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Luftgekühlt 7: An Air-Cooled Surprise Around Every Corner
BY Dave Tormey //
September 17, 2021
  • Once the home of the largest Coca-Cola bottling plant in the world, the seventh Luftgekühlt car show was held in the newly-opened Bottleworks District in Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Luft 7 coincided with Porsche’s #sportscartogether gathering at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Porsche Carrera Cup series to showcase a flood of unique Porsches.
  • This was the first US Luftgekühlt event held outside of Los Angeles.

Each year the organizers of Luftgekühlt (German for “air-cooled”) select a new venue for the backdrop of their air-cooled Porsche event. A few months before the event, the host city is announced, but the specific venue remains a secret until closer to the actual date. This leaves attendees left to imagine what the organizers, Patrick Long, Jeff Zwart, and Howie Idelson, might have in store for Luft each year.

Luftgekühlt started as a small Porsche gathering in Los Angeles seven years ago at Deus Ex Machina and has grown into one of the most well-known events in the Porsche world. While last year’s event was slated to be their first event outside of LA, it was canceled due to Covid-19 restrictions, leaving fans of the event eagerly awaiting its return.


This year’s event was hosted in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the newly completed Bottleworks District. Once the home of the largest Coca-Cola bottling plant in the world, the Bottleworks District is located in the northeast corner of Indianapolis and is now the home of a unique hotel, restaurants, and entertainment. Still retaining much of its original charm and architectural details, Bottleworks is just a few miles down the road from the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), the home of the Indy 500. This year’s event was hosted on a Friday and kicked off a weekend full of Porsche events, starting with all things air-cooled at Luft and leading into more modern examples and racing at Porsche’s Sportscar Together Fest. Sportscar Together was described as a “mini-Rennsport” by many attendees and included a stop of the Porsche Carrera Cup racing series, as well as several other classes of racing and Porsche installations throughout IMS for fans to enjoy in between races.


After attending the past three Luftgekühlt events, I realized that just like the venues, no two Luft events are the same. Each provides a series of surprises around every corner, special cars, and a laid-back atmosphere for Porsche enthusiasts to share their stories and passion for these wonderful cars. Unlike other events where vehicles are parked in rows to maximize the number of entries, the Luft team takes special care in staging vehicles in unique ways that highlight the cars — Luft 7 was no different. As attendees walked through the old garages and alleyways of the Bottleworks District, they were greeted with feature cars on Luft’s signature lumber platforms as well as historic race cars, garage builds, and reimagined Porsche’s. These special cars set against these backdrops provided inspiration for not only the car owners and spectators but the many talented photographers who captured the event from their perspective.


After an unforgettable Luft 6 hosted at Universal Studios in 2019, many people asked how the Luft team could top their last event and could it work outside of Los Angeles? While Universal Studios provided an unforgettable backdrop for Luft 6, I would like to think the Indianapolis Bottle District was a hidden gem that surprised many attendees with its unique backdrops and historic charm. Although this year’s event may have been smaller in scale, it provided the same laid-back atmosphere and unique sights that have become a signature of Luftgekühlt events. I think it’s safe to say that the Luftgekühlt team has proven that it can succeed outside of Los Angeles, and I am excited to see where they plan next!





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