OK, corny word play aside, this fifth Luft event, located in the large yard of Ganahl Lumber, has a meaningful connection to the Porsche story. The first series of aluminum-bodied 356 models were constructed at an old sawmill in Gmünd, Austria. The original location of the first Porsche factory was in Zuffenhausen, but allied bombing during 1943 forced the company to relocate to Austria. Porsche eventually moved back to Germany in 1949, but not before providing tractor components to aid the infrastructure efforts after the war.
History lesson completed. Howie Idelson and Patrick Long, the two behind the Luftgekühlt shows, organised another wildly successful show. The show has grown from it’s humble beginnings in the small car park at Deus Ex Machina on Venice Blvd. Each year a unique location is carefully chosen and curated to not only show off these air-cooled machines in the best possible way, but also to accommodate the growing interest and attendance of this series of shows. They’re all designed to be photo-friendly locations too. This year was sold-out with request for tickets flying all over the internet in the days leading up to last Sunday.
The format is brilliant, there are specific curated areas of special interest cars and a huge lot of assorted cars filling the rest of the yard brought in by enthusiastic owners from across the country. It is a staggering sight, lanes and lanes of the finest offerings on display. The curated displays this year were placed in and around the covered lumber warehouse, it’s wide aisles perfectly suited for the very special cars parked in it. One of the most prominent displays was a Jerry Seinfeld owned 356, number 40 of the cars produced in Austria.
Within the warehouse itself, there was the only remaining virtually intact non-restored 1967 911R prototype built. A gorgeous blue 800hp modified 959SC (Sport Canepa) was placed just down a few shelves from it. A Singer with a brilliant Mulholand Drive themed livery joined it, as well a perfect Arena Red 993 GT2, a Flachtbau (flat-nose) 964 Turbo S and a load of other significant cars. I love seeing the non-911 based Porsches, the warehouse did not disappoint. Included on that list was a perfect blue 550 Spyder, the monstrous 917/10 Can Am car, and a very special 908 short-tail prototype. Can’t forget to mention the Type 804 racing car that Dan Gurney drove to his and Porsche’s only F1 victory in the 1962 French GP.
The curated displays close to the warehouse were equally impressive. Starting with a circle of 914-6’s, these awkward looking beasts have long been a favorite of mine. Another closely parked collection was of un-restored 356’s showing off the quality and enduring craftsmanship associated with German engineers. This wasn’t the only grouping of 356’s, Rod Emory rallied a set of his Outlaws together, another pristine circle placed around the corner from them, as well as two solid lines of bathtubs parked a couple sections away from the central warehouse.
Other notable vehicles included the two safari 911’s builds for the charity auctions from the previous shows, along with a few other cool safari-styled bredren too. A 1973 Porsche 911T Sunoco RSR Tribute car took command of a corner, just a car down from the only water-cooled car that somehow snuck into the show. It wasn’t just any water-cooled car of course, the Schuppan 962CR is one of six built, this one with zero miles on the clock.
I can’t wait to see how Howie and Patrick will top this year’s show, judging by their current trajectory, it will be even more impressive.