The 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show: Cool Cars displayed under Heat Wave Conditions

This past weekend saw the return of the 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show, held in the midst of the current heat wave that descended upon Southern California, and Saturday’s weather was no exception. By the shows start at 9 AM, the temperature was already racing towards 90 degrees ( 32 degrees Celsius).

My first encounter of the morning was the hot rod flamed, black 1956 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia coupe race car from a local shop; Whittier’s own VW Gold MIne, as seen below…

Black 1956 VW Karmann Ghia with flames_3/4 front view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Black 1956 VW Karmann Ghia with flames_race motor detail _12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Parked just down the street from the Karmann Ghia, was this sole representative from Stuttgart; a white 1964 Porsche 356 SC coupe.

White 1964 Porsche 356SC_3/4 front view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

White 1964 Porsche 356SC_rear view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Further down the street was this beautiful 1930s vintage Chevrolet sedan; with a visible case of extreme negative front camber…

Grey and black, 1930s vintage Chevrolet Sedan_front view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

I did overhear the owner talking to a friend about the car’s airbag suspension, thus the  extreme camber angle when the car is lowered.

Grey and black 1930s vintage Chevrolet Sedan_3/4 front view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Out back, the car even included a period correct, fold down luggage rack, positioned just above the rear fuel tank…

Grey and black 1930s vintage Chevrolet Sedan_rear view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Further down the street was another classic; a Black, 1954 Cadillac Coupe De Ville (as seen below).

Black 1954 Cadillac Coupe De Ville_front view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Black 1954 Cadillac Coupe De Ville_front grille and bumper reflections_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Hanging out with the other Cadillacs parked along Cadillac row…

Black 1954 Cadillac Coupe De Ville_parked on Cadillac row_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Parked around the corner, and located at the far end of the street, was this white, fiberglass bodied twin turbocharged roadster (below)…

White twin turbocharged roadster_3/4 front view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

White twin turbocharged roadster_dash detail_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Race inspired, purpose-built interior (above and below)…

White twin turbocharged roadster_interior detail_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

White twin turbocharged roadster_motor detail_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Turbocharger and polished exhaust pipe (above and below)…

White twin turbocharged roadster_turbocharger and exhaust detail_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Twin turbocharger symmetry (below)…

White twin turbocharged roadster_motor/turbo symetry detail_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Parked directly across the street was this beautifully prepared, candy red 1932 Ford highboy roadster, complete with flames…

Candy red 1932 Ford highboy roadster_3/4 front view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Candy red 1932 Ford highboy roadster_front view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

While shooting the car and studying some of its unique details, I met the owner who was nice enough to share some of the details behind the building of this hot rod. I learned that this car is actually a showcase for the owner’s business, which just happens to be a paint and body shop (Bravo’s Auto Body), specializing in custom paint, and that is located in nearby Pico Rivera.

Obviously, all of the body work, paint and flames were produced in-house by the owner himself, Manny Bravo. The body panels were as smooth and flat as glass, which was the perfect medium for catching reflections.

Candy red 1932 Ford highboy roadster_3/4 rear view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

One of the hidden and easily overlooked details on this car is its quick change rear end; fortunately the owner mentioned this fact to me, so I crawled under the car to get this shot  below.

Candy red 1932 Ford highboy roadster_quick change rear end detail _12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

While in the process of shooting the right side of the car (below), the owner asked if I had noticed anything odd about the paint and flames on this side of the car. As I looked closer, the owner suggested l take a look at the opposite side in direct sunlight. Once I walked over to the driver’s side, I immediately understood what he was talking about. Apparently, between the painting process and the materials used, he was able to apply both the red paint and the flames in a way that depending upon the lighting, the contrast between the background  and the flames will shift.  When the car is viewed in shadowed lighting, the red background reads as a dark value and the flames appear lighter in color. However under direct lighting conditions, the flames read as the dark value, whereas the red background reads as the lighter value. Definitely an interesting effect…

Candy red 1932 Ford highboy roadster_side view /passenger side _12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Further south down the street, was this root beer brown metallic, 1934 Ford 3 window coupe.

