The fulfillment of a lifelong dream; attending the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, and my pre and post race journey…

For anyone familiar with the Porsche brand, the name Le Mans has always been closely linked to their impressive racing history. After developing a passion for Porsches as I entered my teenage years, I began studying and researching these significant Porsche race cars and those victories achieved at this mysterious French race track. At that moment, the hook was set and attending the 24 Hours of Le Mans  race became a lifelong aspiration.

I did come close to fulfilling this very dream of attending Le Mans twice; once in 2001 and the second time in 2002, while living and working in France. However, each year due to schedule conflicts, I was unable to attend. So imagine my surprise when Porsche announced their return to Le Mans for 2014, after a 16 year hiatus with the following statement – “Mission 2014. Our Return”. And return they would, with a pair of brand new race cars; the Porsche 919 hybrid. Not to mention Porsche bringing a pair of new 911 RSR’s, competing in the GTE / Pro class. So after a discussion with my wife about planning our vacation for 2014, she quickly agreed on a trip to France, which we would schedule around my attendance at this years Le Mans 24. My wife’s sole travel request consisted of being able to travel through France’s Loire Valley, and occasionally stay at a Chateau. Ironically, Le Mans is roughly located towards the center of the Loire. So working with this years race date of June 14-15, 2014, my wife went to work on searching out and booking us at several Chateaus and hotels scattered throughout the Loire Valley. We quickly learned however, that trying to book a hotel in or near Le Mans for 2014 was downright impossible. As a back-up plan, we found several chateaus in the village of Amboise, located about 1 -1/2 hours south of Le Mans, each with available rooms. Since I would be attending the race by myself (my wife is not a race fan), she would be staying behind at Chateau #2 (which worked out perfectly), since it was located within walking distance to the town, and good for sightseeing, shopping and dining.

So with the rest of our travel plans now finalized, it was time for me to begin researching how to attend ones first 24 Hours of Le Mans race. After a google search, I found the official 24 Hours of Le Mans / ACO website.  As a spectator, I learned I would need a basic admission ticket and a parking pass to gain admission into the track. Since my plan was to walk around the track and photograph the race from multiple locations, general admission would be perfect. There was also the option to book a grandstand seat at a variety of locations situated around the track, at an additional cost; the more desirable locations carrying the highest prices. Because of my desire to be mobile, I passed on the grandstand seating. Parking options also varied, and recommendations as presented were based upon ones direction of travel. After a quick review of my trusty Michelin road map, I selected one of the several available in-field parking areas (green / Vert), figuring that having easy access to my car in the event of bad weather or fatigue would be a good idea. With my decisions made, it became a simple process to order my tickets online, and for a minor fee, have them delivered via UPS to my home in the States. About three weeks after placing my order, my packet was delivered, and I now held my general admission ticket and parking pass for the green ( Vert) lot, section M-1…

2014 24 Hours of Le Mans ticket and parking pass_June 2014

So on June 6, my wife and I boarded our Lufthansa flight to Munich Germany, with a short connecting flight that would deliver us to our final destination, the Charles De Gaulle airport in France.

Below, sunset over the polar route, on our way to Munich, Germany.

Lufthansa flight_sunset shot ,polar route_June 6, 2014

We arrived in Munich on schedule, and after a brief lay over, were on our way to the Charles De Gaulle airport, located about 45 minutes to the east of Paris. After collecting our luggage, we picked up our rental car from the company Sixt. ( should anyone be planning a trip to France, I would highly recommend this rental car company). Even though we came prepared with our Michelin maps for navigating France, our car came equipped with navigation, which proved to be invaluable during our trip. After programming in our first destination, and adjusting the language section to english, we were off to the Marne La Valle area, where we would be staying at a friend’s home.

For our first couple of days we traveled into Paris, revisiting some of our favorite districts and landmarks. We had lunch at one of the many sidewalk bistros in the 5th district; the photo below was shot through the bistro’s open window.

Rue Saint Severin street sign_Paris_ June 9, 2014

After lunch, we walked back across the Seine, and made our way over to the second most recognizable landmark within Paris: Notre Dame.

Notre Dame_Front view_Paris_June 9, 2014

Notre Dame_Side view_Paris_June 9, 2014

Notre Dame_Rear view_Paris_June 9, 2014Within 10 minutes of taking the photos above (the less seen side and back views of Notre Dame), the gray clouds intensified, and rain began falling. This quickly sent everyone running for cover or for those prepared, reaching for their umbrellas. Nothing new for Paris in early June…

By the time Thursday rolled around, it was time for us to load up the car and head out towards Paris, then detour south towards the village of Amboise. Imagine our surprise at encountering the vehicles seen below, also heading south. Any thoughts as to their destination?

VW Vanagon outside Paris with Porsche 2014 graphics_Side view_June 12, 2014

VW Vanagon outside Paris with Porsche 2014 graphics_Rear view_June 12, 2014

After giving them a thumbs-up as we passed, we continued south towards our final destination. Our next stop however would require a slight detour, to another of France’s architecturally significant Cathedrals; Chartres. Since my wife had never visited Chartres, we decided to stop for a quick tour (this would mark my third visit).

Chartres cathedral, France_front view_June 12, 2014

Chartres cathedral, France_partially restored interior_altar view_June 12, 2014

Chartres cathedral, France_Restored leaded glass window_June 12, 2014

Our brief stop was well worth the time spent; Chartres immediately became one of my wife’s new favorite Cathedrals in France. And as the photos illustrate, the interior of the cathedral was undergoing a full restoration, with a high percentage of the walls, ceilings and stained glass windows having recently been restored, with the remaining areas still awaiting their turn. (Definitely a brighter appearing interior, and beautiful, vibrant leaded glass windows, noticeably improved over my last visit 12 years ago).

Once back on the road we continued south, and several hours later finally arrived at our destination in Amboise, despite one major road closure that sent us on a one hour detour. Amboise would become our new home base through the weekend, and for the next two days, residence at the 750 year old Chateau de Pray (below).

Chateau de Pray, Amboise France_Rear view_ June 12, 2014

On Friday morning, we ventured out to visit the nearby 16th century Renaissance palace, Chateau de Chenonceau (as seen below).

Chateau de Chenonceau_ tree lined entry_Amboise France_June 13, 2014

Chateau de Chenonceau_ view from the garden_Amboise France_June 13, 2014

Chateau de Chenonceau is reported to be the most visited Chateau in all of France, and given its sheer size, spectacular location, architectural and interior details as well as its history, it was easy to understand the attraction.

When the sun rose the following morning, it was now Saturday June 14, and time for me to make my long-awaited trek to Le Mans. After getting my wife checked into our next Chateau for the weekend, it was time to head off to the race that had been a lifelong dream. After programming the Le Mans race track into the cars navigation, I was literally off to the race. After driving for roughly 1-1/2 hours through the Loire Valley countryside, I was finally near my destination as seen below…

Highway to Le Mans_Le Mans race track roundabout_June 14, 2014

After navigating several more roundabouts, I spotted the roadway signage indicating the entrances to the different race track parking areas. Fortunately, my green (Vert) parking area was one of the first signs I encountered, and after following the signs, I found myself in one very long line…

Highway to Le Mans_Le Mans race track parking, Vert_June 14, 2014

One hour later, I was now parked in section M-1, and began collecting my camera gear in anticipation of the fulfillment of a lifelong dream; experiencing and creating a photographic record of my around the clock adventure at the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans.

So with all of my gear stowed in my backpack, it was time for “Step One”; Finding the entrance into the race track. Fortunately, the entry structure was visible from the parking lot, and just a short hike from my car. As I approached, It quickly became obvious as to its function; the entry side was to the left, and the exit was to the right.

Entry portal into the Le Mans race track_from the Vert parking lot_June 14, 2014

The entry procedure turned out to be very streamlined and efficient; multiple staff members were stationed at each portal with a hand-held scanner, giving them the ability to keep the flow of fans moving quickly. Throughout the 24 hours, whether entering, exiting or re-entering, your admission pass was scanned, to insure validity, and eliminated the need to rubber stamp people’s hands. I personally tested this process out several times over the 24 hours, and can attest to its efficiency.

So now that I was inside the track, and after climbing several sets of steep stairs, I was face to face with a landmark I had first seen on the “Wide World of Sports” television show back in the late 1960’s; the iconic Dunlop bridge that spans the Le Mans race track, so this became my very first exploration…

Dunlop Bridge from grandstand side_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

It also became apparent that the European race fans take their motor racing very seriously, as witnessed by the crowds already present, and the ever-increasing number of fans that continued to fill the track, as well as the grandstands adjacent to the bridge.

