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!

  • http://www.sassaniphotographyblog.com Ben Sassani

    absolutely Epic!

  • William Aguillon

    I always thought Dario Franchitti was one of the nicest and classiest drivers in Motorsport today.
    Now that I know he’s a also a classic Porsche fan of excellent taste, he will remain one of my favorite drivers of all time… Period!

    By the way, nice assignment.
    Good job!

  • http://www.garagemdobellote.com.br Renato Bellote

    Nice shots!

  • Robert Dunaway

    Great article and pictorial. Dario, give me a shout when you’re ready to receive a fan visitor!

  • http://RACER.com David Malsher

    Cool car, cool driver, cool pics

  • http://www.andysapp.com andy.

    THIS.

  • http://www.andysapp.com andy.

    RULLLLLLLLLLESSSSSS!!!!!!

  • http://www.andysapp.com andy.

    Also, I love how you’ve been writing on the pics at the end of the entries. Such a fun addition to the story that makes it that much more personal.
    πŸ˜€

  • Carol

    Great pics.

  • Tro

    So I was reading the article on the guards red 911 rocket hot rod with great interest.
    My wife looks over at the iPad as says Wow!! there was a 911 in those pictures???
    I liked the car and the “alloys”, she liked the boys and their “guns!”

  • John ott

    Great writing, I liked the article and the Porsche forget the driver/writer,, just kidding

  • John Fulton

    Great article, photos AND the car. Thanks! If it’s a ’73 then, Tro, it is probably India red, fyi. :-)

  • Chris Martin

    Sweet ride for a classy driver. 1973 was the year I bought my first Porsche.
    See you in Long Beach Dario!

  • Brian

    Actually the color is Signal Red. It is a single stage paint. This car is so well done it is unbelievable. I saw this car years ago when it’s builder unveiled it at the annual RGruppe Treffen back in ’06 in Sonoma. A good friend shot it there for an article in Excellence.

    So cool to see it in the garage of such a great champion. Beautiful photos, this sweet car still looks wonderful and well cared for.:)

  • http://rbhifi1.com Rick Brown

    Great article not enough picture of the engine !

  • Henry Valdez

    Dario has equisite taste in Motorcars much like my 1972911S/RS

  • Dennis kline

    Saw the photos of the car in Pano – WOW! Almost as good as the humor on the website! THANKS!
    We have never met, but I started racing my 67 911s in SCCA in 1968 at tracks here on the East Coast. Went to drivers School at Marlboro with a guy named Roger Pensk-(something or other). Modified a 9146 for SCCA C Prod and raced and autocrossed on the east coast for several years. The car earned several 1st places in the SCCA National Solo II runoffs and local SCCA C Prod championships. At our divorce, we split up our trophies and we both had about 650 each. Fantastic Car and great memories.

  • Tim Timmins

    YGBSM- “hot rod?” how about some shots of the important stuff- the engine? You really need to back up the boast with some pix of the powerplant that makes it all go…
    Dario has a fantastic machine, but from a Gearheads point of view, all the pretty pix don’t do what Dario has done with this classic 911 justice……..

  • Pingback: Dario Franchittis' 911 - Pelican Parts Technical BBS()

  • John S

    I am with ya Tim, good article but no photos of the 3.7 up close that has been put in a 911T? Your teasing Porsche nuts….

  • danny

    Hi Clint,

    This was posted on TCL. Very nice pictures and enjoyed the ‘outtakes’. Article was well written, wish there would have been a small vid of Dario’s 911 taking off just to hear that wonderful tone. By the way, what bike you ride?

  • http://pelicanparts.com Jeremy

    Nice – though need some details on the car! 3.7 ? was that from bigger P & C’s or was the crank stroked? looks like turbo brakes with flat hats. Are those zuffenhaus wheels? As a fellow early car with a bigger motor (1974 with a 3.6) I can tell you these cars are just about as close as you can get to automobile Nirvana. in the words of Ferris Bueller – “If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.”

  • http://clintdavis.net Clint Davis

    Hey fellas!
    I’ll post up a better angle of the engine today! As far as the other technical questions, I’ll also post up high-resolution images of the magazine so you can read the article yourself.

    And Danny I ride a 2011 Scott CR-1 Elite, linked a picture to it in the blog post πŸ˜‰

  • danny

    Ah missed that, as I read the article linked on the website and skipped the read here! Nice bike! Also liked that Champion 911 you shot… what a sick car.

  • Jason

    Wonderful shot of a beautiful example hotrod. The fact it’s in the area of the country I grew up in is even better.

  • CJ

    Watched Dario win the Indy 500 last May. What an exciting finish. I didn’t know he was a Porsche guy too, but I would like to welcome him to the Club. Thoroughly enjoyed the article and photographs. Job well done!!!!

  • http://----- Richard Dryman

    For those who do not get Panorama; it would be nice if reference could be made to the engine–Caddy, Porsche V-8, what???????????????????? one word or two !!!
    Have seen the article where a 350 Chevy was installed by regrinding the cam and turning the engine CCW.

  • http://clintdavis.net Clint Davis

    I wrote this blog article not to be technical, but to show my point-of-view. I will be adding additional information in the near future, but for now I found a previous Excellence article written by David Conklin (same author for Panorama) from Feb. 2007

    http://www.excellence-mag.com/issues/153/articles/weapon-of-mass-destruction#.UPikrSfLRNs

  • Mill

    325 HP over 2150# = excitement

  • Jim

    How about 0-60 & qtr times? Especially with a pro like Dario he should have some numbers!!!

  • george green

    Dear Clint
    What a gorgeous car. Love the shoot too. Sorry I’m gonna have to copy you on the style of shooting – sorry!

    I would rather Dario’s car than a Singer 911 for sure.

    I would love to get hold of the magazine that featured his car.