Porsche Rennsport Reunion
by Zach Maskell
Holidays are a special time for sharing stories with those close to you… reliving all those unforgettable memories of the past. But, no matter how big your family, you’ve never seen a “family” gathering as big as the one our Zach Maskell was invited to– where things quickly went “over the edge!”
ZACH MASKELL: Picture this… 80,000 like minded people. 2,500 participating cars… and over 50 legendary drivers. Meeting in once place. There’s no bigger event for this German brand in the entire world. Welcome to Porsche Rennsport Reunion 6 at California’s Laguna Seca Raceway.
KLAUS ZELLMER: It’s not about the amount of people. It’s about the quality. Everything that is about Porsche in regards to racing, and in regards to our racing legends. In regards to all these enthusiasts for the brand.
ZACH MASKELL: Four days of Porsche’s CEO walking the paddock. Former and current engineers, designers, drivers, both recent creations, to vintage.
This is it. From 1948 the original and first Porsche 356. It’s very easy to recognize by the windshield which is split by this one center bar. It is powered by a 1.1 liter flat 4 air cooled engine that was from Volkswagen.
ZACH MASKELL: ThIS event - celebrating 70 years since the first Porsche sports car. The one who’s deSign forever shaped the future for this iconic brand. This is one of the first 356’s to ever go into production… featuring a race engine for public use. In 1969, the previous owner paid $100.
MIKE COPPERTHITE: When I found him I paid $21,500 for it. Which was pretty high for a rusty vehicle but I had been looking for one and in today’s market, the car up there sold for $1.1 million last year, and this one is estimated by Porsche to be worth 1.4 million dollars.
ZACH MASKELL: Race legend Hurley Haywood personally called him asking to bring it to Rennsport.
MIKE COPPERTHITE: It’s a 528 engine and it has a Hurst Roller crank in it like the 550 Spiders of James Dean, but it’s a pushrod. And then it has the same carburetors that were in the 550 spider.
ZACH MASKELL: The 356’s shelled out around 50 horsepower. This one. 75.
MIKE COPPERTHITE: It was a rocketship. And people ask me today, what does it drive like and I say ‘Kind of like a Porsche while sitting in a Laz-e-boy rocker.
ZACH MASKELL: “The Successor to the 356. For model year 1965, the super iconic 911. This time with a flat 6, 2 liter in the rear. Definitely safe to say that this car had a lot to do with the 30,000 wins in Porsche’s motorsports history.
AUGUST ACHLEITNER: When we develop a new 911, we will never do a revolution in design, it will always be an evolution. This is a main thing that explains the success of the car.
ZACH MASKELL: Whether hearing the roar of air cooled Porsches on a hot track all day. Seeing the infinitely insane 919 Hybrid. Taking in the sights of 13 959’s side by side. Or talking to your favorite drivers. It’s impossible to cover all the ground in just one day.
HURLEY HAYWOOD: There’s not many places you can go in the world where you can get this many fans this close to the cars and drivers that drove them. So to sit here and have conversations with the drivers, and have conversations with the engineers. To see all the latest and greatest technology. The 935, the new 935. It’s just phenomenal. It’s so much fun to drive these old cars. You kind of forget how much fun they were to drive. Patrick long once said ‘the bigger the steering wheel the more fun it is to drive.”
ZACH MASKELL: This looked crazy online – but it’s hard to find words for this up close and personal…true Porsche experience.