Porsche 356 A coupe. In addition to having a flawless paint finish, the car possessed a very interesting  interior; one that was finished and detailed in green leather. Combined with its charcoal gray carpet, it made for a very interesting color combination. The green leather actually worked quite well with the black exterior, though not a color combination one normally associates with a black car.

Black Porsche 356A coupe w/green interior_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

Black Porsche 356A coupe w/green interior_interior shot-drivers side_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

From the outside, it was obvious that a lot of time had been spent on body work; addressing panel gaps, hours of block sanding and the laying down of a mirror like paint finish. The reflections alone were incredible, with body panels as smooth as glass, another testament to the amount of care given to the prep work. And the chrome trim installed was just as pristine as the rest of the car.

Black Porsche 356A coupe w/green interior_front fender reflections_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

Black Porsche 356A coupe w/green interior_front view with reflections_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

And out back, the reflections were just as amazing.

Black Porsche 356A coupe w/green interior_3/4 rear view with reflections_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

Black Porsche 356A coupe w/green interior_3/4 side view with reflections_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

My next stop was just across the aisle at Porsche row, to check out the mornings assembled participants.

Orange 1970 Porsche 914-6_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

My first subject on Porsche row was this beautifully restored, orange 1970 Porsche 914-6. While I was standing at the back of the car, studying the reflections and colors visible across the rear decklid and bumper, the owner approached and suggested I take a look up front, as he had an interesting detail to share.

Orange 1970 Porsche 914-6_front view with raised headlights_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

Once I was positioned up front, and with a twist of the key, the owner powered up the electrical system and up popped the headlights. It turned out that the mystery detail was the white headlight trim bezels (as seen above and below), which are incredibly rare, and as I came to learn, were only sourced from 1970 through 1972. By 1973, Porsche switched over to using only black trim bezels.  These were the first white bezels I think I had ever seen on a Porsche 914, let alone on a 914-6, but because of the meticulous concours preparation that this car has undergone, I would expect nothing less than absolute period-correctness. I also received some additional design insight into the origins of the pop-up headlights as used on the 914. Apparently Porsches original design for the 914 had the headlights located just below the bumper (where the fog lights wound up being located), but because of the United States headlight height laws, it became apparent that the original location would not work. Porsche returned to the drawing board and came up with an ingenious solution; pop up headlights. By positioning them above the bumper, at the corners of the front hood, once raised their centerline height was almost identical to that of the 1970 model year Porsche 911s. They now had a design which would be in compliance with the U.S. headlight height law.

(This same design concept would reappear, repurposed for 1977, incorporated into the design of the brand new Porsche 928).

Orange 1970 Porsche 914-6_front headlight with white trim bezel_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

My next stop was over at the “Featured lot”, which on this morning hosted an eclectic mix of automobiles. Tucked away in a corner parking spot, sat this burgundy over tan, “coffin nosed” 1937 Cord 812 convertible, as seen below.

From a historical standpoint, the Cord was the first American front wheel drive vehicle produced, which also included the use of an independent front suspension. Cord produced two different models over a two-year period; the model 810 in 1936, powered by a 289 cubic inch motor.

Burgundy 1937 Cord 812 convertible with tan interior_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

Burgundy 1937 Cord 812 convertible with tan interior_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

Burgundy 1937 Cord 812 convertible with tan interior_interior view_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

For 1937, the model 812 was built, which added a supercharger to the base 289 motor, bumping up the horsepower figure to 170, well over the stock motors rating of 125 hp.

Burgundy 1937 Cord 812 convertible_side view of pontoon fender_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

Burgundy 1937 Cord 812 convertible_detail of pontoon fender, exhaust pipes and reflections_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

The key design feature used to identify a Cord 812 from an 810 model were the external, dual chrome plated exhaust pipes that exited out the sides of the front cowl, merging into the cars pontoon front fenders (as seen above and below).

Burgundy 1937 Cord 812 convertible_detail of pontoon fender, engine, exhaust pipes and reflections_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

British Racing Green Jaguar E Type roadster race car_front view_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

Parked just across the row and facing towards the Cord, was this beautifully prepared, modified British Racing Green Jaguar E Type roadster, one of several Jaguars on display. This car is still campaigned in vintage racing events, and on this morning was being displayed complete with a drivers helmet resting in the interior.

British Racing Green Jaguar E Type roadster race car_cockpit view_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

British Racing Green Jaguar E Type roadster race car_cockpit view with F 1 helmet detail_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

I immediately recognized this helmet design as being from Formula 1, but could not remember which driver had this as his personal design. After doing some research when I returned home, I was able to confirm that this was in fact the helmet design as worn by Eddie Irvine during his career with the Jaguar Formula 1 Racing team, during the 2002 F1 season. It was also the same helmet design Eddie Irvine wore during his participation in the 2002 United States Grand Prix.