Dunlop Bridge grandstands _Le Mans24_June 14, 2014
Dunlop grandstand_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Having completed my hike around the outside areas of the track near the Dunlop bridge, it was time to return to the infield area and begin exploring the infield area known as the “Village”.

La Chapelle location_infield directiory sign_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Walking past the silver paneled Audi boutique, I could see through the gathering crowd, what appeared to be one of Audi’s new R-18 e-tron race cars on display. Time to stop and get a close up look at their latest creation…

Audi Boutique at La Chapelle_2014 Audi R-18 e-tron on display_3/4 side view_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Audi Boutique at La Chapelle_2014 Audi R-18 e-tron on display_front view_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

After leaving the Audi boutique, it was time to explore more of the venues present within the Village. Walking along the pathway, I came across the Top Gear simulator, which every few minutes would swallow up a new batch of guests in their motion base simulator. The audio volume within the simulator had been cranked up so high, that standing outside, you could still hear the internal audio track.

Top Gear motion base simulator_infield village_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Next up were several more automotive manufacturer boutiques; first up was Aston Martin Racing…

Aston Martin Racing boutique_village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014and right next door was Lotus.

Lotus boutique_village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Continuing further into the village, I began hearing what sounded like live music, and rounding a corner, was almost run over by this roving brass band as seen below…

Brass band_village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

After escaping from the band, I made my way over to the Michelin display, which described the development of race tire technology (as used on Porsche’s new 919 Hybrid), and the transfer of these technologies and applications to their street tires.And to demonstrate their street car applications, they just happened to have on display one very silver, 2014 Porsches GT3 shod with Michelin tires.

Michelin tire display_ Porsche 919 hybrid_village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Michelin tire display_ silver 2014 Porsche GT3_village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Located a short distance from the Michelin display was the Spark boutique, dedicated to the fans who like their cars on a smaller scale.

Spark scale model boutique_village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Another of the very crowded boutiques, but with a predominately male shopper. As the photo below illustrates, Spark produces some of the nicest scale, display models of any company. The large-scale, Audi R-18 e-tron on display was amazing, as was the asking price; 3000 euro, which in dollars worked out to roughly $4080.00 !!

Spark sclae model boutique_ audi R-18 model for sale, 3000euros _village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Located right next to the Spark boutique, was GM’s display and boutique, which displayed a single, 2014 charcoal gray Chevrolet Corvette C7.

Corvette display & boutique_charcoal gray 2014 C7 corvette_village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Another of the impressive sights found within the Village, and close to the Paddock; the massive, polished metal Audi monolith, positioned in the middle of the plaza.

Audi Monolith_village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

The reflective surfaces also made for a great photo opportunity, as witnessed below…

Audi Monolith_spectator photo op, reflectiions_village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Located directly opposite of this monolith, was the automotive boutique that I had hoped to find. Positioned out front were two examples of Porsches latest race cars; a GT3 Cup Car, and an example of their brand new LMP1 class, 919 Hybrid.

Porsche boutique_fan stop_GT3 Cup Car_3/4 side view__village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Porsche boutique_fan stop_LMP1, 919 Hybrid_3/4 side view__village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Porsche boutique_fan stop_LMP1, 919 Hybrid_3/4 front view__village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Porsche boutique_fan stop_LMP1, 919 Hybrid_front wheel & tire detail__village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Porsche boutique_fan stop_LMP1, 919 Hybrid_3/4 rear view__village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Serving as the backdrop for these two race cars, was a semi tractor-trailer designed as a rolling Porsche boutique, complete with pop-outs to deliver an expandable showroom.

Porsche boutique_fan stop_3/4 side view__village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

As much as I wanted to enter the boutique to check out the contents, the line to enter continued to grow in size and the number of people entering was being regulated, so I figured I would return later.

Porsche boutique_fan stop_roof top banners__village infield_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Ironically, located immediately behind the Porsche Fan Spot boutique was the Paddock area and the entrance to the garages, pit area and pit lane grandstands. And as the following photos illustrate, Porsche took full advantage of this particular area to advertise their 2014 return to Le Mans…

Porsche supergraphics_nos fans_pit row grandstands_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014
Porsche supergraphics_pit row grandstands_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Porsche supergraphics_nos fans#2_pit row grandstands_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Porsche supergraphics_La meilleure energie motice qui soit_pit row grandstands_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Porsche supergraphics_the most powerful..._pit row grandstands_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Below, the multi-storied Race Control building, whose occupants would be responsible for managing the race for the full 24 hours, and located at the entrance to pit lane.

Race control building_pit row _Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Circling the garage / paddock area, I was fortunate to spot the latest race car transporters for the Porsche factory team; commissioned with delivering their new LMP1 919 hybrids to race tracks throughout Europe.

Porsche race car haulers_ 919 hybrid_paddock/garage area_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Spotted parked four rigs over from the end, was this tractor/trailer combo for Porsche Motorsports. I suspect that the large boxes on the rear lift gate contained body parts for either the latest 911 RSR’s or the new 919 hybrid.

Porsche motorsports parts trailer_paddock/garage area_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Another Porsche venue (Spirit of Le Mans) discovered on my walk back up through the infield village…

Porsche spirit of Le Mans display_infield village area_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Being the ever inquisitive Porsche fan, I walked up to the tent flap to see what was inside.

Porsche spirit of Le Mans display_908/02 #48_infield village area_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Looking inside, I found a crew still in the process of working to complete the display. I was able to grab a few quick shots as they made their way toward where I was standing.

My first shot (above), was of what appeared to be the Porsche 908/02 that Steve McQueen and Peter Revson drove to a second place finish at Sebring back in 1970.

My second shot (below), captured what looked to be Porsches last overall Le Mans 24 race winner from back in 1998; the awesome 1998 GT1LM…

Porsche spirit of Le Mans display_1998 GT1LM rear view_infield village area_Le Mans24_June 14, 2014

Would having this car on site bring luck to the multiple Porsche teams competing at this years race, and would Porsche repeat their overall race victory this year with their new 919 hybrid?

Please stay tuned for part two of my blog, which will cover the entire 24 hours of the race, as well as my post race travels through the Loire Valley and return to Paris.

(Here’s a sneak peek of two race shots)…

Porsche 911RSR #91_LeMans24_2014

Porsche 919 hybrid#20_LeMans24_2014

(All photos by the author)

Porsches return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 16 years in the making, and the fulfillment of a life long dream…

Dear readers,

You may have been wondering about my lack of blog postings lately. Rest assured I have not given up on the challenge of writing a blog, but have instead been preparing to fulfill a lifelong dream of attending the 24 Hours of Le Mans. So as I write this very post, I am currently in the village of Coupvray, France, (about 23 mile east of Paris), staying with friends, prior to my wife and I driving south (mid-week) down to Le Mans for this coming weekends race.

So in anticipation of Porsche returning to Le Mans with a factory team after a 16 year absence, and as a tribute to their last victory, I have posted as the header to my blog an image of their 1998 Le Mans winning car, the GT1LM.

So please stay tuned for my upcoming series of blog posts, which will be based upon my first hand experiences and impressions of attending my very first 24 Hours of Le Mans, and on this very special year for Porsche. And with a little luck, I hope to be present and able to share firsthand, coverage of Porsche on their way to class victories with this years new GT3RSR, but to also witness Porsche score an overall win with their brand new 919.

And as Porsche has advertised leading up to this years Le Mans; “Mission 2014. Our Return”.

Celebrating the classics, Cars&Coffee style…

Celebrating the classics was an underlying theme recently at Cars&Coffee / Irvine. This fact became quite obvious as I pulled into Porsche row just behind the Type 964 / C4 Pikes Peak rally car seen below. Driving and navigation duties were carried out by two young women, who just happened to be the daughters of the owner. With a deft hand, the 964 was backed into its space, parked beside their father’s 1953 Porsche 356A coupe.

Pikes peak/Valvoline Porsche 964 rally car_front view_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

“If two lights are good, then four should be even better”.

Pikes peak/Valvoline Porsche 964 rally car_driving light cluster detail_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

Pikes peak/Valvoline Porsche 964 rally car_3/4 side view_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

Rear whale tail, covered in Valvoline themed confetti and Andial graphics; a winning combination (below).

Pikes peak/Valvoline Porsche 964 rally car_rear wing graphics detail_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

Family portrait time…

Pikes peak/Valvoline Porsche 964 rally car_3/4 rear view,2 car portrait_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

Continuing with the classics theme, was a 1960s vintage race car, making its presence known by the quickly gathering crowd as witnessed in the “featured parking lot”.

An unmistakable classic, making only its second Saturday morning appearance at cars&coffee…

White 1967 Ford GT MK IV_front view_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

For anyone growing up during the 1960’s and who followed auto racing, it was obvious as to the identity of this low slung, white race car with black striping. Hard to mistake this race car for anything but the iconic, American built factory backed race car that it is; a 1967 Ford GT MK IV.

