This is not just a Porsche book, it’s a masterpiece

Founded around 20 years ago in California – and strictly limited to 300 members ever since – the R Gruppe is one of the world’s most exclusive car clubs and the heart of the US Porsche scene. Now the photographer Frank Kayser has paid tribute to the petrol-loving brotherhood with an amazing book.

“From firefighters to incredibly wealthy architects, the members of R Gruppe aren’t united only by their passion for historic Porsches”, says Frank Kayser who has joined the circle for a year and a half to document their cars, their culture and their members for his book. “The club stands for friendship, freedom and solidarity; for the joy of being on the road; and for a life where the journey is always the destination.” 

Today, a classic Porsche is a must-have accessory for many urban trendsetters and influencers around the globe, but twenty years ago, around the turn of the millennium, the celebration of vintage Porsche 356 and 911s wasn’t more than another obscure Californian subculture. That’s when a small goup of likeminded Porsche drivers from the Pacific coast decided to join forces and worship their beloved cars with their very own cult. Member number 001 was awarded posthumously to Steve McQueen, while Cris Huergas, cofounder and president, carries the number 002. Porsche designer Freeman Thomas is number 003. To keep things authentic and fun, the R Gruppe is strictly limited to 300 members – although it could have thousands from all around the world.

 

Frank Kayser’s ‘R Gruppe Book’ offers a rare glimpse into this secretive automotive world. With his artful photos and personal portraits of the extraordinary characters that shape the club, Frank takes his readers on a remarkable journey to the heart of Westcoast Porsche culture. «What matters here isn’t where you come from and what you have”, explains Frank, “but who you are and how you get involved. The club celebrates the „California attitude“—a particular approach to life that embraces individual freedom and authenticity—in its purest form. This is also one of the reasons why the group has since become popular far beyond the borders of California and, with just 300 members, is perhaps the most sought-after membership in the Porsche world: unwillingly elite, you might say.”

And while you would have to wait for years to be considered for admission, Frank Kayser’s 580-page manifesto offers all of us who lack the patience to wait the next best thing to an R Gruppe membership – a glimpse into the world’s most influential Porsche club. The ‘R Gruppe Book’ is available as a standard or limited edition in the Classic Driver Shop.

Buy the 'R Gruppe Book' on Classic Driver