May/June 2019 edition
Issue #5 AutoMobilia Resource Magazine
AutoMotorPlex - written by Herve Gindre - Garage Condo Owner
On the French Island of Corsica, August 9, 1970... an 11-year-old boy shopping with his dad, hands his dad a motorsport magazine he wants to buy instead of his usual comics… “Are you sure?” his dad asks in disbelief. “Yes Dad, pleeeaaaase!”
On the cover was a Gulf blue and orange Porsche 917 charging through the rain during the “24 Hours of Le Mans” with the title Porsche, finally! That was the beginning of how I got hooked on and connected to motorsport and Porsche!
The following year was the launch of the not yet iconic movie Le Mans with the unforgettable Steve McQueen. This movie made a great impression on my young mind! Now, as a testimony to that incredible era, it can be watched as an unbelievable project, and technical performance.
Five years later I was backpacking, traveling on a train, going to Le Mans to watch the race, and camp under the pine trees of the Dunlop Esses…. octane, cars, and pine trees! The passion was imbedded in me.
In 2010, after 25 years of traveling around the globe, my wife Veronique and I landed in Minneapolis, where we quickly got involved in the early days of the Medina, Minnesota, AutoMotorPlex by purchasing a car condo there. One of my dreams could finally come true; a couple of Porsches in a “Gulf Dream Garage.” A definitive place “all about cars” in which to do some work and meet other people (with their garage condos) sharing the same passion.
My wife and I had very specific ideas about decor. Our contractor ended up at the paint shop with a 1:43 scale model of a Gulf Porsche trying to match colors off their computer. We had very specific requirements; no colors other 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 (us) French people, there was now “nothing he couldn’t do!”
Porsche and Steve McQueen posters were obvious selections. Then, while visiting the annual “Porsche LA Lit & Toy Show” in Los Angeles with our friend Bill Groschen, we found a dozen, old, hand-drawn Porsche engineering drawings, displayed on the small table of a retired Porsche engineer. We were not too sure how he procured these… maybe through “the back door”, but they were real, and covered mainly Porsche road and racing cars from 1952 to 1971, before computer and CAD systems took over.