Come share some laughs with old and new friends

Come share some laughs with old and new friends

At beginning of last year I set out to bring a little purpose to my automotive photography. My chosen path was to capture a portfolio of images that portray Porsche ownership, passion and lifecycle of the community based in the Pacific North West.

Elsom Cellars, 3 Pedal Posse, Sodo Speed and The Café Racers Union look forward to seeing you at Karl Noakes Porsche Portfolio Book Release event on April 20th from 4-6PM at Elsom Cellars in SODO, Seattle.  Karl is a talented photographer who’s striking images capture emotion, mood, and moments from the automotive community. Along with fantastic wine, phenomenal photos, cool cars, beautiful bikes, and an amazing group of misfits, we invite you to raise a glass and a little coin for the  National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Proceeds from wine, books, photos, and T-Shirts sales will help support The NMSS in their mission to enable powerful research breakthroughs and access to services that help people with MS live their best lives.

Thank you guys for all your hard work thus far. We will be blasting the event on a regular basis through 3 Pedal Posse,

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To support our employees’ passion for giving, Microsoft matches employee donations of time and money to nonprofit organizations. Each October, our fun and spirited employee Giving Campaign—a tradition since 1983—makes a significant annual impact in addition to generous giving year-round.

Once I again I was lucky enough to win auction tickets to tour the car collection of one of our past presidents - Jon Shirley .

Last Friday was the day, I’ve been able to tour this collection several times but it never gets old and year-after-year I happily bid more and more to ensure I get another chance and give back in so doing.


I was especially happy to see many old friends - somewhat of a spontaneous reunion as we wondered around the collection.

I always find myself pondering what it must have been like to pedal these automotive wonders back in the day, lot’s of power, big wooden steering wheels and the smallest of wheel/tires ( by towards modern standards)


Enough chatting - it' was time for Fred Russell to share the stories of the collection, everyone was in awe - 250 GTO, 375MM, 250 GT California, 500 Mondial ( 1 of 2 ) this list goes on ( oh, almost forget the Ferrari F1 Car). Manh of the cars have celebrity associations, winning race pedigree, pure rarity with stories behind them and endless list of top honors from the worlds most accamed judged shows.

“I have the tough job of sharing stories with guests, driving the cars around, and showing them at events,”

- Fred Russell, Curator…


Wonderful evening, till next year!


A bunch of Brit's talking about Bavarian cars!

Back in December, during a traditional festive gathering of British folk at Bellevue Brewing, Master Collector Mr Peter Gleeson kindly offered to host a tour of his famed collection of mostly unique BMW’s

Well, after a few postponements due to record setting levels of snow fall in Seattle, we finally got the show on the road today (Sunday 24th Feb). The same bunch of Brit’s and very special friends gathered at Drivers Club, Redmond. Good banter was had amongst the rugby following crowd, as Amanda gracious demonstrated art of expresso by putting lovely the Slayer Expresso machine to work.

Amanda explaining how to make the perfect expresso

Amanda explaining how to make the perfect expresso

As the clock struck 10:00am we got everyone into formation for the 20-25min drive to Peter’s collection. Despite a few snafu’s ( aka we had a few stragglers ) we arrived at Peter’s collection in time for more coffee and lot’s of sugar coated snacks.

As always, the stories began to flow. Peter had the crow roaring with laughter immediately upon arrival (we did not wait for Alex & Jamie who got lost hehe!) Not all his beloved BMW’s are present - three of his babies are looking after each other at Americas Car Museum :-) "Heroes of Bavaria" exhibition including his personal favorite - BMW Factory CSL Rally car along JPS 635 CSI which raced in Australia/New Zealand, and factory ‘Diet Coke’ E36 Supertouring car… (thanks for the correction Peter :-) )

Amongst the famed collection is a relatively new addition - Alpina Works race car from 1969. The story of this special car as told by Peter;

Alpina Works race car from 1969

Alpina Works race car from 1969

“When Alpina decided they wanted to create a race team, they ordered five new 2002 ti's from BMW, four as race cars and one as a street car for Burked Bovensiepen personal use, with the four cars to be the first four Alpina works race cars. All built in sequence and Herr Linke ( Bovensiepens mechanic) was sent to BMW to advise on production and how Alpina wished the cars delivered.

All four cars raced in 1969 for Alpina, two have been destroyed and only one of the four is now known to exist. That particular car was sold to an Englishman, who used a little in 1970, then the car was put in storage exactly how it raced in 69/70.

Just to add to the "kid in a candy store" feeling for me, its almost completely original as it raced in the 1969 season, which as we all know for a race car is almost unheard of.

The earliest Alpina works car will sit next to the earliest 2002 Turbo, completing my desire for the best I can find street and race car from the periods I personally love in BMW's history.”

Then, off we went to here Peter regale us of many more stories over lunch - those stories are not for these pages :-)

Thanks Peter for an amazing education on sporting BMW race car history



It's all about the experience - Capturing the essence of a club drive

Invited to ‘shoot’ upcoming drive with Avants, Fred, the route-master, and I met the evening before to explore how I might to be able zig-zag cross country to get into prime positions. Plan was to intercept drivers at pre-determind locations during the 82 (ish) mile drive from Redmond, meandering south through various backroads, ending up at Le May America’s Car Museum Tacoma.

Tour Lead - Fred Russell

Tour Lead - Fred Russell

The pre-meet always offers opportunities well beyond just cars parked on a standard (and boring) Starbucks parking lot - there’s so much going on if you look for it. I felt like a ninja mixing and maneuvering on the lookout for interesting moments. Plenty coffee, pastries and commaradre - Fred and Adam got crew to gather around for instructions - quick group shot from a vantage point ( climbing up a lamp post) then I headed off to the first of the pre-planned spots (A).