White 1967 Ford GT MK IV_3/4 side view_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

White 1967 Ford GT MK IV_door meatball #9_side view_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

A peek inside the closed cockpit…

White 1967 Ford GT MK IV_interior shot_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

and out back, a close up view of another classic component; the premier Ford race motor of the 1960’s, the mighty 427. And as seen on this car, a motor with its dual carburetors housed within a clear polycarbonate chamber, allowing the motor to be force-fed fresh air by dual NACA air ducts, each located on the rear deck, atop the rear fenders.

White 1967 Ford GT MK IV_engine detail shot_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

White 1967 Ford GT MK IV_rear view with open decklid_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

Visible through its rear window (below); the single, treaded “spare tire” and immediately to its right, the fabricated aluminum “luggage box”. A requirement mandated for all competitors in the Prototype Endurance class, per F.I.A. competition regulations that remained in effect into the 1970’s.

White 1967 Ford GT MK IV_view of motor thru rear window_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

White 1967 Ford GT MK IV_drivers side view_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

Sharing space; the 1967 Ford GT Mk IV and its neighbor, the red Porsche 356A Speedster.

White 1967 Ford GT MK IV_3/4front view with red speedster in foreground_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

White 1967 Ford GT MK IV and red Porsche 356A speedster_group shot_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

Red Porsche 356A speedster_rear view_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

Further down the row, awaiting discovery by fans of english sports cars, was this beautifully restored Austin Healey 100, adorned by an assortment of rally badging, and flanked by a pair of driving lights complete with stone guards.

Cream colored Austin Healey 100_front grill shot_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

Cream colored Austin Healey 100_3/4 front view_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

The Healey’s highly detailed interior. Equal in quality and attention to detail, on par with its exterior.

Cream colored Austin Healey 100_interior shot_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

Another European classic encountered, parked amid a cluster of BMW’s. A spectacular, highly modified example of a mid 1970s vintage BMW 2002.

Fjord Blue, custom built BMW 2002_ side view_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

And as the fender graphics proclaim, a twin turbo, updated to the owners specifications, with a hint to its true potential revealed by the rear badging; “3002 ttii / twin turbo”.

Fjord Blue, custom built BMW 2002 "3002ttii"_ rear view_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

Another classic Ford present on this morning, and making what I believe to be its debut at cars&coffee. As seen below, a 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint, built by the firm VinRacer, as their interpretation of a period correct “Trans Am Racer”.

Black 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint /Trans AM racer_side view_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

Vin Racer describes themselves as creators of “vintage speed”, dedicated to the building of high performance, pre-1969 vehicles specific to a client’s desires. For anyone interested, please use the link above to check out their website for a full description of their services.

Black 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint /Trans AM racer_front hood with louvers and reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

Black 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint /Trans AM racer_rear view with reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

Black 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint /Trans AM racer_3/4 rear fender view and reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

Black 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint /Trans AM racer_3/4 front view with reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

Black 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint /Trans AM racer_closed front hood with meatball and reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

Even the engine compartment was as impressive as the exterior. Hidden beneath the louvered hood and braced within its spartan engine compartment, was home to the impressive, HI-PO 289 cubic inch motor, good for a reported 300 horsepower.

Black 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint /Trans AM racer_289 c.i. motor detail_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

Black 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint /Trans AM racer_oblique rear view with reflections and shadow_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

The competition inspired interior, complete with dual racing bucket seats, Hurst 4 speed shifter, Simpson harnesses and roll cage.

Black 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint /Trans AM racer_interior shot_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

One of the last cars to leave the event that morning, yet still fielding questions from visitors interested in the Falcon.

Black 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint /Trans AM racer_3/4 rear view, reflections and lit taillights_cars&coffee/irvine_May 10, 2014

Another example of why attending this show on a weekly basis is so rewarding. Surprises abound, and regardless of your favorite make or model, you’re assured of finding a vehicle to capture your interests.

(All photos by the author)

2014’s California Festival of Speed; Porsche GT3 Cup cars as far as the eye could see and a few surprises…

2014’s California Festival of Speed at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana California has come and gone, and what an amazing weekend it was. For me, the anticipation had begun building on Friday, as I checked Instagram postings throughout the day, uploaded by friends already out at the track. The kicker was the video post of Patrick Long ( the sole American Porsche Factory team driver), behind the wheel of a certain Guards Red, 2014 Porsche Turbo S, with the owner recording Mr. Long’s skills behind the wheel.

2014 Guards Red Porsche 991 Turbo S_3/4 front view pit row_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

2014 Guards Red Porsche 991 Turbo S_3/4 front view ,drivers side pit row_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Upon arriving at the event on Saturday morning, I ran into the owner of the Guards Red Porsche 991 Turbo S seen above, and she shared with me her previous days excitement at having Patrick Long behind the wheel of her car, and witnessing firsthand his skill and finesse for piloting a Porsche at speed, all on a cleared track for half a dozen laps. She then opened up the front trunk, revealing Patrick Long’s autograph, applied to the underside of the hood, to commemorate this rare opportunity (see below).

2014 Guards Red Porsche 991 Turbo S_underhood autograph_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

If one 991 Turbo S is good, then a pair is even better. Below, a second 991Turbo S on display, painted in the spectacular Sapphire Blue metallic.

2014 Sapphire Blue metallic Porsche 991 Turbo S_3/4 rear view pit row_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

2014 Sapphire Blue metallic Porsche 991 Turbo S _nose view on pit row_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Parked directly across from this pair, was another unique Porsche 991 that I have had the pleasure of shooting on multiple occasions. What sets this particular car apart from its 991 brethren, in addition to its aerokit cup package, is its unique color. As I shared in a previous  postng, when the owners picked up their special order model at the Factory this past summer, they were informed that their car was the only Porsche 991 at that time to be painted Riviera Blue.

2013 Riviera Blue Porsche 991 w/ aerokit_side view pit row_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

2013 Riviera Blue Porsche 991 w/ aerokit_rear deck reflections_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

2013 Riviera Blue Porsche 991 w/ aerokit_3/4 rear view with fence shadows on pit row_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

An amazing car from any view… and since I was literally at the entrance to Vendor row, it was time to check out what surprises. My first stop was at Dutchman Motorbikes, where Mark had his latest creations on display.

Dutchman Motorbikes_group shot of display_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Dutchman Motorbikes_detail shot of #73 on display_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Dutchman Motorbikes_Jagermesiter logo on top tube shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Next up was the Porsche Cars North America display, which on this weekend showcased their upcoming Experience Center, currently under construction in Carson, California. First up was the site map…

Porsche Experience Center_overview of test track facility_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

supported by the adjoining narrative graphic (seen below), highlighting the featured areas that will make up the test track portion of the Experience Center. According to the Porsche representatives on hand, the Experience Center is scheduled to open in 2015.

Porsche Experience Center_overview of test track features_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

My next stop was just several displays down the row, and hosted by bbi Autosport. The featured vehicle on display was the GT3 Cup Car that they had prepared for 2013’s Pikes Peak race, piloted by Pikes Peak multiple class winning driver, Jeff Zwart.

bbi Autosport display_GT3 Cup car, Jeff Zwart's Pike peak car_3/4 front view_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

bbi Autosport display_GT3 Cup car, Jeff Zwart's Pike peak car_3/4 front view/passenger side_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

After checking out all of the bbi Autosport goodies, it was time to go in search of my prime objective for the weekend; Porsche GT3 Cup Cars. So off I went to check out the three paddock garages, which would be home to the majority of the Cup Cars throughout the weekend.

As I rounded the corner of the first garage, imagine my surprise at encountering the Porsche seen below.

TruSpeeds restored,1978 Interscope racing Porsche 935 twin turbo_3/4 front view at garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Unexpected, and a treat for all, provided by the folks at TruSpeed. One of Porsches most successful race cars of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s; the iconic Porsche 935 twin turbo. And in this case, the recently restored icon, as originally campaigned by the Interscope Racing team out of Newport Beach, California back in 1978.

TruSpeeds restored,1978 Interscope racing Porsche 935 twin turbo_3/4 rear view with top of fender reflections _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

TruSpeeds restored,1978 Interscope racing Porsche 935 twin turbo_dashboard shot thru window _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

TruSpeeds restored,1978 Interscope racing Porsche 935 twin turbo_3/4 rear view with fender reflections _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

But wait, there’s more. TruSpeed had another treasure tucked away in the garage, which Terry Brewer from their sales group was kind enough to show me, and shared that if I was interested, this GT3 Cup was for sale.

TruSpeeds white Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car for sale_3/4 front view in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Parked on the opposite side of the garage was another collection of GT3 Cup cars, all in various stages of preparation, and being readied for an afternoons worth of track time.

