For those who love Porsches—and really, besides Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson, who does not?—there is a must-attend three-day Porsche festival coming up next month in Los Angeles. It’s the LA Lit and Toy Show, and Porsche enthusiasts from around the world come to see it and be part of it.
The Lit and Toy Show is Saturday, March 1, and it takes place at the Los Angeles Airport Hotel on West Century Boulevard just off Interstate 405 in Los Angeles. Fly into LA and you’re basically there, although you’ll miss a lot if you just spend the weekend holding down a seat at the Landings Bar. There are two other major parts to this weekend triad—open houses of Porsche restorers, and an all-Porsche car show in Anaheim—that make it so worthwhile.
First things first. Begun in 1983, the LA Lit and Toy Show is the largest Porsche show of its kind the world, with more than 200 tables filled with tens of thousands of new and vintage Porsche and VW books, toys, posters, photos, models, catalogs, small trim items, and parts and equipment. If it’s a Porsche collectible and you can’t find it here, it probably doesn’t exist.
Doors open to the public at 9 a.m.; $10 admission for adults, children free. Savvy Porsche shoppers, however, arrive at 7 a.m. when the vendors are setting up and unpacking their goods. They pay extra ($30—cash only) to gain early entree to the ballroom because it gives them first shot at the best deals.
On Saturday afternoon after the show ends, hop in your 911—what, you don’t have one? Okay, your Hertz rental car—and go on a tour of the best Porsche restoration shops in Southern California. About a dozen of them hold open houses and tours free to the public this weekend; another half-dozen or so are by invitation only. These shops are located from Pasadena to San Diego County, but most are within an hour’s drive of the LAX along the coast off the 405.
They include Steve Hogue Enteprises in Torrance, Willhoit Auto Restorations in Long Beach, and European Collectibles in Costa Mesa. Be sure to check with the shop in advance to make sure about the day and time of its event. Wilhoit, for instance, is holding its open house Friday, Feb. 28; other shops have their own schedules, and they can vary.
The final leg in this triple crown of Porsche-dom is Sunday’s All-Porsche Swap and Car Display, sponsored by the 356 Club of Southern California and held at the Phoenix Club, 1340 South Sanderson Ave. in Anaheim. Fittingly, the Phoenix Club is an event center dedicated to preserving and promoting German culture in the U.S., and on Sunday its grounds will be overflowing with some 400 of the finest examples of motorized German culture you will ever see.
There will also be more than 150 parts swappers and dozens of commercial vendors on hand. Admission for a Porsche is $20, which lets everyone in the car into the show. Walk-ins are $10 apiece. Gate opens at 8 a.m. Don’t leave without a stop at the Bierstube Pub. Try the Jaeger Schnitzel (pork cutlet topped with wild mushroom sauce) or Schweinebraten (roast pork with apple gravy), with perhaps a liquid refreshment such as Kirschwasser (cherry brandy) and Kleiner Feigling (fig vodka). Prost!