Root beer brown 1934 Ford 3 window coupe_3/4 front view with reflections_ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012Root beer brown 1934 Ford 3 window coupe_headlight housing with reflections_ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Root beer brown 1934 Ford 3 window coupe_chromed engine, components and firewall_ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Parked over on the west side of the street was this bright orange, 1930s vintage Ford highboy roadster, built along the lines of a 1960’s AA/Fuel altered race car, complete with a big block, fuel injected motor, and included a period correct “Moon speed equipment” fuel tank secured just ahead of the front axle…

Orange 1932 Ford roadster with fuel injected motor_3/4 front view_ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Orange 1932 Ford roadster with fuel injected motor_headlight reflections_ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Overhead view of the Kinsler fuel injection venturi /”stacks”…

Orange 1932 Ford roadster with fuel injected motor_Kinsler fuel injection venturi/stacks detail_ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Orange 1932 Ford roadster with fuel injected motor_interior detail_ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012Orange 1932 Ford roadster with fuel injected motor_3/4 rear detail_ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Orange 1932 Ford roadster with fuel injected motor_hand lettering on back of car_ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Located further down the street was this white 1955 Corvette coupe, represented by the owner as an original condition, unrestored vehicle…

White on red 1955 Corvette_3/4 front view _ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

White on red 1955 Corvette_Interior detail_ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Arranged out back in its trunk was a period Coca Cola display, which included a vintage Corvette advertisement…

White on red 1955 Corvette_Coca Cola memorabilia in trunk _ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

White on red 1955 Corvette_3/4 rear view _ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Parked across the street and located south of the Corvette, was this lite blue Chevrolet Thriftmaster Deluxe with canvas side and rear shades.

Lite blue Chevrolet Thriftmaster Deluxe_ 3/4 front view _ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Lite blue Chevrolet Thriftmaster Deluxe_ 3/4 rear view _ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Lite blue Chevrolet Thriftmaster Deluxe_wheel & hubcap reflections _ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Lite blue Chevrolet Thriftmaster Deluxe _Hood badging detail _ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Lite blue Chevrolet Thriftmaster Deluxe _engine detail _ 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012Located just to the north of the lite blue Chevrolet Thriftmaster Deluxe, was this two toned Tri-5 Chevrolet Bel Air / Nomad wagon…

Butterscotch and white Tri-5 Chevrolet Bel Air / Nomad_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Parked over on the east side of the street was this pristine, 1955 Chevrolet Panel in sea foam green and white, and in better than new condition…

Sea Foam Green & white 1955 Chevrolet Panel_ 3/4 front view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Sea Foam Green & white 1955 Chevrolet Panel_ Side view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Reflection in the side of the black 1963 Lincoln Continental parked to the left of the drivers side…

Sea Foam Green & white 1955 Chevrolet Panel_ reflection on side of black Lincoln Continental_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

And parked just several cars north of the 1955 Chevrolet panel, was this beautiful 1963 Buick Riviera. Looking at this car brought back fond memories of my dads black on black 1964 Riviera…

Lite blue metallic 1963 Buick Riviera_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Lite blue metallic 1963 Buick Riviera_wheel detail_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

The last car I photographed from the show was this amazing copper-colored, 1950 Ford  coupe; lowered suspension and complete with a chopped top, shaved door handles, frenched headlights and smoothed bumpers front and rear.  Obviously a lot of time was spent block sanding the entire body, as the finished paint simply glowed, displaying flawless, distortion-free reflections. By far one of the nicest customs in the show.

Copper colored 1950 Ford Chop Top Coupe_front view_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Copper colored 1950 Ford Chop Top Coupe_side view reflections_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Copper colored 1950 Ford Chop Top Coupe_Rear trunk & bumper reflections_12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show_August 18, 2012

Ironically, these photos are just a small sampling of the many cars assembled for this years show. Given the huge spectator turnout, there seemed to be something for everyone, regardless of the high temperatures. Hopefully next years show will witness another collection of equally cool cars, but hopefully under much cooler conditions.

(All photos by the author)

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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)

Something Wicked This Way Comes …

As noted in my last post, Saturday June 2nd promised to be a very interesting morning at Cars&Coffee/Irvine, especially in light of Mercedes-Benz being selected as the weeks featured marque.  On my drive down to Irvine that morning, I found myself taking a mental inventory of the different 300 SL Gullwings that I had encountered in the past (since they are on my all time favorite cars list), and wondering just how many of those same cars might be on display. Saturday morning would also be an opportunity for the select owners within the Mercedes-Benz community to exercise their supercars, such as the Vision SLR, AMG SLS, and the CLK AMG Black series coupes, and to share them with the spectators for the morning.

By the time I arrived at the event, there was already a line of Mercedes-Benz stretching all the way out of the parking lot, queued up single file and waiting to enter the featured lot. Non- Mercedes traffic was being waved over to the left side of the entrance, in order to avoid this early morning traffic jam. Once I cleared this bottleneck, I quickly found a space, parked the car and headed off to grab a quick bite. After visiting with several of my RGruppe friends (all the while finishing my donut), it was time once again to grab my camera and head off into the crowd that was building over at the featured lot.

