Tag Archives: matthew little photography

Vintage v Modern Motoring

The original Mini Cooper
The original Mini Cooper

There are many choices in motoring, these days. For me, I tend to be a very nostalgic person. I love most vintage things and though I have a great appreciation for modern cars, I tend to gravitate to the elder ones more often than not. I find them very engaging to drive and delight in their analog qualities. It’s a personal choice, but one that I recommend many enthusiasts try as I believe you will feel the same after driving one and living with it for a time. At the end of it all, you’ll emerge a better person for it.

Vintage Ferrari
Vintage Ferrari
Shelby Cobra
Shelby Cobra

If you are a casual user of the automobile, or view them as not much more than appliances, you might not understand this, but I invite you to read on. There are qualities in these cars worth noting; particularly in the older ones. Owning and driving one can change you in many ways. You will become adept at conversing with a wide range of people and will develop an appreciation for the finer details that can be found in places where you would least expect it.

Vintage Jaguar S Type
Vintage Jaguar S Type

Some of my favorite vintage cars are the ones that are very well used. They have a wonderful patina and the many blemishes tell a story about the car’s life. Well-worn paint often brings to mind the many times a caring owner polished it. A cracked and soft leather seat lets you know how many countless times someone sat in it and drove off on untold adventures. The worn pedals display the miles driven as much as the numbers on the odometer do.

There is much to love about the feel and sound of driving one as well. The experience goes well beyond the aesthetics. Every shift, every turn of the wheel and every press on the accelerator connects you to the road and the driving experience. You hear the exhaust note and feel the road in the seat of your pants and through the wheel. It guides you as you make demands of the car.

Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Austin Healey 100M
Austin Healey 100M

Every stop during your travels, be it a stop light or fuel stop, will no doubt result in countless conversations with admirers and like-minded individuals. For many, seeing a vintage car out and about brings back great memories for them and most are more than willing to share. If you’re the type to shy away from people, owning and running a vintage car will cure you of that. It won’t be long before you’re more than comfortable talking to almost anyone.

Jaguar XK120
Jaguar XK120

At the end of the day, living with and driving a vintage car makes you a much more well-rounded and appreciative person. That’s a good thing. We can all use a step back into the past every now and again. It’s an excellent way to get back into touch with reality and the people around us as we get more connected in a tactile way, rather than an electronic way.

Vintage dash and instruments
Vintage dash and instruments
Riley Brooklands Special gains a new admirer
Riley Brooklands Special gains a new admirer
Lamborghini Countach
Lamborghini Countach
Out and about in an MG GT
Out and about in an MG GT
Porsche 356 Convertible D
Porsche 356 Convertible D

Vintage Motoring

The accompanying video from Petrolicious focuses on vintage supercars of the 70’s and what it is like to drive them. It demonstrates the joys of owning and running such cars and what about them creates the attraction, and addiction, for many. It’s a video that can be applied to the entirety of vintage car ownership in general.

I have great admiration for cars in general – old and new – but my true love tends to reside in the past. I find vintage cars much more engaging and rewarding to drive and if you know me, you know I chat about this fact ad nauseam.

Today’s cars are far safer and well ahead in terms of technology and usability, but they tend to create a situation where some of the passion is lost rendering the automobile as just a way to get around. They lack a voice and a distinct personality. You have to reach pretty high up into the world of super cars and hyper cars to find anything that can stir the emotions, but even then, I don’t think they captivate or engage like a vintage car.

Take any country road and drive it in a modern car and then a vintage car. I would wager you will end the trip having a more eventful experience in the vintage car. You will have driven the road and have been focused on it and engaged in the drive. I feel this is true even if you take out the most modern sports car. I love the style and technology packed into the new examples, but dislike the disconnect from when you could feel what was going on and thus, become a better and more attentive driver each time you went out.

