digitaldtour has awoke from its prolonged hibernation…

Dear followers,

You may have wondered what happened to digitaldtour after my last new years post, with promises of changes to come.

Well, what happened was a 6 month business assignment to Shanghai China. So with my trusty MacBook Pro in hand and my photo archive saved digitally, I was off to Shanghai with expectations of being able to continue writing my blog on weekends. Unfortunately the Chinese government frowns on social media, and blocks access to social media providers, which in my case meant that my blog support provider (WordPress) fell into the category of “blocked providers”. I have now returned stateside, with intentions of picking up where I left off.

So here is the delayed kick-off of digitaldtour for 2016.

And since this is June, what better way to jump-start my blog than with a countdown to this year’s Le Mans 24 2016 race (just 4 days away), starting with a shot I took back in 2014, during my first trip to this amazing race.

Porsche 919 hybrid _pan shot _tetre rouge entry lemans 24_2014

So best wishes to all of the Porsche teams competing in this years race, and here’s hoping that the factory team scores another one-two finish again this year.

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Rennsport Reunion 5: A look at one of The Revs Institute’s charges; the 1969 Porsche 908LH

There’s something about the pre 1970s Porsche race cars that over the years have drawn me to them from a photographic and design standpoint, and the Porsche seen below is no exception.

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The car in question is a 1969 908LH, Porsches winningest chassis (#908 025); one very low and sleek, built for speed streamliner, powered by a 2997cc air-cooled flat 8 motor, developing 350 horsepower. Sufficient to propel this car into the realm of 200 mph, and on this weekend, onto the memory card within my DSLR.

I first encountered this very car back in 1992 at the Monterey Historics, displayed by the Collier Collection, based out of Naples Florida. In 2009, The Rev’s Institute was founded, as an evolution of the Collier Collection, by its founder Miles Collier, with the goal of creating a venue for the further promotion of “automotive research and historical studies”.

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(Below) The pilot for the weekend was none other than Gunnar Jeannette (dressed in black), intently focused on securing a GoPro onto the roof of the 908LH.

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GoPro track coverage set, fore and aft…

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Prepped and rolling out for its track session.

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Staged on pit lane (below), as a participant in Saturday afternoon’s pit lane concours.

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One striking detail that I noticed was changed from the last time I saw this car, were its colored body accents. This was a very graphic way for Porsche to differentiate their individual team cars when part of a multi car team. Back in 1992, I remembered the green accents being much darker, similar to Porsche’s Irish Green. However, when I spoke with a team member from The Revs Institute about the color, he said the current color is a more accurate representation of what was applied back in 1969. This current application in addition to being matte fluorescent green, also exhibited brush strokes. So my second question was regarding the actual paint make-up, and the response confirmed my suspicions. All of the green accents were painted using water based tempera paint, similar to what’s routinely used in grade school art classes.

This paint medium approach to nose graphics appeared to have been embraced by a variety of the other Porsche race cars (from the same time period), also wearing similar matte finish graphics in a variety of period colors. Unfortunately, the one question that I failed to ask was regarding the effect of weather on this paint. If it rained, would the fluorescent green paint wash off, or would it become a visual tracer, ideal for studying the aerodynamic airflow over the car? Or would the painted accents be intact, protected by a matte clear coat finish?

So if anyone from The Revs Institute happens to read this blog post, I would appreciate some closure to my question: matte fluorescent green accents; clear coat protected or ?

All photos by the author

Finally, a brand new Porsche GT3 RS4.0 sighting, and the latest offerings from Dutchman Motorbikes…

Well it finally happened… a brand new Porsche GT3 RS4.0 sighting!

Saturday morning July 13 finally saw the end of my Porsche GT3 RS4.0 sightings drought. At half past 6, I watched as a white GT3 RS4.0 made its way through the parking lot in search of a space. As it passed by, I noticed that it wore a Montana license plate, which meant this would be a brand new RS4.0 to add to my spotters list. So after a brief search through the parking lot, I finally found the white RS4.0 in question.

