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Seven Standouts from the California Festival of Speed

The other side of Porsche fandom

Conner GoldenWriter, Photographer

While walking through next year's hyper-aesthetic Luftgekuhlt display, don't forget these cars were built for driving, and not just for boosting your selfie portfolio. This year's California Festival of Speed was held on the same weekend as Luft, allowing me to balance the static with the kinetic.

Held at the sprawling Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, where the SoCal chapter of PCA flexes its flat-six muscles, enjoying a three-day weekend of autocross, track sessions, and car parades in every type of Porsche imaginable. The fun isn't strictly limited to club members, but Stuttgart's finest was out in full force. I wandered between the packed Porsche-only parking lot and hot paddocks to find seven standout cars.

Porsche 928 Race Car

Though Porsche never raced the 928 in an official capacity, that hasn't stopped enthusiasts from preparing these V-8 bullets for trackwork. Like most of the cars milling around the paddock, this red 928 is used and abused - in a good way, of course. The owner mentioned he's raced it for over 20 years, with few mechanical problems.

Porsche 911 993 Turbo

Not all the cars in the infield were road-rashed track rats. There was a small lineup of showcars for contrast, a group that included this striking 993 Turbo. I'm used to  seeing the last aircooled Turbo in various drab colors like black and silver, so this factory-fresh turquoise example was a treat.

Porsche Cayman GT4

The car is cool, the Salzburg livery is cooler. This white-and-red colorway is a throwback to the famous 917K that took the first place finish at the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans. It remains one of the most enduring liveries, having most recently graced the Porsche 918 Spyder as an optional appearance package.

Porsche 917K Replica

Speaking of the Salzburg colors, here's the real-deal. Well, kind of. It's a replica of the aforementioned Le Mans winner, and a well-executed tribute at that. According to some event organizers, the bones of an old Superformance kit provides the structure, with mechanical motivation coming from a 911-sourced flat-six. I'm not sure if that's entirely accurate, but from ten feet, it looks (and sounds) damn good.

Porsche 997.2 911 GT3 RS 4.0

Here's a slice of bright white Porsche royalty. For some, the 997.2 4.0 is "it." It's the last of an era, the last gasp before the car grew substantially in size with the 991.1, and added a bundle of extra driver assists that included electronic assisted steering. Years before the 4.0-liter in the 911 R, 991.1 GT3 RS, and new 991.2 GT3 family got us hot and bothered, the 997.2 four-point-oh offered a very select few (600 global units) the chance to use real-deal motorsport goodies on the street. This ultimate Mezger mill utilizes the crankshaft from the RSR, among other things, and returns 493 hp for plenty of circuit fun.

Porsche 991.1 911 GT3 RS

There isn't necessarily anything special about this GT3, but it was nice to see such a valuable and capable car being wrung out in the manner it was designed to do. Use 'em or lose 'em, people.

Porsche 997 911 Carrera S

I figured there were enough red Porsches on this list, so here's a tastefully modified Carrera S in metallic brown. Aside from the dealership specials in black, silver, or white, 911 buyers tend to enjoy colors, so this was one of multiple brown 911s in the vicinity.