Luftauto – Going Once, Going Twice, Gone!

Good things happen when good people do good things for a good cause!

The feature act of Sunday’s Luftgekühlt at Modernica was the RM Sotheby’s auction benefiting the Autumn Leaves Project, a charity dedicated to pancreatic cancer research run by musician Butch Walker, who lost his dad to the devastating illness.

A set of four Luftgekühlt Shell Chairs and an Aircooled Arm Shell made by Modernica and signed by everyone associated with the project were put under the hammer first to warm up the bidding floor for the main attraction, the Luftauto. The rally-style 911 was designed in form and function to be both a daily driver as well as a capable off-roader, in the spirit of the Baja-style desert races that are such a part of the racing history in California. Excitement mounted as the bids increased passed the $200,000 mark, ultimately landing on a winning bid of $275,000, a huge win for pancreatic cancer research and far exceeding everyone’s expectations. It was a wonderful feeling for all involved who put countless hours and passion into the project, not to mention the new owner of the very capable Porsche 911 who helped raise money for a meaningful cause!

It was a dream team of collaborators with big hearts who were involved in this project, all helping to execute the vision that Patrick Long and Howie Idelson had for the car. Joey Seely at E-motion Engineering led the way on the overall build, mechanical upgrades and suspension overhaul, while Rod Emory of Emory Motorsports headed up the design, fabrication and fitment of the rally-style bumpers and underbody skidplates. Modernica made special one-off wooden floor mats and a unique layered-hardwood gearshift knob. John Benton and the team at Benton Performance led the charge on electronics and wiring, with Carby Tuckwell of Deus Ex Machina on point for custom details. Pelican Parts lent their DIY expertise, knowledge and resources for all things Porsche parts, and special thanks are due to Tom Ridings for transportation and champion rally driver Jeff Zwart for help in development and testing.

An amazing list of suppliers is involved too donating their expertise to the cause, including KW Suspension, Pirelli, BRAIDusa, Recaro,ERP Suspension, WEVO, Rothsport, Tarett Engineering, SWEPCO and Rennline.

1985 911 Carrera Coupe
Production Completion Date: 11/12/1984
Engine Number/Type: 64F00572 (M930/21)
Transmission Number/Type: 74F00252 (G915/68)
Exterior Paint Color/Code: Grand Prix White/P5
Mileage 79,000

3.2L numbers-matching motor
Recent major engine service as part of build, including all gaskets and seals, valve adjustment, all filters and fluid, new wires, plugs, cap and rotor, coil, starter motor, ignition switch, sensors and relays, cleaned and balanced injectors Sachs clutch.
SSi headers and sport exhaust
Stock transmission with Guard Transmission limited-slip differential
WEVO engine and transmission mounts
WEVO precision shift joint
Rebuilt axles
Rennline Engine Mount Cross Bar
Rennline alternator strap
Clewett ignition wires
SWEPCO 201 gear lube

KW Suspension custom-designed and hand-built long-travel dampers
ERP Suspension control arms, subframes, tie rods, spring plates and monoballs
Tarrett Engineering suspension components
SWEPCO 101 Moly Grease

Custom lights and grilles by Emory Motorsports
Custom, powder coated front and rear bumpers, designed by Emory Motorsports and fabricated by Brian Coats Motorsports
Custom front and rear skid plates by Emory Motorsports
Auto Foreign Services roof rack
Ducktail and mirrors by Getty Design

Custom roll bar, fabricated by Brian Coats Motorsports
Recaro lightweight sport buckets
RS door panels
Schroth Rallye 4 belts
Rennline floorboards
WEVO shift lever, gate and coupler, powder-coated
CNC-milled custom American Walnut / Hard Rock Maple shift knob, by Modernica
CNC-milled custom Walnut veneer sub-floors, by Modernica
OMP Rally steering wheel

BRAID Winrace competition monoblock wheels – 15”
Pirelli P-Zero Rally 195/70-15
PMB restored calipers with slotted rotors
Porterfield brake pads
Rennline strut tower brace
Goodridge brake lines
Custom-designed hydraulic handbrake by Emotion Engineering and Emory Motorsport

Text: Deus America | Photos: © 2016 Nevin Pontius / Deus

Luft3 in the Books


This past Sunday, April 10th, Howie Idelson and Patrick Long threw their third Luftgekühlt party, this time on the remarkable grounds of Modern furniture manufacturers Modernica in Vernon, CA. We were joined by hundreds of car owners and thousands of passionate friends, many of whom flew in or traveled from points far and wide to celebrate all things air-cooled and participate in the unique culture that surrounds Porsche. Across the board, the entire day exceeded our wildest dreams, and in the end we were able to break bread with so many people, not to mention see, hear, and smell an estimated 450 cars within the venue. The variety of people and Porsches represented was breathtaking, including Jerry Seinfeld and his 904 Carrera GTS, an ultra-rare 356 Carrera GTL Abarth, Bruce Canepa’s 959 and homologation 934 from the Matsuda collection, Jeff Zwart's 1948 356 Gmünd Coupe, Jim Edwards’ Interscope RSR, Don Murray’s Lufthansa-liveried 914-6, Tim Pappas’ magenta 1975 911 Carrera built by Gunnar Racing, and Wayne Dempsey's 356 Speedster. Among the crowd and driving their own cars through the gates were folks as notable and diverse as Danny Sullivan, Bruce Meyer, Spike Feresten, John Morton, and Patrick Dempsey.

