#Dastreffen2 was held on a Saturday, 16th of December at Impact Lakeside in Bangkok. Organised by the local team at GT Porsche Magazine, it was billed as the biggest Porsche gathering in Thailand—and rightly so, judging by the turn out en masse of various Porsche models, their owners and enthusiasts alike during that entire Saturday, which was well over in the several hundreds.
This second “Dastreffen” or “The Meeting” was an impressive follow-up to the very first one around the same time in 2016. I was fortunate enough to hitch a ride this time in a 1970 Porsche 911E of Anutra Jotikabukkana in order to appreciate a greater sense of the affair upon arrival as the event was about to begin in the early afternoon.
Already present were several of the new special features that the organiser had set for this year. Most notably was the Autohaus RWB tent right at the center of the space provided exclusively for all Porsches to enter on the day by the lake. This make-shift garage was of course surrounded by over twenty or so RWB or “Rough World” Porsches that have been hand-crafted individually in the Thai market for the last five years or so by the legendary Japanese customiser, Akira Nakai.
What made the RWB tent even more notable was that “Nakai-san” himself made his first personal appearance here for the occasion and was already working on RWB’s number 25 since morning, well before we got there. It was quite a theatre to witness swarms of on-lookers and RWB admirers having a first-hand look at the man himself working on the latest project for a customer like he was in his own workshop continuously all day—and managing to finish the preliminary jobs on the car by night time (with plenty provisions of cigarettes and coconuts to keep Nakai-san going!).
For those who like the modern era Porsches, the people at 25G brought in no less than the 911R and the 918 “Weissach” Spyder hypercar, including the accompanying 911 Turbo S Edition 918 Spyder . This special edition was made specifically for customers who purchased the actual 918, with Acid Green details in the interior, door mirrors and piping in the seats, special badge and bright green brake calipers behind the black center-lock RS Spyder wheels that are available only for this version.
In comparison to the year before, there was a greater feel of diversity of Porsche sports car models which was a welcome breath of fresh of air to be quite honest. In nearly 30 years since I returned to the Kingdom, I often wondered where all the vintage Porsches that I have seen on the road have disappeared to.
My own conclusion would be that many of the cars over the years may have been disinterred over time; either by not receiving enough effort to help get them back on the road or that most of the owners may have lost the interests and the energy to bring them out to drive them for the benefit of the public. If this was twenty years ago, I would doubt very much that an event of this kind for Porsches would ever have as much turn out or would be well-received with such magnitude—or more importantly at the same level of camaraderie and intense passion among fellow owners for this fabled German marque that I saw with my own eyes that day.
But thanks to a new generation of Thai Porsche enthusiasts in the 21st Century (and with guys like Sahabutr Xoomsai na Ayudthaya , Naputt Assakul, Korn Thongtour and their fellow “Renndrive” crew that helped spearheaded the event), it was good to find an increasing number of those who appreciate the 356s, the 930s, the 912s, the 914s, the 993s, the 964s and even the transaxle cars from twenty to over fifty years ago (and how valuable they have become) so that a classic car fan like me now gets to see more and more cars that I grew up with being driven again. And with an emergence in the number of talented specialists who have the flair to restore them in this country, these vintage Porsches are being immaculately presented as they deservedly should. The merging of the past air-cooled cars with the latest water-cooled Porsche 991s, Caymans, Boxsters and 718s together in one place (even including a contingent of Porsche owners who drove all the way from neighbouring Malaysia just to be with other enthusiasts), Dastreffen is set to be one of the major car events worth attending in Asia if they keep this up.
Long may it continue as the biggest gathering of Porsches in Thailand for the next generations to come.