The SharkWerks crew doesn't get out much from the red triangle in Northern California. Our 4.1L GT3RS project broke
the bank for 2.5 years worth of R&D and the only trips we've had (other than the Route 66 delivery
) have been multiple sorties to and from our EVOMS
friends in Arizona. All we could afford to do was send Dan & Sharky on a three day trip down south to La La Land in SoCal. The warm welcome, enthusiasm for all things Porsches, advice, feedback and shared passion was well-worth 150 days of solitary confinement on the 405 freeway inhaling smog.
Everyone says the Interstate 5 is boring and rightly so but our first stop was Kern County Raceway. No Cole Trickle here...
Got the full tour of this facility and maybe... just maybe we'll do some of these banked turns some day. And from the VIP box:
Trying to set up a race or two...
Once in LA we stopped by for a visit (and reunion of sorts) with the Singer Vehicles
crew where clearly EVERYTHING IS IMPORTANT:
What we have here folks is too many British people in LA mixed with blue / orange Porsches both new and well "new". Everyone at the Singer facility
is so humble, free with information, care, interesting and did we mention they're mostly British? We would sincerely like to thank them for their interest, time and a good few including Rob, Russ, Chris and Maz (former GT3RS owner) gave us feedback after testing our water-cooled Porker. Perhaps the most interesting comment was from Maz who the next morning said something along the lines of the car felt like a 3.8 he had owned but with a 1000 less pounds... We'll take that!
Everyone here was working well-past 5pm on separate details of production. Who says real hand-made craft is dead? Well maybe it is in the UK since we've all moved to Cali. The number of hours to manufacture each car is in the thousands!
The level of detail everywhere you look is off the charts. Makes your modern-day fully-optioned 991 look rather vanilla. Again these guys obviously aren't making fortunes here from their craft and graft. They're making incredibly detailed, beautiful cars out of passion and some lucky chap is having his 911 worked on here:
Meanwhile back at the SharkWerks garage, James sends a picture of a bone stock 997.1 GT3. After some 98k miles he's having James install our GT3 exhaust
. Original owner too!:
After staying way past everyone's bed time you'd think we could hit up a 5-star hotel for the Sharks? Not in the budget but luckily a lovely retreat in Encino owned by the In-Laws with enough space for Daniel@TheCarConnesieur & Bob@Autoconcierge
to remove 5 hours worth of I-5 valley squished bugs and poop in time for our shoot the following morning.
After fighting through LA AM commuter traffic we arrive. This must be the right place:
It just had to be said. Thanks to our BaronRS+3 uprights
ours really is bigger than the 918's:
When do we get to meet... there's Jay Leno getting set up to go for his test drive in the 918 Spyder. Top off.
A big warm thank you to the entire crew/staff at Jay Leno's Garage. Everyone there is so incredibly kind, passionate, full of knowledge and just a complete utter car nerd. There's a reason why this place is often touted as the number 1 garage there is. We came. We saw and were awed. Our little blue/orange Jalopy had no business in show-business but it's so hard to conduct an interview, keep a straight face and not constantly be distracted by a Shogun, Steam Cars, Jet-powered Cars, Mclaren F1 and every other toy/poster you can imagine right there in front or to the side of you. And they all run, move, drive too. Carpornography of dreams and as far as a pair of car-nutters go we won't ever forget the experience. Best of luck to them with their show and as long as we don't harm their ratings with our poor taste in colors we got the impression they feel the manual transmission 911 GT3 has a necessary place in our world and theirs.
There's Jay getting ready to do his shoot with the SharkWerks crew. He's probably wondering where to park his Four Cam 356 next?! We don't want to give away too much but needless to say there is absolutely ZERO script and it's just mano-e-mano carporn conversation. No pretense, no BS, nada just one of the guys and with that sort of collection he know his zeit! :
That's a wrap and again any photographer with the word "shark" in his nomenclature is cool with us. And he's got talent too:
The day started at 6am for us but by 6pm and closing time we had to make another pitstop:
So many colors and yet again another Top 10 entrant for ultimate garage:
There's a lot to take in here but Dan and his "Teddy Bear" (we bow down to Lord Hesketh) are busy HASHTAGGING while Magnus Walker
Water cooled, air-cooled? It's all good in DTLA:
There's the 277 and then there's this gem:
Come on in. The front side of this picture is EXPLETIVE DELETED:
Sharky wants to know everything about every single 911 in here. Magnus
might actually need to go home before 11pm...
With all these wicked-modded and driven cars in his collection you then remember there's more too. Originals as well:
Urban Outlaw test-fitting:
Off for an extended test-drive. "It's been emotional brother..."
Generous as ever and absolutely so gracious with his time. Dan and the 4.1 got the real Urban Outlaw #DTLA and bridge experience. Heel-toe, rev-match, left-foot brake (thanks EVOMSit!) extravaganza.
The Brits get their flag and after the drive through DTLA we want a piece of this Urban Outlaw thing...
Before we leave for Cars & Coffee and to visit with The Smoking Tire
crew further North we get a neat message on our social media hotline (iphone 5C - the cheap one). Don't be surprised to see him playing around with a GT3 in the near future! Here's his write-up
An early 4:30am start to get to Irvine in time for our specially reserved parking spot (cheers to the Singer lads) opposite some other Porsche which is being unveiled for the first time. Wait... it's those 918 guys AGAIN! This time instead of the grey car they bring a navy blue version:
Still Cars & Coffee is all about the kids, right? While Dan gets them started early Sharky grabs a chat with the dude that brought the blue 918, Jeff Zwart
, legendary Pikes Peak, Rally, Racer champ, Director, Photograher and all-around good egg. Chatting about all things GT3 and 918 at 6am on a Saturday? You bet. Again a more charming fellow you could not want to meet (Zwart not Sharky)....
Cars & Coffee in Irvine has to be done at least once. Twice or every damn Saturday. The Singer car on the left and the blue jalopy both live in NorCal:
This is an incredibly rare sighting. A real Ford RS200 and an extinct Shark Werks T-shirt together!
It's just bonkers!
Then one of these Italian trashiolies:
You cannot get much more SoCal Baywatch meshed with car-nerdery than this:
Meanwhile Dan is trying to scrounge some quarters for the parking meter:
LA gets a bad rap but with more and more Brits that do Porsches heading there it's really not so bad. We really just want to thank everyone mentioned (and/or missed) that we met, spent time with and just shared our passion for all things GT3 with. Thank you to the Porsche North America gents/ladies for your time, stories and for not slashing our tires for breaking your cars all the time. We only break them because we want to figure stuff out.
Sometimes when you try to ice-skate up a hill, with a GT3RS you make enough noise to attract friends and talented folks that help you get there in one strong piece. Thank you boys/girls @EVOMS
and @ EVOMSit
. Enjoy that 217mph 1/2 mile record!
To the nameless journalists we've met before and during this trip and development we really appreciate your opinions, insightful advice and for lending us your ear. Everyone at SharkWerks has learned a lot in two-plus years of R&D, previews, tests and so forth. Well we're here, we're late, expensive and likely inconsequential but it's finished.
Some people send anonymous flowers. Snowboarder54 just sends 325 Michelin Pilot Sport Cups (great call brother).
Then how about the amount of Rennlisters & PCA members that showed up to C&C for the 918 unveiling? It was so neat to meet you all and thank you for making us feel at home. I thought we had a lot of GT3-metal up here but you guys fly the flag very well indeed.
Finally a big shout-out and pat on the back to Shark Werks co-founder Joan for releasing her new iphone app (ZAPVM)
which helped us document our trip in another snazzy way.