Home » Porsche’s Massive ‘Rennsport Reunion’ Showed Me Just How Powerful The Porsche Brand Is: Which Other Brand Could Pull This Off?

Porsche’s Massive ‘Rennsport Reunion’ Showed Me Just How Powerful The Porsche Brand Is: Which Other Brand Could Pull This Off?

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Rennsport Reunion finished up this past weekend at Laguna Seca in Monterey, with over 91,000 people attending between Thursday and Sunday, per Porsche. I drove there with Autopian cofounder Beau Boeckmann in his incredible 911 Turbo in “Ruby Star Neo” — a gorgeous fuchsia color — and had one main takeaway: Damn the Porsche brand is strong. And that has me wondering: Who else could pull this off?

The trip to and from Monterey was incredible — well, I guess the way back to LA was more fun because on the way up, after taking the wheel of Beau’s 911 for only…maybe 30 minutes…I began to get drowsy (back at Chrysler I was called “Narcolepsy Dave” due to my propensity for falling asleep in cars). Beau took the reins, thank god. The way back was way more fun; I’ll get to that later.

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We arrived in Monterey on Friday evening, turned in for the night, and hit Rennsport Reunion 7 — a Porsche racing-fest held every three to five years, usually at Laguna Seca — in the morning. Here’s a bit on the event’s history:

Rennsport Reunion was conceived by racing great Brian Redman and Porsche Cars North America’s longstanding press spokesperson, Bob Carlson, in 2001 to celebrate the racing heritage of Porsche.

They envisioned an event at which drivers, enthusiasts and historians could gather to celebrate racing and pay tribute to the men, women and cars that have helped build the Porsche legacy.

What we saw upon arrival was a triumph in Porsche marketing and engineering. This brand — which sells only 25,000 cars (not SUVs) per year in the U.S. (Mitsubishi has sold as Mirages in a single calendar year) — had lured literally tens of thousands of people all to the same race track, and all to celebrate Porsche racing history and to just geek out about a single brand’s cars. It’s just remarkable.

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There were over 300 race entries and 100 current and former Porsche racers in attendance, plus Porsche made the U.S. debuted of the “Mission X concept, the Vision 357 Speedster concept and the new 911 S/T,” along with “The global debut of the new 911 GT3 R rennsport.”

Looking at the race cars in the paddocks and on the start line was just magical:

 

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And so was, of course, the racing itself (the car directly below was driven by Porsche Santa Clarita General Manager Steve McCord — Porsche Santa Clarita is part of Beau’s Galpin dealer network):

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There was even a Porsche tractor race that featured NBA legend Dwyane Wade (more on him soon) and, I’m told, John Oates (I think on the pink tractor):

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Plus there was this slick extended bus with a Porsche 356 in the back:

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And there was even a Porsche Transformer:

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Here are a bunch more great Rennsport Reunion “sights and sounds,” courtesy of our friend David Osorio from Porsche Santa Clarita’s Instagram page:

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After a day and then a morning at Rennsport, Beau and I headed back to LA via his Porsche 911 — speaking of, doesn’t it look great?:

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The thing is a surprisingly good road-trip machine. It was over four hours from Monterey to Van Nuys, and I was comfortable the whole way, plus there was plenty of room in the frunk for both of our bags:

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This was the first modern 911 I’d driven, and my god is it a rocketship. Zero to 60 in under three seconds, incredible handling with beautiful steering response, killer brakes, great visibility, and yet still equipped with comfort items like heated and cooled seats.

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The entire trip involved me driving like I normally do (like a grandpa), and Beau jokingly yelling at me: “Dude! You’ve got to at least do the speed limit. Come on!”

Every time I passed someone in the left lane, I’d instinctively hit my indicator to move back over. “What are you doing?!” Beau would ask. “Stay in this lane!”

You should have heard the chiding I got when we got overtaken by a tow truck. It was hilarious. “Stay in the left lane, and for goodness sake don’t get passed by… Dude you just got dusted by a minivan!”

“Nope. Stop it, David! Stay in the left lane!” he’d say again upon seeing my right blinker.

“David, someone’s coming up from behind. Why is that?”

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I wiped my brow, squinted with a focused look, and pressed the rightmost pedal. About three quarters the way through the trip, I finally learned how to drive in a Porsche 911 on the highway, and I’m not even sure Beau would agree that I ever quite learned.

Regardless, it was a blast. Honestly, the whole trip was a blast. I just couldn’t believe how big Rennsport Reunion was. So that had me 1. Realizing how right Porsche is doing it and 2. Wondering who else could have pulled something like this off. I’m reminded of the “Camp Jeep” events that Jeep used to put together in the 2000s:

There’s also the Volkswagen/Audi event H2OI, there’s Wörthersee (for VW GTI fans), there’s Dodge’s Roadkill Nights (though that’s open to to all sorts of brands), there’s the Toledo Jeep Fest, and there are a few others, but most of those aren’t quite as big as Rennsport.

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Which single brand do you think could put together an event this magnificent?

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GertVAG
GertVAG
9 months ago

Well, the VW Bus Festival in Hannover, organized by Volkswagen, last June got more than 6000 VW buses of all ages together and at least twice that number of people. It’s always nice to geek out on meetings like this with people from all walks of life.

Last edited 9 months ago by GertVAG
Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
9 months ago

Harley-Davidson probably, but I would want to be far away from that!

Two of my local Porsche friends here (DK, 6000 miles away) went there and had a great time 😎

Proracer211
Proracer211
9 months ago

7s day in japan imo

David Escargot
David Escargot
9 months ago

Ford definitely couldn’t bc the owners aren’t classy enough…. that’s coming from a Ford guy

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