I will clarify at the start of this that I am, and always have been, a Porsche nerd. I love these cars, the community of enthusiasts they engender, and the history on display at the show colloquially known as “Luft”. Racing driver Patrick Long and master of artistic visuals Jeff Zwart, along with hundreds more car owners, fixers, and background workers, have built a truly massive shift in car show culture with Luftgekühlt.
If ever there were a weekend to get lost in the weeds of Porsche nerd-dom, this is it. The sum total of knowledge of the brand, its cars, and its history found within the confines of this show could fill tomes, and probably surpasses what Porsche corporate knows about its own brand, cars, and history. The cars are ancillary, a facility for all of the incredible people to join together in a shared enthusiasm. That’s what makes this a must-attend on my calendar every year.
My car, the rough and tumble 912E shown above, was submitted and accepted to be in the show. One of 370-ish Porsches on display in the back lot of Universal Studios. You know the place, it’s where Back To The Future was filmed! There are certainly better Porsches, and there are certainly more expensive or faster Porsches that could have been in the show. The folks behind Luft have endeavored to select a wide variety of P-cars to represent the variety of cars and interesting stories that this community can produce. Interesting is more important to the show than perfect.
I arrived at 9AM to a very nicely organized event. Parking was easy, and I was prepared to wait in a much longer line than what I experienced. It’s immediately obvious that this event has a lot of people working behind the scenes to make it all operate smoothly.
More than any of the individual cars, it’s obvious that the venue is the number one thing that made this show stand out for me. By placing the show in the Universal back lot, cars were curated to different backdrops and scenery to fit their individual personas. The crew were able to create full scale dioramas. One minute you’re looking at a 1990s 911 in front of a modernist New York City building, the next you could be up in an old Mexican town staring down an early 1960s race car in a shootout at high noon.
The level to which Luft will go to set a scene is obvious in this shot. The back lot’s service station was fitted with period-correct Porsche dealership visuals with the 1960s emblems on the roof, and a variety of other signage. Everywhere you looked, there was a little something to remind you the extra steps these people took to make this an incredible show.
Even if Porsche isn’t your bag, this show is a ton of fun and represents the variety available to anyone who cares to find it. While the average Joe might think all 911s look pretty much the same, it’s the details that really make the difference. And at Luft 6, the devil is truly in the details.
That’s why I go, and that’s why you should.
Because my car was in the show, I wasn’t allowed to arrive as early as the rest of the media, so I asked my friend Lane Skelton to provide the gallery of photographs seen here. It’s probably for the better, because he is far more talented with a camera than I am.
I work closely with Lane as one of the co-founders of RADwood, and additionally you can hear his voice on the Driving While Awesome! podcast, and see more of his photography on Instagram: @laneskelton.