 

2015 PVGP Blacktie and Tailpipes Gala Recap

The Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala – It’s the place to be seen and an event that ushers in the first race weekend of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix with a high degree of speed, beauty and style. And why? Quite simply, you just can’t usher in a huge automotive event like this without an elegant gathering that champions charity and the automobile. Every year, the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix does it in style with the Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala.

Guests pose next to an Austin Healey 3000 at the PVGP Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala
Guests pose next to an Austin Healey 3000 at the PVGP Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala

PVGP Blacktie guests

 

Bob at PVGP blacktie

 

A Rolls-Royce Corniche navigates its way through the crowd
A Rolls-Royce Corniche navigates its way through the crowd

This year the South Hills Country Club hosted the event and did another beautiful job of it. The PVGP celebrated there in 2013 and the club did such a superb job hosting, it just made sense to go back and do it all again. It’s a great venue and the turnout was again, superb as you can see by the attached photos.

Guests during the PVGP blacktie gala

The PVGP Ambassadors pose for a photo with Miss Pennsylvania
The PVGP Ambassadors pose for a photo with Miss Pennsylvania
One of two BMW i8s in attendance
One of two BMW i8s in attendance

The cars – and one big 1960 Peterbilt – arriving at the event were showcased and focused upon as much as the well-dressed guests they transported. It was the whole package and the evening was filled with wonderful food, people, conversation, and charity. A combination that always works and did again this year.

Guests gathering at the PVGP Blacktie Gala

The mighty 1960 Peterbilt
The mighty 1960 Peterbilt

Enjoy the images posted with this article and as always, follow the link for more. You can always purchase images from the site and with a portion of the profits going to the PVGP; you will be helping the charities. Enjoy!

F Type Jaguar Pacecar provided by Bobby Rahal
F Type Jaguar Pacecar provided by Bobby Rahal

Blacktie Gala guests

Stunning Austin Healey 3000
Stunning Austin Healey 3000
A refined Bentley Continental GT
A refined Bentley Continental GT
BMW i8
BMW i8

BLUE MAX

Blue Max
Blue Max

The name is so fitting to this car. It is German, it is indeed blue, and was the pinnacle for its time. Though some nagging misunderstandings still persist about this car, it is one well worth a look if you are ever in the market for a unique and well-rounded vintage super car.

Porsche 928 Car of the Year
Porsche 928 Car of the Year

The Porsche 928 is a car that has long been one that some either love or dare I say, hate. That love/hate is fostered for a variety of reasons. The love for it comes from an appreciation of the cars innovations as well as its power, speed, and comfort. The hate, well that comes from myths about high maintenance costs, the belief to some that it is slow and fat and the fact that it was created to supplant the mighty 911. Its pluses became minuses for many as it was everything the 911 wasn’t. It had a water-cooled engine residing in the front with two extra cylinders, near equal weight distribution, and great handling both on and off track making it a wonderful GT car.

Porsche 928
Porsche 928

It was a ground up effort from Porsche from the start and the end result was a quite striking form. I often run hot and cold on this car, but in the form you see here, it is an undeniable winner. This particular car is coated in the perfect color matched to the wildly fantastic Pasha interior and is even wearing the right shoes. It’s the total package right down to the very spider like intake hiding just beneath the hood. Perhaps the only thing missing from this particular model is a…well…nothing. This one is spot on from nose to tail.

Porsche 928 Phone Dial Wheels
Porsche 928 Phone Dial Wheels
Porsche 928 Pasha Seats
Porsche 928 Pasha Seats
Porsche 928 Central Console
Porsche 928 Central Console
Porsche 928 Engine
Porsche 928 Engine
Porsche 928 Instrument Cluster
Porsche 928 Instrument Cluster

So the next time you are out and see this, or any other 928, stop and show it some love. You won’t be disappointed you took the time to do so. For a few more images of this car, pop on over to this gallery.

