Updated: Dec 10, 2018
Fall began to blend into Winter when I entered the chain linked gate of AutoKennel to meet Maggie. It was the first day of December and a relatively warm afternoon. Southern California this time of year allows for long, photogenic, shadows to periodically paint the pavement. With garage doors peeled back I received my first glimpse of her. Dressed in a refreshed Zambezi Green coat, an inner lining of brown and black leatherette held her tartan inserts at bay. She sat low to the ground wearing four petaled Fuchs and period correct skis clasped by an original roof rack.
Maggie is a 1974 Porsche 914 2.0 originally sold in the Coen Brothers’ You betchya branded landscape of Fargo, North Dakota. One owner lead Maggie on a life through mountainsides, curved motorways, and even a Prom earning a modest 47,000 original miles. It had been forty-four years, three months, and nine days since Maggie left the dealership. Paul Kramer, vintage automobile aficionado and part time gaffer, was recruited to help the cause for the day. Paul lined up his 914 for the first shot as I climbed on top his 16 passenger, white, 2005 Chevy Express Van. It’s worth noting that this Express Van has 10,000 more miles than Maggie. My mind is blown.
Our ’74 ’14 was accompanied by another color poppin’, period correct, and original piece of art. This Pro Designs twin fin surfboard was on loan from another aircooled Porsche geek and co-founder of the mountain and ocean born brand, Quicksilver. Could this duo be any more perfect?! As an unrestored collectable in its own right this board delivered 6 feet of awesomeness and felt right at home. With our model decked out in seventies inspired swimwear and accompanied by this period correct seventies surfboard, we began phase one of the photoshoot.
From overhead I started the sequence. Blended exposures allowed me to capture Maggie’s day at the beach in a unique fashion. While photographing this series, I couldn’t help but imagine Maggie’s owner bombing down some twisty tarmac, grinning ear to ear, with the immaculate targa top tucked in the trunk.
Exposures collected, we pack up and head out to prepare for the sunset. Paul was driving the illustrious Zambezi Green 914 as I followed in the 2005 Chevy Express Van. From my vantage point I watched Maggie reflect the now-setting cloud drenched light and I wasn’t the only one. Each pedestrian we passed seemed to have suffered their own case of oglers-neck (as I am now calling it). One father released his son’s hand, whilst in the middle of a crosswalk, just to point out the fine vintage example in excitement.
We arrived to the final location a bit early; just as planned. This location was one of many I had scoped out a few days prior. Starting in Dana Point and driving up to Huntington Beach, I had stopped by many an ocean-view establishment in search of scenic perfection. With my five-speed wielding model behind the wheel now, we shot our interior while rolling to get the wind blowing in her hair a bit.
Once the roller was achieved we staged our final setups. Sun slowly falling behind Catalina Island I placed my flash and blocked our model for one of our last photos of the day. Staging a photo shoot usually involves a lot of pretending. Simulating running, replicating sunlight, and in some cases even counterfeiting the smiles and laughter are tactics widely used. With Maggie in our presence, the smiles and laughter were more than genuine, they were hard to contain.
Sun floating above Catalina’s silhouette, Maggie relaxed. We began to zip up our hoodies as the occasional passerby asked to join in on the photography session. We encouraged these gawkers. The sun set behind Catalina Island just as we pulled onto the Pacific Coast Highway where I got one final look at the soft tangerine light as it swept across the iconic green paint.