This year marked the 5th edition of the air-cooled Porsche-fest known as the Luftgekühlt, which was staged April 22, 2018 at the Ganahl Lumber yard facility in Torrance, California. The gathering is the brainchild of Porsche factory racer Patrick Long and noted Southern California creative director Howie Idelson.
Luftgekühlt was conceived as a realistic car culture event which is centered on a closely curated list of historically significant and interesting street and race cars. They keep the event elements simple — find cool venues, involve fun people, and keep the creative process open. This allows them to come up with unique ideas that celebrate the passion they have for all things air-cooled and cater to the Porsche community that isn’t necessarily interested in the cocktail world of concours and country clubs.
“Luftgekühlt”, a German word which translates to the term “air cooled”, was an unfamiliar nomenclature just a few years ago. Now, it has become a phenomenon in the Southern California outlaw and custom car culture and represents all the air-cooled cars in Porsche’s history — from the Pre-A 356 through the 993 model line, which ended in 1998. Luftgekühlt places a special focus on custom, hot-rod Porsches, ‘Outlaws’ and generally modified cars, with some exceptions made for factory-built homologates and genuine race cars.
The Ganahl lumber yard and warehouse building provided ample display and parking areas. It was the perfect backdrop for the Porsches that attended. Most of the cars were exhibited in and around the lumber yard and the industrial racks of saw-milled wood, with a few select examples displayed in specially designated areas throughout lumber yard to represent the diverse eras and genres of these sports cars.
Why a lumber yard for this year’s Luftgekühlt? The connection for Porsche enthusiasts goes back to 1944, when construction was moved from Stuttgart, Germany to the wooden sheds of a former saw mill in Gmünd, Austria, considered as the birthplace of the 1947 Type 360, the 1948 356/1 and 356/2. With the historic connection of wood and air-cooled Porsches, the selection of the Ganahl Lumber Company worked well for Luft 5.
Patrick Long and Jeff Zwart greeted owners as they drove into the yard and directed them to their designated area. With over 400 Porsches in attendance, the event was considerably larger than in previous years. In addition to Patrick and Jeff, other notable attendees also included actor Patrick Dempsey, Bruce Meyer, Alois Ruf, Vic Elford, Chad McQueen, Hurley Haywood and Rod Emory.
Over the last five events, the Luftgekühlt has given those who have attended, a fantastic opportunity to see and sometimes hear some unique, historic and significant air-cooled Porsches. Some of the more notable cars that attended the Luft 5 were Jerry Seinfeld’s 1949 Porsche 356/2 Gmünd; the 1972 Can-Am Championship winning Porsche L&M 917-10 Spyder; Porsche 908K Works ‘Short-Tail’; Porsche 904 Carrera GTS; the ultra-rare 1967 Porsche 911R — R4 Prototype; Le Mans-winning Porsche 356 Gmünd SL Coupé; 1980 Porsche 930 Special Edition Turbo with 60 pre-delivery test miles; and the unicorn of the show, the zero-mile Schuppan Porsche 962CR. A large contingent of air-cooled 911s, 930s, 914s, and 356s, rounded out the cars that lined the wood stacked aisle, making for and interesting and unique event.
Similar to 2016, Sports Car Digest also documented the Luftgekühlt 2018 with Victor Varela offering the following pictures from the Ganahl lumber yard in Torrance.
Luftgekühlt 2018 – Photo Gallery (photos: Victor Varela)
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