Peter Portugal - Automobile Design and Fabrication
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Press Clippings :

Inside Track Magazine
October/November 2008
By Steve Heeb
VIPARD -click here for article -

Kit Car--The Specialty Car Magazine
January 1996
By Steve Temple

Day of the Dolphin in San Leandro, California
Something Special Surfaces at the San Leandro Show

Occasionally the best vehicle at a kit car show isn't available as a kit. Sometimes it's a handcrafted custom, a conveyance so unusual, so rarefied, that it's simply not possible to offer it in component form. This was the case at the Northern California Kit Car Club's (NCKCC) annual mid-September show in San Leandro, California.

What was the non-kit-car show winner mentioned at the outset? We'd seen it partially assembled at the Knott's show, but that preview didn't prepare us at all for the completed car. The Dolphin, aptly named for its flowing flanks, features a body lovingly crafted out of redwood--yes redwood, all sealed with epoxy resin and S-glass cloth. Wooden bodies were used on some of the great early racing cars, but such old-world craftsmanship is just too rare nowadays.

Sculptor Peter Portugal has the talented pair of hands that rendered this work of art. Reproductions of the vehicle are available. Not only did Portugal capture Kit Car's Best of Show Trophy, he also received the same award from the NCKCC. We don't expect to see wooden kits popping up in great numbers, but such exclusivity actually adds to the Dolphin's appeal.

The Monterey County Herald
Saturday, August 19, 1995
By Laura Counts
The leaders of the Monterey Bay Rolling Concours last night sounded like a den of dangerous animals: vipers, cobras, stingrays and jaguars. . . .
"It would be nice to say once you've seen one red Ferrari you've seen them all, but here's another one going by," said Miller as a Testarossa passed the reviewing stand. . . .
Perhaps the most exotic car in the parade was a creation by Peter Portugal of Eureka, which he calls the Dolphin. He attracted an admiring crowd as he lifted the polished wooden hood of the car, which took him six years to build.
"It's made from a 250-year-old redwood that came down in a windstorm in 1981," he said. "It landed about 80 feet from my shop."
Portugal, an architect and artist, tapered strips of wood to create a rich brown body for the car. It has a hardwood luggage rack, brass and bronze trim and wicker-backed seats. Despite its elegant appearance, he said he drives it on dirt roads in Eureka.
"I hope to take orders for more," he said. "They shouldn't take that long to build now that I have the design."

For more press clippings and artist's statements, see Peter's History page




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