Avignon>Munich>Avignon for #LuftMUC
By Bastien Degremont
Photos: Vince Perraud / https://www.instagram.com/vinceperraud/
A few months ago Patrick told me about plans for a German Luftgekühlt and proposed to me a crazy idea: gather 5 cars to create a road trip to Munich, all the way from Avignon. The idea was absolutely awesome, my 1964 red colored 356 C was just coming out of service.
I called some close friends to pitch them a 2500km trip through Europe to meet the Luft guys and their open minds regarding air-cooled porsches. Four of them immediately answered.
Greg and his friend David answered me first with a 1971 911 2.2E sportomatic owned for more than 40 years. Then Xavier with his awesome 1959 first hand, all-original, rusty 356 AT2. Then Cyril and his friend Aymeric with an original racing purpose 356 1958 AT2.
On Thursday 13th September at 6pm, we were ready to go. Within the first hundred kilometers to Chalon-sur-Saone, we understood that the trip would be a long one: Cyril just can not drive over 110km/h. HIs racing gearbox with short gear ratios meant his car would run at 4500rpm at 110km/h, and he’s also got a tiny 30-liter fuel tank!
On day 2, Friday, we started early. Charlene from the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart was expecting us at 3:30pm to visit the workshops, 500km further up the road. Unfortunately, we got stuck in a huge traffic jam due to roadworks near Karlsruhe, which delayed our arrival into Stuttgart until 6:00pm, which was too late for a workshop visit. Vince Perraud, the photographer, joined up to make some pictures in front of the museum as night fell, and then we took the crazy decision to continue to Munich, leaving Stuttgart after 9pm. On the way, some of the cars had carburetion issues running slowly on the autobahn in the mountains. That was quite dangerous, as our cars were hard to see in the darkness and some drivers were passing us very close, and very fast. We reached Munich at 2am, but Cyril got stopped by the cops - scary, but without consequence as they just wanted to see his car!
On day 3, the Luft team was waiting for us at Tegernsee, where we began to understand the extent of Luftgekühlt! Everyone involved - groups from the north of Germany, Bavaria and even the USA welcomed us with an incredible enthusiasm. It was like a family meeting! Vince took out his photo and captured the scene, and on the drive back to Munich, we looked back to see the family creating a colored Porsche snake, cruising through the woods.
Day 4, Sunday September 16: #LuftMUC day. Out of bed long before the sunrise to appreciate the meeting at its best from the 6th floor of the Werk 3 building, we were impressed to watch Jeff Zwart’s precision, to the centimeter, placing all the cars from the saddle of his bike. The venue was a mixture of urban architectures with different colors, textures and buildings everywhere you’d look. I still don’t have words to properly describe it, and want to thank Patrick, Howie, Jeff and the whole German event team again. At the end, around 4pm, we started back to Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, with more traffic jams blocking our progress.
Day 5: on the drive from Stuttgart back to Avignon, my 1964 356C had a sudden engine shutdown at 130km/h. My father and I were very scared stopped at the edge of the autobahn with trucks passing a few centimeters from the car, so we decided to push the car to a more secure place. When we opened the hood we were relieved to find that a simple wire had disconnected from the ignition coil. We got it fixed and took the road back to Avignon without any further issues.
We arrived home tired but delighted by the trip!
30 tanks of fuel
5 different hotels
2 speeding tickets (waiting on others in the mail!)
1 arrest by the cops