Classic Cars

Rennsport Reunion VI as Seen Through Film

Shots from a camera nearly as old as Porsche itself

Don’t adjust your monitor—these pictures are supposed to look grainy and washed out. Well, maybe not “supposed to.” The effect is the byproduct of using a double-stroke Leica M3 with a collapsible Summicron 50mm f/2 lens that has been untouched and unserviced since the 1950s.

While I was running around Rennsport Reunion VI with my regular DSLR, my father captured the Porscheapalloza through the rangefinder of our Leica, which was originally purchased new by my great uncle in Germany—straight from the factory. Over the years, he used it to photograph a British GP, a local car club in England, his Austin Healey Sprite, and more importantly, his Porsche 356C. He posed with the coupe in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, using the Leica to shoot an incredibly cool self-portrait.

Given that the lens is a bit fogged, these images (shot on Kodak Colorplus 200 film) are a little lo-fi. But it’s the kind of patina—like a 356 that’s logged decades worth of miles—that’s impossible to replicate. Maybe we won’t get it serviced after all.