Das Treffen 7 : In Bright Technicolour
Bangkok, Thailand - Porsche has no shortage of fans and enthusiasts all over world. With over 700 clubs spanning nearly 90 countries, it’s clear that the love of the brand extends to the far corners of the globe.
However, closer to our home turf of Singapore, Bangkok’s Das Treffen is perhaps the ultimate meeting point for Porsche fans and enthusiasts in the South East Asian Region.
The seventh instalment of Das Treffen was held at the IMPACT Speed Park, a Go-Kart track located within the Park Kret District just 20km north of Bangkok’s city centre. Prior to the event, we took a sampling of Porsche’s E-Hybrid models (the Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupé and Panamera 4 E-Hybrid) up north to the Ayutthaya province and back.
Along the journey, we made a quick stop at Autohaus RWB Thailand’s workshop to gawk at some of Akira Nakai’s infamous RAUH-Welt Bergriff vehicles. Meticulously crafted by (a steady) hand and eyeballing - without the aid of CAD design, the Japanese tuning company turns Porsche 911s (often 964s or 930s) into outlandishly styled, wide-bodied track machines. Some of which, would make an appearance at Das Treffen.
Witnessing Nakai-san’s process of cutting away at the bodywork of an air-cooled 911 would probably induce a seizure from Luftgekühlt purists, but the RWB subculture has legions of fans worldwide. For many, walking amongst half-finished cars of the Autohaus garage would’ve been the stuff of dreams. Especially so for RWB aficionados.
But even those gems housed within RWB Thailand couldn't quite compare to the spectacle that awaited us at the seventh instalment of Das Treffen, which translates to “The Meet” in German. Nothing could've prepared uninitiated folks like myself for the sheer scale and magnificence of the event.
According to Sihabutr "Tenn" Xoomsai, the progenitor of Das Treffen, this year’s instalment saw over 500 cars and 1,300 people in attendance. Such was the scale of the event that some cars (and even more people) had to be turned away. But that did little to dissuade enthusiasts from descending upon the IMPACT Speed Park.
From classic air-cooled examples, early 993s, loads of 996s and 997s, track-ready weapons like the 991 and 992 generation GT3s and even the pinnacle of Porsche’s vehicles, a Carerra GT and a 918 Spyder with the Weissach Package, resplendent in a Martini racing livery.
For every unique example or artfully specced Porsche, you’d find another one even more extraordinary still. For any rare, limited run or exotic 911 you come across, you’d see another just a few yards down. It doesn’t matter if your Porsche is bone stock or modified, air cooled or water cooled, electric or petrol powered. Das Treffen does not discriminate. Any and all niches were welcome.
The organisers weren’t even perturbed when some of the cars from the RennDrive crew turned up covered in dust and mud from their travels. Caymans, 911 Targas, a 997 GT3 RS 4.0 and even a 992-generation Sport Classic. As the pundits would say, "Daily driven, driven hard, the way it's meant to be".
Being present at the IMPACT Speed Park during Das Treffen 7 is an experience unlike any other. Despite the heat and humidity of Bangkok’s South East Asian climate, it’s clear from the vibrancy and energy of Porsche fans both young and old that everyone was just happy to be present in the kaleidoscope of colours.
Every instalment of Das Treffen has seen a spectacular showing since the very first gathering in 2016, and we're certain that there'll be even more jaw-dropping Porsches in coming years. Perhaps we'd even see some Singapore-registered Porsches making the 1,800km trip north to the land of smiles.
PHOTOS Jay Tee