At the seventh “Rennsport Reunion” in California, the manufacturer celebrated 75 years of sports car history with the largest brand reunion in the world.
75 years of racing history: rare pieces from all eras are on display at the largest Porsche meeting in the world.
Three out of four Porsches ever built are still on the road. Or somewhere in the air-conditioned collector halls. This fact demonstrates not only the outstanding build quality of the Swabian sports car manufacturer, but also the great enthusiasm for the brand. The amount of love and care with which Zuffenhausen cars are maintained over the decades is perhaps unprecedented – and in most cases a worthwhile investment.
Nowhere in the world can enthusiasm for the brand be experienced more impressively than at the Rennsport Reunion. This event, which takes place every three to five years and is being held for the seventh time this year, tops all brand meetings: 91,000 visitors flocked to the huge area of the Laguna Seca race track in California during the four days of the event at the end of September to be able to experience almost everything that is rare From 75 years of sports car history there. Starting with the 356 No. 1 Roadster from 1948, which marked the birth of the manufacturer, through several Le Mans legends and all the way to the world premiere of the 911 GT3 R race car, built in honor of the occasion (see box).
Lovingly down to the smallest detail
As the name suggests, the “Rensport Reunion” aims primarily to celebrate the brand’s racing history. The density of historic race cars was correspondingly high: in addition to about 100 on display that the manufacturer brought to California from its own inventory, 300 cars were also on display for customers – not only displayed in the wide area along the circuit, but also in use on the circuit. At the circuit, Porsche has arranged its legendary race cars chronologically and decorated its garages in the style of the corresponding decades. Lovingly down to the smallest detail.
It all started with the 550 Spyder, one of the most iconic cars in the history of the Stuttgart brand. This was the first car developed by Porsche specifically for racing. The mid-engine car competed in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time in 1953, although it still had a fixed roof. At the time, the 1.5-litre four-cylinder boxer engine was at least enough to score a class victory with Richard von Frankenberg and Paul Frères at the wheel. A year later, the 550 was debuted in classic Spyder guise with an open cockpit.
Things were more efficient in the 1970s. Developed for the Can-Am series in the USA and Canada, the 917/10 was powered by a 1,000 hp turbo V12 boxer engine and made its first race at the Clarington Circuit in Canada on June 11, 1972. With its 5-litre engine, Porsche achieved The 917/10 won six out of nine races in the 1972 season. Two garages away, representing the 1990s, was the 911 GT1, developed by Porsche for factory and customer use in GT racing. The GT1 was the brand’s first mid-engine race car with a fully water-cooled engine, and made its racing debut in 1996. In 1998 the model achieved a double victory at Le Mans.
But the abundance of Porsche street models gathered for “Rennsport Reunion 7” is perhaps also unprecedented. Hundreds of models covering the entire history of the brand were lined up in the visitors’ parking lot specially prepared for Porsche owners. Rare super sports cars like the 959 from 1986 or the Carrera GT from 2003 actually featured the package, with creatively converted hippie racing 911s and rally 914s in between. In particular, the large number of 356s, the first Porsche model built in 1948, demonstrated the great love Americans had for the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer.
“The Rennsport Reunion is absolutely unique,” says Alwyn Springer enthusiastically. The former president of Porsche Motorsport North America served as grand marshal at the event alongside works driver Patrick Long. “This shows what the Porsche brand means to so many people.” The regulator, Porsche North America, also comes to a completely positive conclusion: “The ingredients were simply perfect,” says marketing director Aisha Koker happily: “Legendary drivers from then until now, fantastic vehicles and completely new content such as e-sports, for an exciting audience.” Expanded to address something that has never been done at a Rennsport Reunion before.”