AirWater: A New Porsche Show from the Creators of Luftgekühlt


After nine annual events, Luftgekühlt (Luft)—that’s Porsche speak for air-cooled engines—has become a major auto show in California. But it excludes a lot of Porsche owners, because the air-cooled era ended 26 years ago, with the Porsche 993 model.

So what about an event that includes all Porsches? It’s about to happen, and it’s called AirWater.

“Luft has been around for a decade and focuses on air-cooled Porsches up to 1998, and the history of the legends and the cars they drove, both on the street and on the track,” said Patrick Long, former factory Porsche racer and two-time class winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. “It’s grown into a pretty big event with people from 22 countries and 48 states in attendance.” Luft is centered around a tightly curated list of historically significant or interesting cars, both race and street.

Long, one of the creators of Luft, was looking to grow the concept. “We quickly noted that there was a desire from attendees to expand this to some of the newer water-cooled cars, as well as the entirety of the model line. What we found is that there is an audience out there who might be newer to the brand than the existing Porschefiles. We’re looking to really expand this format and this show into its own living, breathing machine, and we have what we think is a perfect venue to create a festival atmosphere.”

Air Water Porsche rear wing

Last year, after Luftgekühlt 9 took place near San Francisco, Long and his crew tried out the idea. They “soft launched” AirWater and the turnout was more than promising. In attendance was everything from the latest 911 GT3 RS to the current IMSA Porsche Penske 963 race car, as well as vintage 356s, survivor 914s, transaxle 944s, overland Cayennes, and much more.

Now, the AirWater show will become a standalone event. It will be held in Costa Mesa, California, on April 27. Luft 10 will be held later in the year; the date and venue haven’t been announced. It will continue to cater to select air-cooled Porsches as it always has.

Long says that AirWater, as the name suggests, is open to any Porsche, from brand-new models to the Porsche-built diesel tractors that were produced from 1956 to 1963. “It’s really a Porsche supershow,” Long says. While Luft changes its venue every year, AirWater will have a permanent home in Costa Mesa.

Air Water Porsche rear

It’s a popular area for Porsche lovers. “The southern California demographic needs no introduction to the brand—Porsche is a religion around here. We’re excited to expand with our creative and production team that has been together for a decade, and introduce our second act,” Long says.

“To make an analogy, imagine that Luft is a Friday night club where some big stars come and play music acoustically in a vintage atmosphere. Now we’re looking to expand that into an outdoor festival where there’s a little bit for everybody.” Long believes AirWater “can grow into the largest single-brand automotive show anywhere.”

There’s one way AirWater is like the more exclusive Luft: Expect surprises. “We’re just getting started,” Long says. “We have a lot of exciting tricks up our sleeve.”

Tickets go on sale today at




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