Report: Los Angeles Porsche Literature, Toy, and Memorabilia Swap Meet
The last four days have been relentlessly crazy, but absolutely worth the trouble, as we spent them in Porsche heaven along with thousands of other enthusiasts. Centering our trip around Saturday’s Los Angeles Porsche Literature, Toy, and Memorabilia Show at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton Hotel, the journey took us to exotic locales, such as the Airport, Anaheim, Costa Mesa, and Long Beach. While the focus of the weekend was primarily Aircooled centric, nearly every variety of Porsche was represented.
The trip started with a jaunt across LA, as thirteen different Porsche related businesses welcomed us with open arms to enjoy their open houses. Tours were offered by businesses like Willhoit Enterprises, European Collectibles, California Porsche Restorations, L.A. Dismantlers, Sierra Madre Collection, Tru-Speed, and Callas Rennsport, and it was truly difficult to decide which we should visit in our limited time. In the end, we made our selections and had to cope with the idea that we couldn’t see it all.
Saturday’s main event, however, was an explosion of excitement, as collectors, aficionados, and vendors from all over the world converged on the Airport Hilton for an entire day of haggling, bidding, storytelling, and jockeying for position among an immense crowd. As a first time attendee, it was difficult to keep my excitement contained. The hall appeared as though a bomb went off, and rained down posters, books, trinkets, and memorabilia, with something interesting covering every inch of the tables, and even much of the floor and wall space. Vendors in attendance ranged from the “mom and pop” displaying their collections, to major Porsche parts distributors showing off their most exciting wares.
We were even able to bear witness to a couple of Porsche Celebrity sightings. Both comedian Jerry Seinfeld, and Porsche maven Magnus Walker were in attendance, and both seemed genuinely excited to be there. As luck would have it, I spotted both of them near the Stoddard NLA display. Being a fan of comedy in general, and a veteran viewer of his sitcom, I was ecstatic to exchange a few words with Seinfeld. Shortly after our brief interchange, Jerry and I both picked up all three of the fresh-off-the-press Hunziker designed Stoddard NLA T-shirts. Magnus is difficult to miss in a crowd, as his trademark hair, hat, and jacket were clearly visible among the masses. Mr. Walker commented that the prototype Carrera-style riveted steel-center, aluminum-hoop wheels Stoddard had on display, would find their way onto one of his upcoming projects, and that once production had begun, his order would be among the first.
Sunday was another full, but fun day. Starting the day by traveling down to Anaheim for a visit to the SoCal All-Porsche Swap Meet and Car Display, we were excited to see what could be seen. The wide variety of Porsche parts available to buy, as well as the huge field of cars on display held my normally short attention span for an abnormal length of time. Like the Toy and Literature show, many of the spaces were held by “mom and pop shops” looking to liquidate their own wares, though some of the big players in the world of Porsche parts also held court.
Rows upon rows of Porsches lined the lawns and parking lots of every event we attended, but the car show outside of the Swap-Meet was on another level. After this weekend, I would argue that Southern California plays the role of home to more Porsches per capita than anywhere else in the world. If it weren’t for the $4.50+ cost of a gallon of regular unleaded, I might consider living there.
I have concluded that this event filled weekend is one that should be added to the calendar of every Porsche enthusiast, as it represents a welcome and warm side of the industry that many of us rarely see. The camaraderie and openness of fellow enthusiasts, combined with a chance to see some of the most rare and exciting examples of Porsche history, make for a weekend worth the trip. While I am exhausted from air travel, car travel, and crowd navigation, I wouldn’t trade this weekend experience for anything. For more information about the show, visit lalitandtoyshow.com
Photos courtesy Per Schroeder/Stoddard.com