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Author: Randy Wells
DRIVING AND 911 DYNAMICS
If you are a Porsche 911 fan and own one of these cars, you may be itching to make some mods or have already done so. The usual intent is to make the car go or look faster. If it’s go faster you are after, money may be better spent on learning from a professional in a safe environment. As a nationally certified Porsche Club of America driving instructor, I’m lucky to have the opportunity to learn from some of the best drivers in the business, and I continue to do so.
One of the key basic lessons taught is that traction is dependent on weight of the car, where that weight is located, center of gravity, grip (tire size, type and stagger) and the smooth application of steering, throttle and brakes. Being smooth is key and takes seat time to perfect. Continue reading “”
DRAMATIC AMERICA’S CUP COVERAGE
If you are a sailing fan, or even if you are just into technical innovation and design, be sure and check out the full race coverage and live streaming at the link below. Two groundbreaking 90 ft. racing sailboats – a catamaran from Switzerland with a traditional mainsail and jib v.s. a revolutionary USA trimaran with Star Wars technology and an enormous wing sail – duke it out on the high seas near Valencia, Spain. Continue reading “”
Next month I’ll be traveling to one of my favorite big cities: Houston, Texas. The purpose of my visit is to promote my forthcoming book, Imagine A Nation: In Search of America. I’ll be meeting with publishers and gallery owners in preparation for 2012, my hoped for publication date. The venue is the famous FotoFest, a biennial photographic community gathering which this year features contemporary U.S. photography. I’m really excited by all the possibilities that lay in store and the people I will be meeting. In my spare time I’ll be sure and take in some ribs and architectural photography!
Last night I hosted a listening session for a few of my music-loving friends. I’ve known these guys for several years so it’s always a welcome ritual to share some vibes with like-minded spirits. The purpose of this semi-annual gathering is to exchange ideas about meaningful music, the photo industry, recent travels, and maybe a car story or two. We generally talk a bit, share some pizza, then go down to the listening room and play some tunes. It’s usually just CDs, but occasionally we spin some SACDs and vinyl. Continue reading “”
DAVE ECK’S GT BADGED PORSCHE
The current news stand issue of Excellence, the magazine about Porsche, contains one of my articles on the classic 1972 911 sports car. This particular white coupe was transformed from an ‘80’s Miami Vice bling machine into a sleeper of an award winning hot rod by Californian Dave Eck and his host of friends.
The great part about this car is that you could conceivably walk right past it without a second look. It doesn’t have any racing stripes or body decals. Heck, it doesn’t even have big fog lamps mounted on the hood. Instead it features vintage looking later model wheels and a plain old gas tank. Continue reading “”
MARDI GRAS IN NEW ORLEANS
February 16th is the date for Mardi Gras this year, and New Orleans is one of the best places in the US for celebrating Fat Tuesday (the French translation for this carnival). If you didn’t get enough of rich foods and libations this past holiday season, here’s one last chance for hedonism before confessing your sins and going on a diet. Continue reading “”
MARVIN GAYE : WHAT’S GOING ON
Forty years ago Marvin Gaye released his 10th album, That’s the Way Love Is. Two months later, in March of 1970, Marvin Gaye fell into a deep depression following the death of his singing partner and fellow Motown artist Tammi Terrell, who had a malignant brain tumor. By June he gathered enough courage to record the soulful yet politically charged single titled ”What’s Going On”. Continue reading “”
PORSCHE GT3 TESTING
Want to see what it feels like to be a passenger in a track prepared GT3 driven by a professional driver? This short Porsche advertisement will do the job:
This time of year my mind begins to wander to warmer climates like southern Florida. Places like Key Largo and Key West recall memories of Humphrey Bogart, Ernest Hemingway and Jimmy Buffet. The word “Key” comes from the Spanish “Cayo” meaning small island. And true to its origin, this tiny string of islands connected by bridges separates the Atlantic from the Gulf of Mexico.
January and February are the best times to visit the Keys – hurricane season and the holidays are over, but spring break has not yet started. It’s quiet and temperatures are cool: mid 70’s during the day and 60’s at night. There are many unique plants and animals here, and the tropical climate ensures that something is blooming all year round. Continue reading “”
THE BEATLES : RUBBER SOUL
Released in December 1965, Rubber Soul presented an evolved Beatles sound to the world that was closely associated with the American folk rock of Bob Dylan and The Byrds. With the help of producer George Martin, Brits John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr built an album that went beyond a bunch of well-crafted pop songs.
Using speeded up tapes, electronic processing, fuzz bass, and ambiguous lyrics – not to mention a stretched cover photograph by Robert Freeman – the Fab Four were pushing the boundaries with their newfound artistic control. The Beatles stood at the crossroads and created plastic soul. Continue reading “”
RACING : NOT POSING
Here’s a short Porsche Ad that’s encouraging to see. I hope this is an indication of more factory involvement in racing. It would be wonderful to see a Porsche in the top tier LeMans class again. Maybe with Volkswagen’s Ferdinand Piech running the ship, we will see a return to the glory days of the 1970 season and others like it. Continue reading “”
CANYON DE CHELLY
Ever since visiting these remote sandstone canyons in the ‘80’s, I have been in awe of their subtle and lasting beauty. The peacefulness of this 131 square mile landscape continues to haunt me to this day. It is located in northeastern Arizona within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation. This no-fee National Monument preserves pueblo ruins of the earlier indigenous tribes that lived in the area, including the Anasazi and Navajo Native Americans. The name Chelly is a Spanish use of the Navajo Tséyi, which means “canyon”. Continue reading “”
CHAD MCQUEEN, HIS DAD, AND A CAR CLUB NAMED “R GRUPPE”
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Chad McQueen, son of the late movie actor Steve McQueen. Chad is a very gracious man and was willing to talk with me at length about his famous father. For Porsche enthusiasts, Steve McQueen is best known for the 911S and 917K he’s seen driving in the epic racing movie Le Mans.
Unlike many actors today, he not only talked the talk, he walked it, and he did it with a strong sense of who he was. Steve (with a broken foot) and Peter Revson (heir to Revson cosmetics) led the 1970 12 Hours of Sebring in a Solar Productions Porsche 908 until the last hour. They officially finished second overall, although some feel they actually completed the winning number of laps first. At a minimum they won their class. Continue reading “”
DRIVING THE CENTRAL CALIFORNIA COAST
Travel is a great way to see the world and experience its many cultures. Although it’s very exciting to fly far away to a place like Africa or Australia, local adventures can beckon just as strongly. Introducing his book, Travels with Charley (Charley was a French poodle), the famous American writer John Steinbeck said: “A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”
As part of its ongoing music archives reissue campaign with legendary singer-songwriter Neil Young, Reprise Records has recently re-mastered the first four of his classic solo albums: Neil Young, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, After the Gold Rush, and Harvest. These titles are available either on regular CD (HDCD encoded), gold CD (in a box set), 140 gram vinyl (individual release), or 180 gram vinyl (also available in a box set). The limited edition box set is available here:
I’m starting the New Year in 2010 with this commentary site, which reflects my personal areas of interest and how I view the temporal quality of life. My goal is to post something at least once a week on one of my four major passions: Photography/Video, Classic Porsches, Travel, and Music.
Hopefully I’ll provide a useful perspective on how each of these pursuits can be pursued to offer a unique sensory experience. I plan to review on average one photo tip, one sports car article/video, one journey, and one music album every month.