Silver & Black #85, Porsche type 997 GT3 Cup car_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

An example of a Type 996 derived Porsche GT3 Cup car, rendered in classic stone gray with contrasting orange accents; a returning competitor from last years event.

Stone gray type 996 GT3 Cup car_ front view in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Stone gray type 996 GT3 Cup car_ 3/4 front view in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Stone gray type 996 GT3 Cup car_ rear wing strut /  in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Multiple examples of the newer 997 based GT3 Cup cars, as seen below, competing in the Pirelli GT3 Cup series.

Blue discountechnology type 997 GT3 Cup car_ front view in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pair of white Air powered racing  type 997 GT3 Cup car_ 3/4 front view in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Black #99 with red mirrors Trefethen winery type 997 GT3 Cup car_ 3/4 front view in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Black and gold mylar wrap # 06, Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car_ front view in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

white w/red and blue stripe, all star # 28  Porsche  type 997 GT3 Cup car_ front view in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Taking its turn on the corner balancing fixture (below).

Werks II # 25 Porsche type 997 GT3 Cup car_ 3/4 front view_on corner balance fixture in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup cars, staged throughout all three of the garages.

white w/red and blue stripe, All Star # 28  Porsche  type 997 GT3 Cup car_ side view in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

A glimpse at a GT3 Cup motor, and its visually dominant horizontal air box…

white w/red and blue stripe, all star # 28  Porsche  type 997 GT3 Cup car_ view of motor _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Spare wheels and Pirelli racing tires at the ready…

Porsche GT 3 Cup car wheels and Pirelli race rubber_tire rack in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Porsche GT 3 Cup car wheels_Wheel details_tire rack in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Driver and team equipment taking a break.

Drivers helmet, clipboard and stop watches on bench_ in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

One of several GMG prepared Porsches; undergoing preparation for its next on track session.

Blue GMG #155, type 997 Porsche GT 3 Cup_rear view  in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

And one of the few, non Motorsports purposed Porsches found in the paddock area; a classic Porsche Junior tractor with trailer…

Porsche Junior tractor and trailer_paddock area _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

complete with info plaque.

Porsche Junior tractor_data plaque_paddock area _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

My last stop before lunch was out to the trailer parking area in search of a particular Type 996 GT3 cup car; one that I had watched over Instagram posts in the days leading up to the event. The first post documented the car getting its new graphics treatment, while the second was a brief video shot on its return to its trailer, having completed its initial shakedown laps, piloted by its new owner.

White #997, Type 996 Porsche GT3 Cup car, with red & black stripes_front view /in trailer area _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

White #997, Type 996 Porsche GT3 Cup car, with red & black stripes_3/4 front view /in trailer area _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

White #997, Type 996 Porsche GT3 Cup car, with red & black stripes_3/4 rear view /in trailer area _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

White #997, Type 996 Porsche GT3 Cup car, with red & black stripes_rear view /in trailer area _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

White #997, Type 996 Porsche GT3 Cup car, with red & black stripes_3/4 rear view /roof, fender & wing_in trailer area _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Classic Porsche Motorsports issue: BBS modular, centerlock racing wheels.

White #997, Type 996 Porsche GT3 Cup car, with red & black stripes_BBS center lock wheel detail_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

After lunch, it was time to shift my focus towards track related activities. On tap was an afternoon of Porsche Club of America club racing sessions, bbi sponsored time trials and the Pirelli GT3 Cup race.

First up was one of several Porsche Club of America, club racing sessions. From my vantage point, camped out above the viewing area atop pit row, I could watch the different classes stage on the grid, and then be released out onto the track.

Staged and awaiting release onto the track…

PCA club racing series _grid shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

heading out onto the track, prior to the line up for a rolling start.

PCA club racing series _GMG's #155 GT3R entering track_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

PCA club racing series_ Red GT3Cup entering track_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

In formation, and accelerating across the start / finish line; here come the Cup cars…

PCA club racing series_ GT3 Cup cars _start of first lap_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

PCA club racing series_ GT3 Cup cars _start of first lap,  group shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

PCA club racing series_ GT3 Cup cars _#496 air powered racing GT3 at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Below, a wolf in sheep’s clothing; if you look closely, you’ll see that this Porsche GT3 is not a GT3 Cup car, but instead the next model up on the Porsche competition vehicle list; the GT3 Cup cars big brother, the GT3R. After watching this car turning laps on the track, it became obvious as to the R’s performance advantage over the base model GT3 Cup.

PCA club racing series_ GT3 Cup cars _GMG's #155 GT3R at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

More of the PCA club racing based, GT3 Cup cars.

PCA club racing series_ GT3 Cup cars _True Course #29 GT3 Cup at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

PCA club racing series_ GT3 Cup cars _Red, white & black #220 GT3 at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

PCA club racing series_ GT3 Cup cars _White #336 GT3 at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

PCA club racing series_ GT3 Cup cars _Stone Grayw/orange accents #95_ GT3R at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

PCA club racing series_ GT3 Cup cars _Black #59 GT3R at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

PCA club racing series_ GT3 Cup cars _Gray to white fade #271 at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

As the checkered flag fell on this PCA Club race, the next event scheduled was the bbi sponsored time trial, and could be seen starting to queue up in the grid area. From my vantage point, perched in the viewing stands above pit row, I could watch the cars and the drivers last-minute preparations, prior to their release onto the track.

bbi autosport sponsored time trial_Porsches queued up on the grid_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

So with the assembled time trial groups release, it was time to focus on shooting some Porsche race cars at speed…

bbi autosport sponsored time trial _Silver Porsche #1 at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

bbi autosport sponsored time trial _Black Porsche #91 at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

bbi autosport sponsored time trial _Gulf blue and orange #61 at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

bbi autosport sponsored time trial _Silver Porsche GT3 #62 at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

In regards to the Type 996 Porsche GT3 Cup car captured below, at the conclusion of the event on Sunday, while checking my Instagram feed, I learned that this Cup car had posted the top time of the day (TTD) in the time trial class. Not bad for this owners first competiton outing with his newly purchased GT3 Cup car. Congratulations Tom…

bbi autosport sponsored time trial _white Porsche GT3 cup car #997 at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

bbi autosport sponsored time trial _Silver with blue graphics Porsche 944 turbo #409 at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Once this time trial session had concluded, next up was what would be my last observed race for Saturday afternoon. And what a race to wrap up the afternoon with; the Pirelli GT3 Cup race. Being a huge fan of Porsche’s  GT3 models, and even more so of the GT3 Cup car variants, this race turned out to be one of my favorites of the day.

Below, final staging underway for the last of the Pirelli GT3 Cup races for the afternoon, and Porsche GT3 Cup cars as far as the eye could see.

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars queued on the grid_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars queued on the grid, overall shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars queued on the grid, close up view_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars queued on the grid, end of two rows view_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Then with a blast from the grid marshal’s whistle, the Cup cars roared to life and began their single file trek towards the track entrance portal. With a collective roar, the group was off on their formation lap, and by the time all had arrived at turn 20, they were aligned in rows two by two, with the pole sitting Porsche GT3 Cup car (#17) setting the pace. After crossing the start / finish line, #17 immediately began opening up a lead over the second placed GT3.

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars on track /start of the race_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

The following images represent a small sampling of the different GT3 Cup cars competing in the Pirelli GT3 Cup car, race #2 on Saturday…

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars on track /white #10 pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars on track /blue & white #81 pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars on track / black #99 Trefethen Porsche pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars / white, red & blue , #28 All Star fire equipment Porsche, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars / blue & gold #65  Porsche, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars / white & blue , #94 justice brothers Porsche, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars / white #03 911 Design Porsche, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars / white & green , #53  J&M Porsche, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars / silver, black & red , #02  Discount Tire Porsche, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars / black & blue , #84  Discountechnology.com Porsche, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars / white #23  Porsche GT3 Cup car, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars /black & gold vinyl wrap , #06 CM racing  Porsche, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars / white, blue& red , #25  Werks II motorsport Porsche, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

As seen below, the winning Porsche from the PirellI GT3 Cup race #2.

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars / black with chartrues  green mirrors , #17 Trefethen Porsche, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

As I made my way through the garage parking area, headed out towards the Porsche parking corral, a flash of light caught my eye. After stopping to take a closer look, I realized the flash had been created by a reflection, and an interesting one at that. Parked immediately behind the car hauler, was the vehicle generating the reflection and source of the flash; a pristine white Porsche type 997 GT3RS, and a fitting subject for my last photos of the day.

 Car hauler  / trailer rear door reflection_paddock area_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

 Car hauler  / trailer rear door reflection close up_paddock area_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Low key and discreet, with the only hint to the cars true potential being the subtle green graphics, applied onto the lower leading edge of each door.

