There are lots of Porsche clubs out there, but this one counts Walter Röhrl and Norbert Singer as members! Meet the Freunde Luftgekühlter Boxermotoren
Porsche’s air-cooled flat-four engine is where it all started for the sports car maker in 1948. Porsche No.1 made use of an enhanced flat-four from the Volkswagen Beetle to great effect, sparking the strong following the manufacturer enjoys today.
The Freunde Luftgekühlter Boxermotoren, or Friends of Air-Cooled Flat Engines, is a collection of enthusiasts made up of predominantly current and ex-Porsche employees. As the name suggests, they love all things air-cooled and boxer.
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On the outskirts of Weissach is a fairly unassuming industrial building that members of the Freunde Luftgekühlter Boxermotoren (FLB) call home. It features a workshop, storage area, historic memorabilia, and even an amusingly named bar dubbed '0.8 Bar' - in reference to the boost pressure of the original 911 turbo. It also hosts film nights and club evenings where over 100 air-cooled vehicles frequently gather.
FLB has far more humble beginnings. with meetings taking place on a farm and cars displayed in a barn. Thorsten Klein, the man behind designing the interior of the Porsche 918 Spyder, would organise these informal events for owners of air-call flat-four machines. Everything from the humble beetle to the very last Porsche 911 993 was welcome.
The gatherings started to get more serious, so in 2010 it became a works sport team. Matthias Müller has just become chairman of the executive board at Porsche and was keen to promote the brand’s strong links between past and present. Membership rapidly grew to over 270 members in the first year of the FLB going pro.
Herbert Linge joined Porsche in 1943 as an apprentice and eventually became a racing mechanic. He was one of the FLB’s founding members, but it’s his wife that the club can thank for finding their Weissach HQ. The 1600 m2 building is on long-term lease to the club with the costs being covered by members storing their cars inside.
The club now has over 600 members including legends such as Walter Röhrl and Norbert Singer. You don’t actually need an air-cooled car to join the Friends of Air-Cooled Flat Engines, simply a passion for them.