Happy 4th of July!

Here’s to celebrating 240 years of independence and freedom enjoyed in the United States.

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Wishing you all a Happy and safe 4th of July, and a big thank you to all serving in the military, for your continued service to our country.



One good turn deserves another; A tribute to outstanding customer service

Well it finally happened.                                                                                                           After 27 years of unwavering service, the VDO quartz clock in my 1986 Porsche Carrera finally quit working. For the past month, it has been an on again, off again condition, which was a clue to its pending failure. So on Friday morning, I made the decision to remove the clock and take it into the team at North Hollywood Speedometer for repair.

This would be my second visit to North Hollywood Speedometer for gauge repair. One year ago, the odometer portion of my speedometer failed, and after reading about similar failures experienced by owners and their recommendations for repairs as posted on the Pelican Parts technical forum (www.forums.pelicanparts.com), one shop was consistently noted – North Hollywood Speedometer. I also recalled seeing North Hollywood Speedometer listed as the source of the Porsche gauge restorations in a variety of Porsche related magazines, highlighting articles about street and race car restoration projects. Based upon these references, I took my speedometer in for repair and within a week, had a fully repaired and detailed speedometer, returned and once again functioning perfectly in my car. They had even cleaned and polished the clear lens, removing the fine scratches  on the outside of the face, and the haze that had accumulated on the inside from the past 26 years.

Now back to my broken clock… As I pulled into the parking lot of North Hollywood Speedometer, I fully expected (given the volume of work that they normally have from the Porsche community), to be told that I would be looking at a one week minimum for the repair of my clock.  When I walked up to the counter, I was greeted by one of their technicians (Jeff) who asked how he could help. I told him about my inoperative clock, and then handed it to him for inspection. While examining the clock, Jeff asked me where I had driven from. I told him that I lived about an hours drive away, near the Los Angeles  / Orange County  border. Jeff’s next question totally caught me off guard; Would I like to wait for the repair?  He said the company tries very hard to accommodate walk in customers from the area, and since I only had the one gauge, thus his offer for same day repair. Fortunately, I had the time to spare, so I replied yes, I would wait.

Jeff took the clock to his workstation, and immediately set about the task of disassembly. Once the inner workings were repaired and tested, his attention then shifted over to the cleaning of the clear lens. After polishing and several cleanings, he brought the lens over to me for approval. The lens once again looked brand new, so with my approval, he proceeded to the final re-assembly.

Once all of the parts were re-assembled ( outer gauge bezel, clear lens, inner bezel, clock face, clock mechanism and external housing), Jeff once again showed me the finished product for final approval.

The clock appeared brand new, just as it had on the day that my dad bought the car, and drove it home from the dealer. Jeff then bagged the clock, and after paying for the repair, I realized that the entire repair process had been completed in under 40 minutes.

Once I was back home, and with the addition of a new gauge seal sourced from the folks at Sierra Madre Collection (www.SMCparts.com), I was ready to reinstall the clock back into my car.

After reinstalling the light bulb into the back of the housing, and reconnecting two electrical leads, it was time to press the clock with its new seal back into place on the dash as seen below…

VDO Quartz clock_1986 Porsche 911 Carrera_restoration by North Hollywood Speedometer_1/25/13

VDO Quartz clock_1986 Porsche 911 Carrera_close up view_restoration by North Hollywood Speedometer_1/25/13

It’s no wonder that North Hollywood Speedometer has become the preferred shop for Porsche gauge restoration, especially within the Southern California Porsche community.  So a big thank you to Kevin and his staff at North Hollywood Speedometer (nhspeedometer.com), for the quality of work performed, as well as the outstanding customer service being delivered to their clients. I would also like to add an additional thank you to Jeff for his meticulous repair and detail work on my clock.

