MONTEREY, Calif. — Rennsport Reunion is to Porsche gearheads what WWDC is to Apple fans and EGGtoberfest is for Big Green Egg grill enthusiasts.
It's an immersion in Porsche culture and history — an opportunity to rub shoulders with Porsche racing legends and marvel at their winning machines. It's an art show of sorts, charting the evolution of a design icon. And, it's an opportunity for many Porsche owners to show off a family heirloom that gets handed down for generations.
The long weekend was a sensory cocktail of deafening engines and burning premium gasoline. It was also a historic Rennsport Reunion, one that marked the sports car maker's 70th birthday.
Rennsport Reunion VI drew more than 81,500 people to the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca near Monterey, Calif., from Sept. 27-30. It was the highest attendance at Laguna Seca in five years and blew past the Rennsport Reunion V record of about 60,000 in 2015.
Rennsport is a look at the "living history of race cars," Porsche AG sales boss Detlev von Platen told Automotive News.
The event is not just about celebrating the history of Porsche, he said, it's about showing that "we are staying true and loyal to our values of being a sports car manufacturer."
Last month's event was attended by about 50 legendary drivers and 500 historic and customer cars, including 350 cars in competition. In addition, 1,600 Porsche cars were in the Porsche Club of America corral.
A highlight was the original 356 "No. 1" Roadster. While most attendees had to be content with gazing at the vehicle, Porsche Chairman Wolfgang Porsche put the silver-colored roadster through its paces on the track. Being the son of Ferry Porsche, who built the first Porsche sports car, has its perks.
Rennsport Reunion VI played host to the world premier of the Porsche 935. The 700-hp racer pays homage to the 935/78 Le Mans race car, nicknamed Moby Dick for its elongated shape, oversized fairings and white base color.
Introduced in 1976 as the racing version of the 911 Turbo, the original 935 won the 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans overall and other major endurance races, including Sebring and Daytona. The new 935's technology is based on the 911 GT2 RS and is powered by a 3.8-liter six-cylinder twin-turbo. Porsche plans to build 77 copies of the vehicle, which is not street legal. Deliveries begin in June.
Porsche also introduced its 911 Speedster Concept for the first time in the U.S. at Rennsport.
The concept premiered in June at the 70th-anniversary celebration in Zuffenhausen, Germany. It is based on the current 991 series and borrows design cues from various Porsche models.