There are millions of Porsche fanatics around the world but very few worship the famous German marque with so much enthusiasm and dedication as model collector and Porsche aficionado, ‘Alberto’.
His compelling story begins in the early seventies where his early passion for rallying steers his inquisitive mind towards the remarkable success of the legendary 911 whilst piloted by Spanish automotive legends such as José Manuel Lencina, Eladio Doncel and Alberto Ruiz Giménez who was also nicknamed “El oso”.
From that point onwards, his love for Porsche becomes devotion; his life dominated by a succession of events where the brand’s iconic shield almost consumes everything else.
Alberto’s house resembles something of a Porsche Museum where thousands of models ranging from 1:43 – 1:8 reside perfectly. On one side, the circuit cars; on the other, those of rallies, divided in turn into those of the Spanish and international championships.
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Below, the different versions of each of the eight generations of the nineteen; A little further, the first 356 that started in 1948, the year of Porsche’s birth, together with the initial prototypes of the Volkswagen Beetle, Ferdinand Porsche’s project to create the “people’s car”.
“It is the only license that I have allowed in this collection because for me Porsche starts with the 356 No. 1 Roadster, the creation of a true genius and architect of this company, Ferry Porsche.”
Such is his admiration for this character, that more than once he has made a pilgrimage with his family to Zell am See (Austria), a place closely linked to the last name Porsche, where the “Schüttgut” family estate is located, where the remains lie. Ferry.
His wife, of course, is not interested at all by the cars or the constant anecdotes that envelope them but does enjoy seeing her other half ‘hatching’ crazy plans as he nonchalantly organises yet another Porsche related expedition.
Do Not Touch
This is an incredible authentic ‘shrine’ where nothing is left to chance. A corner is dedicated to all the Porsches that have participated in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans in the 72 years of the company’s history.
Occupying the central part of the room is fully detailed Porsche Center boasting reception, exhibitor area, corporate identification, advertising elements… “Here, every time you acquire a new 1:43, you place it on the floor from the dealer and makes the official presentation”, explains Alberto’s wife very seriously.
The most impressive collection of model miniatures are strategically placed on their individual custom-made plinths enclosed by glass. Strict ‘do not touch’ rules apply with only the custodian allowed to remove the glass cases via powerful suction cups which only he operates. The shelves that surround the room are reserved for the ‘elite’ of the collection with miniature plants and lampposts omitting real light.
Anecdotal dioramas of reality add to the sometimes bizarre arrangement such as the reproduction of Julio Gargallo’s 911 as it stood in the middle of the road after a major accident in a Galician Rally. Also curious, models such as the Porsche Type 597 Jagdwagen which was born as a result of a competition in 1953 for the development and production of a high-performance light SUV destined for the German army. Or the legendary Porsche tractors and even a collection of perfectly labelled commercial vehicles selling various products.
Even the office armchair is an original Porsche seat to which Alberto has attached the arms and wheels of his choice.
Alberto says quietly:
“When I was little and I returned from school, many days I would stop in front of the Porsche dealership and spend a good time looking from outside; I didn’t even dare to enter.”
The Porsche Library
Suitably impressed the fascinated onlooker is drawn to the Porsche library where hundreds of books carefully arranged describe the history of the brand, competition models; on relevant characters and, in general, on any subject that is linked to the brand.
An enormous signed biographical book of the pilot Jacky Ickx sits proudly out on a table, accompanied by small model boats with memories of some mythical races in which he participated: a tiny piece of the body of a Porsche 935, a piece of rubber from a tyre used in the 12 Hours of Sebring, the sand of the Tenéré desert of a Paris-Dakar, a sample of asphalt from the famous Hunaudèires straight of the Le Mans 24 Hours circuit or original part of a curb of the Monaco Grand Prix.
Briefly stopping again in front of a model of the Porsche with which Antonio Zanini won the European Rally Championship in 1980, Alberto whispers, “I have become very close friends with Antonio and whenever he passes by he calls me and we see. Here I have a poster that Porsche sent him, with the cardboard tube where it came from, that commemorates all the championships they won that year. A relic that he gave me. Antonio is an encyclopedia and I really enjoy chatting with him”.
*Alberto is the pseudonym to respect anonymity.
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Images courtesy of Porsche.