Now all that remains is to figure out a good time for scheduling the cosmetic restoration of my remaining three dash gauges…

( Photos by the author)

The Iceman cometh…

I’m sorry to disappoint those of you who thought this post might be written about Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen. Instead, this weeks title was inspired by the frigid temperatures encountered by those of us present at Cars&Coffee/Irvine, the morning of January 12, 2013. Since I began attending this event back in 2008, the morning of the 12th was by far the coldest one I’ve ever experienced. But even with the record-breaking cold temperatures being experienced throughout Southern California, the Cars&Coffee faithful still showed up in droves, albeit decked out in heavy jackets, scarves, hats, gloves and uggs.

Grand Prix white1986 Porsche Carrera, red Speedster_Sunrise at Cars&Coffee/Irvine_3/4 front view_January 12, 2013

Unfortunately the one piece of gear that I had forgotten to pack the night before were my gloves, and by 7 AM, my right hand (camera holder) was suffering from exposure. My friend Gene, who came fully prepared wearing cold weather gear, magically produced from the back of his car, an extra pair of gloves (fly fishing to be specific), that he kindly loaned me for the duration of the morning. The benefit of this type of glove is that with the finger tips removed, you can still handle your camera and make fine adjustments while retaining a sense of touch. Within a couple of minutes, my right hand and shutter finger had regained color and warmed up, allowing me to continue on my photographic quest.

One of the first cars that I observed drive into the lot by the glow of its headlights, and then settle on Porsche row, was this rare 2011 Porsche type 997 Speedster, in Pure Blue.

2011 Pure Blue Porsche 997 Speedster_front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013
Pure Blue Porsche 997 Speedster_angled front view w/ reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

To further commemorate the origins of their original Speedster, Porsche chose to limit the production of the 2011 model to a total of only 356 examples worldwide, and restricted the available color palette to only two colors; Pure blue as shown here and Carrara white.

2011 Pure Blue Porsche 997 Speedster_ front headlight detail and reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

2011 Pure Blue Porsche 997 Speedster_ 3/4 angled rear view, sunrise reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Placed on the glove box of each Speedster is the build plaque, which displays the series number of each car from the total number produced. This particular model is #154 of 356.

2011 Pure Blue Porsche 997 Speedster_ interior shot_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

2011 Pure Blue Porsche 997 Speedster_ rear deck badge and sunrise reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Porsche even chose the Los Angeles Auto Show back in 2010, as the venue for their first of  their two North American debuts of the 997 Speedster( the second location being Detroit).

2010 LA Auto show _debut of 2011 Porsche 997 Speedster

Parked immediately to the left of the 997 Speedster, was one of the newest members of the Porsche family; a 2013 type 991 Carrera, in Dark Blue metallic.

Dark Blue metallic 2013 Porsche type 991, 911 Carrera_3/4 rear view with sunrise reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Dark Blue metallic 2013 Porsche type 991, 911 Carrera_ rear view; badging with sunrise reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Dark Blue metallic 2013 Porsche type 991, 911 Carrera_ partial rear view with sunrise reflections and 997 Speedster in background_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Another unique Porsche and frequent visitor to Cars&Coffee, parked just down the row from the Type 991, was this Signal Orange, 1971 914-6 GT, Factory rally car.

1971 signal orange Porche 914-6 GT rally car_front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12. 2013

1971 signal orange Porsche 914-6 GT rally car_interior view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12. 2013

1971 signal orange Porsche 914-6 GT rally car_rear view /exhaust and badge detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12. 2013

The owner even had a small bound book placed on the roof, documenting the history behind this unique vehicle (below).

1971 signal orange Porsche 914-6 GT rally car_Rally car book on roof_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12. 2013

On this particular morning, the car showed up wearing a set of standard Porsche street wheels and tires, which appeared quite skinny, when compared to its standard Porsche 5 spoke, 15″ Fuchs alloy race wheels.1971 signal orange Porsche 914-6 GT rally car_3/4 rear view w/skinny tires_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12. 2013

Serving as a visual bookend to Porsche row, was another blue 2013 Type 991 (in Aqua Blue metallic), however this particular model was equipped with Porsche’s 2013 re-interpretation of their classic 1973 duck tail spoiler…

Aqua Blue metallic Type 991 Porsche 911 Carrera _side view w/reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Aqua Blue metallic Type 991 Porsche 911 Carrera _rear ducktail spoiler w/reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Aqua Blue metallic Type 991 Porsche 911 Carrera _rear view, ducktail spoiler w/reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

My next stop was over to the featured lot to see what hidden treasure awaited. Much to my surprise, parked amidst a group of Alfa Romeo’s was this beautiful black Ferrari 512BB, with its rear deck opened, revealing its 5 liter, flat 12 cylinder motor.

