Wishing you and your’s a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from digitaldtour
Waking up on Sunday morning July 20th, I was greeted by high gray cloud cover and warm temperatures, yet it was just 6:30 AM; Interesting weather for the start of this years 2014 Dana Point 356 concours. At least the cloud cover did not appear to possess the ability to deliver rain, as had occurred during the past two Dana Point 356 Concours.
I arrived at the Lantern Bay Park overlooking Dana Point harbor at around 7:30 am, anticipating an early entry to the grounds for Porsche 911 “display parking” by 8:00 AM, only to be told that this year the 911s would have to wait until 8:30. I was then told that I would need to leave the area at the top of the hill to make room for any of the late arriving Porsche 356. So with no place to wait, I turned around and descended the hill and headed back towards PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) for those unfamiliar with Southern California highways. Fortunately there was a Denny’s restaurant on the corner, so I decided that this would be a good place to park and wait for 8:30 AM. As I pulled into the lot, I could see there was already a group of early model Porsches parked together towards the back corner, so I headed in their direction. After parking near a pristine, Sand beige Porsche 912 Targa, I got out and struck up a conversation with the owner, who was standing beside his car. After talking with the owner (Ned) about the obvious topic (Porsches, and the pending concours), a Porsche 356 pulled into the lot, parked and joined in the conversation. Our conversation then shifted to the 356 he was driving (an “Outlaw” i.e. a highly customized 356 that most Porsche 356 purists frown upon due to the non-factory type alterations made to an original car). The driver turned out to be one of the mechanics from the shop that had worked on the car for a client, and who was now tasked with displaying the car at the concours. It was now getting close to 8:30, so the 356 was started up and driven off to the show. At the same time, the owners of the cluster of Porsche 912s returned from having breakfast, fired up their respective cars, and headed out single file back towards Lantern Bay. Ned and I followed their lead, and both made our way back to Lantern Bay.
Once back on top of the hill, it was obvious that the 356 competitors were now all in place, and neatly aligned in rows. However as I pulled onto the lawn, I was surprised to see a large gathering of early Porsche 911s (made up of members of the Early S Registry and the RGruppe car clubs), already parked on the lawn, opposite the 356 concours area. As I continued, parked to my left was another group of Porsches, all 912 models, and representing a full range of model years. Many of the 912s were in fact the very same cars I had just seen parked down the hill in the Denny’s parking lot. As I reached the end of the 912 row, I made a loop out behind the standing row of pine trees, and found an open spot, making sure to avoid any overhanging tree branches, since these Pine trees during the summer months have a reputation for weeping sap. So after grabbing my camera, it was time to take a closer look at the multitude of assembled Porsches.
Looking across the sea of Porsche scattered throughout the park, I believe that this years event drew one of the largest turnouts compared to the last couple years. Obviously with such a large selection to choose from, my photographic challenge was where to start. And since I was parked amidst my 911 and 912 brethren, this was where I would start…
Parked in the outer row with its fellow 911s was this beautiful, owner restored Sand beige 1967 911S as seen below…
with its spotless motor…
and wearing a set restored and increasingly rare, 4 -1/2 X 15 inch Fuchs 5 spoke alloy wheels.
While checking out this amazing 1967 911S, a buzzing noise could be heard overhead, and upon looking up to see what was making the noise, we caught a UFO hovering overhead. As we watched, it began to track over the rows of parked Porsches, and then without warning, reversed its direction and headed back in our direction. Since I was the only one equipped with a camera, I grabbed a quick shot skyward to record this flying object. The image below is the UFO just before it disappeared. Upon closer inspection of this image, it appears that we were being recorded, as evidenced by the GoPro attached to its underside.
Now back to the show… Two examples of the beautifully restored Porsche 912s gathered for this event; my new friend Ned’s 1969 Sand beige 912 Targa below…
and my friend Brad’s Irish Green 1968 912 coupe as seen below, complete with a unique back story. His Porsche had been purchased new by his father while stationed in Germany, and was driven throughout Europe while he served in the military. The 912 has remained in the family to this day, with Brad taking over as the current caretaker.
With the sun finally starting to burn through the morning haze, it was time to check out the 356 concours side, and begin my exploration through the pristine rows of multi hued coupes, cabriolets and speedsters.
Bridging the gap between the two display areas was the quartet of Porsches seen below.
Beginning at the far left, was the ultra rare, Ivory colored 1949 Porsche Gmund coupe.
