“Seven billion people (in the world) but we all have different stories; each story is different,” said the man seated across the table from us. This was an exceptionally special start to July 14 because the man in question man is a six-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and his name is Jacky Ickx.

His story is a fascinating one, but despite his stellar track record on the track, Ickx isn’t one to gloat, stating that: “It’s not a matter of talent but people making good cars.” Looking at his past outings at de la Sarthe, Ickx has piloted some amazing machinery in his time, winning the 1969 Le Mans in a Ford GT40 Mk1.

However, out of his six victories at Le Mans, four of them saw Ickx piloting a Porsche, with the first win coming at the very year he joined the Martini Racing Porsche System team in 1976. The ‘good car’ that was instrumental to his first victory with Porsche and those that came after (1977 and 1981) was the Porsche 936.

In 1983, the 936’s successor, the 956 came into the fray and did surprising well but then again, “nobody’s perfect” (search ‘Porsche nobody’s perfect’ on Google). Suffice to say, when Ickx talked about people making good cars, those at Porsche are certainly well versed on the topic.

A company that started out by offering motor vehicle development work and consulting, Ferdinand Porsche founded his company 87 years ago but did not build any cars that bore his family name. The spark came courtesy of his son, Ferry Porsche, who famously said: “In the beginning I looked around but could not find the car I dreamed of, so I decided to build it myself.”

Following his dreams, what resulted was the Porsche 356 “No. 1” prototype, which was officially road certified on June 8, 1948 and the first to bear the ‘Porsche’ name. This marked the start of long and progressive journey for the company, which has continued building sports cars that many dream of owning to this day. In 2018, Porsche is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its sports cars.

This brings us neatly to the main highlight of July 14 (the brief chat with Ickx notwithstanding) – the Sportscar Together Day (SCTD), Southeast Asia’s largest Porsche gathering to celebrate another milestone for the hallowed brand. Taking place at the Show DC Oasis Arena in Bangkok, Thailand, we were given the opportunity to revel in all that is Porsche with thousands of fans from across the region.

While some opted to take a chartered flight to Bangkok, others preferred to drive instead, as was the case with the 42 cars that made the trip from Malaysia and Singapore, the latter having members drive approximately 2,000 km to reach their destination. What’s more impressive is the Singaporean entourage featured six classic Porsche cars – a 911 SC (1978), 911 2.4 E (1972), 911 2.4 E (1973), 930 Flatnose (1989), 930 (1982) and 911 T (1970).

Our small media entourage meanwhile, consisted of Malaysians, Indonesians, Singaporeans and Filipinos in a few units of the Panamera and the Carrera T. A three-day journey was good enough to correct any perception that Porsches should be driven and not remain as “garage queens.” If you have time to spare, snapshots from that journey can be viewed on our Instagram page.

Whatever the means (and demands) of getting to SCTD, it was all worth it as a smorgasbord of Porsche cars from different eras were present. Porsche Asia Pacific (PAP) did their part by bringing in cars owned by the Porsche Museum, including a 918 Spyder, F108 Junior and 959 Paris-Dakar racer, while the 919 Hybrid also made an appearance as part of its Tribute Tour.

According to Achim Stejskal, director of Porsche Museum and Historical Communications, getting these cars to Thailand was no easy feat as they can cost quite a fortune in shipping and insurance costs. The second item is of a great concern, especially when these vehicles form part of an over 650-car collection valued at around one billion euros.

As interesting as those cars were, it is ‘Das Treffen’ (The meeting) that made up most of the volume, and boy did they show up in force. The brainchild of Sihabutr Xoomsai (known as Tenn to his friends), Das Treffen was first held in 2016 when Tenn wanted to organise a proper Porsche gathering to rival the established meets in the United States, Europe and Australasia.

“I always had a thing for Porsche since I was a kid. The first Porsche I drove belonged to my father’s friend. He came over to our house one day in a brand new 964, tossed me the keys and asked me to get them something to drink. I never forgot that day – the sound, the smell and the kick in the back,” Tenn said in a prior feature article.

“The most important thing I learnt that day,” Tenn recalls, “is that the best way to enjoy Porsche is to share it. Since then that is what I tried to do – to share my passion with my friends and fellow enthusiasts.”

Given the special occasion, this year’s edition of Das Treffen saw over 300 cars in attendance, with a space dedicated to a supercar circle where rare models like the 550 Spyder, Carrera GT, 996 911 GT2 and a 930 Flatnose were put on display.

Around them, there were Porsche cars from the 1960s right on through to the 2010s, illustrating the persistent and “stubborn” engineering that took place to make the 911 what it is today. With many of them looking almost as fresh as the day they left the factory, each car also has its own story.

For instance, an owner of a 901 took five years to restore his car to its current condition, which certainly looks like time well spent. Other vehicles found themselves in the hands of Porsche Classic Partners, with Thailand being the only country in Southeast Asia to offer such a service at the Porsche Centre Bangkok dealership.

Most attendees came to admire what was on show, while others were keen to share information on how to improve, modify or restore their rides – be it finding a set of Fuchs wheels, dedicated badging or even a beachwood shift knob – despite language barriers. The combination of dedication from owners and support from the brand is what keeps over 70% of all Porsche vehicles ever built in the road today, and the parade laid out in front of us is a testament to that. How are classic cars created? By giving them the time to become just that.

While visitors fell in love with the Porsche brand, some took the opportunity to bring theirs to the next level. Sanjay Rekhi, a Porsche Club Singapore member, planned an elaborate surprise proposal to his girlfriend at SCTD, and was overjoyed when she gave the much awaited ‘yes’ to the thunderous applause of those present.

Away from the cars, others enjoyed the numerous gastronomic options available to them, with a mix of local and typical German delicacies. Various activity booths also enabled guests to familiarise themselves with the Porsche’s past, present and future, while the young ones had a go at being first-time motorists.

The festivities continued into the night, with Singto Numchok crooning a happy birthday song for Porsche together with the crowd before performing his greatest hits. Given the importance of the human element in its long history, Porsche also used its birthday to give back to society by presenting a cheque for 356,000 baht to Make-A-Wish Foundation Thailand, with the number being a nod to the car that started it all.

Later on, the famous DJ Yukio took to the stage to keep the crowd entertained the crowd long into the night. Come Sunday, droves of spectators turned up to watch 911 GT3 Cup cars race on the narrow street circuit perched at Bangsaen beach for the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia (PCCA) race series.

While it may have only lasted a day, the SCTD proved to be a special event that celebrated a company that continuously grew from the dreams of its founder’s son, which was to make a sports car with the ‘Porsche’ name on it. As said by Ickx at the start, we all have our own unique life story; to this I add that most will feature its own ‘Porsche moment’.

Whether you were in awe at seeing your first on the road, in a magazine, on a website, or even having the chance to drive/own one, you are part of a huge community of Porsche fans that empower the brand to continue to push further. A lot has been said, but there’s more to be seen with the gallery we’ve prepared for you below. Congratulations, Porsche, and cheers to many more years of Sportscar Together!



GALLERY: Porsche Sportscar Together Day Bangkok, Carrera Cup Asia Bangsaen official photos