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981 Inspired Limited Edition - Really Unique Driving Gear!

http://www.planet-9.com/gallery/files/3/pic1360.png Limited production of only 9 exclusive bags hand made in Italy. Configurable for 981 owners. Exclusive to Planet 9.

What a great way to welcome our latest Planet-9 sponsor: The Driver’s Gear Box, an online store offering unique gear and accessories for sports car drivers. But before we get to this offer, let me share the back-story.

The story started in 2014 when Eric D’Amours from Toronto first test drove a 981 Cayman S. Eric had a number of powerful cars before but this test drive let him discover what “true” sports car driving is all about. Not long after getting his first “true” sports car, he realized that beyond the driving experience, the reality of sports car design was also about space management. Finding distinctive driving gear that worked with limited footwells and trunks became his quest.

But touring gear for sports car drivers is not easy to find. Eric spent a decent amount of time trying to find the right shoes for heel and toe driving to meet every-day spirited driving needs while being suitable for occasional track days. On his business travels to Europe, he also found a number of passionate people running small artisan shops producing exclusive accessories like motorsport luggage (which fits sports cars trunks!). This is when Eric decided to put all his findings together for the benefit of other drivers. His goal is to give us access to those hard-to-source, often limited-production driver’s gear.

If you have never driven your car with driving shoes, especially if you drive manual, I’m certainly encouraging you to try the experience. The Driver’s Gear Box offers a broad range of Piloti models, with rolling heel and asymmetrical soles for heel-and-toe. The fit and feel of each shoe is different - read his gear blog before you order to know more about which model is right for you.







If you get into driving shoes, you will need driving socks. Sports cars have low seats so your legs are sitting relatively flat on the heels. Driving socks act as "compression socks" to activate blood circulation and improve ankle support and breathability, especially for longer drives.




The highlight on The Driver’s Gear Box is the hand-made motorsport luggage collection, a first in North America. Named after the famous Italian circuit in Rome, Caracalla 1947 hand makes custom leather goods for Bentley, McLaren, Lotus and others, and works closely with famous names like Ayrton Senna, Stirling Moss and Nikki Lauda. British designer and owner Simon Jordan is the creator of all luggage, toiletry bags, briefcases and wallets. Each item is created to perfection by master craftspeoplein Tuscany, using nothing but traditional tools, treatments, vegetable colours (not chemical dyes) and techniques to create not only timeless quality but enhanced leather fragrance. No detail is too small for them: their cows are reared in controlled pastures, without barbed wire, to avoid injury and scarring. Hides are carefully inspected before treatment and only those of the very highest quality are selected.

Caracalla 1947 is all about exclusivity: this is where Aston Martin sources their interior leather so when the Vulcan was launched, they asked Simon Jordan to design a unique bag that would only be available to the few privileged owners of this supercar (even pictures of this bag are not available for us mere mortals to see!). Simon has also designed bags inspired by Porsche - such a vintage grey duffle bag, a “911” duffle bag and pieces that pay homage to Stirling Moss who was one of the first drivers of the Porsche 718 in the 1960s. Some of his most exclusive creations were inspired by the Porsche 917 and the Porsche Martini to name a few.



The Driver’s Gear Box carries a limited inventory of Simon’s creations for immediate shipping and you’ll be able to find some of the Porsche-inspired items. According to Eric: “These leather accessories match the quality of well known luxury brands at a fraction of the price. Because they are hand-made, in a small shop in Italy, they are also ultra rare, especially in North America. You’ll never see anybody else with a bag or a briefcase quite like yours!”

My personal favorite on the site is the Custom-Made section. You can design your own masterpiece to match your car and personalize it as you like. With the help of Eric who worked out the details, I created my own exclusive duffle bag to match the interior of my Cayman and to keep consistent with my yellow theme. I started from the idea of the existing Porsche 911 Inspired duffle bag in black leather and customized it as follows: yellow stitching, yellow piping and a special badge on a yellow background. The bag should arrive in May and will the first one ever made like this…can’t be more unique than that!

The Drivers Gear Box is proud to offer a customized hand-made leather bag inspired by Porsche 981. Only 9 bags will be produced. Only for Planet 9 members. The pictures below are a rendering of what it will look like as this model has never been made before. From the theme of the 3 colors of the Porsche logo, you can configure your bag by selecting the stitching color in black, red or gold. The cool part is you get to also configure the signature plate that is stitched close to the handles, with your initials or license plate (instead of the Caracalla logo). You’ll then be sure to have a one-of-a-kind leather weekender bag that is made just for you and your car! Please visit the Planet 9 offer in the gift section of his site to get more details and place your order.




Eric intends to keep adding exclusive or unique items over time as he continues his quest to discover them. Since The Driver’s Gear Box is a part-time passion, not his main occupation, there’s only so much time he can spend on it. He’s counting on getting some great ideas from his site visitors through the feedback section on his website - or email him direct as I did at [email protected].

I’ll post some pictures of my new bag with my car upon arrival later this Spring!

 

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Why the focus only on North America? It is 2016 after all and this is the Internet.....I am about to get some Piloti shoes as the foot well and spacing in the Spyder doesn't allow for comfort with my regular runners. Can I get them from him too?
PM sent. Congrats on the Spyder...Love the sound of your exhaust on the video!!
 