To its left was another equally unique, early model Porsche 356. This particular coupe, a 1959 356 Carrera GT, was being displayed in an unrestored condition, and it too possessed a unique history.
As a sign on its windshield stated, this Carrera GT was the Swedish Ice Racing champion two years running from 1959 to 1960. There was even an example of the custom prepared, studded ice racing tires (below), worn by the Carrera GT back in the day on its way to consecutive Swedish ice racing championships.
Next in line was another historically significant Porsche race / street car; in this case the silver, 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS seen below.
This particular car (Chassis # 904-064) has an interesting resume, having raced in German Hill climb competitions, as well as races held at Monza. It had been owned and was restored by a previous owner, the late Vasek Polak. Mr. Polak was well known within the Porsche community as the owner of the Southern California (Manhatten Beach) Porsche dealership, and as one of Claifornia’s prominent race team owners.
Representing the Porsche 911 community, was the highly modified, RGruppe / Early S Registry inspired, Gulf Blue 911ST coupe, riding on a set of silver, period correct minilite race wheels.
Venturing over to the 356 display side, owners could be seen hurridly completing their last-minute detailing, prior to experiencing their pride and joy undergoing scrutiny by the roving bands of concours judges.
As seen below, one of several “356 Outlaws” present and awaiting judging.
A beautiful Stone gray 356 Speedster, equipped with the seldom seen hardtop option.
Another example of a 356 Outlaw on display. This particular silver Porsche 356 is owned by the Emory family who were responsible for popularizing the “outlaw style” of modification, and credited with coining the term.
Upon completion of the mornings judging and with the results being tallied, the trophy table (below) was being readied for a 2 PM start of the awards ceremony. This years trophies were once again modeled after last years theme of surfboards.
And what every concours participant aspires to; taking home the highly desirable Best of Show trophy.
The final awards of the day went to the red 356 cabriolet seen below. Not only did this cabriolet win best in class, but also received the concours top prize, the Best of Show trophy.
A group shot of the class winning Porsches from this years concours.
Once all of the winning cars were parked together, it became very apparent that the judges at this years concours had a thing for the color red, given the high percentage of red hued, winning 356s selected at this years show.
Unfortunately, we’ll all have to wait for the 2015 show, to find out what model and or color will appeal to next years judges, and influence their awarding of the multiple class winners, and the coveted “Best of Show” award.
(All photos by the author)
“Thunderstorms hit Southern California”, yet fail to dampen the spirits of those attending the 2014 LA Airport Hilton Hotel Literature and Memorabilia show, and the Phoenix Club’s Porsche show and swap meet.
Below is an example of the crowd present for this years LA Airport Hilton Hotel Literature and Memorabilia show. I was told by friends who had arrived early to be part of the paid “early entry” at 7AM, that they had never seen so many people show up for the early entry, and that the crowds at 9 AM were equally impressive.
One of several display tables with an assortment of driving lights, fog and tail lights.
Vintage Hella tail lights, application unknown. However, the Hella 128 fog lights (as noted by the price tag seen below) were optional on Porsche 911s dating back to 1966. It pains me to see the current asking price for a set of 128s, especially since I sold a pristine pair to a friend back in 1973 for $45.
Several rows over was another table full of favorites; car grill / badge bar commemorative plaques…
all very cool and expensive, with each possessing unique detail and color.
One of the nicest Porsche parts displays present (seen below), showcasing an unrivaled variety of Porsche 356 parts for sale, presented by the firm Stoddard NLA-LLC.
The following day (Sunday) traditionally hosts a larger, outdoor swap meet and car show down in Orange County, at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim. In all of my years of attendance, this was the first time rain would impact the event. The Porsche community however is a hearty lot, so a little rain was not about to affect their show…
An early 911 headlight (below), equipped with a European spec, amber French lens.
One highly visible, glow in the rain Porsche 930 turbo.
One rain drenched Porsche super car; the rare Type 959. Even at rest, the rain sheets right off…
One of the Porsche 356 representatives present, showing no apprehension regarding the morning rain.
Proof that water does bead up on highly waxed surfaces.
Representing the early long hood community, was this beautifully prepared Beige Gray 1968 Porsche 911.
Rear decklid and side stripes with a rally sport inspired graphic treatment; could these graphics be the handiwork of werkcrew founder Bob Tilton?
The equally impressive, rally / race inspired motor.
More proof that Southern California Porsche owners drive their cars in the rain…
and the rest of the car covered by the morning rain.