Black Ferrari 512 BB_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_ 3/4 front view w/ reflections_January 12, 2013

The paint finish on the 512 had to be one of the nicest black paint jobs I’ve seen on a Ferrari (below)…

Black Ferrari 512 BB_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_ roof reflections_January 12, 2013

with all 12 cylinders of Ferrari magic revealed out back… including the 4 sets of triple choke Weber carburetors (which would indicate that this car is a pre 1981 model), since Ferrari switched over to fuel injection in 1981, and rebadged the car as the 512 BBi.

Black Ferrari 512 BB_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_ motor details_January 12, 2013

After heading back over to the main parking area, I  encountered Lotus row, however with considerably fewer cars in attendance on this morning…

Lotus row-Evora & Elise_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Then moving down the row, and parked to the outside of the curbing , I came across one of my favorite Porsche models; a 2011 GT3, in black.

Black on Black  2011 Porsche GT3_side view with reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Walking around the car and checking it out, was like looking at a black, purpose-built high-speed mirror, capturing and reflecting all of its surroundings…

Black on Black  2011 Porsche GT3_angled 3/4 rear view with reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

My next stop would be to the back row of the parking lot, in part to check out why a crowd had gathered. What I found was a collection of McLaren MP4-12C’s and a few select Audi R8 V-10’s thrown in for good measure.

Silver Audi R8 V10 coupe & McLaren MP4-12C's_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Blue & Orange Gulf Oil McLaren MP4-12C_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

An example of the new McLaren MP4-12C spider in Graphite Grey, as seen below.

Gray McLaren MP4-12C convertible_angled 3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

And below, the single MP4-12-C painted in the classic McLaren Orange, a color anyone familiar with the classic McLaren Can Am race cars of the 1970s will recognize…

McLaren Orange MP4-12C coupe_ side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

After the departure of the McLaren group, I wandered back through the lot to search for any cars that I had missed or that were late arrivals. As I approached Porsche row, I noticed that my friend Dave had opened up the rear deck lid on his slate gray, 1984 Porsche 930 turbo, revealing his new motor and its highly polished intercooler. I even had a willing subject in the background to serve as a backdrop for a quick experiment in composition…

Slate gray 1984 Porsche 930 turbo / foreground, &1986 white 911 Carrera / background_composition study_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

One of the last cars I came across before packing up for the morning, was this Grand Prix white 1993 Porsche Type 964 RS America, wearing Martini racing stripes and door graphics. This car is another frequent visitor, however this was its first time with its new graphics.

white1993 Porsche type 964 RS America_front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

Porsche’s intention was to build this car for the 1993 model year only, however due to  increasing demand, production was extended out into early 1994. I recently learned that one of the telltale clues for differentiating between a 1993 and early 1994 model can be found by simply looking inside the car. For the late 1993 / early1994 models, Porsche chose to add the traditional rear folding jump sets, in place of the previously utilized, fixed storage bins found on all 1993 RS America models. Unfortunately, the rear seat area in this car was covered by a Martini racing beach towel, so no way to make a visual check on the rear seat configuration.

white1993 Porsche type 964 RS America_side view with door graphics_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 12, 2013

And with that the owner returned, opened the passenger door, and his dog climbed up into the back and settled on the towel. Then with a turn of the key, the engine came to life and the RS America and its occupants were gone. Now I will have to wait until the car returns, to determine whether it’s a 1993 or early 1994 model…

(All photos by the author)

A tribute to Ferdinand Alexander Porsche at Cars&Coffee/Irvine…

Saturday morning, April 7th saw the coming together of the Porsche faithful at Cars&Coffee/Irvine, as a tribute to the recent passing of Ferdinand Alexander (Butzi) Porsche. An email was circulated on Friday April 6, and forwarded to many within the Porsche community about a plan to pay tribute to and honor the memory of F.A.”Butzi” Porsche. The intent was to gather up as many Porsche 911’s as possible, to represent the model range from 1965 up to the latest 2012 iteration. Also hoped for was participation by any of the local Porsche 904 owners. The destination Saturday morning would be the “featured” parking lot area at Cars&Coffee. To further this cause, I forwarded the email to my friends Gene and Dave, both owners of  Porsche 930 turbos, in hope of their participation come Saturday morning.