As I picked my way through the crowd, the first Mercedes-Benz I came across was this beautiful 300 SL roadster, with its hard top in place, in pale yellow  with red interior. And if I’m not mistaken, this was the first time this particular 300 SL has been displayed at Cars&Coffee.

Mercedes Benz 300SL roadster_Pale yellow with red interior_side view_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

Mercedes Benz 300SL roadster_Pale yellow with red interior_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

Mercedes Benz 300SL roadster_Pale yellow with red interior_interior view_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

Mercedes Benz 300SL roadster_Pale yellow with red interior_side vent detail_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

And parked just behind this pale yellow 300 SL hard topped roadster, was a collection of five 300 SL’s; three Gullwing coupes and two roadsters. The white Gullwing seen below was the only one from this grouping to be actively campaigned in vintage racing.  Externally, the visual clues to this cars alter ego was the removal of the front bumper, the application of racing numbers and a large collection of technical inspection stickers proudly displayed on the driver’s side corner of the windshield. Internally, the clues were equally as obvious; the inclusion of a roll bar, fire extinguisher and racing belts.

White Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing coupe_race car_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

White Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing coupe_race car_interior view_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

White Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing coupe_race car_dashboard detail_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

White Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing coupe_race car_windshield sticker details_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

Immediately to the right was the first of the two 300 SL roadsters, this one in red.

Red Mercedes Benz 300SL roadster_drivers side detail_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

 Mercedes Benz 300SL row_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

Red Mercedes Benz 300SL roadster_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

And to its right (as seen below) was the second Gullwing coupe, wearing a set of rare Rudge knock-off wheels…

Red Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing coupe_3/4 front view  with rudge knock-off wheels_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

Red Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing coupe_front grill with reflections_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

And this Gullwing’s engine compartment was just as clean and detailed as the rest of the car.

Red Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing coupe_motor detail_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

And one space over to the right sat the second 300 SL roadster; this one in a rich slate blue, equipped with european headlights.

Slate blue Mercedes Benz 300SL roadster_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

Slate blue Mercedes Benz 300SL roadster_3/4 rear view with reflections_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

Slate blue Mercedes Benz 300SL roadster_interior detail shot_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

The last 300 SL parked on the row was this stunning dark blue on tan Gullwing coupe.

Dark blue Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing coupe_3/4 front view with opened hood and doors_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

 Another of the immaculately detailed engine compartments.

Dark blue Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing coupe_engine compartment / motor detail_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

The car’s interior was equally as impressive as its exterior; from the tan leather appointed trim, to its leather seats with plaid patterned inserts, matching fitted luggage and tie-down straps.

Dark blue Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing coupe_interior shot of seats and luggage_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

Dark blue Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing coupe_interior shot of dashboard_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

The paint job and overall finish on this car was equally mind-blowing; the color depending upon the lighting, appeared as either a very dark blue or a bluish black. I had a chance to ask the owner about this unique color and its spec name, and with a straight face he responded “its blue”… I followed that up by stating that it looked allot darker than any of the other Mercedes-Benz blues that I have seen. He then confessed that this particular shade of blue was in fact a custom color that he created, to insure that there would not be  another 300 SL Gullwing coupe painted this same color. The dark blue finish also lent itself well as a medium for capturing some incredible reflections across its flawless contours.

Dark blue Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing coupe_rear view with reflections_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

Dark blue Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing coupe_rear trunk, badging and reflections _Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

Ironically, as spectacular as this group of 300 SL’s were, there was still one more surprise awaiting. And what a surprise…

Parked on the outside of the median, just opposite of the 300 SL row, was this amazing silver 2012 Mercedes-Benz race car.

MBBS /Evosport Engineering_silver Mercedes Benz CLK AMG black series race car_front view_Cars&Coffee_JUne 2, 2012

My first impression was that this must be a Mercedes-Benz spin-off model from the German DTM racing series.

However, after reading the biography information provided on the clear acrylic display,  I quickly learned that this car had been purpose-built to compete in the American based Pirelli World Challenge GT series, by the local Huntington Beach, California firm MBBS Racing, and their affiliate Evosport Engineering.

