Paved Magazine: George Hincapie Gran Fondo
Excellence Cover Shoot: Porsche Turbo RSR

Dario Franchitti and his Porsche 911 hot rod

Blankly staring at my flickering monitor, eating a PB&J sandwich, while listening to my favorite creative music (Ellie Goulding, Daft Punk, Kid Cudi, Lupe Fiasco), I simply can’t think of a witty fun way to begin this blog article. And it’s driving me crazy! Why is this happening?!? I got plenty of sleep last night, and it’s even raining outside so I’m not (that) tempted to ride my bike. Is it because this article is about Dario Franchitti, one of the most decorated racecar drivers in history?.. A truly humbling genuine man that is so accomplished, yet so modest and friendly, that it’s hard to evoke in words?.. Yea I think it has something to do with it.

I got the call from Panorama (Porsche Club of America) to ask if I could make the drive to Tennessee to shoot Dario and his insanely immaculate, but well driven 1973 911E hot rod. Of course these conversations are always humorous because how could I possibly turn that down? This is the kind of car you KNOW that you’re driving. No ABS, no power steering, no cushy suspension, raw. It’s not as fast as a Porsche GT, but it certainly feels like it at half the speed. Did I also mention Dario Franchitti is the owner? Thought so. Pack my gear, I’m on the road.

When meeting Dario as he was pulling his 911 out of the driveway, you could tell this Porsche isn’t just another car in his garage. We made eye contact for a few seconds, then his attention was immediately back on the car, triple-checking every detail to be sure every millimeter was spotless. “Only one cat in the world can do that” as he pointed to the hood. Looks like his fearless feline can’t distinguish a priceless 3.7 litre 325hp 2,150-pound fire-breathing piece of history and a cardboard box. Rolling over the Tennessee mountain roads in the backseat, listening to the melodic sounds from the exhaust, it was very refreshing to witness someone so famous with the means to buy any car in the world, so attached to a classic car.

Dario Franchitti and his 1973 Porsche 911E hot rod

Dario Franchitti and his 1973 Porsche 911E hot rod

Dario Franchitti and his 1973 Porsche 911E hot rod

Dario Franchitti and his 1973 Porsche 911E hot rod

Dario Franchitti and his 1973 Porsche 911E hot rod

Dario Franchitti and his 1973 Porsche 911E hot rod

Dario Franchitti and his 1973 Porsche 911E hot rod

Dario Franchitti and his 1973 Porsche 911E hot rod

Dario Franchitti and his 1973 Porsche 911E hot rod

Dario Franchitti and his 1973 Porsche 911E hot rod

Dario Franchitti and his 1973 Porsche 911E hot rod

Dario Franchitti and his 1973 Porsche 911E hot rod

Dario Franchitti and his 1973 Porsche 911E hot rod

Dario Franchitti and his 1973 Porsche 911E hot rod

Dario Franchitti and his 1973 Porsche 911E hot rod

Dario Franchitti and his 1973 Porsche 911E hot rod

Dario Franchitti and his 1973 Porsche 911E hot rod

Dario Franchitti and his 1973 Porsche 911E hot rod

Dario Franchitti and his 1973 Porsche 911E hot rod

Dario Franchitti and his 1973 Porsche 911E hot rod

A few shots of me working the camera, or is it Dario telling me HOW to work the camera? Photoshoot styles for Porsche mags are usually less processed and more natural. This feature was no exception, so a lot of attention goes into composition straight out of the camera. Over the 3hr time period we got some great shots, thanks largely in part to my very lovely assistant Sarah…OK she’s my girlfriend! :). The entire experience was such a joy. The weather was perfect, the scenery was beautiful, and we even got to chat about one of my favorite shows South Park.

David Conklin did a superb job with the article, yet I’m afraid to say that the magazine can only be picked up if you’re a Porsche Club of America member, or know someone who is a member! How convenient, my writer’s block is going away and now I’m finished… Oh well, I guess I’ll go ride my bike!