British Racing Green Jaguar E Type roadster race car_rear view with reflections _Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

And parked just one row behind the Jaguar, as seen below, was this beautifully restored yet slightly modified, early 1970’s vintage Datsun 240 Z (produced well before the rebranding of the marque, which saw the name change to Nissan).

Restored early 1970's orange Datsun 240 Z_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

Back over at the main lot, cars had already begun leaving, but were quickly being replaced by cars that had been queued up and waiting to enter the event. I had observed  these changes first hand, especially since the pale yellow Porsche 356 A coupe that had been parked next to the Dove blue VW Type II transporter was now gone. However, in its place was a black Porsche 997 turbo cabriolet.

Dove blue VW type II transporter and Black Porsche 997 turbo cabriolet_3/4 rear view with reflections_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

This also presented another interesting visual comparison; old and new models displayed side by side, providing a clear example of  changes in automotive design philosophy, technology and vehicle evolution.

 Black Porsche 997 turbo cabriolet_3/4 rear view with VW type II bus reflections_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

This pairing also made for some very interesting visual imagery: reflections cast across the flanks of the turbo Porsches bodywork…

 Black Porsche 997 turbo cabriolet_rear view with VW type II bus and green porsche 911 reflections_Cars&Coffee_May 26, 2012

As I was getting ready to leave the event, I hard a rumor that the following weekends event (on Saturday June 2), would be a tribute to Mercedes-Benz. My immediate thoughts raced at the possibility of another gathering of 300SL gullwings, SL’s, SLR’s and more. Little did I know the surprises that awaited… Please stay tuned for my next post with coverage from another truly amazing event.

(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)

Every day you’ll see the dust (too much, the magic bus)

VW bus, wheel reflection, O.C.T.O. winterfest, Feb 2011Yes, the Type 2 transporters (VW buses) in all of their permutations can be magic. From the Split Screens, Bay Window buses, panel vans, single cabs, dual cabs, Kombi’s, and every other model in between, there is literally something for everyone.

To witness this magic firsthand, one simply needs to locate one of the local VW bus clubs and attend one of their shows. You can be guaranteed of seeing an amazing cross-section of  models in just above every condition; the recently discovered  “barn -finds”, or the solid, original buses with OG paint (with just the right amount patina), to the fully restored, factory correct time capsules  ( accurate representations with the proper paint color / combinations), period correct interiors, with the proper upholstery materials and trim, right down to the bone stock, original motor. Then there are the two remaining groups that may be frowned upon by the purists; owners of the fully customized, personal interpretation of what a transporter can be, or the owners of the borderline “OG  / I found it in a field after 40 years, rusting away” transporters. Personally, I have a hard time understanding the latter groups  philosophy of not restoring and preserving (if possible) these older rusty transporters.

Regardless of your personal preferences towards type 2 transporters,  you are assured of finding an example that will meet or exceed your expectations at any of the local shows in your area. These photos are just a small representation of the type 2 transporters found here in Southern California. Now it’s your turn to look for your magic bus…

Florida VW dual cab, cars&coffee / Irvine_2010

Dual cab , florida bus, O.C.T. O. fest, october 2010O.C.T.O. fest show,  Huntington beach, CA.,October 2010Safari window bus, O.C.T.O. fest, Huntington beach, CA, October 2010VW bus / OG rust, O.C.T.O. Fest, october 2010VW bus, OG rust&paint, O.C.T.O. fest, October 2010VW bus, custom, O.C.T.O. fest, October 2010VW bus, custom O.C.T.O. fest, October 2010VW bus, custom, O.C.T.O fest, October 2010VW bus, custom,O.C.T.O. fest, October 2010VW bus, turbo motor,O.C.T.O. fest, October 2010VW bus, sealing wax red,O/C.T.O. winterfest, Feb 2011VW bus, sealing wax red headlight,O.C.T.O. winterfest, Feb 2011VW single cab, O.C.T.O. winterfest, OCtober 2011VW bus, O.C.T.O., winterfest, Feb 2011Hot dog Fred bus, chip Foose overhaulin, July 2008(All photos by the author)

The one that got away…

While out driving this past weekend, I happened to come across a beautifully restored example of a1961 VW, 23 window bus, out for a drive in its glowing sealing wax red / beige gray paint scheme. I recognized this bus from a recent car show and when I returned home, searched through my digital files and found a shot of the same bus that I had just seen earlier that afternoon.

