Whilst photographing this early Porsche 944 for our Facebook ‘Family Album’ I got chatting to its owner Steve Jenkins in our shop. It transpired he’s also a part time automotive illustrator. Cars and art; I needed to know more, so here’s the story.
I’d been window shopping for a Porsche 944 on and off for ages so we got chatting. Steve had picked this one up a year or so back as an abandoned wannabe track project. “It needed some love” Steve tells me “I’ve had the sills done as they were rotten and it’s been repainted now too.”
Early doors club
“Being an early car, it’s lighter than the late models, so it’s ideal for tuning and track days” says Steve as I clock the bucket seat and harness combo. “I’ve fitted a Lindsey Racing MAF kit which transforms the throttle response on these 2.5 engines and I’ve got an Eaton supercharger sat at home for it too, it’ll be close to 220bhp, just like the turbo, but with less weight and more involving.” Steve’s no stranger to lightweight road cars, having previously piloted a Lotus Elise as his weekend toy.
Square dash in a round hole
With no PAS, ABS or Aircon, sitting behind the Momo Prototipo wheel staring at the analogue gauges in the square pre-85 dash is a raw retro experience. It’s dated yes, but if you have a penchant for 70s nostalgia and like the colour brown, an early Porsche 944 is right up your street. “It’s got the usual cracks in the dash, they all have sadly. The bucket seats were in it when I bought it. They’re not the prettiest, but they do the job.”
Taking a few minutes out from chatting Porsches, Steve talks me through some of the artwork he’s done. “I started doing them as a way of combining my love of cars and my qualifications as an illustrator. I use watercolour and gouache delivered through an airbrush to capture the realism of the bodywork and reflections.”
Seeing is believing
The photographic quality on the Richard Attwood Porsche 917 is unbelievable. I suggest he should paint a 944 next. “Well, I’m tempted, perhaps the 924 Carrera GT could be the next one. It’d be nice to get them signed by the original drivers and of course give them a copy too”. So, if you’re reading this Richard or Jackie, get in touch!!
We pull up outside the beautiful 18th century Cissbury House and continue talking. “I took my son in it to the Silverstone Classic” Steve recalls, “but we got stuck in traffic for hours getting in; we had the windows down and the sunroof popped, but it was unbearably hot. Modern air con would have been nice to have that day!”
Time to go…
We draw the shoot to a close, but not before Steve lets me have a quick spin round the block to capture some of the final moving shots, with the offer of a proper drive out when we both have a bit more time. “You really ought to get one” Steve finishes with…
A big thanks to Steve for joining us for the afternoon and also to Helen and the team at the wonderful Cissbury Barns Wedding venue in Findon, for letting us ‘play’ in their backyard!