Meeting Up With The Roughneck Brigade For A Porsche Cruise Through Hamburg
We enjoy any excuse to charge the camera batteries and pack a bag for a ride in our friends’ Porsches, and especially ones that involve full weekends spent in fast cars under the sublime skies of summertime. Earlier in the season—AKA before the brutal heat wave on the continent—we joined the Roughneck Brigade Porsche club for a jaunt across Hamburg called TooCool2Cruise.
The invitation-only club counts members from Sweden to the States, and though we weren’t coming from that far away we still had to make the 370km drive from Essen to Hamburg to meet everyone, so early on a Thursday morning we congregated and divvied up our small group between five cars make the drive northeast—a train between the two cities is only about 10 euros, but spending the extra cash on gas for the flat-six transport was well worth it.
Arriving at the hotel, we were welcomed by the club president, David Campo from Sweden, and after the requisite coffees were drunk and the hello-nice-to-meet-yous were exchanged we exhumed our bags from the frunks and headed down to the garage to park the cars and wait for the rest of our convoy to arrive. We all enjoyed a beer or two or four, and everyone swapped stories and checked out each others’ Porsches in that giddy anticipatory way that we all do in the final anticipatory hours before weekends like these begin in full.
We met with the rest of the participants over the course of the day, floating between the bar and the tables, and after a night’s rest and a great breakfast on Friday morning we had our first drive as a full P-Car squadron. We made our way through Hamburg, connecting the dots on landmarks like the famous Elbphilharmonie, a grand concert hall with very unique architecture, and the Speicherstadt—the world’s largest assemblage of warehouses in the world—and the truly massive harbor of Hamburg chock full of ships and cranes and containers and other instruments of big time international waterway freight.
My pal Tom and I decided to have a quick visit to the old fish market to take a few pictures in front with two older 911s. Driving through the streets with the crew, whether just two cars at a time or a dozen, we attracted an amount of attention that was unexpected but very much appreciated. People on foot and scooter and bicycle would whip out their phones to snap a picture of us on every corner and bus stop—all friendly faces pasted with big smiles and a few bits of shouted praise here and there whenever we’d give a rev.
Later in the afternoon we all convened again for some food by the harbor. We parked at a beach bar with a nice view over the docks, and after a particularly good fish sandwich I hopped back in the passenger seat and we moved over to Putschplace, an amusement park of sorts. A local guy from Hamburg joined us with a fantastic little Alfa Romeo Giulia 105, and a few more locals joined us with some of their cars—always nice to meet new people with the same enthusiasms as us! The Alfa and the Z were quite cool, but the highlight for me was the Wrangler-liveried Turbo.
We milled around for a while and enjoyed each others’ company until the sun started to set, and then got back in for our return route to the hotel on the Köhlbrandbrücke, a gargantuan bridge above the harbor that measures 3,618m long and keeps us 50m above the container ships and myriad docks that make up Hamburg’s logistics hub. Nice views, and a nice soundtrack when we downshifted for the Elb tunnel!
All in all a great weekend of enjoying cool cars, but, as always, it wouldn’t be nearly as good without their drivers.