If you were looking for an air cooled Porsche on the 22nd of April chances are it was on display and covering the grounds at Ganahl Lumber in Torrance, California. Hundreds of Porsches, from Pre-A 356s all the way up to the last of the mighty 993s were parked amid piles upon piles of the finest smelling lumber in California around the Ganahl yard. The original Porsche factory was in an old sawmill in Gmund, Austria, and Luftgekühlt, is German for “air-cooled”.
Aside from all the cars on display there was also an appearance by the great Vic Elford, “Quick Vic” to his many fans. One of the highlights of the day was when Elford got in and started a 908K, a car he had raced back in the day. Among other great air-cooled competition cars scattered around the yard was a 964 RSR that formed part of Luft’s 30th anniversary tribute to the model and the 25th anniversary of Porsche’s official return to GT racing. Visitors were able to view the 1993 Le Mans class-winning Larbre entry that was driven by Jurgen Barth, Joel Gouhier and Dominique Dupuy.
Besides the racing cars there was a huge array of “celebrity” cars there as well, both literally and figuratively. Jerry Seinfeld‘s “49 Gmund” 356 (the 40th 356 built at Porsche’s Gmünd, Austria factory) sat proudly at the car show’s entrance, for instance. The show-stopper however was a one-mile Schuppan Porsche 962CR. It would be a shame not to mention the 911R prototype, Bruce Canepa’s latest 959 (the 800-horsepower SC, or “Sport Canepa”), a RUF CTR2, a 904 Carrera GTS, a Singer-modified 911 with a custom Mulholland Drive livery, and a baby blue 550 Spyder, the Fullmer/Donahue Sunoco RSR, and many more.
The show is put on by Porsche racer Patrick Long and Creative Director Howie Idelson, as well as many volunteers. The founders have also pulled off the difficult feat of increasing the quantity every year without sacrificing the quality. Naturally we are already looking forward to next year and Luft 6.