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Wayne and Cedric chronicle at the Luftgekühlt Mare Island event
A day trip for gearheads !
By: Wayne Torres & Cedric Le   |  Email:

Wayne and Cedric chronicle at the Luftgekühlt Mare Island event

(Text and photos by Wayne Torres & Cedric Le)

On a chilly and foggy morning at Mare Island, I met with Cedric Le, a fellow student in The Academy of Art University's Transportation Design BFA program. While waiting for our media badges, we could hear the sound of air-cooled flat sixes. We eagerly discussed what we might see at the 9th Luftgekühlt show, a celebration of all things Porsche. It was the first time the Porsche-focused show visited the San Francisco Bay Area, so we expected something special. We were particularly excited to see what Singer and Guntherwerks showcased and if they were unveiling anything new. Additionally, I was looking forward to discovering any rare and unique air-cooled machines that might have been hidden in the old naval base.

After receiving our badges, we headed toward the South End of the show. The venue for vintage Porsches was an interesting setup, with some examples even "hidden" among the dilapidated naval base and shipyard buildings. The South End layout felt like an Easter Egg hunt, but we discovered rare and vintage racing machines from Porsche's past instead of pastel-colored plastic eggs filled with questionable candies. This led to exciting photo opportunities, as long as someone didn't unintentionally enter your shot after spotting a factory Porsche 911 Carrera RS!

Cedric and I walked around and admired the fantastic scenery. We saw many impressive vehicles, such as the Guntherwerks' 993 Speedster, Bruce Canepa's Ruf Turbo R parked near a submarine's conning tower, and even some Porsche factory racing prototypes, like the Rothmans Porsche 956 driven by Jackie Icxx. These were displayed inside the massive warehouses and alongside the heavy machinery. This is where Luftgekühlt 9 shined, creating incredible exhibitions amidst the dark and dingy warehouses. The atmosphere almost felt like a cathedral, and the machines were revered. I took note of the quietness as I looked at some of my favorite race cars, including the Porsche 904, 906, 908, and 910.

As we made our way to the North end of the exhibition, we arranged to meet up with our classmates from the Academy of Art, who had also come to see the show. We were struck by the enormity of Luftgekühlt 9, which had taken over the docks with all things Porsche! Everywhere we turned, 911s of all vintages were parked in alleys, on the waterfront, under loading cranes, and inside the warehouses. The exhibition boasted an impressive selection of vehicles, from original 911 Carreras to iconic Rauh-Welt Begriff 911 Widebodies and the unparalleled Singer DLS. Adding to the event's ambiance was the DJ spinning actual vinyl records of music from the 60s and 70s, which we found ourselves walking to the beats of among the air-cooled machines. We even spotted a few minor celebrities, including Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire, with whom I had a pleasant exchange, and Cedric's friend Joanna Bejar. This Instagram influencer builds vintage cars. Cedric took the opportunity to interview her, gather her thoughts on the exhibition, and ask about her new project: a Porsche 914. She was excited to see what others had done for their 914s and be inspired for her own.

After checking out all the Porsches on the North End of the exhibition (and accidentally hopping on one of the parking buses), we headed back to the media center, which was hidden inside a pub and probably one of the most excellent spots at the event. There, we rested, posted on social media, and planned to meet with our classmates. After recharging our devices and ourselves with complimentary Red Bull, we regrouped with our classmates and continued exploring the exhibition, taking notes on our favorite cars and design features. My favorites included the Wynn's Porsche 962 and the #37 Porsche 908, which was secluded inside a massive warehouse. Our group spent a long time trying to get a great shot of the 908, as onlookers constantly surrounded it. As a result, we had to get creative with our photography. Cedric's top picks were some custom 911s, such as a 911 Carrera rally car with a Cyberpunk 2077-inspired livery and the RWB, as mentioned above Widebody 911.

After touring the exhibitions again with our friends and losing half the group more than a few times, we decided to call it a day. Our group was exhausted from keeping up with all the sights and sounds of Luftgekühlt 9, and most of us were running on little sleep. However, for me, the show was not quite over yet. As I drove back home to Sacramento, I kept encountering more vintage air-cooled Porsches on the road with engines revving and exhausts popping and burbling.

It was the perfect way to end the day.

Wayne and Cedric chronicle at the Luftgekühlt Mare Island event
A day trip for gearheads !

By: Wayne Torres & Cedric Le
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