Several of the early morning arrivals, parked up close to the building and protected from the majority of the rain showers.
A pair of Porsche GTs staged out in the rain; a 1972 911 GT and the rally prepared,1970 914-6…
The real deal; a close up view of true 914-6 GT factory fender flares.
Proof of this vehicles pedigree; a record of its previous participant and survivor status in the Panama / Alaska Rally.
One of the early 911S models on display at this years show…
complete with a recent acquisition by the owner, proudly displayed on the dash.
This burgundy 911S was also one of the few Porsches at the show equipped with a roof mounted, Leitz brand luggage rack.
One of the local RGruppe members, displaying a variety of magnetic vinyl club event plaques on his front hood.
One rain-soaked rear decklid, wrapped in Martini racing graphics.
Below, further evidence of the morning drizzle…
on what initially appeared to be an early 1970s vintage Porsche 911. However, upon closer inspection it became obvious that this car was actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Concealed beneath its skin lurked a 1986 3.2 liter, Porsche 911 Carrera having undergone a conversion known as “backdating”. That effort combined with the visually correct, optional front and rear bumper overriders, created a convincing 1970s appearing Porsche 911.
Suspicions confirmed… and itemized.
A convincing re-spray, in period correct Irish green.
One of the apparent casualties of the morning rain; a shrunken Porsche 550 Spyder, reduced in size and now able to fit into the bed of a single cab VW type 2, being displayed by the folks from fibersteel.
Even with rain impacting this years event, there was still a huge turnout, illustrating the impact that this event holds for the Southern California Porsche community. And based upon the variety of different foreign accents overheard during the weekend, it’s easy to see the wide reaching pull that this event has on Porsche fans from around the globe.
The next event coming up for the Southern California Porsche community will be the California Festival of Speed, at the Auto Club Speedway, in Fontana, California from April 4-6. Let’s all hope for a warm sunny weekend…
(All photos by the author)
Looking back over 2013, it had become increasing apparent to me that during my weekly participation at my local cars&coffee event, I had witnessed a phenomenon resembling that of a time warp. This realization became even more obvious during my shooting of the car seen below.
As I viewed the image on my camera’s rear display, suddenly time appeared to be moving in slow motion. After taking a second shot, I immediately noticed the effect had now become even more pronounced.
Had time truly slowed down or was I speeding up? Or had I been transported back in time, and was now viewing this beautiful 1959 356A coupe in the past tense? Looking around, I could see a number of other Porsche models assembled, including a rare 1966 Porsche 906 race car. Anchoring the other end of this family tree was a pair of brand new, 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S models.
The following photos illustrate a variety of Porsche models one can encounter on any given Saturday morning at cars&coffee/Irvine. However, you can also discover a multitude of other brands and their respective models, represented by both vintage as well as the most current models.
A frequent cars&coffee participant seen below: the impressive 1966 Porsche 906 race car.
Low slung doesn’t even begin to describe the height of this race car, when compared to the red Porsche 911 parked alongside.
The weekly lineup of early Porsche 911s parked along Porsche row, anchored by one pristine, Viper Green 1973 Porsche 911S.
An up close view of the scarce yet highly desirable, European Bosch H1 dual bulb headlight.
Further down Porsche row, a pair of modified, early 1970s Porsche 911s, both representatives of the RGruppe.
On this morning, participants were rewarded by the presence of two true supercars. Representing Porsche, dressed in GT silver, was a Carrera GT, produced from 2004 – 2007, with only 1270 built. Representing Ferrari, and parked immediately in front of the Carrera GT, was the brilliant red Ferrari F40. The Ferrari F40 model was built from 1987 – 1992, also in very limited quantities. This car represents one of only 1315 Ferrari F40 models produced.
A peek into the Carrera GT’s leather wrapped interior…
and out back, its exposed 5.7 liter, 612 HP V10 motor, flanked by its visible rear suspension components.
The Carrera GT’s rear deck lid, complete with contoured, protective mesh grills, and dual NACA ducts.
Christmas 2013 arrived early for the two lucky owners of the pair of 2014 Porsche 911 turbo S models. First up is the 2014 Guards Red 911 Turbo S coupe below…
A fraction of its reported top speed of 197 mph…
Lurking in the shadows was the second of the 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S models present, this one dressed in white.
The unique center lock, 20 ” forged, bright polished Turbo S wheel, framing the PCCB brake components, and highlighted by the systems signature yellow brake caliper.
