Los Angeles, CA has long been a haven for the motoring enthusiast. Boasting an abundance of sunny days, relatively dry weather, and canyon roads stretching for miles, it isn’t difficult to see why this drop-top paradise delivers such an eclectic crowd of petrol-heads. Jay Leno even compared a combination of canyon roads including Mulholland Drive to the infamous Nürburgring. With a large collection of Porsche folk congregating in the City of Angels, one can often find SWB 911’s and 356s alike screaming through these twisting back roads regularly.
Jay Leno even compared a combination of canyon roads including Mulholland Drive to the infamous Nürburgring.
So, what is a large group of Porsche nuts to do when they tire of these cinematic locations filled with perfect driving roads and scenic views? Simple, you create one of the most unique Porsche events the world has ever seen.
Luftgekühlt has transmuted into an event celebrated beyond the actual event. This enthusiasm stemmed multiple pre and post parties held all around the Orange County and Los Angeles area. For Elferspot, we decided to start our Luftgekühlt weekend with John Benton at Benton Performance. This location in its own right is a testament to air-cooled obsession. Lined wall-to-wall with models such as the 912, 914, 356, and of course a few 911s thrown into the mix, Benton Performance has solidified itself over the years as the go-to location for custom twin-spark creations and vintage race cars alike.
Throughout the night John brought through a taco truck, a couple of kegs of beer, a few bottles of spirits, and, eventually, a mammoth amount of pizzas. Once our bellies were full and grins sat ear-to-ear on all of our faces, we were treated to a screening of a short film made by one of our local Porsche devotees, Jeremy Heslup. Celebration of the locals did not end there, however. With John’s former intern, Siddarth Pandey (Sid for short), recently completing his Master’s degree at USC, we celebrated his accomplishment with a few bottles of bubbly. We often hear that car culture, specifically Porsche culture, is an extremely inclusive and family-oriented network of enthusiasts. But, what does “Porsche Culture” mean? At Benton Performance, the night before Luftgekühlt 6, we experienced that it means sharing personal accomplishments, celebrating life moments among family and friends, and embracing the drips and cracks and tears in ourselves and our cars.
With memories made (or lack thereof for the most weathered partiers) we smashed into Luftgekühlt’s 6th year. Since it’s conception, the LUFT group have developed this event into a sensory experience unlike any other. Previous years have taken us to locations connecting Porsche to their Gmünd heritage such as the Ganahl Lumber Yard to play off of the old sawmill days. In Luftgekühlt’s more modest year’s locations were picked based on the local petrol lineage of Los Angeles leading to places such as Deus Ex Machina. This year, however, has gone over the top for fans of the Silver Screen by placing an abundance of air-cooled glory in the infamous Universal Studios backlot. As you may know, this backlot has been home to famous films such as Back to the Future, Psycho, and Dirty Harry to name a few. Universal’s film legacy and heritage are known and respected the world over in show business; just as Porsche is in the realm of motoring. When these two world-renowned brands and industries collaborate, something magical happens.
Historic and modern New York City backdrops, Mexican haciendas, and the mock courthouse used to send Marty McFly back to the future were staged with air-cooled gems. These vehicles were specially curated by the Luftgekühlt team including Porsche icons such as Patrick Long and Jeff Zwart. However, the big names didn’t stop there. If you followed our story from the event you could see Porsche’s Historical Curator, Ray Shaffer, Purist Group Charity creator, Sean Lee, The Smoking Tire’s very own Matt Farrah, and even wrapped our whole experience up with Porsche racing legend Hurley Haywood. If Hollywood Celebrity is your thing, Luftgekühlt had that covered too. Enjoying the event with his family was action star Jason Statham; around the corner, Jerry Seinfeld fueling his passion for Porsche with his fellow enthusiasts and friends.
Historic and modern New York City backdrops, Mexican haciendas, and the mock courthouse used to send Marty McFly back to the future were staged with air-cooled gems.
We’ve covered the location and we’ve covered some of the people attending; what about the cars?
Well, Luftgekühlt did not disappoint. Lined throughout the backlot was a gathering of builds such as Lee Kee’s Safari 911s, Rod Emory’s creative and somewhat bonkers 356 builds, CPR Classic’s restored 906, Weissach’s Chameleon Turbo 934, a pristine 917, and many, many more examples of once in a lifetime vehicles such as an unrestored barn find 356 and the very last 550 ever built. There were honestly just too many cars to list them all so we encourage you to enjoy the photos in this article and check in on our Instagram feed to experience some of the glory from the day.
What could Luftgekühlt have in store for us next year?
In short, we have no idea. Even speculation at this point is impossible since this entire event was over-the-top in every way imaginable. All we know is that we are struggling to comprehend the cool factor this event delivered, and we are excited to see what comes next. Very, very, excited!
Even speculation at this point is impossible since this entire event was over-the-top in every way imaginable.
© Text and images: Marc Goldbaum