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Time travel proved possible during Luftgekühlt’s first Polish adventure

With 200 different air-cooled Porsches – from racing and rally legends to Sonderwunsch one-offs – and a vast selection of restomods, Luftgekühlt Poland was a successful venture into former eastern-block territories. We attended the event with our friends from Porsche Poland.

The scene is set in the Polish city of Wrocław. It’s a frantic Friday afternoon at the neoclassical Świebodzki train station. The legendary photographer, racing driver and Porsche aficionado Jeff Zwart is riding a bicycle around the grounds of this derelict structure that once linked the capital of Lower Silesia with the picturesque Kłodzka and Jeleniogórska valleys via railway service. Jeff is placing 200 cars around what nowadays serves as a public event space, with a massive and fantastic food court located in the former stations building, and some well-worn kiosks, which are mostly being used when a big market moves into the premises every Sunday. 

It’s a really interesting mixture of backgrounds that will make for some great shots – photographs that could not have been taken elsewhere. From the wrought iron columns of the platforms to the plastic kiosks, that remind me so much of growing up in Poland in the early 1990s, when entire cities were literally littered with them, and one could buy anything from such an establishment: cigarettes, American-style hot-dogs, even dildos – and the occasional under-the-counter AK 47 with ‘a bucket of bullets’ included.

35 years of capitalism later, Poland is of course a completely different, thoroughly modern country. The indications are not only everywhere you look in terms of economical, infrastructural and architectural development, as well as the significant changes to society itself, but also – sticking to the Luftgekühlt theme – in the fact that cars like the RUF CTR and a quite rare RUF BTR are displayed at the event. Alongside them two Porsche 959’s (one brought by our friends from Drivers Hall), two 2.7 Carrera RSs and two Singers, which were shown to potential customers by the company’s Polish dealer La Squadra. 

To me, a Pole by birth, the surprises didn’t stop there. Of course, some of the cars on display travelled from abroad, like the 993 Carrera RS in stunning Riviera Blue, a GS Manufaktur restomod, as well as the 934 RSR Vasek Polak Porsche displayed by our pals from ChromeCars in a joint venture with Club Ultrace. It would be a crime not to mention the fantastic museum pieces that came straight from Zuffenhausen – a 908/30 Spyder and a 917 Can Am – as well as the selection of orange Jägermeister racing cars at the Rennmeister stand, which our creative agency CD Works was in charge of. Mostly, however, the Luftgekühlt display was composed out of cars registered in Poland. In all honesty? I had no idea that we had so many of them here.

Please bear with me – Poland is a very important market for Porsche, and judging by the 100+ new cars parade of Porsche Poland’s best customers, which rolled in for the Friday night party, and the sheer amount of 991s and 992s seen on the streets (not to even mention the Macans, Cayennes and Taycans), Polish people do love their German sports cars. Which is probably the reason why VMR, the agency working tirelessly on the Polish side of the event thought it would be such a good idea to bring Luftgekühlt to the country. The surprising factor was the size of the Porsche community that is willing to drive the older models and to modify them. Cars with various liveries, from Martini to Marechal, cars with surfboards and bike racks on their roofs, super clean 356s and F-models, and outrageous RWBs, which stood next to the artistically creative Carbone Liveries upgraded 964s and G-models, close to some Safari cars and classic VW busses. 

I had no idea there were so many, and wherever I looked I found something interesting. Cars are, however, only part of the story. What these events excel at, and you probably have guessed it already, is the connections you can make with other people. It’s the stories that make the machines exciting.

At the Rennmeister stand, where DJ Miód w Uszach – “honey in your ears” in a literal translation – was playing an exhilarating set, we engaged in the most fascinating and interesting conversations with Luftfounders Patrick Long and Jeff Zwart, as well as the world-famous Porsche 996 enthusiast Brock Keen, racing driver Marco Holzer, our friends from Berlin’s Flitzer club, and many, many others (car designers, engineers, graphic designers, bloggers and other people who shape the up and coming, vibrant scene in Poland). Being able to make the connections and to also share Jägermeister Racing’s history with so many regular visitors was better than any energy drink one can consume. 

We returned home exhausted, voiceless, overwhelmed – but happy. We cannot wait for the upcoming Luftgekühlt event on 7 September 2024 in Copenhagen and what else the future will bring for this successful franchise. 

Photos by Błażej Żuławski and Filip Blank

This story was produced and published as part of a commercial collaboration with Porsche Poland.