As the event wound down, I realized that after viewing a multitude of cars each week representing Porsche, Merced Benz, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Chevrolet, Ford, Lotus, Jaguar, Mazda, Nissan and many others, and regardless of ones favorite make or model, you too can experience the time warp phenomenon simply by attending. So for 2014, if you haven’t yet experienced cars&coffee, come on down and “let’s do the time warp again”.
(All photos by the author)
Sunday morning July 21 dawned cool and gray. Would this be another year for the 356 Club of California, Dana Point Concours to be the victim of rain? This was a question discussed by my son and I as we cruised down the 5 freeway on our way to this years Dana Point Concours. As we turned off Pacific Coast Highway and approached the access road to Lantern Bay, we could already see a line of Porsches snaking up the hill leading to the Marriott hotel where the event is held each year on the lawn, overlooked by the hotel. We followed a Porsche 356 part way up the hill and then pulled off at the first turnout and tucked in line behind the other cars already waiting. As it neared 8 AM, the line finally began moving, and we all began inching up the hill. This proved to be a test of mettle for each car and its driver; nothing like a test of ones hand brake, clutch and throttle skills for ascending a steep hill under bumper to bumper traffic with a Porsche directly ahead and behind…
Our Carrera performed flawlessly and in short order we were at the top of the hill and following the other Porsches onto the grassy grounds of the Concours. The organizers were busy directing all Porsche 356 models to park with their brethren already aligned in neat rows. All of the remaining Porsche models were directed over to the opposite side of the show grounds, to be grouped with the 912, 911 and 914s already present. As we pulled in next to a Grand Prix White, 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS, we watched as the members of the RGruppe arrived, and were directed to park in the middle of the grassy area reserved for their club. So with our camera gear assembled, fresh battery packs installed, and a “thumbs-up” from my son, we headed off to begin our respective photographic quests.
Standing among the parked RGruppe cars, a distinct un-muffled exhaust note could be heard approaching from behind. As we turned around, we watched as a blue 1973 911 RSR approached, blipped its throttle several times and then came to a stop.
Parked to its immediate left was a pristine example of a 1973 911 Carrera RS; the ideal car for providing a visual comparisons between the two models.
As we walked through the RGruppe parking area, the unmistakable smell of burned clutch wafted through the morning air. After a brief search, we located the 911 with the overworked clutch. It turned out that the car in questions had an inoperative hand brake, so scaling the hill up to the parking area in bumper to bumper traffic became an exercise in balancing brakes, throttle and clutch. Unfortunately in this case, the clutch was the loser.
A gathering of the RGruppe faithful…
A trio of 1970s vintage Porsche 911S models (below), all members of RGruppe.
Two more beautiful and rare Porsches seen below, bridging the gap between the 911 parking and the 356 Concours area. The red model as seen below, a 1964 Porsche 901, and to its right, a 1968 911L in pale yellow.
This particular car was recently restored in Germany by the firm RUF…
It even included a vintage brochure (in German), advertising Porsches new for 1964 model, the 901. It’s believed that this particular car is the very same one as represented on the brochure.
Another of Porsches milestone cars, the 904 Carrera GTS, as seen below, and one of several Porsche race cars on display from the Ingram Collection.
This is also one of the few Porsche 904s that I’ve seen that has the small Porsche letters placed across the rear deck, in addition to the standard Carrera GTS rear fender badging….
With the rear deck opened, a view of the 2.0 liter, four cam four-cylinder motor…
The writing on the wall, or in this case on the transaxle; gear ratios recorded for future reference (see below).
Parked immediately to the right of the Porsche 904, was an example of Porsches first 911 based race car (and one of my all time favorites); a true 1967 Porsche 911R, model #17 of only 20 models produced by the Factory, and another Porsche from the Ingram Collection on display.
The first of Porsches many explorations into fender flare profiles (circa 1967) as seen below…
Porsche 911R # 17s Biography…
The quintessential 911R tail lights; the original source of all present day derivatives, and inspiration for all subsequent copies…
Below, the potent 1991 cc, 2.0 liter race motor. And in this case, one featuring a rare and unique option found on this car; a slide valve fuel injection system (normally reserved for Porsche’s 910 race cars), but in this case one sourced from the parts department back in the day at Vasek Polak’s Porsche dealership, while #17 was undergoing a rebuild for a celebrity client.