For a change, the early morning skies Saturday morning were clear and dry. As I pulled into the parking lot still cloaked in darkness, I was waved into the “featured” lot, to join the already present assortment of rainbow-hued Porsche 911’s. As I rounded the parking median, I encountered my friend Gene backing his black 930 turbo into a corner parking spot, and after he was settled in, I grabbed the space immediately to his right. As the lot continued to fill with even more 911’s, my friend Dave arrived in his 1984 Slate Gray 930 Turbo, debuting a brand new, upgraded turbo motor. By the time the sun had risen, the lot was filled with an even greater variety of Porsches, and what an amazing, colorful collection it was…

Porsche 911's_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Porsche 911's_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Porsche 911 rear spoilers_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Early Porsche 911's _F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Early Porsche 911's _F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Blue Porsche 911T & Orange 914-6_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Slate Gray 1984 Porsche 930 turbo_motor detail_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Dave’s slate gray 1984 930 turbo, and the first photos of his brand new turbo motor with mirror polished intercooler…

White 1981 924 Carrera GTS club sport & Porsche 911's_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

And parked shoulder to shoulder with the Porsche 911’s was this ultra rare, Grand Prix white, 1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport. According to Porsche, a total of fifty-nine GTS Carreras were built (50 to meet the Group 4 homologation requirements back in the day, plus an additional nine for good measure). And of the fifty-nine total cars built, only 15 were further modified to Club Sport specifications…

White 1981 924 Carrera GTS club sport_3/4 front view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

White 1981 924 Carrera GTS club sport_motor_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

White 1981 924 Carrera GTS club sport_rear view/badge_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

In fact, this is the only GTS identification displayed on the entire car, and almost invisible due to its monochromatic design…

Black & orange Porsche GT3 RS_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Black & orange Porsche GT3RS_Dan Gurney & wife in background on left_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

From week to week, one never knows who might be seen strolling through the parking lot at Cars&Coffee. On this morning, local resident and American racing legend Dan Gurney (in the white jacket and blue sweater) and his wife were present (see photo above), taking in the sights and examining the mornings diverse gathering of Porsches…

 Orange Porsche Type 996 GT3RS_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Martini Porsche 911 recreation_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Black on black Porsche 997 GT3RS _F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

1973 Porsche 911E with roof rack & luggage_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

And obviously, the tribute email reached the owner of this beautiful Porsche 904 Carrera GTS as witnessed below. A fitting tribute, since the Porsche 904 was the second milestone car penned by F.A. Porsche, shortly after his completion of the design for the 911…

Silver Porsche 904 GTS_ 3/4 front view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Silver Porsche 904 GTS_ front view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Silver Porsche 904 GTS_rear view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Silver Porsche 904 GTS_3/4 rear view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Several other rare and unique Porsche models were also represented Saturday morning, and ironically were each parked in close proximity to one another.

The first was the pristine white, 1962 Porsche 356 Carrera 2, powered by the model specific, Carrera 4 cam motor as seen below…

356 Carrera 2_front view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

White 1962 Porsche 356 Carrera 2_3/4 front view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

White 1962 Porsche 356 Carrera 2_driving light and chrome bumper guard_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

White 1962 Porsche 356 Carrera 2_rear view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

White 1962 Porsche 356 Carrera 2_4 cam motor_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

The second model was a silver,1961 Porsche Carrera Abarth GTL (shown below), also sporting a 4 cam motor, and backed by a freestanding display that chronicled the cars racing history. This particular Abarth GTL is another example of a very rare Porsche, being part of the initial, limited production run of 21 GTL’s from back in 1960. This particular car (serial #1015), was the fifteenth of only 21 produced during that time frame.

