I found myself in air-cooled Porsche heaven at Luftgekühlt 7 in Indy
The Luftgekühlt gathering held it's first event since the pandemic broke, and left Cali for the first time ever
Remember 2019 when the world was somewhat normal and there wasn't a pandemic dividing our country in two? After six years of incredible Porsche shows in California, Luftgekühlt finally announced that their seventh event would take place on the East Coast. Better yet, they had selected Durham, NC as their location, which is right in my backyard. Then everything was put on hold, postponed then cancelled, and then we all went into lock down mode to flatten the curve or something. I can't even remember; it all still feels like years and years ago.
Chassis 904-078 from Road Scholars
As the vaccines became available and things crawled back to "normal", Luft announced the event was back on the calendar. One catch though: the show was no longer taking place in North Carolina. If I wanted to go, I'd now have to travel to Indianapolis. There was no doubt I was selfishly bummed about the decision to move the meet and my ability to attend was once again tossed up in the air. I debated with my internal self whether to still go or not right up until tickets went on sale, but I ultimately decided to go.
For those of you unfamiliar with Luftgekühlt events, they are essentially a celebration of all things air-cooled Porsche. The German phrase "Luftgekühlt" literally translates to "Air Cooled" in English, so as you can imagine, only cars cooled by such method are in attendance. This isn't some cars and coffee event either. Every entrant has to apply for approval to join, and trust me when I say there were no two Porsches alike. For a brand that is constantly the butt of the jokes regarding design changes between generations, Luft had a 911 for everybody's tastes and then some. Huge names in the Porsche world attend too, like Emory Motorsports, Road Scholars, Guther Werks, and ZwartSpeed.
964 3.8 RS
I met up with two long time friends from Live and Let Diecast who are both huge Porsche fanatics and had already been there since the sun came up that Friday morning. Philiphilip is a master diecast customizer and builder who originally co-founded the LaLD blog with me. He's been commissioned by a few of the show's attendees to build scale replicas of their Porsches and probably went home with more than a few new followers on Instagram. Enginerr is also one of the original members of the LaLD community, well known around DriveTribe, and is an award winning diecast photographer. The show took place in the historic Bottleworks District of Indianapolis, an old Coca-Cola bottling facility that was renovated in 2017 to a modern hotspot for food, shopping, and entertainment. I had never been to Indy and was expecting a corn field littered with Peyton Manning monuments, but it's definitely a city I want to go back and explore!
Photo by @philiphilip
This type of venue is what sets Luft apart from any car show I had ever attended prior. They carefully select locations that not only have an industrial feel, but allow them to spread the cars out. Rather than walk through rows of a square parking lot or a golf course fairway, you really have to explore the show if you want to see everything. There were Porsches parked down side alleys, in docking bays, and next to brick and corrugated metal buildings. Luft had tuner cars, race cars, restomods, preservation class cars, and even a lifted Safari 914. There was music and food trucks, a bar to grab a local Indy brew, and a merch shop if you didn't mind the two hour wait. I got to chat with Rod Emory and spotted Larry Chen with multiple cameras slug over his shoulders. I sprung for the early access ticket and saw pretty much everything but the spectator's parking garage, which everyone knows is like a mini-car show in its own.
I don't even think I could list out every notable Porsche in attendance. The gorgeous Gunther Werks Speedster and Road Scholars' 904 fresh from Pebble Beach where there. Not one, but two 917 Langhecks, and a Coca-Cola liveried 962 and 935 were there too. There was an Apple Racing-styled RWB, three Emory Specials brought by Rod Emory himself, Leh Keen had his blue and gold CooRSR on display, and I must have counted at least four Singers. The show was already 48 hours ago and I'm still trying to sort through and edit some of the hundreds of photos I took.
Gunnar Racing's 914 Safari
Rod Emory's Speed Yellow Emory Special
This Rubystone Red 964 had a NSFW license plate!
Apple Racing RWB
Photo by @philiphilip - his custom Hot Wheels 356 in front of Rod Emory's Adria Blue Roadster
Classic 9 Motorwerks