With Luftgekühlt, Patrick Long and Jeff Zwart have not only redefined the Porsche gathering, they have also developed an impressive photo concept that turns visitors into producers and can thus be promoted on social media as no other car event can. “One thing of course is the experience of the event as it takes place over the weekend at the site selected,“ Patrick Long, Luftgekühlt‘s founder and Porsche factory racing driver, revealed to us as we were driving along in a 911 last year. “But what is also important is how to tell the story of the event with images on the following Monday morning.“ And to ensure that this story, despite the laid-back approach they take, is also communicated as intended is the job of the director and photographer Jeff Zwart. He chooses for each “Luft“ event a visually stunning location and presents each individual car in such a way that all the guests need to do is to work with the composition as it is and share it on Instagram. “Jeff wears two caps – he‘s a car guy and the creative mind behind the whole thing. He has an unbelievable eye for the setting and light, and has a lot of fun seeing how the individual photographers approach the scenes he has set up.“
It‘s hardly surprising, therefore, that the sixth Luftgekühlt gathering has completely taken over Universal’s film studios from Hollywood – and transformed them into an open-air museum to display some stunning Porsche classics. The result on this particular weekend is that air-cooled sports and racing cars from Zuffenhausen can be seen parked on the dusty streets of abandoned Wild West towns and Mexican villages – and even on the iconic Courthouse Square from ”Back to the Future “. Not only is the setting itself well thought out down to the finest detail, of course, but the choice of cars also. Among the stars taking part in “Luft 6“, there is also a Porsche 934 RSR Turbo from Bruce Canepa’s collection, a Porsche 917 PA that made a name for itself racing in California, the last Porsche 550 Spyder in what is absolutely impeccable condition and a line-up of impressive and photogenic Porsche 914s, a model that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The set wouldn‘t be complete without the local heroes from the Porsche and custom car scene – such as the team from Race Services with their Porsche 935X, a wild restomod version of the legendary racing car.
For those who don‘t have a camera of their own or don‘t trust the picture quality of a smartphone, by the way, they can rent a Leica at Luftgekühlt 6 and take part in a photo tour. This means that, in terms of perfectionism, Patrick Long, Jeff Zwart and their “Luft team“ are in no way inferior to the engineers from Zuffenhausen.
(c) Text: Jan Baedeker - Pics: Bastian Schramm