Silver 1961 Porsche Carrera Abarth GTL_3/4 front view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

  1961 Porsche Carrera Abarth GTL_vehicle history_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Silver 1961 Porsche Carrera Abarth GTL_3/4 rear view_4 cam motor_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Silver 1961 Porsche Carrera Abarth GTL_rear view_4 cam motor_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Silver 1961 Porsche Carrera Abarth GTL_side view_4 cam motor_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

And last but not least was the second Porsche 904 in attendance ( the blue model shown below), and the only 904 model to possess a very special connection to Ferdinand Alexander Porsche…

Blue 1964 Porsche 904-002_Butzi's car_3/4 front view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

This particular car, a 1964 904 Carrera GTS, serial # 904-002 (of which I have written about previously), is not only historically significant because of its status as one of the surviving  pre-production prototype models created, but also because of the unique design features unique to this car only. And no less important is the fact that this is the single 904 Carrera GTS to have been owned and routinely driven by the designer himself (Ferdinand Alexander “Butzi” Porsche).

Blue 1964 Porsche 904-002_Butzi's car_mirror reflection_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Porsche 904's _F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Blue 1964 Porsche 904-002 _Carrera GTS_Rear view_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

Thus the personalized California license plate that adorns the rear of the car; a clue to the cars historic significance, and reference to the identity of 904-002’s original owner.

Red 1966 Porsche 911 __with displayed "F.A. "Butzi"Porsche & the 911" press photo_F.A. Porsche Tribute_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_4/7/12

As the morning came to a close, and the sound of Porsche boxer / flat six motors coming to life echoed throughout the parking lot, it was time to reflect on the event that had brought us all together that morning. And what better tribute and reminder to all present, than the photo of a young Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, photographed sitting on the fender of his design come to life, the Porsche 911. One only had to look at the Porsche participants that Saturday morning, or recall the Porsche 911 parking corrals at Porsches Rennsport Reunion IV, filled to capacity with 911’s from every model year and color as far as the eye could see, to understand the impact of this designers creative genius. And hopefully, the DNA from his original 911 design will continue to thrive, for future generations of aspiring Porsche 911 owners to experience and enjoy…

(All photos by the author)

Remembering Ferdinand Alexander (Butzi) Porsche…

It was with great sadness that I read the news today announcing the passing of Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. His passing is not only a terrible loss for the Porsche family, but a sad day for the global Automotive and Design community.

His automotive design and styling influences will be forever linked to the company  founded by his grandfather and father, and by two of his penned automotive masterpieces; the iconic Porsche 911, and shortly after, the fiberglass bodied 904 Carrera GTS as seen below.

Red 1966 Porsche 911_front view_Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV_ October 2011

A beautifully restored example of a 1966 Porsche 911…

Red 1966 Porsche 911_side view_Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV_ October 2011

Red 1966 Porsche 911_3/4 rear view_Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV_ October 2011

…And the historically significant 1964 Porsche 904 GTS (shown below), ironically with special ties to F.A. Porsche. This particular car is serial number 904-002, a pre production model possessing many one-off, custom features, and a car actually owned by its designer, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. Thus the “Butzi S” reference on its license plate…

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_Feb. 2012

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_Feb. 2012

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_Feb. 2012

Blue 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS_headlight & fender detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_Feb. 2012

Then in 1972, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche shifted his design focus, and created the product design firm that came to be known as Porsche Design.  His innovative designs for the satin black, chronograph watch with a face inspired by the gauges found within the 911, and the satin black framed, aviator style sunglasses with interchangeable lenses, both went on to become instant classics, and established Porsche Design as a force to be reckoned with. As a testament to his sense of design and creative vision, the original Porsche Design chronograph has become a highly sought after collectible watch, and their aviator styled sunglasses are still being produced to this day.

So thank you Professor Porsche, for elevating the art of Automotive and Product Design, and for giving life to the Porsche 911 and 904.  Godspeed…