Porsche Hot Rods Cross Three Countries In One Day In The ‘Triangle of Madness’
Photography by SSSZ Photo
The Tunnel Run, a series of events organized by the Porsche enthusiasts at ONASSIS, is a relatively young idea that mixes the ideals of classic European road-tripping with contemporary approaches to the question of how one can maximize his or her Porsche experience. That’s not exactly true though, because part of the essence of these events is the sense that the only right answer is the one that you make for yourself—there are a few factory-original cars in this group that numbered over 150 on the fourth edition, but you won’t find any condescending purists in the cockpits.
After attending last year’s iteration, called the Targa Cannibale, we weren’t about to miss out on this year’s so-called Triangle of Madness that would see the troupe visiting three countries in the span of a single day. A masterclass of logistics, a feast of P-car candy, and a chance to meet more people like us: where else would we be? Cameras charged and memory cards wiped clean, we set out for the first meeting point with high expectations that would likely be exceeded.
The basic plan for the Triangle of Madness—is there a more intriguing name for a country-crossing road trip full of sports cars?—is this: three countries, three rendezvous points, one full day of nothing but good vibes, new friends, and a road trip soundtrack dominated by air-cooled flat-sixes. Breakfast in Düsseldorf, lunch in Amsterdam, an evening snack in Antwerp. 600km of cruising metropolitan Europe and the spaces in between with people who just “get it.”
The attitude is open, friendly, and despite the large number of people it’s difficult to find anyone who takes anything too seriously. That’s not at all to suggest that these guys and gals aren’t fully invested in their builds, but rather, they aren’t the types of personalities that try to dominate the conversation and steer it towards how great their car is at the expense of someone else’s. Everyone is just happy to be here, psyched to be surrounded by so many like minds, ready to enjoy their cars in the real world rather than an Internet forum.
You might say this is the youthful approach to the world of Porsche, but that’s an unfair stigmatization; all ages are present here, it’s the mindset that matters most. So, with the background laid out and the atmosphere primed, you might be wondering, “What was it actually like?”
We began in the morning at a coffee roasters in a harbor in a city called Neuss, which sits opposite Düsseldorf across the Rhine River. This is where we met up with other participants from Germany, enjoyed coffee and a welcome breakfast in preparation for the drive to come. We received our road maps, our complimentary event posters, our entry cards, and our stamps. We had a quick briefing amidst a modern GT car and a sea of eager faces, and before setting off on the route we had a chance to mingle in the parking area to see old friends and make a few new ones. The cars, if you were forced to summarize them, are modified. Some lightly so, some boasting wild boost or engine swaps, all of them unique and intriguing in their own way. There are gleaming restomods and stock Turbos, patina’d short-wheelbases and modern paragons of performance. It’s a mix, to put it mildly.
After our pow-wow in the parking lot, we set off to Amsterdam. As you can imagine, this wasn’t the simplest exercise due to our numbers, and rather than attempt to keep our huge convoy all together for the duration, we ended up splitting into informal factions of sorts, and in our case this meant 10 or so other cars for our spring up the Autobahn. On the way, we’d encounter other Porsche phalanxes, and to us this was far more entertaining and exciting than a slow-moving snake of people waiting for the laggards and reigning in the speeders. We go at our own pace.
As we neared the port city of Amsterdam the pack started to converge again in the final kilometers outside the metropolitan hub, and we were quite the sight to see in a place that’s not lacking in interesting scenery. Arriving in our next meeting point, a massive indoor hall, we parked up and started where we’d left off that morning in Neuss, albeit with many more people to talk with this time. We enjoyed burgers and whatnot from the adjacent restaurant as we waited for the groups from Belgium and the Netherlands to arrive, and after indulging in the excellent contrast of light and shadow indoors it was time to tour the city properly. Multiple routes had been planned out by the guys at ONASSIS (really, we can’t stress enough how good a job they did in putting this on for us), and we again fractured off into smaller driving groups. Unfortunately our GPS malfunctioned early on so we didn’t get to do the complete tour, but we had a good time just bouncing around in the city anyway.
Afterwards it was time for us to head back home to Germany, and on the familiar stretches of Autobahn we reminisced on the very-recent past and began speculating on how it could ever be topped. For a Porsche enthusiast, there’s nothing more fun than enjoying your car in the world with people who share the sentiment, and if the Tunnel Run’s auspicious history is anything to go by, next year will only be better.