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Luftgekühlt 8: Patrick Long’s Air-Cooled Fever Dream Returns to the Port of Los Angeles

Even amongst the most jaded Porsche enthusiast – the lifers, the people that were modifying air-cooled 911s to taste before even the most roached-out husk had become a collector’s item, the people who remember when the Porsche marque barely had a foothold in the US, let alone an entire culture of devotees surrounding it – the Luftgekühlt events that Patrick Long and his team dreamt up are considered something truly special.

Over the past 8 years, Long has honed and sharpened Luft’s original concept of a car show that transcends its traditional form to become an experience itself. The Luft events have more in common with art installations and pop-up galleries than archetypical parking lot or golf course car show affairs, and the event shifts location and brings new cars into the fold every year to make for something unique and engaging for everyone from the deepest Porsche fanatic to the total layman. It’s a fanciful approach Long describes as a “Yellow Brick Road experience” and Luft has become the ultimate celebration of Porsche’s air-cooled era – one that gathers everything from the most hallowed race cars to ever carry the Porsche name into battle, to some of the most intriguing and painstakingly executed restomods being made today, to remarkably clean and rare examples of the brand’s greatest hits. It’s a fever dream of iconic racing liveries and paint-to-sample wonders, and this year’s main event saw Luft bring the dream back to the Port of Los Angeles for a truly jaw-dropping display of Stuttgart’s finest. 

As Long himself explained to the C + T Journal earlier last week of the event Luft is “About telling fresh stories and displaying and laying out these cars with some focal points of commonality or some type of connection between each other. The other big element is that we’re really trying to utilize our space differently. This is a venue that we visited before in 2017 and we have 50,000 square feet of indoor space, so we’re building the interior of the show so that you really have this almost pop-up museum experience. We’re trying to kind of claw at it and dig a little deeper by really building out an interior space to journey through.” We’d say he succeeded once again.

The Craft + Tailored team was on site this year and while we could wax poetic about the event, the cars, and the camaraderie it inspires, we think it’s better to just let the pictures do the talking in this situation. These are the scenes of Luft 8 through the lenses of Leicas. We’re already looking forward to next year.

Photos by Chris Elkjar (@chriselkjar on Instagram)

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