Porsche 928 Door Sill
Porsche 928 Door Sill

Counting Down The Days

It’s never too early to start counting down to the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. It’s one of those events that you look forward to attending shortly after the last one ended. If you could experience sensory overload from too much automotive exposure – which is impossible by the way – this would be the event to subject you to it. You have everything from black-tie and casual parties to rallyes, shows and full on racing. It literally has everything. With that in mind, it only makes sense to take a look back at last year’s Kick-Off Rallye as that is the event that gets the giant wheels of this machine rolling.

Righthand drive Mini
Righthand drive Mini
Inside the 1961 Chevy Impala
Inside the 1961 Chevy Impala

The Kick-Off Rallye is a great way to start things off. It’s casual fun that offers participants a way to socialize and admire each other’s cars as well engage in some spirited competitive driving. Everything on wheels is acceptable for this event. The past rallyes have hosted the quick and nimble like the MG Midget and Porsche 914 as well as giants like the 1936 Packard and a very impressive 1973 Dodge Monaco. I think there was even a delivery van one year. The streets fill with everything and it makes for great fun and much conversation from participants and spectators alike.

Stunning MGA
Stunning MGA

Driving the course is always a mystery. The clues are clever and keep you on your toes as you try to stay on track while answering questions along the way. If that gets to be burdensome, you can always skip right to the end, get comfortable with a beverage and watch everyone as they roll in. Since the cars are all numbered, it’s a bit fun to see what order they arrive. I guarantee it’s never in order. Not even close. I try to shoot this throughout the event and use the numbers as a gauge to determine how far along things are. That is always a mistake. The route invariably gets people turned around at some point and that includes me, but honestly, that’s part of the fun. Oh and as a side note, should you see me along the route and decide to follow believing I know where I’m going, big mistake. I generally don’t know where I’m going and never get advance notice as to the route. Plus, I often double back as I bounce around trying to photograph everyone.

The large and incharge Dodge Monaco
The large and in charge Dodge Monaco

So do join in if you are able as you won’t regret it. Check out the rest of the photos in this posting and follow this link for more. All shots are available for purchase and a portion of the proceeds will be going to the charities that benefit from the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. Also, keep checking in as I will be featuring other events as we get closer to this year’s start and will be posting throughout the Grand Prix once it is underway. Enjoy and hope to see you on the road!

The Jag
The Jag
The perfect livery for this Mini
The perfect livery for this Mini
Triumph TR4
Triumph TR4
Austin Healey 3000
Austin Healey 3000
Porsche 550 Spyder
Porsche 550 Spyder

The Fisker Karma – Electric Avenue

Karma was a rather curious name for a brand new plug-in-hybrid that was fielded by an equally new company in Fisker. Referencing the principle of causality right out of the gate was a bold move on anyone’s part, but more so having come from a company with no history of doing what it was proposing with this car. Its desire to convey good karma would have been perfect had the hopes and aspirations of its founders come to fruition. Instead, the company’s once bright future has been dimmed though a glimmer of hope for a new beginning does exist. Considering what they went through to get this car to the public, I do hope it gets that second chance. They managed to create their dream in less time and for less money than the giant GM could do for the Volt and that alone is a pretty significant accomplishment and well worth some good karma.

Fisker Karma Wheel
Fisker Karma Wheel

I have always loved these cars and seeing this one stealthy maneuver into place at the local Cars N Coffee is always a treat for me. The styling and attention to detail is superb which should come as no surprise since the co-founder, Henrik Fisker, had a brilliant design background. He left his mark on the Aston Martin DB9, V8 Vantage, and the lovely BMW Z8. His dream of reviving the coach built car in America was a good one and these cars poses a uniqueness not seen in the States for some time.

The interior is beautifully finished with an elegant central console that extends from the front through to the back. It has two sculpted windows that permit you to see through to the battery cell. It also houses a lovely crystal like gear selector as well as what no American can be without…cup holders. The wood trim accents were finished from reclaimed wood from California wildfires and the hides were utilized in a way that produced little waste.