This back story was shared by none other than Dieter Inzenhofer (of Andial fame and as seen in the photo below), upon viewing #17’s motor. He immediately recognized it as one of his early rebuilds, in particular due to the 910 slide valve fuel injection system as installed. Dieter noted that he had personally sourced and installed this very system onto the motor for this car while he was employed by Vasek Polak. This information was also shared with Kevin Watts of Road Scholars (seen in the yellow shirt), and who just happens to manage the Ingram Collection. This new information can now be used to bridge some of the gaps in #17s past history, prior to its acquisition by the Ingram Collection.
Open for business; 911R #17s spartan, race prepared interior.
And now for something completely different… row after row of Porsche 356 models, cleaned, polished and aligned for this years featured event; the 356 Club of California, Dana Point Concours.
A stunning example of a fully restored, Azure Blue 356 Speedster…
seen wearing a set of rare, Rudge knock-off wheels, and in this case body color matched.
A line up of Dolphin Gray and Silver Porsche coupe and cabriolet models below;
perfect for providing inspiration and producing magic moments.
Let the judging begin. Parked several rows back, a Porsche 356 coupe undergoing scrutiny by one of the multiple, blue – shirt adorned Concours judging teams.
Ankle height perspective of the neighborhood and ones immediate neighbors…
and recording 911s arriving for a visit (below).
Another of the beautifully prepared 356 Speedsters, positioned along the front row, awaiting its turn for judging.
Next up was a visit to the trophy table, where this years design was themed to surfboards. And what better location than Lantern Bay, overlooking Dana Point, to employ a surfboard styled trophy to commemorate this years 356 Concours, especially since Dana Point has a long history as one of Southern California’s classic surf spots.
And with the unveiling of the trophies, the Concours results soon followed. One by one, the various trophy winners from each respective class were announced. Each of the winners was required to drive their cars up to the presentation area, in order to accept their trophies.
I learned that the car seen below had just undergone a 2+ year restoration, and had just been completed the day prior to the Concours, thus making this show its debut.
The happy owner and a class winning trophy; the perfect way to celebrate a Concours debut.
The gathering of the other happy Concours award winners…
Class winner; The beautiful Signal Red 1964 356C 2000GS Carrera 2 coupe.
Ironically, the Signal Red 1964 356C Carrera 2 (below), in addition to winning its class was also awarded “Best of Show”, having registered a score of 298 out of a possible 300 points.
Freshly restored, and now the award-winning Porsche proudly displaying its four cam motor (seen below)…
Collateral material and accessories as displayed across the cars rear jump seats…
Carrera specific; the lower rear apron masking the cars dual outlet muffler. Even the fit and finish and detail observed on this small area were amazing, and reflected the same care and overall level of fit and finish found throughout this entire car.
While I was in the process of writing this blog post, the latest issue or Excellence magazine (October 2013) arrived in the mail. Imagine my surprise when I came across an article on John Willhoit, and a companion article about a certain Signal Red 1964 Porsche 356C Carrera 2 2000 GS coupe, restored by non other than John’s Willhoit Auto Restoration shop. To read the full article on the 356 Carrera 2 as found in Excellence, please refer to this link.
Some of you may be asking what happened to the “hidden spectator” reference as noted in the title of this post? After returning home, and reviewing my photos from the events, I noticed after studying one particular image, that there was in fact a hidden spectator observing the Concours and who had gone undetected.
Can you find the “hidden spectator” in the photo above?
And who knows, perhaps there will be even more “hidden spectators” present for next years 356 Club of California, Dana Point Concours.
(All photos by the author)
If Imitation is in fact the sincerest form of flattery, Porsche would have been very pleased by one very unique car making its debut on Saturday morning, June 22.
By the time I arrived at my weekly car show, the vehicle in question was already parked along Porsche row, positioned next to another of the unique Porsches in attendance; its neighbor was the white with blood orange striped,1967 Porsche 911R tribute as shared previously on this blog. However, the car drawing the largest crowd was the silver roadster seen below…
I had received some inside information ahead of time, and knew the true identity and origins of this car. And thanks to a friend who had contributed to its build, I knew that this silver roadster had been built as a tribute to Porsches first car, the 1948 356-01.
This tribute / recreation was correct right down to its mid engined configured, healthy cc infused, 4 cylinder motor and transaxle as seen below…
Interior details, complete with its period correct Porsche “Banjo” style steering wheel…
This tribute / recreation even incorporated the correctly positioned cooling slots found on 356-01, located and aligned along the edges of the rear deck lid and engine cover.
The company responsible for this tribute / recreations debut that morning was Vintage Replicar, located in Vista, California, and the only firm that I know of producing a 356-01 recreation. Their website can be accessed using this link.
