KG at Goodwood
February 2, 2020
Why hold an event and exclude cars/people? And what is a KG?
KG refers to a transition in the history of Porsche that happened in 1972 when it became the public limited company it is to this day (Porsche AG) as opposed to the limited partnership it had been before (Porsche KG). It was the end of an era of Porsche family management as an executive board was formed to run the business and the remaining family members left to pursue other interests. By then the 356 had finished production (1965), and the 912 too which had taken over from the 356 as its ‘affordable’ 4 pot replacement. The 911 however had just gone through its formative years as the classic we now know, flourishing from its early guise as the short wheelbase 901, taking the popular sports car and racing markets by storm. With the introduction of frequent new models with performance upgrades focused on their motorsport pedigree culminating with the RS and RSR models in 1973 these mostly carburettor fed 6 cylinder cars formed what some purists would class as the finest period of 911 production. From 1973 onwards the cars produced took on the biggest physical changes they had seen in the previous decade or so as added safety measures meant that impact protection and crumple zones were prioritised over more refined looks. Most of the standard range of cars were now electronically controlled and fuel injected, weighed down with the added safety features and extras like electric windows and impact bumpers. Still the same recognisable shape, although interestingly, the post impact bumper cars were much less desirable up until around 10 years ago. For a collector, whatever they are collecting, jewellery, cars, stamps…. the earlier the ‘whatever’ is, the more valuable and sought-after ‘it’ generally is. You could say this is to do with styling, rarity, or just the need for that exclusivity of having the oldest when the production numbers were at their lowest. The difference between something like stamps and cars is that a 1906 stamp and a 1976 stamp, unless your a real stamp pervert, actually look fairly similar. Rectangular or square, pretty flat, sticky on one side and frills around the edges. With most car manufacturers it’s easy to assume what period each model comes from just by looking at the overall style, form and shape. These cars changed and evolved as technology improved but there are definite periods where the design of cars in general was simply more beautiful, less restrained by safety, production methods, crash prevention and manufacturing costs. Now, this is where you see that Porsche bucks the trend of other manufacturers and simply refines the mould. If you were to look these other car companies and their progression (except maybe Volkswagen with the Beetle), the physical changes between the models were huge through the years in comparison. Just look at Ford cars between the flat sided 1930’s Model A to what they were producing twenty years later with their curvaceous business coupes, sedans and pickups. Then if you look at the Porsche marque you’d have to be blind to not notice the similarities ingrained into the shapes and profiles from the earliest of 356’s right through the the new 992 model. Unmistakably the same, the same style, the same format, the same shape, the same family. So where am I going with this out of character amount of text?!?! Well. The Porsche Club GB event at Goodwood was all about the pre 1973 period. So much so that it was called the KG event. To look at it without the knowledge of what the KG really stood for you’d be mistaken to think it’s ‘collectors snobbery’.
So with the name explained, and the exclusivity of manufacture year, what about the purpose of the event? I appreciate its a business but the Porsche Club GB is also as much of a family as you want it to be, we’ve been members for a few years now and at each event we meet someone new, someone to catch up with next time. We’re not very active social butterflies but there’s no denying it’s good to be a part of it on whatever level and it’s nice to meet new people. It was a brave choice to exclude some of their member’s cars for this event and I assume they would have got some flack for it. It was a free event however and they are otherwise very inclusive with their ever expanding calendar. I think the size of the venue available on that particular day being restricted to just the Goodwood Paddock was probably the main reason but I like to think the ‘take home’ from the day was the whole ‘family’ mantra. The celebration of family, the Porsche family to be precise. The glory years if you will of a family business having succeeded despite being being founded during the most fractious of political climates and becoming a world wide success having started producing the first Porsche cars in an Austrian sawmill in 1947.
The world famous paddock at Goodwood was full of Porsche cars when we arrived and just as we’d had a short wander round realised everyone was getting ready to go out on track for a huge group photo and a couple of parade laps. We headed back to the car and joined everyone parked up on the start/finish straight. You’ll have to check out the club magazine for the ‘clean’ shot without any people in it but hopefully my photos will give you a good idea of how cool a line up of cars it was. Up at the front was not only Alba the club’s 356 but an old favourite 1952 356 ‘streamliner’ recently refinished alongside an Emory outlaw from the stable of one of the most famous custom Porsche builders in the world Rod Emory. To top it all Rod and his wife Amy were over for the week and were out in the outlaw for the preceding laps. It was an absolute honour to meet Rod and get a signed poster like a true fanboy. I spent many an hour in the early days of the internet trawling through the cars he and his father built and campaigned on the Parts Obsolete website, the main inspiration for my Outlaw build. Sat next to Rod at the poster signing session was none other than Le Mans legend Jürgen Barth. A pair of signed posters in hand to remember the day we went back to rejoin our car and drive a couple of spirited parade laps of the Goodwood Circuit.
There weren’t loads of stalls, displays and bratwurst sellers but after the success of the Luftgekuhlt invasion last year you have to applaud the club for mixing it up and offering a different style of event to the calendar and we had a blast. There’s more to come too. Keep a close eye on their events listing this year with the first being the Das Feuer Event on the 22nd of March which sounds like its going to be a visual treat with cars displayed amongst the artificial industrial ruins of a fire service training compound.
You can see a short video of the day we put together here, enjoy the photos.