Fisker Karma Steering Wheel
Fisker Karma Steering Wheel

The exterior styling is well done for such a rather large car. The flowing lines and graceful curves are accented with just the right creases and the large 22 inch wheels are perfectly suited to the scale of the car. And don’t pass on the roof as it’s worth a look. It’s a brilliant and well integrated solar cell unit that serves to keep the 12v system charged when not in continual use unless, of course, you park it in your garage.

Fisker Karma Solar Roof
Fisker Karma Solar Roof

I could go on and on about the virtues of this car, but the best thing to do is check it out the next time you see it at a show or just out and about. It’s well worth your time. Short of that, enjoy the rest of the gallery as it visually details many of the elements discussed and feel free to click on over to this gallery from the show for larger high-resolution images. Enjoy!

The lovely curves of the Fisker Karma
The lovely curves of the Fisker Karma
Wood trim dash of the Fisker Karma
Wood trim dash of the Fisker Karma
Fisker Karma key and gear selector
Fisker Karma key and gear selector
Fisker Karma left rear quarter "exhaust speaker"
Fisker Karma left rear quarter “exhaust speaker”

 

The 2015 Porsche Only Swap Meet in Hershey PA

The Porsche Only Swap Meet in Hershey was another huge success – except for the drive home. That was awful, but also another story for another time. The weather was uncharacteristically perfect and the crowds quite large. If you’ve not been, it’s a mecca of parts you need, parts you didn’t know you needed, parts you didn’t know existed and cars galore! The meet has a huge draw as well with people traveling not just from all over the US but from all over the world. It is billed as the largest Porsche only meet on the globe and it’s no mystery why when you see it.

Perfect early 911 Coupe
Perfect early 911 Coupe

I saw a few tremendously high priced cars for sale while walking around, but also some very good values. They still exist throughout the range from 356s to some pretty awesome little 914s. Pretty sure you would find what you’re looking for if you go and if not, I feel certain someone there could put you on the right track. I always see at least one car every year that is just priced too good to be true and it always leaves me wishing I had brought cash, cash and more cash.

Porsche 356 4-Cam valve covers
Porsche 356 4-Cam valve covers
Porsche 356 Speedster interior
Porsche 356 Speedster interior

If you favor the concourse action, you are in luck as they have an area set aside for just that purpose. It is people’s choice, which keeps you on your toes as you never know what will be in favor at that moment, but it’s a great element none the less. There is always a great turnout of some very interesting Porsches. They attract nearly every type our friends in Stuttgart ever made including…a tractor.

So relax and enjoy the following photos. If you seek more visual stimulation, feel free to follow this link to the full gallery on my photography site. Take care and enjoy!

A nicely modified Porsche 911
A nicely modified Porsche 911
A potent Porsche 914-6
A potent Porsche 914-6
Outlaw Porsche 356
Outlaw Porsche 356
Porsche 911 GT3 wheel detail
Porsche 911 GT3 wheel detail
Porsche 356 steering wheel
Porsche 356 steering wheel

Porsche Kid

The Cars and Coffee season has finally kicked of here in Pittsburgh so this is as good a time as any to start looking at the cars as well as the people behind the cars. I’ll start things of by looking at the ride of choice for the more than artful organizer; Cliff L. Cliff played an instrumental role in helping to guide the Pittsburgh Cars ‘N Coffee group to where it is today and his worthiness to captain this group is displayed in his choice of cars. Occupying his garage you will find a riotous Ariel Atom as well as this more than capable, Porsche 996 Turbo featured here.

Porsche 996 body 911 Turbo
Porsche 996 body 911 Turbo

Now I should say that I love all cars. Each has a special place in motoring history for any number of reasons, but it could be argued that I have a bit of a leaning toward Porsche 911s. No shock here that I rather love this one. It has all the proper accoutrements from a 6 speed manual gearbox and HRE wheels to a right at home GT2 wing and an AWE strait pipe exhaust system that will announce your arrival long before, and I mean long before, anyone lays eyes on you. From inside the car, this exhaust system will also gently massage your brain as it resonates quite pleasingly in the cabin. And, if you were so obtuse as to bring one with you, stir your coffee.

