So, what the hell is a Hangar Banger anyway? Banger sounds like lots of fun, no matter how you say it but to find out what Hangar Banger is, we need to wind the clock back 12 months to when a fellow by the name of John Orchard relocated his business in Geelong. He stood in the middle of his empty warehouse and thought, “this place would look amazing full of Porsches.” This place wasn’t any old warehouse though. It was an ex World War 2 hangar that had been transported to Geelong from Milne Bay PNG. So John put out the word that he was hosting a Porsche Party and Hangar Banger was born.
Hangar Banger was a huge success, much to the surprise of everyone involved in organising it. It proved that there were many Porsche enthusiasts out there that weren’t necessarily on social media, that still wanted to get involved and be part of the amazing community we have here in Australia. Not long after the final car drove out of the hangar, plans were already being made for Hangar Banger 2.
The location for this years event was the former Fonterra dairy factory in Cororooke, Victoria, a facility that has been there for over 100 years. Fonterra closed its doors back in 2013 but early last year, the property was purchased by Red Rock Winery and transformed into a bottling facility. Red Rock owner, Rohan Little, is no stranger to Porsches though, having owned and raced Porsches for much of his life. He also operates a classic Porsche restoration business, Skunk Werks, which also operates in the old dairy factory. So it’s no surprise that Rohan was more than happy to work with Porsche Forum Australia to host Hangar Banger 2. With much of the old factory’s dairy infrastructure still in place, the location made for an amazing canvas to showcase some 300 Porsches.
It was an early start to meet in Elwood where we would start our convoy down to Skunk Werks. The sight of 20 odd Porsches driving along the beach drew many smiles from passers by as they went for their morning walks. As we drove down the freeway and edged closer to our destination, other groups converged and it felt like there were Porsches everywhere. I broke off from the pack in Colac, in desperate need of a bacon and egg McMuffin to ease the pain from Australia Day celebrations the previous night. Once firing on all flat 6 cylinders, I started to contemplate how I was going to approach the day, after all, I’d proclaimed to the Porsche world that I’d started this online magazine so I’d better come up with something worth looking at. I’ll grab my DSLR and do a lap I thought, then I’ll grab the video camera and get some footage for a short “edit”.
I pulled into my designated entrance and was escorted through the “G Series” section. I have to admit I was a little underwhelmed! There were about 20 cars, angle parked like any other car park between the front cyclone fence and a brick wall. I was directed past the cars and instructed to reverse down an alley way and it was at this point Hangar Banger 2 revealed its secret. In my rear vision mirror, at the end of the alley was an achingly beautiful Minerva Blue 930. Around the corner was the black widebody SC with gold Campagnolo wheels. I’m sure you all know the car I mean. To my right is a factory room housing a 3.0 Carrera, a 2.7 Carrera and a beautiful Lime Green ’74 911 sporto. You see, Hangar Banger was like a treasure hunt, with hidden gems to be found around every corner.
I grabbed my camera and went on my way to try to capture the event. I’d barely stepped out of my car and I was immediately in conversation with people I’d met in the past, people I knew well, people I’d never met and without noticing, I’d completely bypassed the G Series section.
My attention was taken away though by the arrival of a bright green ’73 RSR. I quickly get my camera out and start shooting and follow it into a room of yummy wide bodies. To my left was a bright orange IROC. Ahead was a pair of silver Turbos and behind them was a white ’74 RSR parked next to cracking little hot rod in matching white. Don’t ask if any of them were genuine because I have no idea. I just know the entire room was bloody ace!
In the neighbouring room was the “Black Room” where I was greeted by the ’73 Melbourne Motor Show 911 accompanied by a 964 RS, Cayman and Cayman GT4. This might seem like an odd combination but not only were all four cars black, but the four owners were the founding members of Porsche Forum Australia, a very nice little touch by the organisers. The effect of the fluorescent lighting above was spectacular!
I continued on outside to where there is a raised concrete platform. On the right is a Skunk Werks work in progress and on the left is a super cool purple IROC with gold wheels. I’m quite taken by the IROC as I admire its slammed stance and aggressive widebody. This is one of Rohan’s gems that he raced in the Australian IROC series and Touring Car Masters.
I dragged myself away from the IROC and walked around the corner where the true enormity of Hangar Banger was revealed . Lined up in front of me is a bunch of 944 and 968s including a super rare 968 Turbo RS. Next to it was a 993 RS and behind it, a beautiful 550 Spyder replica. Talk about jaw dropping! This group of cars are like a gateway to an arena surrounded by different groups of cars. To my right are a bunch of 993s, to my left, a mix of early watercooled and late aircooled 911s and on the far left, my favourite part of the show, the 901 section.
You know the 60s and 70s were a happy time for the human race because the colours of the cars just put a big smile on your face. Orange, yellow, green, blue! On the lush green grass with bright blue skies, the 901s really did look special.
Leaving the 901s, I continue my circuit and pass by the 964 section, all looking spectacular in their various 90s shades. At the end is some sort of Martini monster that looks crazy in a good way.
Those who know me know I’m a massive 996 and 997 fan but on this day, surrounded by so many rare and stunning models, the early water cooled sectioned seamed so plain. It was a big bunch of beautifully kept, immaculate 996 and 997 Carreras but my attention was drawn to the sad and forgotten bright yellow 924 parked amongst them. This thing was so cool! Such an understated car. No duck tail, no flares but oozes 70s coolness.
Then I get to the GT section. Sweet baby jeebus! The white 997.1 GT3 has me pulling out my phone to check the redraw balance on the mortgage! The GT2 has my jaw dragging on the ground! The 991 GT2RS inside…well…um…no words…
The next section is inside the winery warehouse and there’s a number of special cars hidden amongst the pallets of wine boxes. 964 Turbo, a green 996 Turbo, 1 of 3 slant nose Ruf Turbos to name a few.
The warehouse then connects through to the Skunk Werks workshop which is full of cars. Along one side are a number of projects in various states of completion. At the end, a recently finished car. A stunning light yellow ’73 RSR replica. The car was a true testament to the quality of work that Skunk Werks produce.
I walked through the end door, through a corridor and I’m all of a sudden back at my car. I’m starving and realise it’s taken me 3 hours to see everything! With people already leaving, it was too late to take a video so I headed to the food tent to grab a burger and spent the next couple hours chatting to people as the cars slowly disappeared.
Hangar Banger 2 was huge! When I got home and saw all the photos coming through on social media, I realised there was heaps that I’d missed, but it wasn’t just about the cars. It was also about the friendships that have been built through Porsche ownership. I know of 4 cars that came from Adelaide and two from as far as Brisbane to participate in the Porsche party that was Hangar Banger. Well done to those who made this event happen. To the team at Skunk Werks who provided an amazing venue and worked with Porsche Forum Australia who also put in a crazy amount of their time to make sure the event was successful. I have a feeling that Hangar Banger 3 is going to be even bigger and better.
Huge thanks to Nick and Doug for their contribution to this article.