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Impressions of Luftgekühlt Munich in 60 Seconds

Walking through Grand Central Station about a year ago, I stumbled across a Leica camera club. They were bedecked in Leica t-shirts, Leica hats, and Leica-branded camera-straps, and it seemed that half of what they were photographing was one another with their hilariously expensive cameras. It was disturbingly self-indulgent, and placed the product above the process. To take one of the most user-focused cameras on the market and reduce it to a trinket seemed tragic. Somehow when Posrche fanatics get together in mutual appreciation, it seems like a celebration rather than doing something shameful in public. Luftgekühlt may be the apogee of that idea; a joyous reflection on being an air-cooled Porsche fan. Like past Luftgekühlts, the Munich event seems to combine all that is great, good, and vivid about being a Porsche fan

From Porsche’s 57-second video clip, it looks like a large percentage of the cars on display come from my generation, the Rad generation. Given that I’m in my late-twenties and my dad just cracked fifty, this very literally appears to be « not my dad’s car show. »

The venue reinforces that impression; like Luft 5, the Munich event carries some of the gritty and artistic pop-up vibe. The venue is laden with cool street art and murals dressing up an otherwise industrial-looking venue. Perhaps it’s a reflection of German buying and customization preferences, but the cars on display show a slightly more restrained color pallet than the California shows.

The second Luft event outside the US seems to have been a hit, and we can only hope that there will be future Luftgekühlts (Lufts-gekühlt?) in many more locations globally. 

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Luftgekühlt Germany Venue Has Been Announced For Eastern Munich

After five Los Angeles events, and a rainy but successful show held in England in late July, Luftgekühlt is ready to take on the original home of Porsche in Germany. The still-curated show promises some new and exciting ingredients as they head to Eastern Munich to make this show happen. The venue is a ‘rapidly changing urban development’ in Munich called Werksviertel Mitte. Originally an industrial area, the neighborhood has been redeveloped for mixed use with newer office buildings, restaurants, and public space.

Luft organizers describe the vibe of the show as being ‘a gritty and artistic pop-up’, in part because of the venue. Already quite beautiful, the entire gamut of air-cooled Porsche history will be displayed among a series of indoor and outdoor spaces as a temporary container development plays the backdrop.

As per the norm for these events there will be a curated segment of rare and beautiful air-cooled Porsches mixed in with air-cooled cars brought to the show by the locals. If you’re in the area and you’d like to bring your car to the show, you can submit to the organizers for selection and curation

General public entry to the event is free and open, but car owners interested to display their air-cooled Porsches will need to submit details about their cars to the organizers for selection and curation from now until September 5th. Once you’re selected, you’ll be asked to purchase as 35 euro ticket via email. Spectators to this particular event will be allowed in free of charge.

For all event and ticket info, head to: https://luftgekuhlt.com/luftmuc, and to submit details of your car please go to the ticket option at https://luftmuc-by-luftgekuhlt.eventbrite.de and select « Zeig uns dein Auto. »

Will you be heading to Germany for Luft? There are probably a lot of cars over there that we’ve never seen before, so it might be worth the trip!

 
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Nicolas Werver’s Hillclimbing 997 GT2 Rocketship

Six-time French hillclimbing champion Nicolas Werver has one of the more impressive pieces of Porsche hardware on the French hillclimb circuit: a 997 GT2 made to go racing.

After several successful seasons with a narrow-bodied 997 Cup, Werver felt he needed a faster Porsche to stay competitive. To fulfill this need for speed the Frenchman followed the forced-induction route with the 997 GT2 that he quickly modified with some GT3 R-esque bodywork and put together this remarkable machine. Interesting that he switched from a dedicated racing Porsche to a modified production 911, but more power is always attractive—perhaps, even at the cost of some agility.

Unfortunately, the 600-horsepower turbo motor also complicates matters somewhat. The Porsche’s long teething period was defined by issues with hoses blowing off, faulty wheel sensors, and flimsy gearboxes incapable of handling the 600 horsepower available. Eventually, Werver replaced the standard H-pattern with a paddle-shifted sequential gearbox. This not only allows him to keep his hands on the wheel the whole time—a good thing when the Porsche breaks its Michelin slicks loose —but also maximizes the power advantage. Long, fast, flowing sections are where this powerhouse excels. In fact, it looks to grow more neutral as the speeds increase, and with the Racetech holding him firmly in place, Werver seems at his best threading the needle at triple-digit speeds.

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Patrick Long Teases Upcoming Luftgekühlt Germany

This morning the Luftgekühlt Media YouTube channel dropped a new video with some awesome footage recapping the most recent LuftGB event. It was a wet and interesting day at Bicester Heritage with the one and only tall-wing 550 Spyder, 904-045 (which we featured in a Paris auction preview back in 2013), and a bright red Porsche tractor, among many many others. The video is short at under 2-minutes, but it’s worth watching for some cool shots of old air-cooled Porsches and a bit of insight into the event from Patrick Long. It’s the final fifteen seconds of the video that are the most interesting to us, however, as Patrick lets slip some information that certain readers may be intensely interested to hear.