MBBS /Evosport Engineering_silver Mercedes Benz CLK AMG black series race car_vehicle specifications sheet_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

MBBS /Evosport Engineering_silver Mercedes Benz CLK AMG black series race car_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

While walking around the car and after shooting it from a variety of different angles, I struck up a conversation with one of the team members standing nearby. It turned out that the gentleman (Evan Chance) was in fact the race engineer /sub assembly specialist for the team, who was kind enough to share some of the back story regarding this car and the MBBS Racing / Evosport Engineering race team. During our conversation, I was introduced to Craig Stanton, the teams Lead driver and Development Manager, who is a very successful Southern California-based road racer. Craig also has the challenging task of monitoring all of the racing activities to be undertaken by Evosport Engineering.

Shortly after meeting and talking with Craig, I was then introduced to Simon Atik, a team Principal, who shared with me his and the teams excitement in building this Mercedes-Benz race car. He spoke of the teams amazing opportunity to debut a Mercedes-Benz race car into a major U.S. racing series, and the chance to compete against the Cadillac CTS/V, Volvo S60 and the Porsche GT3 Cup car; all competitors in the premier level GT class.

Evan then asked if I would like to take a closer look at the car, and in response to my reply, proceeded to open up the doors and then the rear trunk, explaining many of the details and features as we went…

MBBS /Evosport Engineering_silver Mercedes Benz CLK AMG black series race car_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

Craig Stanton’s office…

MBBS /Evosport Engineering_silver Mercedes Benz CLK AMG black series race car_cockpit view_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

MBBS /Evosport Engineering_silver Mercedes Benz CLK AMG black series race car_tail light, spoiler lip detail and rear wing strut_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012Out back, beneath the rear carbon fiber spoiler and massive trunk mounted rear wing, were some amazing race components…

MBBS /Evosport Engineering_silver Mercedes Benz CLK AMG black series race car_rear trunk detail_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

Mounted on top of and plumbed off of the fuel cell was the fuel pump and filter, and framing each side of the centrally mounted fuel cell were the remote pressure reservoirs for the MCS rear shock absorbers. And the long blue anodized cylinder, mounted just to the right of the fuel cell is an accusump unit; a pressurized dry sump oil tank that will provide supplemental lubrication to the 6.3 liter V8 race motor under severe racing conditions.

MBBS /Evosport Engineering_silver Mercedes Benz CLK AMG black series race car_rear trunk detail close up_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

MBBS /Evosport Engineering_silver Mercedes Benz CLK AMG black series race car_CC Wheel race wheel,Pirelli tire and StopTech brake assembly_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

Evan then mentioned that the team was just several weeks away from a test session up at Buttonwillow ( a race track located 28 mile northwest of Bakersfield, California), and how much the entire team was looking forward to getting the car out onto the track. He also stated that their goal is to have the car race ready for the last several Pirelli World Challenge GT races of this season.

MBBS /Evosport Engineering_silver Mercedes Benz CLK AMG black series race car_passenger side view of interior_Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

With the event winding down, and as the crowds began to thin, it was time to button up the Mercedes and load it back into the transporter…

MBBS /Evosport Engineering_silver Mercedes Benz CLK AMG black series race car_low 3/4 front  view _Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

MBBS /Evosport Engineering_silver Mercedes Benz CLK AMG black series race car_Craig and Evan pushing the car to the transporter _Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

Evan (below), waiting for the transporter lift gate to be lowered…

MBBS /Evosport Engineering_silver Mercedes Benz CLK AMG black series race car_ Evan waiting for transporter _Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012The Evosport transporter…

MBBS /Evosport Engineering_silver Mercedes Benz CLK AMG black series race car _ loading onto transporter liftgate _Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

MBBS /Evosport Engineering_silver Mercedes Benz CLK AMG black series race car _ loading into transporter _Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

MBBS /Evosport Engineering_silver Mercedes Benz CLK AMG black series race car _ team along for the ride _Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

MBBS /Evosport Engineering_silver Mercedes Benz CLK AMG black series race car _ team along for the ride2 _Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

Even the undercarriage displayed the same attention to detail and finish as the rest of the car…

MBBS /Evosport Engineering_silver Mercedes Benz CLK AMG black series race car _ undercarriage detail,rear view _Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

MBBS /Evosport Engineering_silver Mercedes Benz CLK AMG black series race car _ loading into upper level of transporter _Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

MBBS /Evosport Engineering_silver Mercedes Benz CLK AMG black series race car _ rear evosport badge detail _Cars&Coffee_June 2, 2012

Based upon my conversations with the team, and having witnessed firsthand the thoroughness and attention to detail paid in the building of this race car, this is going to be a team to be reckoned with, and one that will quickly become a threat to the competition.  Stay tuned for future progress reports relating to this team…

I’d also like to give author Ray Bradbury (who passed away Tuesday, June 5) credit for the inspiration behind this weeks blog post title, taken from his 1962 book by the same name…

(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)