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Nelson Piquet Car Collection: The Craziest Garage In The World

Nelson Piquet's car collection
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Is it a museum or a garage that is too big? If you stand in front of Nelson Piquet's car collection, you automatically ask yourself this question. The Brazilian has invited a uto motor und sport exclusively to his home. And during the visit to the huge property in Brasilia, he often takes us to this place. It felt like five hours every day.

Piquet loves to sit on his couch in a corner of the great hall, look at his toys over an espresso and ask himself the question: Where do I go now with which car ?

We're not talking about Matchbox models here. In the garage of the three-time world champion on the outskirts of Brasilia there are real cars to touch and drive. Around 50 pieces. Old, new, in the original condition or pimped up. All of them squeaky clean, as if they came straight from the brochure. Plus 25 motorcycles. A workshop and a spare parts warehouse. And a real gas station. Brazil can be a wonderland. If you have a well-filled bank account.

Nelson Piquet affords car collection plus spare parts store

Nelson Piquet now earns more money with his company Autotrac than he collected earlier in his entire racing career. This is the way to finance the costly car whimsy. Plus the helicopters and planes. It all started at the age of ten.

“My mother drove an old DKW. A family friend had a Cadillac. What a ship. What a driving experience compared to our DKW. I fell in love with these cars, also because of their details. See the fuel filler flap that is hidden under the taillight. Just wonderful. That's why the first car in my collection was a 1956 Cadillac Eldorado. I now have four models. One is currently being restored by my mechanics. ”

Keyword mechanic. Five employees help Piquet get old cars back on the road and keep the collection in top condition. The 23-time GP winner also likes to get his fingers dirty. “I started out as a mechanic once. Nobody can fool me when it comes to VW engines. ”

In the workshop are a Mercedes from 1939, a Ford from 1929, a turquoise-blue Cadillac Eldorado with 315 hp, a Jeep and a boned de Tomaso Pantera. 'It will be ready in half a year,' promises Piquet.

Behind the workshop aretwo well-stocked spare parts stores. There are stacked engines, turbochargers, gearboxes, entire axles, but also timing belts, tires, rims, seals, metal sheets of all kinds to replace damaged body parts and every imaginable accessory for old and new cars.

On a shelf reading about the cars that Piquet drives. With collecting came the interest. The ex-champion knows surprisingly well about the history of his models. And he keeps a kind of logbook for every car. It is noted where it came from, how many previous owners it had, how many kilometers, which repairs, which tuning.

Nelson Piquet buys old Rolls Royce in new condition

With all the precious items The question naturally arises. Which is the most expensive? Piquet points to a Rolls Royce from 1926 and tells an interesting story about it. “It originally belonged to the owners of the Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio. They sold him to a businessman in Sao Paulo. When I got wind of the car, they said it hadn't been driven much. '

' I looked at the Rolls and saw that it hadn't traveled a meter yet. Over the years, the oil in the engine had turned to fat, the gasoline to powder. We cleaned everything, flushed it, put in gasoline and oil, started the engine, and the car ran. Because no rubber seals or other short-lived materials were used. All solid mechanics. They used a leather strap for the engine control. ”

Today the car should be worth 2.5 million dollars. But it is not for sale. Piquet digs out the manual for the Roll, which is stowed in the trunk. The book is in itself a museum piece: “Look at that. It is more of a construction manual than an instruction manual. With a sectional drawing of the engine, the exact gear ratio and the wiring diagram of the electrical system. You could lay the wiring harness yourself. ”

Piquet is impressed by Rolls Royce. Right next door is a beige Rolls Corniche, built in 1977, that he found in Miami. The youngest representative of the traditional company in Piquet's collection is the 2012 model Ghost.

Exotics from Interlagos to Puma?

The counterpart to the luxury cars of the British premium brand is an old Renault 4CV. Piquet estimates its price at $ 10,000. A real beetle should not be missing either. “Built in 1974 here in Brasilia. It's just 1,000 kilometers on the clock. ”Sometimes the last playboy among the Formula 1 world champions gets sentimental. “I once had a BMW M3 convertible. I sold that. I later discovered him again in an ad here in Brasilia. I got it back immediately. ”

In addition to classics like a Porsche 365 from 1959, two Jaguar E-Types from 1970 and 1973, the original Mini, a Mustang like in the movieBullit, two Corvettes, a Karmann Ghia from 1970, a Ferrari 308 GTSi from 1980 and a Dino 10 years older, there are also a few real exotic cars in the ex-world champion's exclusive parking lot. For example an Interlagos. The car, which was built in Sao Paulo in 1975, is a Renault Alpine blend with 65 hp.

The Puma is also a Brazilian-made car. He is from Porto Alegre. Piquet has two of them. One in its original condition with a four-cylinder VW engine from 1984 and one that has been tightened. And then right away. “I got myself a Formula 1 engine from BMW from the 1980s and built the thing with the intercooler in the rear. With 1.8 bar boost pressure, it has 650 hp. The car is dangerous to the public. Can hardly drive straight ahead because of all the power. ”

Ford GT40 with 950 hp

Piquet is not a purist. He doesn't mind if he does a bit of the original. Like one of the two minis, which now has 300 hp. Or the VW bus, which is only three years old but trimmed for retro and has a turbo engine on top of that.

Or the Lincoln from 1927, in which he raced. “Originally the car was built for the Indianapolis 500 miles and therefore only has rear brakes. I drive it on real racetracks. With two drum brakes that would be life-threatening. So I installed two disc brakes at the front and an additional spring at the rear so that the chassis isn't too hard. ”Then there's a Cobra replica with a carbon body. 'The body weighs only 85 kilograms,' reveals Piquet.

Of course, more modern cars also belong to the collection. A BMW Z8, only 4 of which were sold in Brazil. A Ferrari FF, a Ferrari 599 and a McLaren MP4-12C. The Jaguar XJ220 is an exotic one again. Only 288 pieces were built of the 790 hp sports car that was to drive at Le Mans. Piquet bought the car from an uncle of ex-racing driver Pedro Diniz.

The most powerful car in the portfolio is the Ford GT40, which Piquet has given a monstrous rear wing because this car is sometimes also taken to the racetrack . Today we're going to take it to the runway. That's right. Piquet has its own runway on its 100 hectare property. For his planes.

On the 900-meter-long stretch of asphalt in the middle of the forest, he spurs the 950 hp of the Ford GT40. “But only uphill. Just like we land. Downhill is too risky for me. If the brakes fail, I'll lie in the woods. ”

The three days on the Piquet estate in Brasilia go by in a flash. Unfortunately we don't have enough time to try out all the cars. 'It takes me about a month to get through it all,' the 63-year-old Brazilian grins.

Last question: Not interested in his old racing cars? “I only have the 1987 Williams at home. TheI bought it from Frank. Unfortunately, at the time I forgot to contractually secure my racing cars. ”The Williams is not part of the collection, by the way. It hangs on the wall in the staircase of the villa.


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