« Uh, we’re gonna head down the road and make a stop or two before 2019, and, um, Germany beckons »

That appears to be Patrick’s coy way of saying that you should look forward to a German iteration of Luft, bringing the whole experience full circle. German cars influenced a Southern California boy to start a Southern California show featuring German cars. Now that car show has spread internationally, and has brought that enthusiasm back to Germany!

Obviously we’re excited to hear about further expansion of the Luftgekühlt brand of shows, and we can only imagine that some extremely rare Porsches will make their way out to a German edition of the show, simply by dint of proximity to the origin point. Perhaps Porsche will bring out a few of their museum cars, as well. Will you be hopping on a trans-Atlantic flight to visit LuftDE? Keep checking back here for more information as it becomes available. As soon as the date and location are announced, we’ll make sure you have that info.

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Porsche’s Pictures And Results From The Nürburgring 24

Despite having won this race eleven times prior, Porsche has not won the Nürburgring 24 hour race since 2011. Since that time, it’s been a dominant showing from two other German brands, Audi and Mercedes Benz. Porsche’s GT3R has had good showings in recent years, but has fallen to poor luck. It looked, early on, to be much the same this year. Porsches locked out the top three fastest times in qualifying, and set a new lap record for GT3s in the process. The early running of the race was dominated by the #911 Manthey Racing car of Kevin Estre, Romain Dumas, Laurens Vanthoor, and Earl Bamber, but before the 12th hour had begun their GT3 was caught up in an incident that ended with the 911 in the wall and damaged beyond repair.

Having been penalized over three minutes for speeding during a code 60 caution flag, and falling back due to an early race tire puncture, it was amazing that the #912 car was able to recover to take the fight to the front of the pack and ultimately take the victory. Taking the lead for the final time with just over an hour to go in the race, the #912 Manthey Racing car of Richard Lietz, Patrick Pilet, Fred Mako, and Nick Tandy were able to bring it home for Porsche in spectacular fashion. The foursome made up a lot of time in the wet nighttime running.

After the race was stopped for fog in the early morning hours, and later restarted, it was on. An intense final phase battle with the Black Falcon Mercedes #4 led to some edge-of-the-seat action, and thanks to an incredible pass executed by closing driver Makowiecki, the team moved into the lead for the first time since their earlier tire failure. It was only the #912, the #4, and its sister Mercedes #5 on the lead lap at the finish, alluding to a dominant run, but the race was anything but.

The next nearest Porsche was the Falken Racing-entered car in 8th, followed by the Frikadelli Porsche in 10th, the Gigaspeed Porsche in 15th, the third Manthey car in 17th, and the KÜS Team75 Bernhard car in 19th.

Porsche, in total, won six classes in this race, including the AT class, the Cup 3 class (an all-Cayman class), SP6, SP7 (an all GT3 Cup class), SP8, and SP9 (overall victory). Of 148 cars entered in this 24 hour endurance race, a full 43 of them were Porsches.

Comments on the race:

Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser (Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars):
“That was truly a race of the century, simply indescribable under the circumstances: with the rain, the red flag and that incredible final spurt. At no other endurance race in the world do you get two drivers sprinting against each other for one and a half hours. Fred secured this triumph with his sensational overtaking manoeuvre. We hope that Dr. Wolfgang Porsche is pleased with this belated present for his 75th birthday.”

Sebastian Golz (Project Manager 911 GT3 R):
“I’m simply speechless. That was 24 hours of highs and lows. There were problems, we had to fight our way through the field, but we never stopped believing we could do it. This attitude paid off in the end.”

Patrick Pilet (Porsche 911 GT3 R #912), Manthey-Racing:
“It’s unbelievable what we’ve achieved today. We started off with a puncture, fell far behind, but always believed in ourselves. Everyone pulled their weight. Only then is such a victory possible.”

Nick Tandy (Porsche 911 GT3 R #912), Manthey-Racing:
“That was one of the most eventful races in my career. We experienced setbacks, but we knew that we had a winning car, a top team and top drivers. The restart towards the end played into our hands and Fred’s final stint was indicative of the entire race. Whenever we needed to, the team, drivers and car delivered a perfect performance.”

Richard Lietz (Porsche 911 GT3 R #912), Manthey-Racing:
“What a race. Everyone worked perfectly and it was a well-deserved victory for the Manthey team and Porsche. And when you think about the bad luck we had, you can say it was also a well-deserved win for us drivers. This victory is also a win for Mr Porsche, who, as a huge motorsport fan, made it all possible.”

Frédéric Makowiecki (Porsche 911 GT3 R #912), Manthey-Racing:
“That was a tough but completely fair fight for the lead and I’m very happy with this win. Our start with the puncture wasn’t good, but we improved from lap to lap. The car was perfectly setup for dry and wet conditions, so we could push hard to the very end.”

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