Photos: The 2018 San Francisco Auto Show Preview Party Added!

I’ve been so busy…

… and yet, I still found the time to get access to The 2018 San Francisco Auto Show VIP Preview Party!

In addition to that, I’ve been working on writing more articles for this blog. I should be putting something up very soon!

Check out the new gallery!


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Finally got “some” photos up!

In between moving to a new place, starting a new part-time job, and working on several projects at once, I’ve finally managed to upload my photos from the last couple of events!

Of course, one of the biggest spectacles of the summer was the Rolex Monterey Motosports Reunion, but imagine two events of this caliber happening within a month of each other! That was the Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI; a massive gathering featuring cars from the legendary marque from Stuttgart!

I spent two days shooting behind the fences at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca hoping to catch some great shots of all kinds of Porsche race cars whizzing past the lens. Little did I know I would end up with the biggest gallery of photos I’ve uploaded so far! I’m running out of space!

A little bit after the Reunion, I managed to attend the Mini Owner’s Association of America’s All British Car Show in Danville! Imagine what it must have felt like when a genuine Allard J2X arrives and steals the show!

Now that the season is winding down, I’m hoping to be able to try out something new I’ve been thinking of doing with this blog. No spoilers though; you’re going to have to wait and see what I have in store!

Stay Tuned!

-W


I’m a sucker for Gulf Liveries, in case you couldn’t tell.

I don’t exactly know what it is about Gulf Liveries that makes me like them so much. Maybe it’s the variations of the baby blue and orange scheme across the different race cars that’s had them? Maybe it’s because the there hasn’t really ever been an ugly version of the Gulf Livery? Whether its the famous stripes that adorned the Ford GT40 Mk1 in 1966, the stripes on the Gulf-Porsche 917, or the orange on baby-blue arrows on a Porsche 911 I recently saw, just seeing this paint scheme makes me giddy!

See the car in question at the The 14th Annual Orinda Car Show photo gallery!

-W


Monterey Car Week is over, and I didn’t know I could get hung over from Photography

Well, It’s official; You CAN actually get hungover from processing photos all day! Granted, these days it’s much easier with programs like Adobe Lightroom, but sometimes it can take forever. I’m still going through photos I took from the different events I attended during Monterey Car Week!

Here’s some of the galleries that you’ll be seeing soon:

  • The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2018: I already have most of photos up, but I still need to go through what was taken with my phone, like I did with the The Rolex Monterey Pre-Reunion.
  • The 2018 Concorso Italiano: I managed to score a ticket to the Concorso Italiano this year instead of sneaking in and crashing the reception like I did last year! I can’t wait to go through those photos!
  • Exotics on Cannery Row: I managed to check out the famous Exotics on Cannery Row this year. It was amazing to see some insanely rare and expensive cars just parading down cannery row and spitting flames out of their exhaust! I think I might have developed tinnitus though.
  • The Annual Morgan Club Dinner: Thanks to a friend I was able to attend the Morgan Club Dinner and hang out with some really cool car Morgan Enthusiasts, Photographers, and even one of the drivers that was racing that weekend at Laguna Seca (See the #33 Morgan Plus 4)!
  • The 2018 Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance: This was one of the most exclusive events I’ve ever been a part of, and some of the machines that were on display were incredible! I’ve never been close to a multi-million dollar Ferrari before, but there were THREE Ferrari 250 Testarossas on the lawn! Not to mention the largest display of Tucker’s I’ve ever seen! I can’t wait to get through those photos!

On top of that, I’m going to be selling prints of my favorite shots on my Visual Society profile! You can access my print galleries by going to the “Shop” link on the menu bar. These are large files though, so it might take a while to get everything up!

Stay tuned!

-W


Hanging out at Orinda Cars and Coffee

Imagine how I felt when a freakin’ McLaren MP4-12C parked right next to my Miata. It’s easy to feel out of place when something like that happens. And then I remembered I was at Orinda Cars and Coffee, and my car was also on display. There are no winners or losers when everyone loves what they drive!

