A Great Atmosphere With A Great Car! : Francisco And His 912
My recent trip to Miami was my very first time in this magnificent city. While I was exploring I found one of the greatest concrete parking lots I’ve ever been to, designed by the internationally known Swiss architectural firm of Herzog & de Meuron – it perfectly matched with the 912 I was about to shoot. It is one of the most important things for me to have a great ambiance for a great car! I think I have a special feeling for the 912 in particular. It was the first Porsche I ever photographed and it’s also a very unique car in the history of the brand.
This place, in particular, has a really magical lighting and very high ceilings with a great view of Miami. Places like that make me feel very inspired to try new angles and play with all the shadows and perspectives.
For the shooting I had the great opportunity to meet Francisco, the owner of the 912 and also the owner of a really fantastic black 993. During our photo shoot with the 993, Francisco drove me around the Miami art district, showing me his favorite spots. I came to really like this very colorful and unique place in Miami.
To share a bit of history of these amazing cars with you I asked Francisco some questions about his 912 and also his 993. I hope you enjoy the story!
Tell me about you.
I’m the happy custodian of a 1966 Porsche 912 and a 1995 911 (993). I’m an art director with a background in graphic design and motion graphics. I had the chance to experience to work and live for some time in Germany and for some reason, I have a connection with that country, for professional and/or personal reasons. I was born in Bogotá, Colombia and one of my fondest memories of those early years as a kid is remembering my dad and myself washing an orange Dodge Dart in a family road trip. Since very little, I had a strong attraction for cars always playing with toy models and watching TV series in the 80s where cars were almost another character, you know… Automan, The Fall Guy, The A-Team, Starsky and Hutch or Knight Rider.
Also, I’m a proud dad of a Toy Fox Terrier dog named Jimbo.
What was your first car?
A 1996 Peugeot 205. Dark green with black interior. Even though it wasn’t the most reliable car, I’ll never forget it.
How did you first become interested in cars and why especially in Porsche?
Around 6 years ago I just got obsessed with early Porsches, especially the long hood 911. Living in the states I realized that that dream of owning a car like that, could be possible, so I decided to begin the search of a long-hood early Porsche. I’m a designer above all, a visual guy, so the design aspect of automobiles is key to me, and the 911 is the quintessential expression of beauty and design applied to a car. The natural move was to acquire one. It’s fair to say that the “Magnus Walker effect” hit me as well and ignited that voice that tells you “go for it!”. Over the years, I’ve learned to appreciate more and more the whole Porsche brand and different models to the point that the 993 became one of my favorites and I’m lucky enough to own one as well.
How did you come across the 912?
Actually, my first Porsche was a 912, a tangerine from 1968. I had it for a couple of years but it was in need of some work and it was time to let it go and replace it with one in better shape.
Once I sold the 68’ and shipped it to Australia, I had a very clear idea of what I was looking for; it should be a slate grey or light ivory over red interior, preferably short wheelbase. I spent around 4 months looking every single day on each and every forum and classified site on the web until I found this 1966 Porsche 912 located in Costa Mesa, California.
I traveled to the west coast to see it in the flesh and after a couple of minutes looking at it and once I drove it for the first time I knew that it was the one. I spent a week there driving and testing the car, carving the canyons, working with the shop to fix and correct the car where needed. Once everything was fully sorted I arranged a truck to ship it back to Florida to its new home.
What was the condition of the car when you bought it?
The car is partially restored, in very good shape actually, keeping still some vital original parts and bits. The fact that the car is matching numbers and the color combination of light ivory exterior and red interior that is original from the factory were the most important selling points to me.
What’s the story behind the TYP 902 plate? Was it difficult to get it?
The internal code of the 912 in the Porsche factory was the Type 902 (TYP 902 in German), I thought that having that code as the number plate in a correct European license plate could be a perfect match with the car. The plate is a German made reproduction.
What do you enjoy most about the car?
Aghh! So many things I love about my 912!
First of all the look and that classic shape in that color combination!
912s are light and nimble, it’s a car that is always asking for your input. The rumble of the flat four at 90 miles makes you feel you’re driving at 120! The air coming through the vent windows as your natural air conditioning.
But having a Porsche is more than just the pleasure of the ownership, it’s the chance to meet new people, to know new places, to make new friends, to build memories around such a beautiful and exciting object.
What’s your favorite detail or what do you love most about your car?
The original big, skinny wooden steering wheel almost between your legs in that perfect driving position that let me see all 3 perfectly designed green gauges.
How does it feel to drive in Miami with the 912?
We are blessed to have the chance to drive our cars all year long thanks to the weather. Even though we don’t have the best roads, we still can enjoy driving with our windows down surrounded by the ocean and a warm breeze. Well… but nothing’s perfect… summer can be quite something when you’re sweating like a pig at 98 degrees without A/C!
Do you like taking long journeys with the 912? Which was the longest trip you ever took with it?
The longest trip we have traveled together was from Miami to the Florida Keys. Beautiful scenery, I think a road trip from the east to the west coast will be coming (hopefully soon).
You also have a really nice 993. Can you tell me how you feel about it and the experience of driving it compared to 912?
Even though the 993 is 30 years younger than the 912 it’s still very analog, very mechanical, very raw. You are always hearing hydraulics, mechanical stuff working and moving. It’s almost 3 times faster and you really feel it. You have to work more, the clutch is stiffer, the shifting demands more, and the power makes you be always focused. The 912 is more forgiving and less aggressive, the clutch feels like butter, it’s super light and basic compared with the 993. The steering is very light and precise, I’m really lucky to have the chance to experience both cars.
What’s the story behind the 993 and also what do you like most about this car?
The 993 is the expression of the best air cooled 911, and I was looking to get that driving experience myself. Something more powerful than the 912, a bit more aggressive and “modern”. I was looking for a black car and with the help of a friend, I found this 1995 Carrera in New York. It belonged to an old gentleman who decided to sell it due to an illness. We sealed the deal and the car arrived in Florida the day before we got hit by a hurricane. For sure the progressive – still aggressive power – the sound of that flat-six engine and the revolutionary exterior design are for sure what connects me the most with my 993.
What’s the story behind the black and red theme?
The car is black and the previous owner decided to install red seat belts. To be honest, I didn’t like it at the beginning, but with some time I realized that around the car, the color red was pretty evident, especially at the back with the rear lights. I decided to embrace the red as the complementary / accent color of my black on black scheme. I installed a set of matte black Techart wheels to reinforce the black concept and create a contrast between the gloss of the body and wheels. As a designer, you’ll always find a consistent color scheme in my cars where I try to make things flow around the color.
Even the tag and stickers have consistency in color. Yes, kind of an OCD designer!!
I love to see my cars as a canvas where I can play and express my creativity.
Depeche Mode for a nice drive? I saw the original cassette inside the car!
Without a doubt my favorite band!
I want to respect the era of my car, where cassettes used to be the medium to listen to your music; that’s why I listen to my music on the original radio as it used to be in the 90s, no Bluetooth or digital stuff here!
The Rage Against The Machine’s cassette is the latest addition to the music collection.
Is there any other car you would like to have?
Oh boy, so many! A 356B Abarth GTL, a 718 Spyder, a 1972 911S 2.5 Monte Carlo Rally Edition. Or you can please me with a 993 GT2 or a 964 Carrera RS.
Do you have a quote related to cars that you would like to share?
“Drive it like you stole it”
These cars are meant to be driven and that’s how I live my passion for my Porsches.
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