There are certain things that every man must experience at least once in their life, such as giving the best man speech, falling deeply in love, attending a motorsports event like the Indy 500 or Daytona 500, traveling to an exotic location, and living abroad. But few things compare to the thrill of getting behind the wheel of a powerful luxury import at high speeds. Deciding what to include in your bucket list is solely up to you, but the Porsche Experience Center is a must-visit destination if you’re passionate about cars.
As a motorsports enthusiast, I’ve done some pretty exciting things. I’ve been to an F1 race in Shanghai, China, the Formula E championship in Montreal, the Ferrari Finali Mondiali, and countless Indy and NASCAR races across the United States. I’ve even been behind the wheel of some pretty cool exotic and luxury cars, including a Porsche. But until recently, I’d never had the opportunity to immerse myself in all things Porsche.
All that changed when I got my hands on some of the most captivating automotive books ever printed, including Porsche 75th Anniversary, which tells the entire story of Germany’s fabled marque through a richly illustrated account of its most surprising moves and successes. After reading the book, I was lucky enough to snag an invite to a private media viewing of an exhibit called “We Are Porsche” at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California. I also secured an invite to the Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles (PECLA) for their Le Mans VIP Experience.
Where Driving is an Adventure
The exhibit at the Peterson provided an amazing overview of the history of Porsche, the brand’s racing legacy, and philosophy. However, the PECLA Le Mans VIP Experience was the perfect way to cap off our exploration into the world of Porsche.
As you can imagine, the Porsche Experience Center in Los Angeles did not disappoint. Call it an experience in an experience, if you will. The once-in-a-lifetime immersive Le Mans VIP event was a great way to get familiar with Porsche’s rich motorsports history. Although guests were 5,610 miles away from Le Mans, the event was a way to enjoy the broadcast of one of the greatest motorsport events in the world, while American racing legend Hurley Haywood was also on hand to share his unique driver perspective.
Behind the Wheel
A highlight of the event was the exclusive Sound Night experience. Porsche performance drivers did demo laps so guests could hear the thunderous sound of various Porsche engines as they zoomed around the track. Although we couldn’t get behind the wheel on this visit, we took a ride on the wild side for a couple of hot laps from the passenger seat with one of Porsche’s finest drivers.
One of the best things about the experiential aspect of visiting the Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles is that you get an inside look at what it’s like from the driver’s seat of a Porsche. Having been in the passenger seat with The Stig from Top Gear doing donuts on the Ford test track in Dearborn, Michigan, and behind the wheel on many courses, including the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Charlotte Motor Speedway, this experience did not disappoint.
The Ultimate Driving Playground
PECLA is the ultimate playground for car enthusiasts. Conveniently located just minutes from Los Angeles International Airport, the center spans over 53 acres and offers a range of driving experiences that are unlike any other. PECLA rolled out the red carpet for their special Le Mans VIP event, and you can expect nothing less if you decide to visit. We were so excited about our VIP experience that we returned the next day for Porsche’s monthly meet-up called The Morning Shift.
This special three-hour event features a diverse array of Porsche sports cars, each with its own unique paint color. From classic hues to bold statements, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The event is perfect for the whole family and promises a morning full of vibrant surprises you won’t want to miss.
If you’re a Porsche enthusiast, then you’ve probably dreamed of what it would be like to drive one of these iconic cars on a racetrack. Well, your dream can come true at the Porsche Experience Center in Los Angeles.
The Handling Circuit is a 1.3-mile track designed to test your skills in a variety of driving situations. You’ll slalom through cones, brake hard at the end of the straightaway, and take corners at high speeds.
By the end of your experience, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the engineering and performance of Porsche cars. You’ll also have a smile on your face from ear to ear.
From Dream to Reality
Imagine this: you’re sitting in the passenger seat of a Porsche 911 GT3 RS, and your instructor is taking you on a high-speed lap of the Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles handling circuit. You’re feeling the adrenaline pumping through your veins as you grip the steering wheel tightly and take in the adrenaline-charged view of the track zipping by. And don’t worry about your driving skills. PECLA offers a range of experiences catering to seasoned drivers and complete novices.
From the Porsche Precision Driving Experience, designed to help drivers improve their skills behind the wheel, to the Porsche Track Experience, the ultimate driving experience for adrenaline junkies, you can get behind the wheel of some of the most iconic Porsche models, including the 911, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The center also offers a variety of other experiences, including the Porsche Off-Road Experience, where drivers can take a Porsche Cayenne or Macan off-road, and the Porsche Classic Experience, where drivers can get behind the wheel of a classic Porsche model. With so many options available, the Porsche Experience Center is the ultimate playground for car enthusiasts.
The excitement doesn’t stop on the track. Off-the-track experiences await, offering a glimpse into the world of Porsche like never before. Step into the Porsche Classic Restoration Workshop and witness classic Porsche models meticulously restored to their former glory. Visit the Porsche Design Studio and immerse yourself in the latest Porsche Design products, discovering the unique design philosophy that sets Porsche apart. And if you’re looking for an unforgettable event, PECLA also hosts private and corporate events sure to leave a lasting impression.
Beyond the Car
When you visit the Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles, it’s not just about the thrilling driving experiences. It’s also about indulging in the finer things in life. PECLA offers a range of dining options that will satisfy even the most discerning palate.
After a day of driving on the track, you can refuel at the Speedster Café, which offers a variety of delicious bites and refreshing beverages. Or, for a more sophisticated meal, head to Restaurant 917, where you can enjoy gourmet cuisine prepared by a classically trained chef while overlooking the stunning views of the track.
Restaurant 917 offers the perfect atmosphere and a menu that features a variety of classic Porsche-inspired dishes, including a selection of wines and cocktails. Whether you’re in the mood for a burger and fries or a more sophisticated meal, you will find something to your taste. And after dinner, why not relax with a cocktail in the Porsche Bar?
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles is more than just a place to drive Porsche cars. It’s an alluring experience that allows you to explore what makes Porsche so special. PECLA is the perfect place to experience the thrill of driving a Porsche and learn more about the brand’s rich history.
A Driver’s Paradise
The center is filled with historical Porsche cars and interactive exhibits that teach you about the science of driving. You can also experience what it’s like to drive a Porsche on a variety of tracks in a driving simulator. Can’t get to Los Angeles? Don’t worry. There are Porsche Experience Centers in Atlanta, GA, and Birmingham, Alabama. So, whether you’re a Porsche fanatic or just looking for a unique and thrilling experience, the Porsche Experience Center is the perfect destination.
So what are you waiting for? Visit PECLA today and experience the thrill of driving a Porsche.