Ever since Blackhawk Cars and Coffee ended, a lot of the smaller local shows will get a little bit more attention as enthusiasts look for another gathering place to show off their cars and talk to other like-minded individuals. It’s a great opportunity to just relax, hang out, and talk about cars. Orinda is one of those smaller shows that I think will get bigger as time goes on and word spreads. Hopefully I’ll get to document this show as it slowly grows into something bigger!

Come see the new gallery!

-W


Monterey Car Week has officially begun!

Monterey Car Week has officially begun (technically it was Friday, but I didn’t get a chance to go down to Laguna Seca until yesterday)!

Friday marked the start of The Rolex Monterey Pre-Reunion, a historic track weekend for the cars that will be racing during the Reunion. This weekend is a great chance to get up close to some of the classic race cars before they turn a wheel in anger next weekend. Even though the Pre-Reunion is a bit smaller than the main event, there is still an esoteric collection of cars present in the paddock. Shadow Cars is back in force, the Steve Millen 300ZX Twin Turbo was being prepared, and there was even a Mini Marcos! If you get a taste of what this weekend holds, check out my new gallery of photos from my hike around the paddock

Head down to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend; admission at the gate is only $30 this weekend!

-W


Monterey Car Week is just around the corner!

It’s that wonderful time of year again!

Monterey Car Week officially starts this week on Friday, as the Pre-Reunion at Laguna Seca starts up for the drivers who need some practice before the big weekend! There’s a HUGE amount of events coming up over the week too. The Mecum Auctions in Monterey, The Concorso Italiano, Exotics on Cannery Row, and Pebble Beach are all happening next week, and I have no idea how I’m going to go to them all! Of course, I’ll be going to the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion; I haven’t missed one since I came to the Bay Area!

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The year’s poster for the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, featuring the famous race cars of the Nissan brand.

This year, we’ll all be celebrating the racing history of Nissan (or Datsun depending on how old the cars are!), and some of the cars from the various racing periods the Japanese car maker participated. The Nissan ZX-Turbo GTP car will be at the track again as one of the showcase cars, as well as the ex-Paul Newman Datsun 280ZX Turbo and the legendary Nissan 300ZX Turbo driven by Steve Millen. And of course, who can forget the Brock Racing Engineering Datsun 510? Pete Brock will also be present at the Reunion, so I’ll see if I can get a photo!

Stay tuned!

-W

Change is afoot!

 

I’ve decided I’m going to make some changes to this blog!

So far, I’m thinking about consolidating my separate store for prints with this blog, so that potential buyers won’t have to be redirected outside of the site. Before, I was using Visual Society  to sell some of my photos, but to be honest, I’ve only made a handful of sales since last year. Convincing people to buy a print is harder than pulling teeth sometimes!

The plan now is to have a dedicated store right here on the same site where visitors can buy and download digital copies of some of my work, for personal or commercial use. This would be a great way to advertise some of my services as a Freelance Photographer too! Imagine being able to make your own prints of one of my epic shots from Laguna Seca!

Here are some other things I’m considering:

  • More articles and stories: I’m always off on some random adventure, whether it’s driving a new road, visiting a new place, or attending another car show; I’d like to write about it more. I’m pretty sure I’ve got more than a few things to write about! I’d also like to write about cars that interest me, like strange and random one-offs and prototypes that never made it past the pre-production stage.
  • VIDEOS: I recently just upgraded my WordPress account, so now I can host videos! I’ve got plenty of videos I’ve never shared outside of my Instagram!
  • Adspace: I know, not everyone likes ads. Hell, I almost never turn off my Ad Blocker when visiting other sites. I’ve got to keep the lights on somehow though, and selling adspace on the site is a manageable way to do it. I promise there won’t be any weird stuff. Unless you’re into that. I’m not judging :).

Stay Tuned!

