Photographing a 2006 Ford GT for Sports Car Shop in Eugene

I’m a pretty lucky guy to have landed the webmaster gig for Sports Car Shop in Eugene. Not only do I get exposed to all kinds of great sports cars, I get to photograph most of them as well. My photos aren’t pro yet, but good enough to represent the inventory. We take the pictures at Skinner’s Butte Park, which is right downtown and only a few blocks from their showroom. And most times that means I get to take them for a short drive too. Last Friday, that was this amazing 2006 Ford GT:

2006 Ford GT For Sale in Eugene, Oregon

2006 Ford GT For Sale in Eugene, Oregon

2006 Ford GT For Sale in Eugene, Oregon

Never in my entire life has the Ferris Bueller line been more applicable, “If you had access to a car like this, would you take it back right away?” Well I won’t add any more drama; I did take it back right away. My Powerball ticket hadn’t hit the previous Wednesday for $212mil, so I tip-toed downtown to the park and back… and loved every minute of it. But the drive back to the shop was a real challenge as there’s an on-ramp to the Beltline just a block further…

Even in my short and pedestrian paced time in the car, it’s very clear this car was built with a lot of care and thoughtful engineering. Not only is it capable of hanging with the best that Europe can offer, it’s also totally easy to drive around in. As low as it is, the front clearance is actually quite good. The clutch that has to manage 550hp is easy to engage and is very light in fact. And the gearing is perfect for that big lump. I think first gear actually goes all the way to 60mph, but with all the torque available so early, you can just lump her along in second and still have plenty of power to make her jump with a squeeze of the accelerator.

Almost more impressive than the engineering and ease of use, is the cars wonderful body. It’s low and very wide. And inside, it’s the business: you sit down deep in the car and the cockpit is all about driving quickly. Sitting in a slung back position, you turn to the right and see the glass back window is right behind you. And right behind that is the supercharger pulley spinning behind your head. Awesome!

Then there’s the sound. Crank it up and make sure to have big speakers attached for the best sound!

My previous benchmark for best performance had been to the Lotus Elise, which Clayton drove back from So Cal when he could’ve just used auto transport. This was a truly wonderful car to drive and a perfectly balanced platform. But this Ford GT takes it to a whole new level in terms of refinement, driveability, and raw performance. I mean with 550hp under foot, you can turn any situation into a tire smoking felony in mere seconds.

Thank you to Bob at Sports Car Shop for the opportunity to sample such a fantastic vehicle!

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A Trip to Mary’s Peak in Our Newly Acquired Volvo XC70

Just a quick post to pimp out our new Soccer Mom ride, a 2002 Volvo XC70 Cross Country:

A quick side trip with Paul and his wife to Van Duzer Winery:
2002 Volvo XC70 at Van Duzer Winery

And the next day we hit Mary’s Peak for a little hike in the snow with our St. Bernard:
2002 Volvo XC70

2002 Volvo XC70

2002 Volvo XC70

As you can tell, we have fallen in love with this car! The e28 535 has been a great car to us, but it was time for my wife to get something nice considering how hard she works for it. Shana is so enamoured with the car that she’s actually going to start her own blog based around our trips in that car. I’m really excited for her and eager to help her with her first blog!

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Our Visit to the 2010 Portland Auto Show

Nearly two weeks ago now, Shana and I made a day of the Portland Auto Show. We used to go every year to fantasize about new cars, but have missed the event in recent years. It’s fun to check out everything up close and personal without the hassle of a salesman crawling down you neck.

We started our day by hitting up the S2ki Forum Hillsboro Honda meetup for S2000 owners. I only got a couple of quick pictures but it was fun to finally meet some forum members I had met online numerous times but never connected with in person. Great job getting 30 cars to come out in the middle of winter Ira! Check out all the pictures on S2ki.

We were fairly rushed at the meet because we had an appointment after that to check out a used Infinity QX4 for the missus. Looked promising in the pictures, but was a little too rough for us. We’re actually having a pretty tough time finding a suitable car for Shana because we’re so used to enthusiast vehicle shopping, which usually results in clean and documented cars to shop for. We were thinking of going with a more dependable Japanese variant, but they’re just not cared for like the European rides we’re used to looking at. Now we’re thinking of going back to European shopping in the form of a Land Rover Discovery. We’re back in Portland this weekend, so we’ll probably stop and look a few then.

Then it was on to check into our downtown Portland hotel, Hotel Lucia. What a beautiful place and fantastic service! Not to mention it was in the center of everything we had planned and easy Max trip to the Convention Center for the show. Can’t wait to stay there again!

After freshening up, it was on to the Portland Auto Show. Tickets were reasonably priced at $10 and at the ticket window we were reminded that many major manufacturers were not there due to cutbacks and slow sales. This was a bummer as BMW, Saab, Mercedes, and many others were definitely cars we were looking forward to jumping into.

{warning: really crappy images ahead. I’ve been too busy to post-process these but wanted to put up what I had.}

Ron Tonkin brought out a few new cars and a couple older ones from his collection. These were all front and center outside the main conference areas:

Ferrari Daytona Spyder Ferrari Enzo Maserati Ferrari F430

MotoCorsa was also in attendance with the latest Lotus and Ducati offerings. The black Sport 1000 was exactly like the demo bike I rode a couple years back.

Lotus Evora Silver Lotus Elise Ducati Sport 1000 Aprilia RSV4

Then it was on to the Audi and Porsche areas. I have to admit, I wanted to check out the Panamera because it looks so bad in pictures. It didn’t disappoint, it’s ugly and HUGE! First the blasphemy that is the Cayenne and now this abomination. So sad that a more true to spirit business model couldn’t have been used to get them into the 21st century.

