Featured: Here's How You Pay A Fitting Tribute To Porsche Icon Max Hoffman

Here’s How You Pay A Fitting Tribute To Porsche Icon Max Hoffman

Alex Sobran By Alex Sobran
October 18, 2017
9 comments

Photography by Dominick Chiuchiolo for Driven to America

Fall has hit the northeastern United States, and despite the recent heat the season for car shows is coming to a close. Though reddening maple and oak leaves signal the coming nastiness of winter and snow and worse yet, salt, the transition period is the sweet spot of the year for automotive activity, as the crisp air makes for happier motors and the bright burst of autumn compels more than a few for-the-sake-of-it drives. There are also some great shows to attend that are far more enjoyable than sweating it out in a heat-hazed parking lot meet up. At the beginning of this month for instance, the first Driven to America event took place at the renowned former Porsche and European car importer Max Hoffman’s estate in New York, and in just its inaugural year the organizer—David Jacobson, president and CEO of Collector Car Showcase—managed to assemble a stellar roster of the marque’s road and race cars. With the history of Hoffman underpinning the celebrations, it was bound to draw a nice collection of metal, but the turnout in reality exceeded these expectations. There were a few new 911s still on their lease plans in the spectator parking lot, but seeing as the event space itself was an air-cooled-only affair, the vintage side, as usual, was the reason to be here.

Hundreds of Porsches attended Driven to America, with more than a few in their ranks having been purchased brand new from Max Hoffman’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed showroom on Park Avenue in the 1960s. Now many decades later, the story of Hoffman bringing the brand to America is still being told, and at Driven to America more than a thousand people tagged along with the corral of cars in support, including some notable figures in the contemporary Porsche community like Magnus Walker, as well as special guest Joe Buzzetta, the former Porsche works driver who won the 1967 Nurburgring 1000km along with his co-driver Udo Schütz. There was of course a Porsche 910 in attendance for Mr. Buzzetta to reacquaint himself with, along with a 908/2 bearing his and Richard Attwood’s name on its diminutive door.

Another notable guest was 79-year-old Karin Hancock. She wasn’t a factory driver or a racing success story, but when you’re enthusiastic enough to hop in your 356 that you purchased over half a century ago to drive it to the event honoring the man you bought it from, that deserves some credit for loyalty alone, especially when you’re coming up on your 80th birthday. Indeed, there were quite a few other cars in the crowd that original came from the Hoffman showroom as Karin’s did (the red 356 cabriolet below), as well as a few remarkable Porsches from the later generations. The 911 contingent was very well-represented for instance, with a quintet of ’73 RSes on the lawn in view of a first-generation GT2. There were plenty of four-cam 356s if you preferred earlier factory hot rods though.

In all, the turnout was better than anyone guessed despite the strong historical link to the brand, and air-cooled Porsches made the trek from all over the area, representing nine states. Next year’s event will likely top this one, as starting out a new show on this strong of a note is bound to draw attention from Porsche fans with an interest in preserving the brand’s history. I look forward to the 2018 edition, and after you take a look through this year’s, I think you’ll see why.

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dylanj624KarlThomas DonohueuptheorgAlexandre Goncalves Recent comment authors
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Karl
Karl

I signed up early and brought my 86 Carrera, a little disappointed we were shoved way to the back, even though I paid for the more expensive display area. The registration said refreshments would be provided, only if you paid for it. Next year deliver what you promise, I live on Long Island, if I came from out of state I would have been disappointed.

uptheorg
uptheorg

I attended the event — signed up as soon as I heard about it. It should be noted that some portion of the ticket sales were donated to charity and they were collecting winter coats at the front. It turned out to not be as much fun as I had anticipated maybe because you see a slew of p-cars at every cars and coffee you go to. The 356 content was amazing, though.

dylanj624
dylanj624

Surprised about this response. The cars, people, venue and celebrity guests where world class. I attended Luftgekuhlt in LA and must say this was right up there in car quality and selection. I witnessed the largest collection of 356’s ever assembled in this region along with an amazing collection of all other air cooled Porsche’s. I guess when you hit it out of the park on your first try… people will squawk. What a unique element it was to show tribute to Max Hoffman. It was well done and well deserved. Having Porsche factory race car driver and Nurburgring winnerJoe… Read more »

Sifu Alex
Sifu Alex

I hate it when i miss these events and I’m not that far away. This is the 3rd time that a great car event happened in the tri-state area and I saw or heard nothing about it ahead of time. How do I stay informed of the next one? I would love to attend next year.

Thomas Donohue
Thomas Donohue
Alexandre Goncalves
Alexandre Goncalves

Nice pics, but was this (mainly) a 911 only event?

Thomas Donohue
Thomas Donohue

There were at least 25 356’s on prominent display, and a few 914s. The article doesn’t really point it out, but this was an air-cooled Porsche show.
https://www.driventoamerica.com/

Alexandre Goncalves
Alexandre Goncalves

Thanks for the info 🙂

Thomas Donohue
Thomas Donohue

Great photos. I was at the event and it really was fantastic… considering it was the first one, I was amazed at the broad range (and sheer number) of historical air-cooled Porsches on hand. Looking forward to next year, though they’ll need to find more parking or bus people in. I was lucky enough to park on the front lawn, but by Noon it was pretty packed. I was standing out front when Ms. Hancock arrived, and watched as she was (deservedly) directed to park right up near the entrance to the house. Historical FYI – the estate was not… Read more »

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