The Contrast Of Now And Then Of A Country With The Largest Oil Reserves: William And His 911 Targa
A few years ago during my visit to Venezuela, I had the opportunity to photograph this great Porsche in a location that completely reflects what it once was and what it is today, one of the countries with the largest oil reserves. To put it in context, Venezuela between the 70s and 90s had the best moments in terms of economic growth, caused by the oil boom. But since the 40s, there was already a huge development in that industry. Somehow, it is relevant to point out that in the 50s, during the dictatorship, President Marcos Perez Jimenez was passionate about cars, racing, and competitions. For instance, he used to close the entire streets of Caracas for racing, inviting renowned figures from the automotive world like Fangio to race with him. That’s why Venezuela had unique Porsche prototypes to be used and shown in the Venezuelan market for racing and positioning as a brand in the country. During those four decades, incredible cars were imported to Venezuela, among them this 911 Targa.
At this moment the country is going through a gasoline shortage, with many blackouts and a hyper-inflation that does not stop. Surely you’ve heard or seen something about this. Even in the pictures you will see how many Venezuelans today have to buy gas in jerrycans with inflated prices, and put the gasoline themselves into their cars. My most sincere respect for this situation.
I asked William, an excellent man, who kindly shared his Porsche and his story with Carphiles.
Tell me about yourself.
I’m a guy who has always liked vintage cars, especially sports cars. My dream was one day to have a Porsche, thank God he gave me two, and my first car was a ’57 Thunderbird a wonderful car!
This is a ’77 Targa, right?
My yellow Porsche is a 911 Targa SC from the year 1977 in bodywork but in the property, titles appear as the year 1969. No one knows why, but at that time the cars were brought to Venezuela and put fewer years than corresponded to the year that was the car, I guess for tax reasons.
How did you get this Porsche?
When I saw the Targa for the first time it was love at first sight. I asked the owner of the car at some point and he asked me for an impossible amount of money to pay. After that, we made a very good friendship. It was almost 8 years that we talked about everything but the car. Until one day we talked about it again and we reached an agreement, since that day 6 years ago it is mine and we still have the friendship.
So it was a Porsche, originally imported from Germany to Venezuela?
According to all the documentation I have, the car was brought from Germany to Venezuela by the German ambassador in the 70s as his daily car. He then sold it to my friend’s father. Since I bought it it has been in the same condition only with the fact that I have improved it in some things.
What do you enjoy most about your car?
What I like most about it is that the car was made for that purpose and it fulfills its function, but apart from that it is a beautifully designed car, I love it in its entirety.
I know of a project you were working on with a 356. Tell me about it, maybe next time we meet I’ll take pictures of it!
Sure thing! The Porsche 356 is a car that every Porsche fan dreams of having, and I’m very lucky to own one. It is a PRE A, one of the first ones made. An amazing car but it is very expensive to restore it. I would love to finish it but due to the economic situation of the country we have it has affected us a lot and that has affected also the projects enormously. Let’s hope that Venezuela changes its situation and we can continue with these pending projects.
On Sunday, June 19th, we celebrated the first Carphiles event of this year. In a typical Berlin industrial backyard in the Xberg area where our friends from @conciergecoffee are located! I selected 19 iconic cars to stage and appreciate them in different ways. Here we were both car lovers and non-car lovers which in a different way is my way to draw the attention of those who don’t have an interest in cars, especially these design icons.
I think that in almost all my photos I can show my great love, passion, and respect for architecture and cars. That’s why I could say that this shooting is one of the best I’ve ever done in the almost 7 years I’ve been specializing in cars. This time I was in one of the most prominent buildings of Swiss Brutalist architecture, combined with one of the great icons of the 80s, the Testarossa.
Everything comes to an end in some way, such as air-cooled engines or more recently the end of one of Europe’s most emblematic and modern airports of the 1970s: Berlin Tegel TXL.