The world has known since 2016 for certain that there is an active Porsche scene in Southeast Asia, and we admit it – and are still quite amazed by it all. What really pleases us is above all the circumstances under which the world became aware of this Porsche madness in Asia: three years ago, Sihabutr Xoomsai, editor of the GT Porsche Thailand magazine and better known as "Tenn", organised the first Das Treffen event. As the name itself suggest with arms wide open and a welcoming smile – any Porsche no matter when it was built and no matter what condition it is in may take part in the event with no restrictions whatsoever. It doesn't matter at all whether you turn up in a new Taycan, a 918 Spyder or a 90s racer, in a heavily tuned Speedster or in a beautiful, heartbreakingly mellow 356 – Das Treffen is there for you. No restrictions.
So far, so good. While this uncomplicated type of event quickly caught on as a fundamental principle, another thing had to be settled. And that was the venue. Bangkok. The capital of Thailand was simply not on the Porsche map. The connoisseurs knew of course that the people in Zuffenhausen had been selling cars in Southeast Asia for five decades, but it seemed most unlikely that the passion for driving a Porsche in the tropics was so strong that a Porsche event could be held with hundreds of cars and thousands of participants. The proof meanwhile has been delivered a number of times – on 14 December 2019 for the fourth time in fact. Das Treffen is alive. And very much so.
The fans don't just come from Thailand, but from all over Southeast Asia, with the most ardent of them travelling to Bangkok from Malaysia or even Singapore. And what is really fascinating is the incredible variety of cars taking part in the event – entire fleets of brand-new 911 GT3s in all shades of pretty colours lined up next to perfectly maintained veterans of the 1960s, passionately loved and much-driven Boxster or Cayman models next to exclusive hypercars, and super fast turbos rubbing shoulders with highly tuned models straight out of the the fast & furious genre.
And there you stand in the middle of the hustle and bustle of this event, with all the laughter and all the friendliness, all the enthusiasm and such great passion and you realise this one thing – the Porsche spirit is unmistakable all over the globe. No other car brand has the same effect: unpretentious, completely unassuming pleasure, shared with people who have suddenly become friends. Just a moment ago, complete strangers turn out to be soul mates, take you into their Porsche world, delight in showing off their vehicles and share a universal story – how I became a Porsche fan. You suddenly find yourself behind the wheel of a car that bears the marks of its driver and owner, the dust of the road, the little things picked up en route and you understand the microcosm this Porsche has become. A character. It belongs to this guy who is sitting next to you with a broad grin on his face, allowing you a glimpse into his inner being. Across cultures. Thousands of miles away. The one connection they share – Porsche.
Initially, the trust he has in you seems a little unnatural, then it starts to surprise you and in the end you get used to it. It is the most natural thing in the world that you have become brothers and sisters. At the end of your world and at the beginning of another. Does that sound too emotional? Too much intercultural understanding and one-ness? But that’s the way it is. And you have to think for a long time until worlds come to mind that work in a similar way. But somehow never in the same way. Das Treffen is not just an event for Porsche fans in an exotic location - it is Porsche. That's precisely how this brand ticks beneath the surface and it's part of what is really its secret that it doesn't work from within, but from the outside inwards. The fans make up the heart of the brand. You are Porsche. Today in Bangkok, Thailand. And why not?