French Island of Corsica, August 9, 1970 … an 11 year old boy shopping with his dad shows him the Motorsport magazine he wants to buy , instead of his usual cartoons “ “Are you sure?… Yes dad , pleeeaaaase !” On the front cover, there is a Gulf blue and orange Porsche 917 car charging through the rain during the 24hour of Le Mans with the tittle “ Porsche, finally! “
This is how I caught the virus and got connected with motorsport and Porsche … The following year was the launch of the iconic “ Le Mans “ movie with the unforgettable Steve Mc Queen … the movie was not, at the time . But now it can be watched as an incredible project and technical performance , as well as the testimony of an increbile era .
Five years later, I was with my backpack, in the train going to Le Mans to watch the race and camp under the pine trees of the Dunlop Esses … Another great memory.. Octane, cars and pine trees . And the passion never left me .
So when we landed in Minneapolis in 2010 after 25 years around the globe, I quickly connected with Chanhassen and Bruno, and got involved into the early days of the Medina AutoMotorPlex project …One of my dream could finally come through: a couple of Porsche’s in a Gulf Garage with a place to do some work and meet people sharing the same passion.
My wife Veronique and I had very specific ideas about the decoration . Our contractor ended at the paint shop with a Gulf Porsche 1:43 scale model trying to match painting colors with the computer…We had very tight specifications, where no other colors than gulf blue and orange, and asphalt grey were tolerated… By the end of the project, he was teasing us with the fact that having worked with French people , there was nothing he couldn’t do ..!
Porsche and Steve Mc Queen posters were obvious selections . Then, visiting the Porsche Lit & Toy show in Los Angeles with my friend Bill Groschen ,I found a dozen of old, hand -made Porsche engineering drawings displayed by a retired Porsche Austrian engineer on a 50×60 table … Not too sure if he got these through the back door, but these cover main Porsche road and racing cars from 1952 to 1971.. when computer and CAD system took over.
It is mind blowing to think that cars were entirely designed by hand on tracing paper till 1971 and the iconic Porsche 917 … and none of our visitors has been insensitive to that … Including the Porsche North America team when they came with Bruno to visit the Medina AutoMotorPlex !
So if you attend one of our next Saturday car show, or even if you are just driving around, please stop by and we will chat about our mutual passion, and look at 50-60 year old hand made Porsche engineering drawings!
Read all the posts on our GarageLife column at automobiliaresource.com/garagelife