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Italian goods are so finely crafted. Reminds me of my trip to Merano and the shops that had all the exquisite leather goods. Great work, this is a winner!
 

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Anyone here worn Piloti's before? Are they a narrow fit? So one can squeeze foot between clutch and foot rest easily without catching?
Each model has their own design, some are more comfortable to walk, some are hard core racing (very narrow like the competizione or the superleggera) but most are in between. All models have a sole that is narrow enough to not catch in between the pedals. You may want to have a look at this:

Piloti Shoes - Fit and Feel — The Driver's Gear Box

There is also this thread on Planet-9:

http://www.planet-9.com/automotive-off-topic/118618-case-driving-shoes.html
 

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Eac model has their own design, some are more comfortable to walk, some are hard core racing (very narrow like like the competizione or the superleggera) but most are in between. All models have a sole that is narrow enough to not catch in between the pedals. You may want to have a look at this:

Piloti Shoes - Fit and Feel — The Driver's Gear Box

There is also this thread on Planet-9:

http://www.planet-9.com/automotive-off-topic/118618-case-driving-shoes.html

Thanks Eric. On the SPyder my normal runners flare so much at the mid section of the show that it always catches and I have the slide down and hook out,.... annoying, especially more so when long legged.

Has anyone used these in a 981 chassis car with MT? I'be be happy to keep these in the car and just swap shoes as I arrive or leave a place. I don't drive the Spyder for commuting or travelling - just dinosaur burning on weekends.
 

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By design, driving shoes are meant to avoid this problem. The three pedals of my Lotus Evora are closer to each other than on an 981 including the GT4. All Piloti models I own easily work with the Lotus. These shoes make a difference especially for MT sports car drivers.
 

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I L?VE the 917 bag... but not sure if I should opt instead for Garnet Red 2 in 1 bag with black bottom part to match my interior.

Hmm...

Do you have detailed pictures of the 917 bag in & out? And pictures of the 2 in 1 bag bottom section opened? Do you have garnet red leather?

Lastly, please PM me the price of the two options above since it'll be a customized order.

TIA
 

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Thanks HassaanAbdeen and SteveInNJ for your kind words. I have spent a lot of time finding those gems and I'm happy that you appreciate them.

I also wanted to thank you all Planet-9 members for your interest so far. The most popular products have been the driving shoe models Spyder S1 and Prototipo in grey, followed by driving socks in black & red, followed by the Porsche duffle bag line up and the Jim Clark collection. The very last Porsche vintage grey duffle bag produced in 2016 has been delivered to a Planet-9 member yesterday. Finally, I have been busy trading emails with a few of you who are thinking about different bag designs unique to yourself through the custom-made section.

Thanks again everyone and please don't hesitate to PM me or email me at [email protected] if I can be of any help.
 

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Anyone here worn Piloti's before? Are they a narrow fit? So one can squeeze foot between clutch and foot rest easily without catching?
I have a pair of Piloti's and they are actually somewhat wide. The heel is significantly beefy and the toe box is actually quite wide. My last pair of driving shoes were Adidas "Goodyears" and while they were pretty good with my Subaru and Z pedal alignment, I found them way too narrow for the Porsche. I just couldn't heel toe between the narrowness of the shoe and the configuration of the pedals.

As of now, I prefer driving my Porsche in a pair of Converse All Star Chucks (low top). I auto-Xed last week in them and felt fine. I heel-toe using my toe for the brake and my heel for the throttle so depending on your technique, these may or may not work. Ironically, if you watch the new 911R driving videos with Patrick Long, he appears to wear a ratty pair of old school Vans. Not that it matters but it shows that, like me, your best driving shoes may not be dedicated driving shoes.

I will say that the styling and construction is awesome. I got the red/black/grey/gold as they match the white/black scheme of my car with red accents. The shoes are incredibly comfortable and fit very true to American sizes. I am a heavy runner and wear a 10 in my running shoes. Ordered a 10 and they fit perfectly.

Lot of information but I hope this helps. Either way, if I stick to Converse for AX/spirited driving, I have a great driving shoe that wears like a sneaker and looks about 100 bucks more than they actually cost.
 

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Also, I forgot to mention to Drivers' Gear Box that the bags are stunning. In particular, the Gulf racing color scheme is killer.
 

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Wore them on my commute in and really liked the shoe. I learned (after a few weak throttle heel/toe downshifts) that these shoes are suited to the "toe lean" heel/toe method unlike what I am proficient at which is the traditional heel/toe. The width of the toe box definitely requires you to use the former method.

They are incredibly comfortable, the tread is top notch and the construction is solid. They are comfortable enough to wear around town as well. That said, I will probably bring both shoes to my next AX in May and try one lap out in them to see how they do. Obviously, for AX, there should be no need to downshift, but if I were tracking, I would probably reach for the Converse before the Pilotis. Again, not because they aren't awesome but because the Converse facilitate my style of driving.

Hope this helps. Bottom line, glad I got them and retired the Adidas.
 

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Thanks for your feedback DDR MFS. I know you were all waiting for an update...the Prototipo Navy are catching up with the grey Spyder 1 and wallets are big in April!! :)
 
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