When I first got into old Porsches (admittedly, I’m playing mostly in the transaxle sandbox and not the world of classic 911s myself) I kind of expected the scene in Germany to be all stuffy older men who barely drive their cars out of fear of depreciating their value. I quickly learned, however, that there are actually far more easy-going owners; people who actually drive these cars hard and often. From factory stock to some crazy outlaw builds, all models are represented in this part of the scene. It was not what I expected, but I was happier for it.
Back at the end of August, these guys organised a whole weekend of Porsche fun. The main event was happening on Saturday, for which they had rented a local airfield to host the Onassis Airtimes show.
Sadly, I was unable to attend this event, as I had already planned to head along to the Street Mag Show in Hannover. However, I would still get my Porsche fix in on this weekend as Friday evening they held a casual pre-meet at Zeche Zollverein in Essen.
Zeche Zollverein is an old underground mining site that’s been turned into a kind of industrial museum. The huge steel structures made for a dramatic backdrop for the meet.
I hopped in my 944S immediately after work and took the Autobahn over towards Essen. When I arrived the meet was already in full swing and I parked up between a bunch of 911s.
It wasn’t all 911s though, although they certainly made up the majority of cars in attendance. A bunch of their smaller 912 siblings, a handful of transaxles, and even a 914 joined in the fun. The best thing about this part of the Porsche scene is that there’s no snobbery – you’re equally as welcome driving a 924 as you are when rolling up in a 911 Turbo.
One of the more extreme cars at the meet was this John Player Special-liveried slant-nose 911 on some very wide multi-piece Fuchs wheels.
Some friends driving non-Porsches were included too. This included a very clean first-generation BMW 7 Series which proved to be a nice elegant partner to all the old Porsches. You have to appreciate the crisp, clean lines of an E23.
There was also a pretty cool little VW Beetle that made the trek all the way from Bavaria. Although, a Bug is just a slow 911, some might say…
Even Porsche racing driver Jan Erik Slooten’s retro-liveried Taycan made an appearance as it slowly crept up on the meet, all silent and stealthy. Personally, I’m a fan of the retro livery on this modern electric Porsche.
The meet ran well into the night, so it was lucky I thought of bringing a tripod for when it got dark.
One of my favorite cars at the meet was the safari-styled 924 owned by David Zu Elfe from Only A Roadtrip Away. They’ve converted the 924 into a lifted adventure machine and drove it to Scandinavia for some winter camping.
With the meet breaking up well after it got dark, it was finally time to head home. My hour-long drive allowed me to reflect a bit on the meet and car culture in general.
It’s good that there are enthusiasts like these. Classic cars should not be hidden away; they should be driven every chance you get. It’s not only fun for yourself, but also for others to experience them. Think of your own experiences as a kid; I’m sure you have memories of seeing a cool car passing by that helped ignite the passion for cars in you.
I’d say that as owners of cool and interesting cars, it’s almost our responsibility to get these cars seen in the wild so other people can experience them.
Whether it’s a mass-produced Volkswagen Golf from the late ’70s or a rare limited homologation model Porsche like the Carrera RS – get out in your cars, drive them, and share the passion.