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ white GT3RS with green door graphic_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Here sat another example of Porsches continued pursuit of excellence; a street car that can deliver race car levels of performance, due to technologies developed from competition, similar to what I had witnessed throughout the afternoon.

I wonder how many Porsche owners as they left the track that weekend, departed with aspirations of racing a GT3 Cup car, or experienced the desire to get involved and go PCA club racing or to compete in time trials. For me, the event evoked memories of my time behind the wheel of a friends Viper Green 2007 GT3RS, and further cemented my resolve to one day own a Type 997 GT3. In the meantime, these experiences have helped me develop a set of benchmarks to use in my quest to enhance the performance of my own Carrera.

(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…

“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 two grand ballrooms_ LA Hilton Hotel & LA Airport Porsche & VW literature and Memorabilia Show_March 2, 2014

One of several display tables with an assortment of driving lights, fog and tail lights.

Driving, fog and tail light display table_ LA Hilton Hotel & LA Airport Porsche & VW literature and Memorabilia Show_March 2, 2014

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.

Hella Tail light detail shot_ display table_ LA Hilton Hotel & LA Airport Porsche & VW literature and Memorabilia Show_March 2, 2014

Several rows over was another table full of favorites; car grill / badge bar commemorative plaques…

Grill /badge bar plaques_ display table_ LA Hilton Hotel & LA Airport Porsche & VW literature and Memorabilia Show_March 2, 2014

all very cool and expensive, with each possessing unique detail and color.

Grill / badge bar plaques_ detail shot_ LA Hilton Hotel & LA Airport Porsche & VW literature and Memorabilia Show_March 2, 2014

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.

Stoddard parts display_ detail shot_ LA Hilton Hotel & LA Airport Porsche & VW literature and Memorabilia Show_March 2, 2014

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…

Front hood emblem on dark blue Porsche 911 Carrera_rain drops & emblem_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

Dark blue Porsche 911 Carrera_headlight, fender and hood shot with raindrops_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

An early 911 headlight (below), equipped with a European spec, amber French lens.

Silver long hood Porsche 911_headlight with French amber lens_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

One highly visible, glow in the rain Porsche 930 turbo.

Day glow yellow Porsche 930 turbo_side view & reflections_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

One rain drenched Porsche super car; the rare Type 959. Even at rest, the rain sheets right off…

Black Porsche 959_front view with rain tracks_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

One of the Porsche 356 representatives present, showing no apprehension regarding the morning rain.

Turquoise green Porsche 356_3/4 front detail view with raindrops_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

Proof that water does bead up on highly waxed surfaces.

Turquoise green Porsche 356_ front hood handle / badge detail and hood with raindrops_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

Representing the early long hood community, was this beautifully prepared Beige Gray 1968 Porsche 911.

Beige Gray 1968 Porsche 911_ 3/4 side view_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

Rear decklid and side stripes with a rally sport inspired graphic treatment; could these graphics be the handiwork of werkcrew founder Bob Tilton?

Beige Gray 1968 Porsche 911_ rear deckled detail_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

The equally impressive, rally / race inspired motor.

Beige Gray 1968 Porsche 911_ Motor detail shot_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

More proof that Southern California Porsche owners drive their cars in the rain…

Bright blue Porsche 911 Carrera_ hood badge and raindrop detail_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

and the rest of the car covered by the morning rain.

Bright blue Porsche 911 Carrera_ 3/4 rear view_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

Several of the early morning arrivals, parked up close to the building and protected from the majority of the rain showers.

Early Porsche 911s_ orange 1970s 911T, 1973  Blue 911S_3/4 rear view_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

A pair of Porsche GTs staged out in the rain; a 1972 911 GT and the rally prepared,1970 914-6…

Porsche GTs_white 1972 911 GT, yellow 1970 914-6 GT_3/4 front view_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

The real deal; a close up view of true 914-6 GT factory fender flares.

Yellow 1970 Porsche 914-6 GT_fender flare detail_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

Proof of this vehicles pedigree; a record of its previous participant and survivor status in the Panama / Alaska Rally.

Yellow 1970 Porsche 914-6 GT_rear deckled rally plaque, raindrops & reflections_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

One of the early 911S models on display at this years show…

Burgundy long hood Porsche 911S_3/4 front view with raindrops_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

complete with a recent acquisition by the owner, proudly displayed on the dash.

Burgundy long hood Porsche 911S_356 model displayed on dashtop_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

This burgundy 911S was also one of the few Porsches at the show equipped with a roof mounted, Leitz brand luggage rack.

Burgundy long hood Porsche 911S_rear view with raindrops_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

One of the local RGruppe members, displaying a variety of magnetic vinyl club event plaques on his front hood.

White 911T_RGRuppe with Martini stripes_front view_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

One rain-soaked rear decklid, wrapped in Martini racing graphics.

White 911T_RGRuppe with Martini stripes_rear deckled with raindrops_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

Below, further evidence of the morning drizzle…

Irish green backdated 1986 Porsche 3.2 911 Carrera_front hood, badge and raindrops_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

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.

Irish green backdated 1986 Porsche 3.2 911 Carrera_front view_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

Suspicions confirmed… and itemized.

Irish green backdated 1986 Porsche 3.2 911 Carrera_backdating shopping list_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

A convincing re-spray, in period correct Irish green.

Irish green backdated 1986 Porsche 3.2 911 Carrera_3/4 rear view_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

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.

Silver Porsche 550 Spyder pedal car_fibersteel_side view_Phoenix Club Car show & Swap_March 3, 2014

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)

“Sky Blue and Black”; An unexpected visit by #00, Interscope Racings 1978 Porsche 935

“Sky Blue and Black”; An unexpected visit by #00,  Interscope Racings 1978 Porsche 935. And what a surprise it was.

As the sun began to rise, word spread quickly that someone brought a Porsche 935 to the event, and now it was parked near the entrance to the overflow lot. It became obvious as to the car’s location, judging by the gathered crowd.

Being a big fan of  Porsche 935s, I was eager to check out the mystery Porsche.  As I approached, I immediately recognized this particular 935, having chased it through the viewfinder of my camera at IMSA races throughout the late 1970s and into the 80s.

Interscope Racing 1978 Porsche 935_front view_cars&coffee/irvine_February 15, 2014

Interscope Racing… Southern California’s own and Newport Beach, California-based race team, which successfully fielded a pair of Porsche 935s from 1977 to 1982. The two car team consisted of car #0, piloted by team owner Ted Field, with the second car (#00) driven by teammate Danny Ongais. Danny “On the gas” Ongais was no stranger to motorsports, having started out in the NHRA, driving top fuel dragsters in the mid 1960s. From there he graduated to racing Indy cars, and then in 1977 began racing Porsches with and for Ted Field.

The Porsche 935 seen below was raced by Danny Ongais in 1978 in the IMSA series as part of the Interscope team. It is currently owned by one of the partners at TruSpeed, a local Costa Mesa, CA based Motorsports company, and here it was, making its debut at cars&coffee, showcasing its recent restoration.

Interscope Racing 1978 Porsche 935_3/4 front view_cars&coffee/irvine_February 15, 2014

Standard issue on the Porsche 935; Gold, three piece modular center lock BBS race wheels, in this case shod with present day Michelin race rubber (Goodyear tires having been the dominate brand raced back in 1978).

Interscope Racing 1978 Porsche 935_Gold BBS racing wheel & reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_February 15, 2014

In talking with the staff from TruSpeed, I learned that the car had spent time the previous week being put through its paces at the Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, in Desert Center, California. Present for this shakedown, and handling tuning duties, was none other than Dieter Inzenhofer, one of the three founding partners of Andial, which became the premier race shop for building winning 935 motors for the IMSA series through the 1970s and 1980s. All of this work was  in preparation for a trip to Sebring, Florida, to compete in an upcoming historic / vintage car race scheduled to take place in early March.

Interscope Racing 1978 Porsche 935_3/4 rear view_cars&coffee/irvine_February 15, 2014

Interscope Racing 1978 Porsche 935_Gold BBS rear race wheel & fender reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_February 15, 2014

Flawless, concours quality paint finish, perfect for reflecting one’s surroundings.

Interscope Racing 1978 Porsche 935_rear fender reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_February 15, 2014

Bi- level, Porsche 935 specific rear wing and fender, complete with trademark Interscope tri-colored graphic striping.

Interscope Racing 1978 Porsche 935_rear wing detail & fender reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_February 15, 2014

(Below) A view familiar to its many competitors back in the day; the full width, rear wing complete with Interscope graphics, massive Porsche 935 rear fenders, and centrally located, dual exhaust and peripheral waste-gates.