White Porsche GT3RS4.0_side view_cars&coffee_ July 13, 2013

After giving the car a quick once-over, I headed  to the passenger side window in order to check out the dashboard plaque located on the glove box, identifying the cars series build number. It turned out that this car was number 513 out of the total production of 600 GT3 RS4.0 models. It also marks the eleventh RS4.0 that I have been fortunate enough to see in person, and currently represents the highest serial number I’ve encountered.

White Porsche GT3RS4.0_rear wing with Porsche graphic_cars&coffee_ July 13, 2013

Visually, the car appeared to be a stock RS4.0, with the model specific silver and red striping and graphics. However, when it came to the wheels, the owner obviously opted for black (as seen below), instead of the standard white or silver option wheels.

White Porsche GT3RS4.0_black wheel with yellow Porsche PCCB caliper rotor_cars&coffee_ July 13, 2013

White Porsche GT3RS4.0_rear view_cars&coffee_ July 13, 2013

White Porsche GT3RS4.0_angled, 3/4 front view_cars&coffee_ July 13, 2013

Located on the outside end of the next row over from the Porsche was another gathering of unique high performance vehicles; in this case the latest offerings from Dutchman Motorbikes…

Dutchman Motorbikes_group shot, lined up_cars&coffee_ July 13, 2013

Below is an example of one of Mark’s latest creations; a tribute to the late James Dean and his silver Porsche 550 Spyder.

Dutchman Motorbikes_James Dean tribute bike, 3/4 side view with Porsche background_cars&coffee_ July 13, 2013

The bike even included (in the form of an applied graphic on the hard tail), the nickname Dean had given his Porsche 550 Spyder…

Dutchman Motorbikes_James Dean tribute bike, hardtail tribute graphic_cars&coffee_ July 13, 2013

Two other bikes from this morning grouping also happened to share details (graphics and / or color) with several Porsche models that just happened to be present at the show that morning…

Dutchman Motorbikes_white Mobil oil graphics / bike and white Porsche 964 C2 targa w/graphic_cars&coffee_ July 13, 2013

Dutchman Motorbikes_Viper green Porsche GT3RS and lime green Dutchman Motorbike__cars&coffee_ July 13, 2013

For anyone interesting in checking out the latest offerings or to contact Mark at Dutchman Motorbikes, please check out this link to view his site.

Dutchman Motorbikes_black fuel tank and logo detail__cars&coffee_ July 13, 2013

And don’t be surprised if while attending August’s Monterey Historics, you encounter some of these very motorbikes serving as pit transportation for a number of race drivers and their teams…

(All photos by the author)

Thank you from digitaldtour…

Today marks a milestone for my blog, and I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge it.

I have just surpassed 1000 followers to my blog, and wanted to thank all of you that have found my blog (digitaldtour.com) to be of sufficient interest and worthy of following. I truly appreciate all of the comments and encouragement I have received, and hope that you will continue to enjoy my future postings…

Thank you all and Regards,

Chris

(Porsche GT2 photo by the author)

The debut of digitaldtour…

Growing up in Southern California, it’s difficult for a young boy not to be influenced by the car culture present in everyday life. It didn’t hurt that my grandfather was passionate about Mercedes Benz automobiles, and throughout his life was fortunate enough to own a variety of models. Going for drives with my grandfather, and spending time with him in the garage while he worked on his car,  taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the garage environment was just the start. As were the times spent listening to his stories of traveling with my grandmother to europe to take delivery of a new Mercedes 280 SL, and his high speed runs down the autobahn (while my grandmother was asleep), also made for a lasting  impression. As a result, and over time it became obvious that I was developing an appreciation and passion for all things automotive. However,  it was my dad who stepped in and actually taught me how to wrench on cars, beginning with my basic training on our unsuspecting family cars.  Fortunately his philosophy of “the right tool for the job” translated into a garage full of really cool hand tools. His early training has served me well over the years, and still does to this day.

Then at the age of twelve, I  discovered the magic of the Porsche 911, one sunny summer afternoon while out riding my bike. It was red, with a black interior and chrome wheels, and belonged to a family that lived several blocks from my house. The profile of the car, combined with the curvature of the fenders and the fluid integration of the headlights, positioned to frame the front hood, had a huge collective impact.  However, what completed this 911 encounter was hearing the exhaust note for the very first time, produced by it’s flat six motor. That unique, distinctive sound became imprinted in my memory from that day forward, and even today when I hear that familiar exhaust note, it still brings a smile to my face. Throughout that summer, each new encounter with the red Porsche 911 further cemented my resolve to one day own a Porsche 911 of my own.