The fit and finish of this car, both inside and out was excellent, and anyone interested in driving a unique Porsche recreation, can be assured of owing a car that will stand out in a crowd for many years to come.
(Just for comparison, the following two photos were taken of Porsche 356-01, during my first visit to the Porsche factory back in July of 1977).
(All photos by the author)
On Sunday March 3, 2013 the Porsche community once again rallied at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim, California, for the 356 Club of Southern California’s, 4th Annual All Porsche Swap and Car Display.
And what a turnout; with models ranging from the Porsche 356, 912, early 911’s, 914’s & 914/6, and 911 turbos. There was also the debut of a recently completed 911ST recreation, and the showcasing of a lone Porsche 904 GTS, and one brand new Red Porsche 991 Carrera S coupe.
The following images represent but a small cross-section of the incredible Porsches that came out for this years event…
And under the tents, was just one of several fresh restorations from the folks at CPR Classics (California Porsche Restoration) below. Their website offers up an insiders look at the many phases of their meticulous 911 restorations, and is a great visual tool for learning about Porsche 911s from the inside out. So should you be in the market for an early 911, check out their website for some very cool 911s using this link…
One very cool 1972 Porsche 911ST recreation making its debut (below)…
Another example of the current trend in lightweight fiberglass hoods; correct right down to the unpainted underside, revealing the glassed-in balsa wood battens to add rigidity…
The sole Porsche 904 Carrera GTS in attendance; Butzi’s original blue 904-002 prototype below. (For additional images of this 904, please refer to this link to one of my previous posts).
And representing Porsche race cars was the Texaco / Havoline 962C, courtesy of the folks at Pelican Parts (as seen below)…
And last but not least, was one of the hidden treasures found out in the vendor swap area; a two toned VW bus, wrapped in Porsche factory graphics, and showcasing a pair of Porsche 917 autographed drivers side doors. One representing the Gulf Blue John Wyer #20 917, and the second, the #3 Martini Racing 917…
Given the amazing collection of Porsches, parts, vendors and people who came together for this years show, the 356 Club of Southern California can rest assured that if they host it for 2014, we will return…
(All photos by the author)
Sunday morning, July 15, 2012 started off slightly overcast, as the Porsche 356 Registry began staging cars for their yearly Concours event, once again held at the Lantern Bay Marriott, overlooking the harbor in Dana Point, California.
By 8 AM, the full range of 356 models gathered had been assembled and aligned in rows on the lawn. After the last 356 had been staged, the remaining Porsches queued up awaiting entry onto the grounds (911s, 912s, 914s, etc.), were allowed onto the lawn and staged just to the west of the 356 Concours display…
Around 9 AM, the judges were called and assembled for their last-minute instructions, at which time they donned their event – issued green polo shirts. Armed with clipboards, scoring sheets and stop watches in hand, they all headed off in teams towards the gleaming rows of Porsche 356s, patiently awaiting their turn to be judged.
The first row of the event had been reserved as a showcase for the days most rare and unique examples of the 356 model. Situated within this row were examples of 4 cam Carrera 2s, in both Coupe and Cabriolet form, a sole example of the ultra-rare 1952 Glockler Porsche, and several amazing examples of highly modified 356 models, commonly referred to as “outlaws”.
Amidst the unaltered 356 model Porsches, were several examples of highly modified Porsche 356s, referred to as “Outlaws”. The title is due in part to the level of modifications / alterations made, and the cars departure from a “100% Stock” configuration.
An example of the 1955 Porsche 356 “Continental”coupe as seen below. The Ford Motor Company apparently took exception to Porsches use of the “Continental” name, and as a result, Porsche stopped using the name on its 1956 models.
After making my way through the multiple rows of Porsche 356s, it was time to check out the “other Porsches” that had shown up in support of their 356 siblings…
By 1:30 PM, the judging had been completed, scores tallied, and the awards presentation began. One by one, as each of the class winners was announced, the winning car and owner would drive up to the front of the show area, where they were presented with their trophies.
The silver 1957 “outlaw” speedster shown below won first place in the “outlaw class”; an even more impressive result given that this event was the cars debut, and very first concours competition…
The class winners from the event on display below, each representing a specific class and model year.
And after observing this impressive gathering of Porsche vehicles, both vintage and newer models, it’s easy to see why Southern California is often referred to as Stuttgart West, as witnessed by the incredible diversity of Porsches found at this event.
(All photos by the author)
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)