The third edition of the air-cooled Porsche celebration known as Luftgekühlt was staged April 10th, 2016 at home decor brand Modernica’s property in Los Angeles, California. The brainchild of Porsche factory racer Patrick Long and Howie Idelson, Luftgekühlt has become one of the major social occasions in the Porsche community, especially for the crowd that isn’t necessarily interested in the the world of Concours.
The name “Luftgekühlt” translates to “air cooled” in German, limiting the event to Porsche cars from the earliest 356 models until the last of the brand’s air-cooled sports cars, the 993 models. Luftgekühlt places a special focus on hot-rodded Porsches, ‘Outlaws’ and generally modified cars, with some exceptions made for factory-built homologates and genuine race cars, lending itself to the rich Southern California hot rod culture.
The factory buildings and ample parking areas of Modernica provided the perfect backdrop for the Porsches that attended the event. Most of the cars were exhibited in and around the factory buildings and grounds, with a few selected and displayed in specially designated areas throughout the day to represent the diverse eras and genres of these air-cooled sports cars.
Weather leading up to Sunday was unusually wet for Los Angeles, but the day of the event saw a break in the clouds and plenty of Southern California sun. Even before the event officially opened at 9:00am, the streets surrounding the factory had lines coming from every direction, with participants waiting to get through the gates. The crowds filled the various display areas to get a good look at all the Porsches that were all lined up to be admired.
Patrick Long opened up the event, personally greeting each and every car owner while directing traffic and creating a memorable moment for enthusiasts. With an estimated 350 Porsches in attendance and many more outside the gates, the 2016 Luftgekühlt was considerably larger than the prior two events.
In addition to Patrick Long, notable attendees also included Porsche racing royalty, Alwin Springer, Dieter Inzenhofer, Danny Sullivan, John Morton and Jeff Zwart, to some Porschephile celebrities like comedian Jerry Seinfeld and actor Patrick Dempsey.
Sports Car Digest was invited to participate with our 1975 Porsche 911 RS 3.0 Hot Rod affectionately nicknamed the “Hulk”. This California-native was right at home in the concrete jungle of Los Angeles, with its stout twin-plug 3.5-liter engine offering an experience as close to a genuine example as one might desire on the street. Even in the sea of incredible air-cooled machinery on display at Luftgekühlt, the “Hulk” received tons of admiring comments from the Porsche faithful. If interested, this car is now offered for sale here.
The 2016 Luftgekühlt included a special project — the auction of the “Luft Auto” 911-based rally car. A successful cooperation built specifically for the event, the heavily-modified 1985 911 Carrera Coupe featured creative details from some of the foremost brands, builders and automotive artists in the industry today, such as Rod Emory of Emory Motorsports to multiple Pikes Peak record-holder, Jeff Zwart. Among the modifications, the flat-six 3.2-liter engine was extensively serviced, custom skid plates were added to the body, suspension changes included long-travel dampers, an extra set of lights and 15-inch monoblock Braid wheels with Pirelli P Zero rally tires. Recaro seats, a full roll cage, OMP Rally steering wheel and a CNC-milled shift knob were also part of the package. With help of RM Sotheby’s, the “Luft Auto” would sell for $275,000, with all profits going to the the Autumn Leaves Project to help fund pancreatic cancer research.
The 2016 edition of Luftgekühlt was Southern California cool and went off without a hitch. Sports Car Digest looks forward to future air-cooled event and commends this talented team for pulling off another memorable show.
Sports Car Digest documented Luftgekühlt 2016, with photographers Victor Varela and Trevor Ely providing the following images from air-cooled Porsche extravaganza. We split up the pictures into two galleries. The first gallery starting below features our favorite images, all displayed in the full-width view, while the second gallery can by found on the last page of the gallery and gives a comprehensive view of all the photographs.
Luftgekühlt 2016 – Featured Photo Gallery
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