Interscope Racing 1978 Porsche 935_rear view_cars&coffee/irvine_February 15, 2014

A bugs-eye view of the twin turbo set-up, with centrally located, converging dual exhaust and the laterally positioned, dual boost wastegates.

Interscope Racing 1978 Porsche 935_bugs eye view of twin turbo motor & dual wastegates_cars&coffee/irvine_February 15, 2014

Interscope Racing 1978 Porsche 935_side view_cars&coffee/irvine_February 15, 2014

The classic silhouette of the Porsche 935, and the iconic tri -colored striping of Interscope #00, restored and ready to once again compete with its rivals within the ranks of the Historic racing community. Best of luck to the entire TruSpeed team on your upcoming competitions.

(All photos by the author)

Where else but in Southern California…

Where else but in Southern California could you wake up early on a Saturday morning, drive to a car show and come face to face with a collection of Porsche race cars like those pictured below.

1966 Porsche Carrera 906 &1970 Porsche 917 recreation_3/4 front view_cars&coffee/irvine_January 25, 2014

However, before the morning was over, the open space to the left of the Carrera 6 (Type 906) would be filled, and the white Porsche 928 to the far right would bow out to make way for a 914-6 GT race car. A rumor circulating that morning was that a Porsche 911R was on its way to the show, its intended parking space next to the 906 Carrera. Half an hour later, that rumor became a reality, as a white 1967 Porsche 911R, with its distinct exhaust note, pulled up to the featured lot and took its place alongside its Porsche brethren.

1967 Porsche 911R #001, 1966 906, 1970 917 recreation and 928_group photo_cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

Given the rarity of the Porsche 911R model (just four pre production prototypes were produced, followed by a limited production run of only 20 models). Just seeing one in person is epic, however, this particular 911R (pictured above and below) takes epic to a completely different level, due to its historical significance.

This particular 911R is currently undergoing restoration by the Torrance, California shop of Callas Rennsport. A clue to this cars origins can be found displayed on each door. Have you figured it out? If not, for those unfamiliar with the Porsche 911R, I’ve included a brief history regarding this limited production model, as well as details specific to the 911R captured at cars&coffee:

The  911R was a purpose-built vehicle that came out of Ferdinand Piech’s experimental department at Porsche in the spring of 1967. An initial batch of four prototypes were produced, all ultra light weight examples based upon Porsche’s 911, each capable of demonstrating their competition potential in both under rally and GT based racing conditions. Each prototype started life as a standard 911, however lighter weight, thinner gauge steel panels were substituted for the chassis stampings where feasible. Body panels were fabricated using both fiberglass and aluminum, to maintain a stock appearance, and contribute to overall weight reduction efforts. All of the windows were also put on a diet, with all side and rear windows produced in Plexiglass. Even the windshields were included, and made as thin and light weight as possible. The stock front vent windows were replaced by fixed panels, with each incorporating a single round, aircraft sourced pop out vent (as seen below).

1967 Porsche 911R #001_fixed front quarter window with circular push out vent_cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

Each rear quarter window, in addition to being produced in plexiglass, included a set of louvers to aid with interior ventilation.

1967 Porsche 911R #001_rear quarter window with louvers _cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

1967 Porsche 911R #001_3/4 front view_cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

The 911Rs potent 1991 cc race motor (delivering 201 HP), came complete with dual ignition, 46mm Weber carburetors (complete with water shields), and smaller diameter cooling fan with the natural finished, fiberglass cooling shroud ( as seen below). Power is delivered through a 5-speed transmission, linked to a ZF limited slip differential. These components had been sourced from another of Porsches successful race cars, in this case the Carrera 6 (Type 906). Ironically, on this morning the white Porsche race car (#11) parked to the right of the 911R, just happened to be a Carrera 906…

1967 Porsche 911R #001_1991 cc race motor, 3/4 rear view_cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

Visible just to the left of the fan is the massive, twin plug distributer, sparked by the dual, blue Bosch coils. Fuel delivery is provided by the dual Bendix fuel pumps as seen below.

1967 Porsche 911R #001_1991 cc race motor_ dual Bosch coils and Bendix fuel pumps_cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

Porsche’s abbreviated tail light design, created for and utilized solely by the 911R.

1967 Porsche 911R #001_the original 911R rear tail light assembly and reflector- Detail view_cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

(Below) A freshly restored, fiberglass rear deck lid with integral rear mesh grill, left unpainted on the underside, as originally delivered.

1967 Porsche 911R #001_restored rear fiberglass decklid_inside detail _cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

This 911Rs first taste of competition came on July 23, 1967, in a 330 mile race in Mugello, Italy. In its debut event, piloted by Vic Elford and Giis van Lennup, this 911R finished third, behind two Porsche 910s and ahead of a Ford GT Mk IV. Then in late October of 1967, this very 911R was called up to the big leagues. A Swiss race team was at Monza (Italy), attempting to set world and 2.0 liter class records for distance and speed, driving a Porsche Carrera 6 (906). Unfortunately, the 906 experienced suspension problems after 12 hours into its quest. Sponsors for this record-setting attempt were BP and Firestone, and to honor this sponsorship commitment, the Swiss team contacted Stuttgart regarding a replacement car in order to continue their record-setting attempt. Porsche responded back, stating that they could send a 911R as the replacement, confident in its capabilities to meet the teams needs.The 911R was then driven from Stuttgart, and delivered to the waiting team at Monza. After being loaded up with the spare parts required for this type of event, the car was sent onto the track, to begin its record-setting attempt. The following four drivers would take turns behind the wheel of the 911R over the duration of the attempt: Rico Steinemann, Jo Seiffert, Dieter Spoerry and Charles Vogele. Over the next six continuous days, the 911R was run flat-out, and succeeded in setting eleven time and distance records in the 2.0 liter class, as well as posting five world records at 15,000 kilometers, 10,000 miles, 20,000  kilometers, 72 hours and 90 hours. Their average speed recorded at the end of the six-day run, (of over 20,000 kilometers), was 130.02 mph. All of these records were accomplished by the 911R seen here, recorded as chassis No.118 990 001. This chassis came to be noted by Porsche as the very first “production model” out of their limited run of twenty cars, thus establishing this individual car’s historical significance.

1967 Porsche 911R #001_3/4 side view with hood and rear deckled opened _cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

Front wheel detail; the 911Rs “deep six” X 15 inch, Fuchs 5 spoke alloy wheel, wrapped in Firestone rubber. Rear wheels measured 7 inch X 15.

1967 Porsche 911R #001_front wheel,deep six fuchs alloy wheel, clad  in Firestone rubber _cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

Seeing is believing; the powerful, dual lamp Bosch H1 headlight, with 911R specific front running lights, and its unique front air intake, designed to provide cooling air for the dual oil coolers tucked into each front fender.

1967 Porsche 911R #001_Bosch H1 headlight with model specific running lights _cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

1967 Porsche 911R #001_3/4 front view with opened front hood _cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

The highly detailed front trunk, with its prominently placed fabricated steel fuel tank with central filler, and the welded in place, front shock tower strut bar. Located directly below, are the dual set of hard lines linked to each front fender mounted oil cooler, providing cooled oil for the motor. Also visible is the restored underside of the front fiberglass hood, showcasing its natural, unpainted finish, as originally produced back in 1967.

1967 Porsche 911R #001_restored front trunk_ front view _cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

1967 Porsche 911R #001_restored front trunk_ 3/4 front view _cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

Another of the design features unique to the 911R; the rear fender mounted, dry sump oil tank filler with exposed cap. This very feature would reappear in 1972 (the dry sump oil tank moved forward to in front of the right rear wheel, for the supposed benefit of better weight balance), as a one year only feature found on all 911 models.

1967 Porsche 911R #001_ 3/4 rear view _cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

During this cars world record-setting run, the team back in Zuffenhausen had begun work on their initial batch of 20 “production 911R” models. Due to the limited production nature of this model, Porsche had contracted with an outside firm (Karl Bauer of Stuttgart), for the production of the bodies. Porsche ended up making a series of minor changes to their production run of 20 vehicles, when compared to the spec for their four prototype 911Rs. These variations would consist of the following: the production versions all had body parts manufactured from normal thickness steel. The windshield glass was specified at 4 mm thick, while the remainder of the windows were specified as 2mm thick Plexiglass. Up front, one major departure from the prototypes was the piercing of the front hood, providing access to the central mounted fuel filler and cap. In regards to the 911R suspension, the production models were equipped with Koni shocks and anti roll bars similar to those found on the Porsche 911S model, and had their suspension ride heights set lower by two inches. Subtle changes made to the motor consisted of the use of Weber 46IDA3C1, triple throat carburetors. Transaxles could now be configured from two unique final drive ratio offered. Standard body color for the 911R was white, unless the builders were given a three weeks advance notice of a desired color change. Upon completion, the finished production 911R weighed in a full 450 pounds less than a stock 911S. Ironically, its final weight of 1810 pounds (for the production 911R) was only 45 pounds heavier than its much lighter 911R prototype siblings. Unfortunately, plans by Porsche to produce additional runs of 911R models never materialized, so fans and collectors were left with only 24 cars to relish. On a personal note, I have been fortunate enough within the last year, to have seen two out of the final 20 production 911Rs in person (#001 and #017). To view 911R # 017, please use this link to access one of my previous blog posts…

1967 Porsche 911R #001_ 3/4 front view with 917 in background _cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

As I noted earlier, after the white Porsche 928 had moved over one space to make room for the 914-6 GT (pictured below), those in attendance were now treated to a rare assemblage of Porsche race cars. Was it a coincidence then, that this gathering took place on the very same day as the start of the 2014 24 Hours of Daytona race?