Fast forward to my junior year of high school, and the start of my search for my first car. After looking at a variety of cars with my dad (non-porsche), and  even after test driving a brand new Porsche 914 at my dad’s suggestion, I was still determined to find my 911. So I kept looking. And looking. Then one afternoon while out running an errand, there it was. Parked near the edge of a parking lot, with a for sale sign in the windshield, a Porsche 911. I turned my mom’s car around and went back to check it out.  It was a 1966 911, silver with a black interior and riding on fuch 5 spoke alloy wheels. I wrote down the contact information and raced home to tell my dad about my discovery. Long story short, a call was made and a test drive was scheduled with the owner. After a brief drive behind the wheel by both myself and my dad, a decision was made.  Later that afternoon, after emptying out my savings account,  I was the new owner of a 1966 Porsche 911. And that became the start of the Porsche magic with my 1966 911, that lasted for 14 years.

It was during this time that my interests in photography and design really took off, and my dad and I began attending the sports car races held at Riverside raceway. With camera in hand, I began stalking my prey ( primarily Porsche’s), both at rest and at speed. As my skills developed further, along with my interest in photography,  my dad suggested we set up a darkroom at home, so we could printing our own black and white and color prints. I also joined the Porsche Club of America, which gave me the opportunity to connect on a personal level with the Porsche community, and allowed further photographic access to a broader cross section of Porsche’s ( introductions to the Porsche 356 model range, as well as a variety of  Porsche 911’s). My dad also became a Porsche convert, and after a brief search in 1973 purchased his first 911:  a fully “S optioned”, silver 1973.5 911T.

Over time, our attendance at Riverside raceway, combined with the friends and contacts made within the Porsche community, began to generate some amazing photographic opportunities for my dad and I.  We began by providing photos of Porsche race cars for several of the local race shops that built the race motors, as well as custom fabricators that designed and built custom bodywork for the Porsche 911’s competing in the GTU class, to the premier class of the series, the Porsche 935’s. We then began getting requests from some of the top race teams of the day (who happened to see our photos of their cars on display in the race shops that they worked with). This resulted in our being asked to shoot for them at upcoming races. This was an amazing experience in that we were given full access to the paddock area, as well as the pits, which afforded a unique perspective to the racing action (up close and personal), that one normally never has the chance to experience. We also had the opportunity to meet many of the top Porsche race drivers of the day competing in the IMSA series. One driver in particular (Jim Busby of Laguna Beach) became a friend, and as a result invited us out to Riverside Raceway to photo document a shake down / test session of his brand new Porsche 935. Words cannot do justice in describing the experience of being out at the track , talking with Jim and his mechanics, and watching the car be put through it’s paces. It was an absolutely amazing day, and one I will never forget.  As the IMSA series evolved and the Porsche 935’s gave way to the GTP cars ( Lola T-70’s,  March, Jaguar, Mazda and the mighty Porsche 962’s), we stayed in touch with  Jim , and many of our photos ended up being given to his team sponsors as gifts.

Which brings me to today. I am still as passionate about Porsches as I was at twelve years old (my wife calls it my obsession). I am still connected to the Porsche community, and frequent a local car show on a weekly basis (Cars & Coffee / Irvine on Saturdays), with my 1986 Porsche Carrera coupe.  My two sons have both inherited an interest in photography, and have each come into their own as skilled photographers, and also share my passion for Porsches.  Since today is September 17 ( 9/17/11), I saw this as a sign of the perfect day to launch my blog.  The Porsche 917 is revered as one of the all time classic, milestone Porsche race cars, and Porsche is  once again bringing to market a newly redesigned 911, having  undergone a considerable number of changes, yet still retaining it’s family profile. I just hope that the current Panamera influences creeping into this new 911 design quickly fade away, and Porsche discontinues the dilution of the original attributes that have made and kept it uniquely a 911…

(All photography by the author)