Beyond The Beauty Of The Steel And Glass: Kevin And His Bahammer 912
A while ago during my time in Los Angeles, I woke up one day very early at almost 5 am to go with Kevin and his 912 around the city to have the streets of Downtown LA almost to ourselves.
There are a lot of emotions coming together in this photoshoot. Without realizing it, the artwork found at THE BROAD’s crosswalk was made by a renowned Venezuelan artist who recently passed away at the age of 94, Carlos Cruz Diez, of whom I am a great admirer. I also love the magnificent contrast of the Bahama Yellow of the 912 and the tones and structure of the well-known building designed by the architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
To share a bit of the story of this Porsche with you I asked Kevin some questions about his 912. I hope you enjoy the interview!
68′ 912 Bahama Yellow, well-known as “Bahammer” on social media. Right?
Yes, when we were in the last stages of tuning it at the close of restoration, one late night at Benton Performance, John Benton attempted to comment it was going to run strong as if powered by Thor’s Bahama Yellow hammer, and in our exhausted state it came out as “Bahammer”, and ever since it stuck and has carried that name, on social media, and certainly in the local Porsche community.
Tell me about you.
When asked this question, I usually self-described as a “regular dude”. If asked for more, I’m first and foremost a family man, with three great kids and an awesome wife. Professionally I spend my time as an advisor to senior executives on the topic of growth, notably through mergers & acquisitions, and other strategy-related topics. In my remaining time, I have a great deal of passion for Porsche’s, and importantly the community that surrounds them, including our Foundation to help youth get involved in the game.
What was your first car?
My first car was a 1968 VW Bug, in Delta Green. It was a well-used hand-me-down, driven by many in the family, leaking a quart a week and in dire need of love. That, along with a wrecked later VW with a strong motor, and “The Complete Idiots Guide to VWs” was my 16th birthday present, the pieces to get my first air-cooled car on the road, and maybe where my restoration and modification habits started. I created a great Cal Bug out of all that mess, with a short shift kit, dropped front end, single-piece windows, vented deck lid, restored interior, a strong motor, and Porsche “hot paint” in Light Ivory.
How did you first become interested in cars and why especially in Porsche?
My older brother bought and sold many cars when growing up, one of which was a cool 914. When I had my first ride in it, I was hooked. Later I tried to sell my ‘68 Bug and buy a 914 but failed. It started a quest to own a Porsche that lasted many years. There were seemingly always roadblocks, such as buying a first house, business school tuition, helping family members in need, and even some stupid investment ventures. Eventually, it not only worked out, but it’s also proven impossible to stop!
How did you come across the 912?
This 912 had lived a well-used life in California, and was in the back section of a used car lot in the Central Coast, south of Monterey.
What was the condition of the car when you bought it?
The Bahammer had been rode hard and put up wet, to use a popular cowboy phrase. The paint looked like a dried mustard seed, the motor had a cracked head and was in dire need of a rebuild, yet the shell had promise, some rust but in addressable areas. It was a restoration project to an untrained eye, but it was mine, and my first Porsche.
How was the restoration process?
I am sure my story is indifferent to many others, it took longer, and cost more than I originally planned. All that said, it was a great place to use my visioning, design and configuration skills, and teaming with John Benton was amazing. I would say our skills were very complimentary, but ultimately that’s for others to decide by looking at the outcome.
I saw you are crazy for details on the 912, but from all of them what’s your favorite? I remember one and it was the shift knob.
This entire build was about the details, which starts with the vision, design and configuration, and also my passion for parts hunting. Perhaps impossible to truly answer your question. I love the shift knob, the first of its kind, even though now I’ve seen many copies out there – a truly high form of compliment. That, as well as the RS 380mm wheel, were a product of a great friend and craftsman in Mexico City. The restored “Deep Six” Fuchs, found on a blanket in a parking lot rummage sale, in Stuttgart, while there for work and also visiting the Porsche museum, have amazing sentimental value. Had I not gone for that walk, I would never have had that experience. Beyond that, so many details, impossible to pick one.
What’s the story behind the vintage Heuers, it looks awesome!
Another of the amazing details. I love these, they’ve become a signature on the cars I restore full term. I found my first at a yard sale, it didn’t work, bought it for a song, brought it home and with some penetrating oil and cleaning, I got it to work. I subsequently traded nearly thirty different vintages Heuer timepieces to arrive at the triple set in the Bahammer, and another set aside for the DASWUF Project I have in process now.
What do you enjoy most about the car?
The compliments from the community could provide many answers, including great paint applied by Shane East, a great twin-spark motor built by John Benton, and run from there to the incredible gearbox, the cockpit details, the suspension, the ride height, etc. For me, it’s the experience of the drive, on a canyon road any given weekend morning, with a little Aretha Franklin playing and trying to break through the throaty sound from the custom exhaust – nothing makes me smile quite like that.
Do you like taking long journeys with the 912? Which was the longest trip you ever took with it?
The Bahammer has done several runs from Southern California to Northern California, and back. The longest run was to Rennsport, where it also had a few “spirited” parade laps on Laguna Seca.
Tell me about your project WolfPack901.
This is our Foundation to help youth get involved in vintage auto restoration. We are focused on two things: first, helping young people who may not be college-bound but want to be productive and employed in a cool trade, to get their first job in restoration and build some skills; and next to help the incredible yet tenured and aging experts in this field to have a place to pass on their knowledge, ultimately to support the fleet. We do that by providing paid apprenticeships to chosen youth at select restoration shops, that enables them to make that often the difficult first step. We are trying to make a difference, one person at a time.
Is there any other Classic or Porsche you would like to have?
I truly love classic cars, so it’s probably better to ask what I wouldn’t want. Beyond the myriad of Porsche’s I’d love to own, someday I will probably seek a vintage Toyota Landcruiser – a bucket list item.
Do you have a quote related to cars that you would like to share?
I’d just share with the community: we get to live in the world we choose to shape, and our actions shape that world more than we often appreciate. Remember, beyond the beauty of the steel and glass, there lies people, passion and dreams, and we should put fuel in all of them, not just the car. Shout out “thank you” to all our Wolfpack901 supporters around the globe – you have made a difference!
A few years ago during my visit to Venezuela, I had the opportunity to photograph this great Porsche in a location that completely reflects what it once was and what it is today, one of the countries with the largest oil reserves. To put it in context, Venezuela between the 70s and 90s had the best moments in terms of economic growth, caused by the oil boom. But since the 40s, there was already a huge development in that industry. Somehow, it is relevant to point out that in the 50s, during the dictatorship, the president Marcos Perez Jimenez was passionate about cars, racing, and competitions. For instance, he used to close the entire streets of Caracas for racing, inviting renowned figures from the automotive world like Fangio to race with him.read more
Last summer in Berlin, I met Oliver and his wonderful 1990 BMW 750i. I’m a fan of big BMWs from the 80s/90s, they are very spacious and classy. One thing, in particular, I like about this car, was its red interior. I think it makes the car much more special.
Looking for the perfect location, as I always try to do, I found several options to make the car look great. As you know I am a big fan of coupes, but a sedan like this one always wanted to photograph. Here is part of what we did that sunny afternoon and some questions to Oliver about his 7 Series.
While I was in Barcelona, I had the chance to meet Joaquin and his amazing car. He brought me to the family’s garage to show me the impressive collection they have which is where I discovered one of the very first modern roadsters, the Lotus Elan.read more