The undisputed highlight of the day was the successful auction by RM Sotheby’s of two lots of Modernica chairs, customized by Carby Tuckwell of Deus Ex Machina, and our #Luftauto rally 911 project. Incredibly, the car sold for $275,000, with all the proceeds going to Butch Walker’s Autumn Leaves Project, a pancreatic cancer charity. Many thanks are due to everyone involved in the conception and execution of the car: a full list can be found here:

Many thanks are also due to all of our collaborators and partners, whose creative efforts, labor, and inspiration powered our event. To Modernica, Deus Ex Machina, RM Sotheby’s, Leica, Period Correct, Pelican PartsThe Macallan, Clutch Venice, Firestone Walker, Tim Pappas, Butch Walker, the Autumn Leaves Project, and the efforts of all our friends who helped source cars and wrangle them on-site: A huge thank you!

Howie commented, “Sunday’s event was so far beyond our expectations that it became overwhelming, to the point I almost didn’t get to enjoy it, because of all the people who wanted to greet and talk to us. Patrick and I got a lot of credit for pulling the event together, but it took a small army of fully committed people to make this happen--this was a huge, many months-long, Herculean effort on many levels, with the ideas, energy, and work of dozens of people all funneling toward Sunday. To see the smiles on the faces of everyone in attendance was great validation for us, and we’re so grateful that it came off like it did. When RM Sotheby’s dropped the hammer on our auction car at $275,000, it became pretty surreal to me, and all I can think to say is a sincere thank you to everyone involved.”

Patrick said, “What a phenomenal weekend! The response we had was something we never could have imagined, but ultimately it’s what we worked for. The feedback from everyone has been all about the overall experience of the day, and it’s incredible to see the result of our idea to combine a fun weekend out in LA with a vintage car show.. We’ve had the good fortune to have insanely creative people and companies involved with us, and as we’ve said all along, it’s those creative collaborations that have defined much of Luftgekühlt to date. We’re going to continue down that path, letting the brand grow from the energy sparking off of the incredible people in our network.”

Conceptual planning for the next Luftgekühlt is already underway, but the crew is reserving the right to catch its collective breath and bask in the afterglow of a wildly successful event.

As always, please keep up with our developments at and on

Detailing the #Luftauto

Big day for Luftgekühlt™! After a string of teasers, we're now into final assembly on the #luftauto, our first custom car. #luftauto is a natural extension of Luftgekühlt co-founders Patrick Long and Howie Idelson's vision: a custom-built, rally-inspired 911 featuring creative details from some of the foremost brands, builders and automotive artists in the industry today, including Rod Emory of Emory MotorsportsJoey Seely, owner of E-Motion Engineering, and Deus Ex Machina's Carby Tuckwell. A dream list of suppliers is involved too, including Pelican PartsKW SuspensionBRAIDusaRecaroWEVOPirelliTarett EngineeringRothsportERP Suspension and Rennline

Excitingly, we're partnering with RM Sotheby's, the standard-setter in the world of collector car auctions, to promote and execute the auction of the car. The auction will happen live on-site during Luftgekühlt on April 10, 2016, and will feature not only the #luftauto but also a few other items offered by some interesting and cool brands, with proceeds to benefit the Autumn Leaves Project, a charity dedicated to funding pancreatic cancer research. 

A team of enthusiasts working for enthusiasts, RM Sotheby’s has set the standard in the exciting world of collector car auctions. With more than 35 years’ experience in the hobby, the company hosts an enviable calendar of events in some of the world’s top automotive destinations. From Arizona to Paris, Monaco to Monterey, RM’s world-class events continuously raise the bar when it comes to quality of product, inventiveness of presentation, unparalleled client service and record-setting results. We at Luftgekühlt couldn't be more thrilled to have them on board. 

As stalwarts in the Porsche community, we were also happy to partner with Pelican Parts to outfit the car and help us dial it in. Having their expertise and inventory available to build the #luftauto on an aggressive timeline has been a fundamental aspect of the build, as our team of engineers, fabricators and designers have collaborated on the shared vision of the car. 

Soon, we hit the track to shake the car down, test and tune it, and you can bet we'll be documenting our progress to share. Follow the build both at as well as on our Instagram feed, @luftgekuhlt



Get ready: Luftgekühlt, 4/10/16. Los Angeles.

Just a few days ago, we made a “save the date” announcement at @deusemporium Venice. Our buddy Butch Walker and HIS buddy Pink surprised our attendees with a live performance, and we announced our support for the Autumn Leaves Project, a charity for pancreatic cancer research Butch founded in honor of his Dad. Good times had by all, and lots of anticipation for what’s shaping up to be our coolest event yet, April 10th. Special thanks to @ktchndtla for the food, @the_macallan for the whiskey, and @805beer for the beers!

A Sincere Thank You to All Our Participants!

Our second go at throwing a party looks to have been successful in large part due to the people that came. A sincere THANK YOU to everyone who brought their car, as well as their passion. You people who live and breathe air-cooled Porsche are why Luftgekühlt exists. Thanks also to everyone who came to look, hang and take it all in.

Executing this event would not have been possible without the herculean efforts of Bandito Brothers and Deus Ex Machina. We could have never expected the vibe that was created by all of you coming together for these cars we all love. Thanks and we’ll see you soon!

Published: March 5, 2015