1961 type 2 VW bus

This brief encounter got me to thinking about a time back in the early 1990’s, when I had the opportunity to pick up a 1965 VW type 2 panel van from a friend I worked with for  $500. He had already begun the restoration; the body work had been completed, and the  entire van was now covered in gray primer. The suspension had been rebuilt  and the  bus had been lowered, and sat on stock wheels. There was no motor, however I did not see that as a problem.  Since the van still had its original transmission, I would just need to source a new motor. It was literally a blank canvas awaiting a new owner to complete, and make it his or her own. And with this being my first introduction to the world of  type 2 transporters, I began imagining the possibilities, and for $500  how could I go wrong?

Unfortunately, I had not considered my wife’s reaction to the prospect of a new project, when I shared my ideas with her that evening over dinner. To my surprise her single objection was one of concern for my safety, since I had a long commute each day to work, and she knew that if I bought and restored the bus, that I intended to drive it. She was worried that with so little sheet metal separating the driver from the front of the bus, that in the event of an accident I could be seriously injured. She also threw in the comment of not wanting to become a young widow with two young boys should something happen to me because of my new found project.  So you can imagine the outcome…

Well the years have passed, and with my sons both graduated from college, I have once again begun looking at VW type 2 transporters, and trying to educating myself regarding the differences and features specific by model year. During this process I have learned about the single cabs, dual cabs and  the safari windowed models, in addition to the variations found within the delivery / panel vans family. Part of my education process has included attendance at some of the local car shows, specifically the Bug-in / Treffen events held in Anaheim, California, and the O.C.T.O. Fest events held in Huntington Beach, California. Both events cater to the volkswagen community, while the O.C.T.O club is dedicated to the celebration of the early 1949-1967 transporters.

Armed with my camera and allot of questions, I attended my first event, the Bug-In / Treffen 2 back in 2009. There was an amazing cross section of volkswagens to see, and the number of buses present was mind blowing. I quickly located several early examples staged on the lawn (both 1957 Kombi’s), but it was the Dove Blue example that really caught my eye. After circling the bus several times and taking a couple photos, I struck up a conversation with the owners ( a husband and wife) and began asking them about their bus. I soon learned that the bus had previously been owned by a Ferrari mechanic, and was one of several from his collection. I was then told that fortunately the bus had been very straight and rust free from the beginning, so that during the new owners restoration efforts, there was a minimum of body work required to get it into its present state (which was amazing). The interior was complete, and had come with all of its original parts. I learned that the hardest decision the owners had to make regarding the interior was to select what color leather to use for redoing the interior, and then choose a contrasting color for the piping. They also went ahead and refinished the seat frames and all of the hardware to bring the interior back to like-new. All of their efforts paid off, as the interior was stunning and the perfect compliment to a beautiful exterior.

1957 kombi VW bus

Underneath , the suspension had been rebuilt and the entire bus had been lowered. For brakes, a set of red Porsche 944 calipers were selected for all four corners. These sat behind four chromed, Porsche 5 spoke fuch alloy wheels. Up front,  a set of the increasingly rare and even harder to find, original Porsche  4 1/2″ X15″ fuch 5 spoke alloy wheels were sourced. Out back, the bus rode on a set of factory 6″X15″ fuch 5 spoke alloys.

But the hidden jewel was revealed when the owner opened up the engine lid. Inside sat a highly modified, beautifully detailed, Porsche fan shrouded street motor producing as the owner described “gobs of horsepower and torque”, enough to transform the bus into what he called their “freeway flyer”. If I recall, their motor was somewhere in the realm of 2300 CC,  a far cry from the small displacement  motor that originally occupied the same space.

motor_1957 VW kombi

When I left the event later that afternoon, I was impressed by the friendliness and enthusiastic nature of the many owners who had patiently answered my questions and who had freely shared the back stories regarding their vehicles.

More recently, in February of this year, I  attended the O.C.T.O. Winterfest event, which was a singular celebration of type 2 transporters. Once again, I encountered an amazing collection of vehicles, and the same friendly environment  and willingness on the part of the owners to share their stories and answer my questions. I came away from this event with an even greater appreciation for the VW community, and have some great photographic resources to draw upon for future project inspiration.

The following photos represent a small sampling of the type 2 transporters that were on display at the Winterfest event back in February.

VW type 2 bus_O.C.T.O. Winterfest 2011

Type 2 panel van_O.C.T.O. Winterfest_2011VW dual cab_O.C.T.O. Winterfest_2011VW single cab_O.C.T.O winterfest_2011VW single cab_O.C.T.O winterfest_2011(All photos by the author)