-W

SUPER-MASSIVE UPDATE

These last couple of months have been super busy since the last time I wrote about what I’ve been up to, so here’s a CliffsNotes® version of recent events!:

Events:

In other news:

  • Blackhawk is officially over: Last month the former show-runner for Blackhawk Cars and Coffee Tim McGrane left the Blackhawk Museum and joined the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula as their new CEO. Without him running things, and with the problems they were having since last year, the Blackhawk Museum decided it was the curtain call for the now-legendary gathering. It was such a shame too; where else could you see pre-war sports cars mixing it up with a stanced Subaru BRZ?
  • Canepa may be following Blackhawk: There are rumors abound that Canepa might be ending its bi-monthly Cars and Coffee event simply because it’s gotten too big for its venue. While that makes sense, I hope they decide to find another place to host it instead of outright closing the gathering down. However, now there are other options…
  • Monterey Cars and Coffee has become The Laguna Seca Cars and Coffee: with Blackhawk canceled and Canepa one foot in the grave, this new gathering is poised to become the biggest thing since Betty White! And with the newly-minted SCRAMP CEO Tim McGrane calling the shots, its poised to get even bigger. The last show I went to even broke 400 cars; and this was during a track day!
  • I have officially ascended: I am now the proud owner of a 2003 Mazda Miata Shinsen Version. And it has a stick! Now I can actually participate in shows! Still need to fix it up though…
  • New Job: I got a new job, so now I’ll be able to post more often instead of getting home at odd hours of the night and not having the energy. This is great, because I’ll need the energy for the next Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and the Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI!

Stay Tuned!

-W

Hanging out on Hecker Pass Highway

Though the Bay Area is known for it’s combination of rich history and the constant process of technological innovation thanks to Silicon Valley, it’s almost unsurprising that automotive culture here has flourished for decades. I say this, because one would not be surprised due to the amount of incredible driving roads nearby.

Thanks to the Santa Cruz Mountain range separating the coast from the Santa Clara Valley, there are plenty of roads where motorcyclists and automotive enthusiasts can take out their vehicles and enjoy cresting straights, banked curves, and switchbacks. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see sports cars with decals showing outlines of some of these famous driving roads; not unlike surfers having decals of their favorite beaches stuck onto the rear windows of their vans.

I consider myself very lucky that I get to drive one of these roads on a regular basis!

Hecker Pass Highway is part of California State Route 152, which goes from the Coastal Highway entrance in Watsonville to State Route 99 near Chowchilla. The highway is a low mountain pass which goes through the Santa Cruz mountains and over Mount Madonna, terminating in downtown Gilroy. Featuring banked curves, quick switchbacks, and incredible views of the Watsonville farmlands and the Pacific Coast, the most notable landmarks on the pass are the Mt. Madonna State Park, and the old Mt. Madonna Inn, which has unfortunately been closed since the early 90’s. Having not taken out my camera for a while, I felt that the old Inn might be a great place to practice some long-exposure photography of passing cars.

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A detailed Map of California State Route 152 courtesy of Wikipedia. Hecker Pass makes up the western-most part of the route starting in Watsonville and ending in Gilroy.

I managed to convince a friend to come with me and check out the view from the fenced-in hotel at the top of the mountain before we went on to do something else that night, and both of us stood and watched as darkness fell over the mountain the the bright lights of passing cars left trails in the camera’s viewfinder.

Though we didn’t stay for long, I did manage to get a few arresting images of passing cars just as they came around the final corner toward the Inn and started descending the mountain. Though we could have stayed there a little bit longer, the combination of the cold and a previous engagement meant we had to high-tail it back down the mountain and into Santa Cruz. Just as well; apparently the old Inn is supposed to be haunted, and I didn’t want to stick around for too long and find out.

There are other spots that I would love to set up a camera and take some pictures of the lush trees and the winding road. I’ll just have to figure out where I could do that safely away from the daily traffic.

In the meantime, enjoy these long-exposure shots of passing traffic at the old Inn.

Note: I wanted to try something different since the automotive season is a little slow thanks to the winter months. I actually thought about writing posts about some of my favorite driving roads for a while now, so I figured I’d give it a shot with one my regular routes. Maybe this will become a regular series as I explore a little bit more. Stay tuned!

-W