Howie Idelson has a short attention span and doesn’t try hiding it. In between tangents on physics and the creative brain, he briefly returns to discussing his current work. “Now, I really kind of pick-and-choose and I try to do stuff that’s fun… I’m really allergic to the mundane, corporate stuff,” he says.
Working in motorsports and automotive branding, Idelson says that the bulk of his work is now action sports. And even though you’ve seen his work, among car folks he’s most famous for co-creating Luftgekühlt, the semi-regular aircooled-Porsche Woodstock.
Idelson was designing a new racing suit and boots for Oakley’s program. His friend, Porsche racer Patrick Long, was also an Oakley-sponsored driver and thus Idelson sought his input on the project. He and Long lost track of their design goals during one coffee, bench-racing, and bullshit session, err—design session, which led to brainstorming on what car shows are and what they should be.
While it was a good excuse for getting together, discussing the perfect race boot “with a pad of paper over coffee”, and “actually [coming] up with an amazing design, too,” Oakley ultimately pulled some support out of racing and the suit-and-boot project died. But Luftgekühlt was born.
Given Idelson’s day job the show’s development shouldn’t surprise. He works on experiential marketing and campaigns, and that was Luftgekühlt’s goal. The conversations focused on involving fans and making them part of the show. Long and Idelson never wanted a parking lot show simply centered on looking at cars. Their approach dictated that they find the right place and people so that enthusiasts would get a richer experience than a typical cars and coffee.
The venue is an integral part of the event, both “visually and from the creative side,” because it too involves a community. Hence, shows aren’t planned until they’ve selected a venue, which must suit the event perfectly.
For instance, Modernica, a furniture design showroom, is hosting their upcoming (Sunday, April 10th) show at their location in Vernon, CA (just southeast of downtown Los Angeles). It’s the backdrop for Luftgekuhlt 3 because their, and their community’s, culture resonates well with Porsche design fans.
This year however, Idelson and Long upped the ante and commissioned a car build that some are calling the “Luft-auto.” After kicking the idea around and telling some folks that it was under consideration, they realized they had to do it. Long donated a Porsche 911SC 3.2L, and Joey Seely from Emotion Engineering led the project. Rod Emory became involved too and the car is complete and recently shaken down, off road. You see, it’s a safari-themed car designed for SoCal’s active beach and mountain lifestyle.
Best of all, RM Sotheby’s will be auctioning the car at Luftgekühlt. All proceeds beyond the 911’s base value will benefit the Autumn Leaves Project, which seeks earlier detection and the ultimate cure of pancreatic cancer.
For more information on Luftgekühlt, click here.
For more information on the Autumn Leaves Project, click here.