15 mins out I arrive at spot (A) — safely parked up — I recce the set sweeping down hill turns using my iPhone to frame were I might best place myself.. Phone vibrates, it’s Adam texting - they are 5 mins out.!

I run back to my car, grab my gear and ensure I’m in my chosen spot ( you’ll note behind a barrier - you never know !). I hear them before I see them, right on cue appears Ford GT with Fred at wheel, Adam riding shotgun.

After the ‘Sweep’ passed ( 35 cars later) I quickly got back into my little Impreza and set off to next spot (B). About 20 mins later I’m closing in on a pair of 90 degree corners near Jubilee Farm Snoqualmie River Valley Road, 5 mins out I get a message from Adam ‘we are 5 mins out’. Not sure who was having most fun - me zig-zagging against the clock, or the drivers cruising with Fred !

I didn't quite have time to make the actual spot, so I parked up just a few hundred yards up the road, as I got out I heard the now familiar sound of the GT. So much pressure !

leading the way, and avoiding the standing water.

leading the way, and avoiding the standing water.

The junction offered some opportunities as cars turned left to continue along the valley,.

Again, after the ‘sweep’ passed, rinse and repeat my routine, this time however was a break-stop at Snoqualmie falls. My little Blue Subaru was now becoming a topic of conversations ‘how on earth do you beat us’ - it’s all in the planning - eh Fred?

Time to converse with Avant’s members on the experience so far and share the experiences of the zig-zagging - some I’m convinced were a little envious. hehe!

Whilst everyone began to head back from a quick walk to see Snoqualmie Falls — which was roaring following recent rain, and warmer temps melting mountain snow — I took my cue to head off to Spot C. A ‘secret’ back-road of Fred’s - this time I arrived in good time. Adam and I exchanged texts, he said ‘20 mins’, was in fact more like ‘30 min’ - Adan and I lay blame squarely with Fred dawdling along .. :-)

With the relative luxury of 20 mins, I was so very tempted to go grab a coffee and some food - I was getting really hungry. Lesson for myself - pack provisions next time. My pack of mints was sadly lacking sufficiently nourishment as I crunched down on several at a time.

See some scouting images of Spot C as the road heads down to waterfront. And, the now in-famous Subaru literally dumped in the ditch on the side of the road. I did get a polite ‘what you doing son?’ from local police ‘taking landscape photographs officer’ which seemed to satisfy his curiosity and off he went. I didn't think replying with ‘I’m about to take a series of panning shots of a steam of 35 enthusiastic drivers in high-performance cars ’, fortunately he’d gone by the time the now familiar GT exhaust note echoed down the valley.

And, now I’m really hungry — Here they come!

With other traffic ascending the hill it added a little extra fun to shoot between the gaps, though I do think the cyclist does add a little something. After an initial tranche of cars had passed there was a pause, I waited, and waited, then a few stragglers came by, but I sensed still not everyone had passed. I got on the horn to Adam, and he relayed a message from Sweep that a few had gone astray and were now heading to Le May via unplanned route. They’ll have to wait a little longer to experiences Fred’s ‘secret’ backroad.

I popped a few more mints, and off I headed to Le May. Upon arrival everyone was smartly parked out front in the VIP section - nice touch by Avant’s. My only priority was now food, so I quickly took a couple of images and in I went literally pushing woman and children out the way as I hurriedly made my way to the café.

BLT went down in a nano second, Adam kindly picked up the tab. Had I’d known then maybe I would have swopped my OJ for and an IPA.

Race and Rally breeding

Race and Rally breeding

The museum has enough space to house up to 350 cars, trucks, and motorcycles all donated from private owners and corporations, but what you will also find here is the expansive Harold LeMay collection, for which the museum was named after, that ranges from a 1906 Cadillac Model M to a 1965 Lotus racecar to a 1983 DeLorean DMC 12. Not only does it display some awe-inspiring vehicles, but the museum also serves as a gathering place for car enthusiasts, with meeting spaces, a membership club, a show field and a planned educational center.

And, epic BLTs!

Was a real blast - literally!


Inspirational Automotive + Lifesyle Photog's

During the course of the past 12 months - the following 5 Instagram feeds have become personal favorites.


The all have strike a powerful connection with people, and their passion for cars, captured with a classical style & with an‘eye’ for the moment - all these photog’s provide me with inspiration to shape my own personal style.

  • Rob Cooper -obsessive about classic cars

  • Rico Customs - café racers & air cooled Porsche - hand-built projects

  • Bart Kuykens - air cooled Porsche, and Leica Film, masterful imagery

  • Amy Shore - captures life & wheels in a very unique, and elegant fashion

  • Steffanie Rheinstahl - you can just feel the passion with her beautifully made images

In the coming year I’m embarking on a new project ( another book ), whilst not 100% closed out, the concept will be owners favorite design element of their car.

Enjoy these feeds


‘My name is Jason, Jason Bourriague!’

Jason ( @stellathebus ) is no stranger to the big stage - check him out at E3 - so the crew at Rain City Supercars made extra effort. Doning their Sunday best, complete with pocket squares, they gave Jason full tour of the immaculate showroom at Drivers Club. Obviously drawn to everyone’s favorite car the Aston Martin DB4gt prior to commencing the ‘interview’. I say interview because it’s more ‘improv’ - hilarious, yet they still managed to talk cars - specifically Jason’s obvious passion for VAG vehicles. His garage comprises 2 VW vans, Audi RS4 and recently acquired R8 V10 Spyder and other stuff.

Always fun to see John & Chloè - coffee in hand as always!

Anyway, I digress, here’s a few BTS images below, and the podcast can be listened to HERE

Enjoy! Karl