1970 Signal Orange Lufthansa Porsche 914-6 GT with Porsche race cars_ 3/4 group shot_cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

1970 Porsche Salzburg 917 recreation_ rear view_cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

1970 Signal Orange Lufthansa Porsche 914-6 GT with Porsche race cars_ 3/4 front view_cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014 This particular Porsche, the Lufthansa sponsored 1970 914-6 GT, serial # 914 043 1415, also possesses a unique history. Not only is it one of only eleven team cars built, but it also holds several records set during the 1970 Nurburgring 1000KM race. In addition to finishing second in class, this 914-6 GT also set the fastest lap time, and now here it was on display 44 years later, looking like it had just rolled out of the Race Department at Porsche.

1970 Signal Orange Lufthansa Porsche 914-6 GT with Porsche race cars_ 3/4 rear group shot_cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

The power source for the mid engined 914-6 GT; as seen below, its immaculately prepared, 2.0 liter twin plug boxer six, also derived from the Porsche Carrera 6 (906).

1970 Signal Orange Lufthansa Porsche 914-6 GT with Porsche race cars_ motor detail_cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

1970 Signal Orange Lufthansa Porsche 914-6 GT with Porsche race cars_ rear view_cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

Another example of the ” European market only” rear badging, with the circular Porsche badge used to cover up the stock rear trunk lid lock location, removed for racing and replaced by a pair of rubber hold downs as seen above and below.

1970 Signal Orange Lufthansa Porsche 914-6 GT _ europe only rear badging_cars&coffee/irvine_january 25, 2014

California has long been considered a hotbed for all things Porsche, and it never fails to deliver up a multitude of treasures hidden away in garages and the private collections housed throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. Surprises can vary from Porsche street cars to the rare and in some cases, seldom seen Porsche race cars. And what makes this particular venue so amazing, is that one never knows what jewels will make their debut from week to week, to an always appreciative crowd.

(All photos by the author)

Heavy crowds, no rain, Porsches out in force and a few other surprises; the first cars&coffee/Irvine of 2014

Saturday morning, January 4, 2014 dawned cool and clear, good weather I thought for the first cars&coffee of 2014. However, on my drive down to Irvine and just as I passed Anaheim, I was greeted by a dense fog bank that had descended across the freeway. My immediate concern was that this fog was going to remain for the remainder of my drive. A couple of miles further south, the fog broke and once again I had a clear view. But unfortunately, as I approached Irvine, and starting at the Sand Canyon off ramp, the fog reappeared, now draped over the entire region. So under the cover of fog, I arrived at cars&coffee. Much to my surprise, Porsche row was almost completely filled, and it was just 6AM !  I was lucky enough to snag one of the last two remaining parking spaces on the row. And keeping with tradition, my first stop was for my weekly donut and hot chocolate, and on this morning, hopefully it would be enough to fend off the damp, foggy morning. After grabbing my camera, it was time to begin my search for awaiting treasures.

An extensive cache of Porsches assembled along Porsche row (below).

Guards Red 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera and friends_Porsche row_side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

Black Porsche 997 GT3 with cup wing on Porsche row_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

Black Porsche 993 on Porsche row_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

Black Porsche 993 on Porsche row_front fender reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

Black Porsche 997 GT3 with cup wing on Porsche row_3/4 side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

DSC_0165 - Version 2

Red Porsche 911S & White 911Carrera on Porsche row_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

A return visit by the special order, Riviera Blue 2014 Porsche 991 coupe, wearing its Aerokit Cup option package.

Black 1994 Porsche 964 targa and 2014 991 Riviera Blue 911 coupe_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

2014 991 Riviera Blue 911 coupe_front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

With the return of heavy crowds and no rain, those cars arriving late were relegated to the overflow lot. The following photos represent several very cool Porsches that found themselves redirected to the overflow space.

The first Porsche encountered was the charcoal gray 930 turbo below.

Charcoal Gray Porsche 930 Turbo_overflow lot_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

Charcoal Gray Porsche 930 Turbo_overflow lot_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

Charcoal Gray Porsche 930 Turbo_reflection in black Honda door_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

The second Porsche was the 997 GT3 seen below, complete with an extensive graphics wrap.

White Porsche 997 GT3 with graphics wrap_3/4 front view_overflow lot_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

White Porsche 997 GT3 with graphics wrap_3/4 rear view_overflow lot_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

Back on Porsche row, a friends signal red 1966 911, having shed its Fuchs 5 spoke alloy wheels for a set of original issue, period correct 4 -1/2″ X 15″ steel wheels.

Signal Red 1966 Porsche 911 on Porsche row_3/4 side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

Given the number of cars assembled each week, it helps to have friends who walk the rows, and check out the cars present. That way, if something really catches their attention, they are nice enough to share their discoveries with me for photographic consideration. That was exactly how I learned of the Koenigsegg CCX, parked out in the back rows of the lot. I had only seen the car in magazines, so this was my first time seeing one in person. Not knowing much about the details relating to this car, I decided some research was in order.

I quickly learned that the mid engined super car seen below was manufactured in Angelholm, Sweden and that this was a CCX model, and equipped with the optional rear spoiler. The CCX designation stands for “Competition Coupe 10”, celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the first Koenigsegg competition coupe produced. The CCX model was produced from 2006 through 2010, with only 14 CCX models delivered.

Silver Koenigsegg CCX coupe_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

Located beneath the rear glass window, is the Koenigsegg’s aluminum, DOHC 4.7 liter, twin supercharged V8, producing 806 bhp. Power is transferred to the rear wheels by a 6- speed transmission, reported to be good for delivering a top speed of 245 mph.

Silver Koenigsegg CCX coupe_rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

The 12 spoke wheels found on the CCX are a unique Konigsegg design, and sized 9.5″ X 19″ up front, 12.5″ X 20″ out back. Grip is provided by a set of Michelin Pilot sport tires, with stopping power provided by a set of Brembo 8 piston calipers up front, and AP racing calipers out back.

Silver Koenigsegg CCX coupe_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

Another exotic parked only several rows away was the Ferrari F12Berlinetta seen below.

Charcoal gray (grigio silverstone) Ferrari F12 Berlinetta__front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

At first glance, I thought it to be a Ferrari 599, but as I got closer, I realized that it was in fact a brand new F12Berlinetta. Ferrari designed the F12 as the replacement for their 599 model, with production initiated in 2012. Propulsion for this model is provided by a 6.3 liter, V-12 motor, producing 730 horsepower, able to deliver a top speed of 210 + mph.

Charcoal gray (grigio silverstone) Ferrari F12 Berlinetta__3/4 side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

The wheel / tire combination for the F12Berlinetta is as follows: Front tires are 255/35ZR20, mounted to a 9.5J X 20 wheel. The rear tires are sized at 315/35ZR20, and  mounted to rear wheels measuring 11.5J X 20. Stopping power is provided by Ferrari’s Carbon Ceramic brake system (CCM), and on this particular car equipped with brake calipers painted Giallo Modena (yellow).

Charcoal gray (grigio silverstone) Ferrari F12 Berlinetta__wheel & brake details_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

Charcoal gray (grigio silverstone) Ferrari F12 Berlinetta_rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

My last stop of the morning was to check out one of my personal favorites: the brilliant orange 2007 911 GT3RS seen below.

Orange 2007 Porsche 911 GT3RS_front view_ Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

Representing one of the amazing branches in the Porsche GT3RS family tree…

Orange 2007 Porsche 911 GT3RS_3/4 side view_ Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

purpose built and exuding cool from every angle.