Audi Rings

Audi Q7

Porsche Panamera

Porsche 997 Turbo

The local SCCA chapter also had a nice area set up. There were several car corral areas that usually aren’t present, likely due to so many manufacturers pulling out this year.

Porsche 996 race car VW Beetle Race Car Porsche Moby Dick 935 Race Car

And here are few more random snaps. You’ll notice how crowded Saturday afternoon was. I think every Dad in town got babysitting duty as there were lots of kids running around. Reminds me that we prefer going on Thursday mid-day when it’s super quiet!

After the show we met up with our good friends Danno, his wife Angie, and our close friend Julie who also happened to be in Portland that day. We had a fantastic dinner at Mother’s Bistro just a few blocks from the hotel. What a meal! Plan on leftovers no matter how big your appetite is!

And by chance, another friend of ours was in town for a whirlwind 48 hour tour, my close friend Ed. He lives in Atlanta now, but amazingly we’ve managed to meet up several times in the past few years. We met for a nightcap at Pazzo and then stumbled upstairs to crash after a very long day.

We’re heading back up to Portland for a wedding at Edgefield this weekend. That makes about 4 trips up there in 5 weeks. Maybe we should get a condo!

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Joe’s De Tomaso Pantera to be Auctioned Tomorrow at Barrett-Jackson

1974 De Tomaso Pantera L For Sale at Barrett Jackson

If you’re watching the live coverage of the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction tomorrow, make sure to keep an eye out for Joe’s 1974 Pantera L, lot #944. It’s scheduled early-mid afternoon.

Good luck Joe!

Update 1.22.10 – The Pantera is the current Haggerty Fantasy bid car!

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Photoshop Fun with a Honda RS125

My buddy Alex who is a contributing author on Rare Sport Bikes For Sale is about to pick a Honda RS125 for track days. What a great early Christmas present to yourself! He sent over this picture of the bike to show off his latest acquisition. I started staring at in Photoshop and ended up with these two versions of the image. The first one is more photo-realistic and the other has a filter applied for a more stylized look. I’m leaning towards the latter. Probably end up wallpapering one of my garage walls with a huge print out.

Honda RS125

alex_rs125_black_and_white_2Honda RS125

Congrats on the new bike Alex! Can’t wait to see it in action!

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On The Job: 1974 De Tomaso Pantera Lusso

pantera-wet-leaves

I’m going to start a new series of blog posts featuring the wonderful cars I’m privileged to work with. Tonight the 1974 De Tomaso Pantera Lusso!

This car has been refurbished by Joseph Potter Restorations and is now available at Sports Car Shop in Eugene, Oregon. I was fortunate to be asked to take photographs of this car and rushed to find a break in the Pacific Northwest rain. Interested parties are advised to bid for this car Friday afternoon at the Barrett-Jackson auction this January, Lot #944.

In my brief time behind the wheel of this car, I can honestly report that this car is fantastic! Joe and his team have done a great job making this car one of the best of it’s peers. The motor has gobs of torque and a long first gear that actually make in town driving a pretty easy affair. Tickling the gas in 2nd gear shoots the car forward with authority.

The high points of this short experience would be best summarized as follows:

  • Light, unassisted steering. Being mid-engined, there is very little weight over the front end. The steering is a real delight with so much feedback being communicated to the driver.
  • The exhaust note is pure sex. No shit. I’ll make sure to get some video the next time I’m nearby.
  • That long first gear really makes this 70’s supercar pretty easy to handle in town.
  • Those beautiful Chromodoara rims are really at home on this car. They really give this car fantastic presence.
  • And finally, Joe has secured a great spot in the Barrett-Jackson auction this January. I’m so excited to have even the smallest of connection to this great car in such a prestigeous auction!

Many thanks to Joe and Bob for the opportunity to get up close and personal with such a great example!

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Day 1 in Scottsdale Prepping for the 2009 Brighton Rally

After a very long day of travel (3 hours fly time, 7 hours airport time), we arrived late last night in Scottsdale. Our hosts, Shane and Karen from Brighton Motorsport, were very patient with our ever changing travel plans and were good enough to pick us up, even at 11:30pm. Thank you guys!

Today we went with Shane to pick up their 1972 Ferrari 365GTC/4. It has been getting the once over by their Ferrari specialist to make sure it’s ready for the rally on Sunday. It’s getting a little special attention because it’s being guest driven by none other than two time Indy 500 champion, Arie Luyendyk (wikipedia entry)! Here is a picture when we picked it up:

ferrari_365gtc-4

Then we were on to Brighton Motorsports. I followed Shane in his Tahoe while he gave the 365 it’s first drive in some time. It was purchased earlier this year, but he confesses it hasn’t been driven as much as he would’ve liked. Not to worry, he as he made up for lost time and treated us to some wonderful music from that big V12 motor. A short while later, he handed us the keys to give it some more test time. It runs fantastic and is very easy to drive once out of congestion. Here is a picture of me with a huge grin on my face behind the wheel:

dan_driving_365gtc-4

And here is a short video of our time behind the wheel:

We got back home just in time for Shana to catch the sunset as I downloaded images. Check this out:

Scottsdale-Sunset

As you can tell, we’re having an awesome time! If you’d like to follow our updates on the Brighton Rally, you can become a fan of the Official Brighton Facebook page or follow our Twitter page.

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