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Air/Water Event Opens Up the Luft Cult to Water-Cooled Porsches

porsche air water event 2024
Air/Water Event Coming for Water-Cooled PorschesAir-Water
  • Specialty car shows abound, but one of the most legendary is Luftgekühlt, a gathering of air-cooled Porsches.

  • Now there's a spinoff, Air/Water, which as its name suggests includes water-cooled Porsches.

  • The show will take place in Costa Mesa, California, on April 27.

Luftgekühlt—the cultish and exclusive show for air-cooled vintage Porsches organized by brand loyalists Patrick Long, Jeff Zwart, and Howie Idelson—has been a wild success, growing annually over the decade of its existence. Last year, the event staged a small sub-show dedicated to "other" Porsches, those that stoop to the use of liquid powerplant coolant. It was a hit. So much so that the founders decided to Better Call Saul it and create a spinoff. Called Air/Water, this new gathering will occur on April 27 in Costa Mesa, California. Tickets have just gone on sale.

This begs an important question: Why does the world need another Porsche event? To get some answers, we called Porsche factory racer, brand advisor, and driving instructor Patrick Long early one morning.

airwater porsche event
Air|Water

"We found that Luft quickly became a national and international destination for enthusiasts," Long says. "But when you look at the history of the car company, Luft really only covers a small portion of that. So, we wanted to take everything that we've learned from our first ten years and expand to reach new demographic and to sort of open up our borders."

Air/Water will not only expand its representation to include what Long calls "transaxle" Porsches like the 924, 944, and the greatest Porsche of all, the 928; it will attempt to redefine the traditional brand-centric automotive event.

"When people think of static car shows, they think of car owners driving to an empty space and standing in front of their cars," Long says. "What we like to aim for and to produce is a complete immersive experience for the Porschephile, but also for the non-Porsche enthusiast, as an all-around education, human connection, and food and beverage experience."

"Almost a Theme Park"

According to Long, the show will provide the organizers, and the people showing their vehicles, "the opportunity, the infrastructure, and the scale to tell compartmentalized stories of different walks of life in the whole entire model line." He envisions Air/Water as "almost a theme park of a different sort of Easter eggs."

Long and his colleagues are already thick into planning the event, finding just the right cars to display to communicate the historic breadth of the Porsche experience. (Well, maybe not exactly all of it.) Water-cooled 911s, Panameras, SUVs, and even EVs will be welcome, along with race cars.

Long won’t reveal any of the specific vehicles that will be shown, but he suggests that Porsche will provide some special heritage cars from their collection, as they have in the past. "I'm going to keep my cars close to my chest. But, we are always excited to collaborate with them," he says.

airwater porsche event
Air|Water

Though he did collaborate on the build of a one-off 944 shooting brake for Hot Wheels, Long doesn’t have any water-cooled Porsches in his extensive personal collection. "I have a theme," he says. "Which is one air-cooled Porsche from each of the air-cooled decades, and within those decades I have to cover each model. So, it's four models within five decades."

This feels like a very specific rubric, but Long has his reasons. "Someone once told me, if you have enough space and enough connections to bury yourself in in taking care of cars, you better have a theme because, otherwise, it will own you."

We’re glad that his new endeavor is more expansive, and look forward to reporting on this Porsche panoply.

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