The words ‘period correct’ have assumed a new significance in the last few years with the growth of classic car culture. If you’re driving a classic car, you’re not supposed to wear Air Jordans. You’re also not supposed to put a Panasonic sound system in your car and you certainly shouldn’t be rolling on big chrome wheels.
Of course this is all dependent on personal opinion, and depending on which circle you move in, it can come off as being a little snobbish. Classic car purists will certainly love it if you do keep things period correct, of course. However, we are not here to discuss the minute details about being period correct. We are here to discuss something else.
On a recent trip to Dubai, I walked into Café Rider on a weekend morning. Recognising a yellow Cayman GT4 parked outside, I went to say hello to the owner, fellow auto enthusiast Osie Bhurgri and inadvertently walked into a horologists meetup, which Osie was part of. While I did learn a lot about watches that day, I saw a white key fob which said, “Race on Sunday, sell on Monday.” I had heard the phrase before, but had never seen it on a key fob. After learning it came from a Los Angeles boutique, I mentally added it to my list of places to visit when I next went to LA.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and I’m in the city. The name of the boutique was Period Correct, located in Costa Mesa. Cue an hour of highway driving, punctuated by the Sun playing hide and seek, and I entered the boutique.
An automotive store that sells quality publications, apparel and other memorabilia, Period Correct was set up to celebrate the golden era of classic motorsport. Any wonder about this was instantly dispelled by the existence of a Porsche 935 slantnose racecar in the shop window. No, I’m not joking. T-shirts, magazines like Duck and Whale, models, key fobs and other merchandise were spread out around the shop.
An old Alpine typewriter, a BBS wheel, a model of a Porsche raceteam truck and other assorted items took up some shelf space in one corner of the shop.
If one thing was clear, it was the fact that the boutique valued quality. The models were highly detailed, part of limited edition runs by reputed manufacturers. Simultaneously, there was a palpable motorsport theme to the whole place, ably assisted by the 935, which looked like it had seen some action in its day.
Jordan, the manager, assured me that there were usually at least two more cars within the space at any given time. With a wide smile, I assured him that the 935 was more than enough for me.
After spending most of an hour there, I thanked Jordan and headed out into the parking lot. Gleaming in the afternoon sun was a pristine BMW E30 M3, with its owner chatting with a few friends. It was serendipitous; especially because the car in front of me perfectly echoed the theme I had seen inside Period Correct. After snapping a few photographs, I got on my way.
While the days of white-knuckled, man vs. machine motorsport may be behind us, with classic racing events and boutiques like Period Correct, I don’t think the appreciation for that period in automotive history is going to slow down anytime soon.
Hat tip to Jordan for showing me around.