As this is a photo feature, I’ll stop writing. Take a good look, though, as the cars we drive often become our face. When you see this car roll in, you know Cliff has arrived. Enjoy the gallery and check back again as a new car will be featured after each PGHCNC event. For images from the event, just follow this gallery link.

Porsche 996 body 911 Turbo
Porsche 996 body 911 Turbo
Porsche 911 Turbo headlight detail
Porsche 911 Turbo headlight detail
Porsche 911 Turbo HRE wheels
Porsche 911 Turbo HRE wheels
Porsche 911 Turbo interior
Porsche 911 Turbo interior
Porsche 911 Turbo GT2 style wing
Porsche 911 Turbo GT2 style wing
Porsche 911 Turbo door sill
Porsche 911 Turbo door sill

2015 Pittsburgh World of Wheels

Okay. The title is a bit misleading as you might think you will find info on the entire World of Wheels show. Truth be told, I am very biased when it comes to this event. I go mostly to see the Rat Rods. I don’t get to see those cars as often as the other ones on display so I spend nearly all my time around them.

That said, you will find a few images of other cars in attendance. But only very few. So if you like Rat Rods and pinstriping, then press on! I have posted a few images here and you can find the rest through this main gallery link. It was a great show with a lot of cars on display from some enormously talented builders and owners. It’s a show that’s well worth your time if you love muscle cars, movie cars, dragsters, customs, and all types of rods.

Enjoy!

Five window coupe sporting a 331 Hemi
Five window coupe sporting a 331 Hemi
Rat Rod pickup truck
Rat Rod pickup truck
1930 Ford Model A
1930 Ford Model A
Rat Rod dually
Rat Rod dually
Ford Model A Roadster
Ford Model A Roadster

Some of the finer details of the display included clever little mascots and some fantastic pinstriping art created by artists on location during the event. An auction featuring their work took place during the event and benefited the Autism Society of Pittsburgh. At the end, just over $23,000.00 was raised. Not too shabby!

Artist at work
Artist at work
Auction art
Auction art
Hot Rod auction art
Hot Rod auction art
Pinstriping art
Pinstriping art

No proper Rat Rod or Hot Rod is complete without a welcoming mascot to greet folks passing by.

Skeleton Rat Rod mascot
Skeleton Rat Rod mascot
Devil gear shift
Devil gear shift
Skull door lock detail
Skull door lock detail

Find more here.

Mascots of a Different Kind

I thoroughly enjoy Rat Rods and love the mascots their builders create for them even more. They are typically clever little characters and are the perfect finishing touch to the personality of the car. There is so much incredible detail to look at on these cars, but I do find myself spending extra time on the mascots. Many lead the way in “re-purposing” to the point environmentalists should be celebrating them and holding them up as poster children for recycling.

Sure the cars themselves pop out a bit more than the average Prius on the emissions end of things, but they more than make up for it in recycling. These Rat Rodders are leading the way! Just check out the handy work in the hood ornament below. Most people would throw that stuff out because they lack vision.

Skeleton Hood Ornament
Skeleton Hood Ornament

And check these great sculptures out. These builders possess so much creativity that when they run out of space on the car they just make a full size figure to go with it. All joking aside, they really are a very creative and artistic group of people and well worth your time to visit with at any show.

Custom built Rat Rod skeleton
Custom built Rat Rod skeleton
Skull and Tire Iron
Skull and Tire Iron

I will have much more to ad to this topic in a few weeks. If you want to peruse some general Hot Rod and Rat Rod shots in the meantime, just click on this gallery and this one as well. There is no end to the detail you will find in these cars or the little mascots guiding them. It’s everywhere you look.

Cheers!

A Devilish Pair
A Devilish Pair
The Jester
The Jester
Simple Skull
Simple Skull