Jordan Hilsenbeck always loved cars and motion in general. In his younger days, he skateboarded, rode bicycles and motorcycles. But, it seemed that he loved his Porsche 911 most of all. And in his circle of vintage car fanatic friends, he wasn’t alone.
Filmmaker Daniel Soares met Hilsenbeck through another friend and bonded with him immediately, as he set out to make this documentary about car enthusiasts in Northern California. But Hilsenbeck died during a vintage car rally 18 months ago, and so Soares’ film captures his the end of his life.
He described Hilsenbeck as being kind and respectful, and absolutely in love with cars and driving. His 911 was his happy place. And being part of his group didn’t just mean exposure to cool cars, though—there was a real sense of community and camaraderie that came with it.
It’s a sunny Sunday in November. Riding shotgun in an old Alfa roadster we pull into a service station with a pack of vintage sports cars in tow, up to our elbows in smiles and road grime.
My phone vibrates, my pilot’s phone vibrates, I look up to see the other drivers reading their phones. Jordan is dead.
Jordan, a man who poured every last ounce of his being into creating a machine that matched his hunger to drive. We spent most of the previous day together riding along in his beautiful 911, talking love and life and cars and listening to the wind. And recording. His final thoughts and last tour captured on film.
This is What a Ride, a tribute to Jordan Hilsenbeck
It’s a soulful portrait of a man’s passion for speed and vintage cars, featuring the gripping twists and turns that only exist along California’s northern coast.
Take a look.