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California Porsche Features Trip: R Gruppe, Canepa and more

by | May 9, 2010 | Classic Porsche Blog, Road Trips

Just back from another Porsche features trip to Northern California, with ace photographer Jamie Lipman.

As ever, the visit was a blast. Flying in to San Francisco on Wednesday, we stayed with good friends that night, before heading to Monterey for RGruppe Treffen on the Thursday.  Mrs Glynn reckons she was worried about us on the first night, as I texted this: “Arrived safe. Picked up hire car. Crashed at H’s place.”, which she took to mean we had wrecked the rental. Not so.

Thursday evening was fun, with dinner at the very cool Baja Cantina, where we hooked up with Porsche buddies for all the news on what they’d been up to since last year. Our first car park search found a very nice ST rep with an ex-Seinfeld engine in it, which we shot the following day: fabulous car.

Friday was all about making new friends. We met some great guys for lunch and then spent the afternoon waiting for our ST. When that arrived, we shot it right by the sea, in windy but wonderful conditions. Friday night was a hella overpriced meal at John Pisto’s Whaling Station: the ponciest restaurant I have ever been in. The calamari starter was excellent, and great value at $9, but was not worth the rest of the seahorse-shite sales pitch that was foisted upon us by an unbearably pompous waiter. I still cringe at the memory of it. Service was goddawful and I pitied the bus boy who was a nice guy, shouldering the weight of morons. Don’t bother with it if you are ever down in Monterey! $520 later, we had learned our lesson.

Saturday was good fun. We were out the door at 5am, to shoot Alex Motola’s brand new Fraise ST, built by TRE in Los Angeles. The shoot went well, with the dawn light really playing ball. Jamie and I followed our successful early start with breakfast and pancakes at a great nearby cafe before heading out to Laguna Seca, to recce locations for another shoot that afternoon.

The shoot was on Steve McQueen’s very own 1976 930, in special order Slate Grey. The SCCA guys running Laguna that weekend couldn’t have been nicer to us, and we found some great locations in and around the track. We’ll be back for sure.

On Sunday, we shot some tracking on another 911 before leaving the coast in a friend’s incredible 3.6-engined early car. This is quite probably the greatest all-rounder of its kind anywhere, and the miles north were a real delight. Jamie has some really great pictures ready to go to print.

Monday afternoon was spent scouting San Francisco for locations on a Bullitt-style shoot we had pencilled in for the following day. Good fun being tourists: packing in some ‘Cable Car’ pizza, hitting the visitor hotspots and ending up eating Ben and Jerry’s ice cream at Haight Ashbury. It was a great day in the city we had both seen so much of on screen. Calling a potential feature on the way home was entertaining – never been hung up on so quickly.

Tuesday we dropped in to see Chris at the Blackhawk Collection. Chris is a great guy working in a great place, but more of that later. We were there to make arrangements for a piece we were doing a few days after. All thumbs up so we headed off to do our ’67 S shoot in the hills of San Francisco. It was fantastic.

Wednesday was a trip to Emeryville to see a 914 for sale, then a ride through Oakland before lunch at a great little cafe in Albany – The Four Corners. We then headed up to Novato, and shot a turbocharged 1975 911 S. Sweet car.

On Thursday we did the wickedest classic Porsche at Blackhawk before heading out to see a plane for sale in Brentwood. Turned out the seller was a good friend of the Hemi Cuda owner we shot on our last trip in September 2009. The piece has just appeared in Classic Cars magazine and it looks very good.

Friday was our last day. We visited our friends at Canepa to shoot their original little 911 L rally car, then came back up to say goodbye to all at WEVO, before jumping on a plane and arriving back in the UK next day. In the rain.

The pics here are from Friday. The transporter was taking a wicked Cobra away. He’d come all the way from Toronto and was originally from Walthamstow!

There you have it: 9 days in the USA and every one a winner. Where to next?!


  1. Marco Leijten

    Stunning color combination on that 911L, beautiful pictures. Thanks John.

    • johndglynn

      Thanks guys, it was a great trip. East coast next time!


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