Toward the end of the month of July, I headed down to beautiful Southern California for an annual family vacation. Every year, our destination is the city of Oxnard—which, if you are local to SoCal, you probably know it as “The ‘Nard.” Apparently it isn’t the most desirable vacation spot, but if I can stay in a beautiful hotel right on the beach, I’m perfectly happy.
For this trip, Igor and I had collaborated so that he would make the trip down to Los Angeles during the same time that my boyfriend Dustin and I would be there. This way, we could plan photoshoots and content for the CAtuned website and blog. Of the few shoots we had planned, one of our goals was to meet up with a good friend, Sean Lee. Many of you may recognize his name if you are familiar with the Purist Group. Sean is an incredibly humble person with a genuine passion for everything automotive.
When the day came for us to meet up to shoot, Igor, Dustin, and I piled in the CAtuned e28 and MTech e30, and headed to Sean’s “cave”—which is essentially an office and space for Sean to work on the vehicles he stores there. Here, we were introduced to our subjects for the day: a gorgeous E30 M3 and a 2005 Porsche 997 GT3RS. We were also joined by a fellow photographer Brian (@itsjustbrian) for a fun day of photos. Once we had settled on a plan, we all drove out to Sean’s warehouse, where he conducts business for his company, Air Tiger Express. Having an entire warehouse to shoot in was an exciting prospect. The only aspect of the experience that wasn’t so great was the fact that LA was experiencing a severe heat wave. When you combine running around shooting photos with a huge, hot warehouse, with 100+ degrees outside, you get some sweaty photographers and an extreme desire to jump in the ocean.
Out of anyone I have ever met, Sean has to be one of the most colorful and passionate enthusiasts of them all. Just listening to him talk about his history with his cars is an adventure in itself, and you almost find yourself feeling like you were there with him. From his old drifting days to the present, Sean’s words speak volumes in regards to his love for autos. There are some people who radiate happiness when they talk about their passions and hobbies, and to me, those are people you want to surround yourself with. They are people who will teach you important values, and what you learn from them will follow you for the rest of your life. This is the foundation of Purist Group. Enjoy friendship, common interests, and the passion for cars.
The setup for the day varied for shooting cars. Brian first shot Sean’s e30 M3 coupled with Igor’s white MTech e30 (which has now found a new home). I grabbed a few shots as the BMWs had the spotlight.
Once Brian was done with his photos, Sean surprised us by introducing his R35 GTR, sitting on perfectly suited Advan wheels. I tend to find myself liking the classic Skyline bodies more, but every now and then, I find an R35 that really blows me away. Sean’s is one of those GTRs.
Finally, it was time to shoot the Porsche. I have always found that older cars appeal to me just a slight bit more than newer ones. This counts for their looks, functionality, and nostalgic value. This doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate a gorgeous, modern car when I see one, though. Sean’s GT3RS is loud, fast, and most importantly, exciting. Putting down 500 horsepower at the wheels, it’s nothing short of a thrill ride.
There are many elements all around that make the car notable. It sits on simple yet aggressive BBS e88 wheels, and faces out with GMG carbon front fenders.
The interior was just as beautiful as the exterior. With sturdy feel of the Carrera GT seats, sitting behind the wheel of this beauty just feels right. One element that I loved was the guages. I know, it may seem like an elementary feature to be so attracted to, but capturing the photos of the brightly lit cluster was just so easy.
Overall, the car is incredibly clean, powerful, and represents the Purist Group name well—all of Sean’s vehicles do. When you truly have drive for your life’s passion, it will show. Sean is a great example of this ambition, and people have definitely noticed. I am humbled that we got the chance to spend the day with him to enjoy his beautiful cars and listen to wonderful stories.
Words and photos by: Courtney Cutchen