Orange 2007 Porsche 911 GT3RS_3/4 rear side view_ Cars&Coffee/Irvine_January 4, 2014

As southern California continues to enjoy its uncharacteristically warm winter, and with no rain in sight, the crowds at cars&coffee continue to grow each week. As a result, arrival time ( 6 AM or earlier) has become increasingly important. A late arrival will result in bing directed to the overflow lot. At least it’s better than being unable to enter the show at all because of overcrowding. Given the forecast of another weekend of warm weather, this coming Saturday morning promises to be a repeat of the last; bursting at the seams with truly amazing cars.

(All photos by the author)

“Let’s do the time warp again”…

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.

1959 Porsche 356A coupe_3/4 front view_cars&coffee_December 28, 2013

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.

1959 Porsche 356A coupe_3/4 front view time lapse_cars&coffee_December 21, 2013

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.

1966 Porsche 906 Carrera_ front view_cars&coffee_December 28, 2013

Low slung doesn’t even begin to describe the height of this race car, when compared to the red Porsche 911 parked alongside.

1966 Porsche 906 Carrera_ 3/4 front view_cars&coffee_December 28, 2013

The weekly lineup of early Porsche 911s parked along Porsche row, anchored by one pristine, Viper Green 1973 Porsche 911S.

Viper Green 1973 Porsche 911S_side view, group photo_cars&coffee_ December 28, 2013

An up close view of the scarce yet highly desirable, European Bosch H1 dual bulb headlight.

Viper Green 1973 Porsche 911S_Bosch H1 headlight detail_cars&coffee_ December 28, 2013

Further down Porsche row, a pair of modified, early 1970s Porsche 911s, both representatives of the RGruppe.

Grand Prix white 1972  Porsche 911GT_3/4 front view_cars&coffee_ December 14, 2013

Grand Prix white 1972  Porsche 911GT_3/4 side view_cars&coffee_ December 14, 2013

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.

GT Silver Porsche Carrera GT_3/4 rear view_cars&coffee_December 21, 2013

A peek into the Carrera GT’s leather wrapped interior…

GT Silver Porsche Carrera GT_interior view_cars&coffee_December 21, 2013

and out back, its exposed 5.7 liter, 612 HP V10 motor, flanked by its visible rear suspension components.

GT Silver Porsche Carrera GT_engine & rear suspension detail_cars&coffee_December 21, 2013

The Carrera GT’s rear deck lid, complete with contoured, protective mesh grills, and dual NACA ducts.

GT Silver Porsche Carrera GT_rear deckled mesh detail_cars&coffee_December 21, 2013

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…

2014 Guards Red Porsche 911 Turbo S_side view_cars&coffee_December 21, 2013

2014 Guards Red Porsche 911 Turbo S_3/4 rear view _cars&coffee_December 21, 2013

2014 Guards Red Porsche 911 Turbo S_3/4 side view_cars&coffee_December 21, 2013

A fraction of its reported top speed of 197 mph…

2014 Guards Red Porsche 911 Turbo S_drivers side window reflection_cars&coffee_December 21, 2013

Lurking in the shadows was the second of the 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S models present, this one dressed in white.

2014 White Porsche 911 Turbo S_3/4 front view_cars&coffee_December 21, 2013

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.

2014 White Porsche 911 Turbo S_centerlock wheel with PCCB brake system_cars&coffee_December 21, 2013

2014 White Porsche 911 Turbo S_rear wing & badging detail_cars&coffee_December 21, 2013

2014 White Porsche 911 Turbo S_3/4 rear view_cars&coffee_December 21, 2013

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)

Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light…

As a by-product of the unusually cold, clear mornings that Southern California has been experiencing, mother nature has produced some amazing lighting, which in turn translates to the beautiful highlights and reflections draped across a variety of vehicles present at cars&coffee/Irvine.

The following photos represent yet another opportunity for me to study and record the unique automotive highlights, reflections and illuminated details, as represented by the photos below…

Silver Porsche 356 A outlaw coupe_rear deckled, louvers & reflections_cars&coffee_November 30, 2013

Rear deck lid with punched in louvers in classic “356 Outlaw” style.

Silver Porsche 356 A outlaw coupe_saddle leather interior and door reflections_cars&coffee_November 30, 2013

An incredible interior produced in saddle colored leather (as seen above). The scent of the leather instantly reminded me of sitting in my grandfather’s 1950’s vintage Mercedes-Benz cabriolet as a little kid, surrounded by its aromatic, red leather interior.

Silver Porsche 356 A outlaw coupe_fender mounted rear view mirror reflections_cars&coffee_November 30, 2013

Even the fuel tank located in the front trunk ( below) was finished to the same level of detail as the silver exterior. The finish on the fuel tank shone like a mirror, recreating the images of the sky and cloud cover floating overhead.

Silver Porsche 356 A outlaw coupe_front trunk with gas tank reflections_cars&coffee_November 30, 2013

A brand new 2014 Porsche 991 coupe, resplendent in Riviera Blue. According to the owner (who arranged for european delivery of this special order Type 991), and upon receipt of his car in Stuttgart, was told by Porsche that this is the only 991 that has been painted Riviera Blue… how cool is that!

2014 Riviera Blue Porsche 991 with Aerokit Cup option_3/4 front view_cars&coffee/irvine_November 30, 2013

Highlights and cloud reflections…

2014 Riviera Blue Porsche 991 with Aerokit Cup option_ front hood with cloud reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_November 30, 2013

A close-up view of the 2014 Porsche big red calipers and massive cross drilled rotors, wrapped by a 20 inch Carrera S wheel, complete in its painted (optional) Platinum Satin finish.

2014 Riviera Blue Porsche 991 with Aerokit Cup option_ 20" Carrera S wheel in Platinum Satin finish and big red brake caliper_cars&coffee/irvine_November 30, 2013

A view of the optional Aerokit Cup package rear wing, and selected (optional) “Porsche 911” rear badging.

2014 Riviera Blue Porsche 991 with Aerokit Cup option_ rear view of rear wing and optional 911 badging with cloud reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_November 30, 2013

Parked among the group along Porsche row were multiple examples of 1970s vintage 914 models. In this case, the front hood of a restored tangerine colored Porsche 914-6, bathed in reflections.

tangerine colored Porsche 914-6_ front hood reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_November 30, 2013

My next stop would be at the Featured lot, where on this morning I encountered the stunning Jaguar XK-150 roadster seen below, parked amidst a row of Corvettes, and reflecting on its surroundings.

British Racing Green Jaguar XK-150_ front end reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_November 30, 2013

A close up of the XK-150s hood ornament and front grill badging.

British Racing Green Jaguar XK-150_ hood emblem, partial grill & reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_November 30, 2013

On the other side of the Featured lot were these two, brand new 2014 Porsche 991s courtesy of Walter’s Porsche from Riverside. The 911 Carrera 4S cabriolet as seen below, turned out to have been painted a very unique, and special order color. The color in question turned out to be Stone Gray, which was originally offered as a “special order color”, during the 1957 through 1959 Porsche 356 model years.

2014 Stone gray Porsche 991 Carrera 4S_ 3/4 front view_cars&coffee/irvine_November 30, 2013

Another visible cue used for identifying a Type 991 Carrera 4S; the red, horizontal reflector strip, bridging the gap between the rear tail lights, and inset just below the rear deck lid.

2014 Stone gray Porsche 991 Carrera 4S_ rear view with reflections view_cars&coffee/irvine_November 30, 2013

Making a rare appearance at cars&coffee was this black (Nero Pastello) Ferrari 599 as seen below. One could not ask for a better color on a 599, for showcasing the incredible reflections wrapping themselves across the striking contours of the bodywork.

Black Ferrari 599 coupe_front view_cars&coffee/irvine_November 30, 2013

Even the side mirrors held surprises for anyone willing to stop and take the time to study the variety of details found across the Ferrari.

Black Ferrari 599 coupe_side mirror reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_November 30, 2013

The Ferrari 599 stealth fighter at rest, basking in the morning’s light…

Black Ferrari 599 coupe_side view with reflections_cars&coffee/irvine_November 30, 2013

Returning to Porsche row, I came across another frequent visitor; this beautiful Irish Green 1968 Porsche 912, complete with reflections defining the contours of its front hood and fenders.

1968 Irish Green Porsche 912_hood reflections_Cars&coffee/Irvine_November 30, 2013

One of the late arrivals to the featured lot seen below. A black Ford GT 40 Mk II recreation, shining like a mirror, enhanced by the spectacular, form defining reflections.

Black Ford MK 2 GT 40 recreation_3/4 rear fender view_cars&coffee/irvine_November 30, 2013

And last but not least, a beautifully maintained, India Red Porsche 911 SC, complete with its German license plate below.

India Red Porsche 911SC coupe_front view_cars&coffee/irvine_November 30, 2013

Come to think of it, I did see a large, jolly looking man in a red coat and white beard  casually walking through the crowd that morning. Could this license plate be a clue to his identity?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all…

(All photos by the author)