LUFTGEKUHLT 5 – Loud Pipes at the Lumber Yard
LUFTGEKUHLT 5 was the best yet. For those in the know, mentioning the word Luftgekuhlt drums up all kinds of excitement. For the lay folk, simply put, it’s a vernacular term describing any and all air-cooled Porsches; from the first ever Pre-A 356 in 1948 to the 993 series that ended in 1998.
This prolific faction of automotive history and motorsport is known and admired the world around, and for the folks of Los Angeles, the annual Luftgekühlt show is a chance to come together and celebrate all things air-cooled.
This year saw the fifth running of the Luftgekühlt show, the brain child of Porsche factory driver and twice Le Mans winner Patrick Long and well known creative director Howie Idelson. Each year the locations and storylines change to keep it exciting and fun for the crowds.
Ganahl Lumber in Torrance was chosen for the sold-out Sunday event, teeming with hundreds of Porsches and thousands of attendees snaking in and out of the rows of sweet-smelling, fresh-cut lumber. This was a tip of the hat to the first ever Porsche plant that was constructed out of a former sawmill in 1944.
The Porsche community comprises of fans from all walks of life and Luftgekühlt is the perfect place to rub shoulders with all of them. Milling about the pathways flanked by Porsches, you might happen upon Jerry Seinfeld’s 356 Porsche ‘Gmund’ coupe – the 40th ever Porsche to roll out of the factory in Gmund, Austria in 1949 (hence the nickname).
Or not too far off maybe this aging survivor that the gentleman said was a winning racer in the 60s. When the original owner was disqualified from a race in the early 70s for a trivial helmet infraction, he garaged it indefinitely. After meeting the old timer it took five years to get the keys (and all the old trophies) in his hand!
Taking respite from the powerful So Cal sunshine, inside the warehouse was a myriad of race cars, prototypes and even an old wooden body buck to pour over. This was the place to be to check out winning Carrera cup racers, some of the latest offerings by Singer Design including the Mulholland special or a rare-as-hens-teeth 959SC.
Outside, there were rows and rows of bug eyed beauties to behold from the purists’ restorations to the grimy Safari-style knock-arounds. There was a RUF Yellowbird, a few cars sporting lust-inducing Gulf and Martini liveries, a cool art car lettered up by local sign painter Ornamental Conifer, the list goes on!
Whether your collection of Porsches was on par with maestros like Magnus Walker or Rod Emory, or if it was really only a collection of posters in your room, Luftgekühlt was the place to be to celebrate all things cool, and air-cooled.