Where do old racing cars go when they retire? This is something that I often wonder about. Sure some of the racing teams and manufacturers have museums to keep their cars and show them off to the public. Porsche have one of the finest motorsport museums in the world and have often brought some of their cars to Australia to compete at the Philip Island Historics before the Grand Prix. Some of their most famous cars, from the awesome 917K that took Porsche’s first outright victory at Le Mans in 1970, to the 911 GT1 that took the Stuttgart marques last victory in 1998 have visited Melbourne for this event over the last decade thanks to the Porsche museum.
Businessmen too buy old racing cars, whether to race them in historic events or just to have in their own private museums. Michele Alboreto’s Ferrari 156 which placed second in the 1985 World Driver’s Championship is owned by an Australian businessman as is the Benetton BMW 186 which was driven by Gerhard Berger and Teo Fabi in the 1986 season. The Mercedes C11 which won the 1989 World Sportscar Championship for Jean Louis Schlesser hit the magical mark of 407kmh on the Mulsanne Straight and was driven by a green Michael Schumacher in 1990 is also owned by an Australian businessman and like the Ferrari and Benetton is a regular attendee at the Philip Island Historic meet.
Today I was reading an old Porsche 911 magazine and saw a letter correcting a miscaptioned photo in a previous issue. The owner of the car which was miscaptioned had written in to correct the magazine. He explained that he bought the car from his friend Reinhold Joest a few years earlier and explained the history of this car. The car he described was one of my all-time favourites, the Gulf Porsche 908/3 which won the 1970 Targa Florio as well as the 1970 and 71 Nurburgring 1000. This car visited Australia in 1998 for Porsche’s 50th birthday celebration and I have a 1:43 scale model of it.
The owner of the car and writer of the letter is a guy named Jerry Seinfeld. You may have heard of him?!