I love cars. I love the way they look, how they smell, the incredible sounds they make. I love old cars, new cars, American muscle, European exotic, old gas guzzlers and modern electrics. As long as it isn’t boring, I can find a reason to love it. That being said, what really makes this materialist obsession of mine truly rewarding is the people that I get to meet and the passion for cars we share. Car people are everywhere. Blogs. Forums. Facebook. Instagram. TV shows. You can’t go anywhere in the summer without running into some car themed event…we just can’t get enough! I learn so much from the people I meet and its nice knowing that I’m not alone in my obsession.
Pre-covid, at the Lake Washington Cars & Coffee event, I happened to meet Dallas (@dm.lens on Instagram). Data Analyst by day, car photographer by night. We talked about cars we’ve owned, cars we love, car photography and then connected on Instagram. We recently had the chance to meet up (masks on, 6 feet apart) for a photoshoot of my car and it was fun to watch him work. He found a very cool spot with a great mix of direct sun and shadow to play with and the late day light was perfect. At car shows I’m typically stuck taking pictures in the harsh mid-day sun and it was such a nice change of pace to be using early evening light which is so soft by comparison.
Here are some of my favorite shots from Dallas, I love the detailed shots and how he captured the last few rays of the sunlight:
Here are a few of mine as well. I like the warmer tones in his photos and it is a good reminder that I don’t always need to crop the car to be the only thing in the frame. His use of light and incorporating more of the surrounding environment is something that I’ll work on as well:
On Sunday, before we went into mostly full time home self-quarantine, I was able to go on a long drive in search of great spots to take some car photos. I started off by checking out the Lake Washington Cars and Coffee, not knowing that it would draw such a big crowd. It was cold but the sun was shining and if it wasn’t for the COVID-19 scare, it would have been the perfect day for a car show. There were plenty of great cars, I met some new fellow gear heads and everyone was really diligent about respecting the 8 foot rule…no handshakes or first bumps in sight.
I saw another photographer (@dm.lens) getting creative with my car and some spring blossoms so I tried the same. His was better!
Lake Washington turned out to be fertile ground for great car photo spots. It’s hard to find a place with a beautiful setting, where you can take your time and where there aren’t big crowds. I found a place every 100 feet it seemed. I’m done messing around with Alki…to crowded and no legal place to stage the car…Lake Washington is where its at!
I’m struggling to decide if I like this series better in color or black and white…but this is my blog so I don’t have to decide 🙂
My 2011 Turbo came with a high end fully integrated radar detector / laser jammer, the Escort 9500ci. It was state of the art back in 2011. The benefit of a fully integrated system is that you can’t tell its there…no ugly device stuck to your windshield. The drawback is that unless the manufacturer supports an upgrade path, it ages quickly. When I saw that my local PCA chapter, the Pacific Northwest Region, was putting on a TechEd session all about radar detectors I just had to go.
PNWR arranged to have Ariel Bravy from Vortex Radar lead the class and it was informative and fun. This was my first TechEd session but if they are all this well put together, it won’t be my last. We started with some classroom sessions to learn all about the equipment, the options and how radar and laser works in general. There were some off-duty and retired police officers there to lend their perspective as well. Then we went outside and got to test some cars and guns to see how they held up. Mine did okay shifting the laser hit but it was able to punch through eventually. The clear winner to beat laser is the AL Priority system which also issues frequent updates. Escort has never and will never update the older 9500 system. While having a radar detector is fun to play with, my outdated tech isn’t going to keep me out of trouble against modern laser guns so I’ll stick to Waze and save the really heavy foot for the track.
Sunday was a pretty typical January day in Seattle…cloudy with a high chance of rain. I have a choice with this car. Baby it and treat it like a garage queen, or enjoy it rain or shine. This is no garage queen so we took it out on a cold rainy day for our first Sunday drive. The temps would be in the low 50s so not too bad for the summer performance tires.
Meg and I ditched the kids and took off to have some fun. When I got home, my youngest son, Shep, wanted his first ride and so I went back out. I brought along my camera this time and stopped at a favorite spot of mine for some quick iPhone shots…nothing fancy.
Shep was very patient with me but also wanted to get in on the action 🙂
I randomly ran into a co-worker that was there to take some skyline photos and he shared a few of his shots with me as well. Thanks to https://www.instagram.com/wildmanzen/ for the photos.
My automotive mechanical skills are severely lacking but I can tackle the easy stuff and I completed my two must do mods this morning:
I started by re-flashing my Cobb tune to stage 1 on 91 octane since 92 is the best I can find in the Seattle area and I don’t want to mess with custom mixes. The last owner had the 93 octane tune. I’m sure I won’t notice a difference and this will give me peace of mind. Say what you want about Cobb vs custom tune but this was so easy to do myself. I’ll have to see how the car feels with the stock engine and PDK tune so I can appreciate what I have. Super easy to flip back and forth.
Next I installed the Rennline ExactFit iPhone mount. Picked it up from Suncoast and the install was super easy, just follow the video they provide a link to.
I like the look, where it mounts and that it doesn’t interfere with the passenger, the glove box or cover up the PCM.
After a short wait that felt like forever, today was delivery day! The streets in my neighborhood are small so I decided to have the car delivered to a car club I belong to. Weather gave me a break and the delivery, inspection and ride home was rain (and snow) free.
My son capturing that “how does this work again” look on my face as I’m prepping the camera equipment:
It is really here!
A short video of the delivery:
Some fun photos we took quickly on our way out before the weather turned worse:
After a brief hiatus, I’m back where I belong behind the wheel of a Porsche 911. After some pricing / market research and a ton of great input from others, I will be taking delivery of a beautiful black 2011 997.2 TTS this week! The car was purchased from Tristan @ RAC Performance and it was a quick and easy process. I wish I was able to meet them in person but I felt very comfortable doing business with them remote.
In addition to a nice set of original options, the car has a SpeedTech exhaust, integrated 9500CI radar system and the Cobb engine/pdk tune so it saved me at least $8K in upgrades. Full front clear bra as well. I would have preferred an all black interior, but with a black car the two-tone might actually be a nice break from black. I did order a set of black floor mats for the car.
The car was just put on a delivery truck and is enroute to Seattle…should be here by the weekend weather permitting.