“Porsche will follow you throughout your life”, says Matthias Braun, who works with cars from many different brands as part of his job. Braun is the General Secretary of the AvD and a self-confessed Porsche enthusiast. “Owning a Porsche has always been my dream”, says Braun, whose family has a long history of involvement with cars; his father had ambitions of becoming an automotive engineer when he was young. But as far as the man from Detmold in northern Germany can recall, Porsche played a prominent role throughout his childhood. “My godfather always drove a Porsche. Of course, as a boy I played with toy cars. ‘Auto-Quartett’ was very popular and of course there was the Carrera course. Porsche cars, particularly the 911, were always the object of my desire.”
After studying business economics, law and Japanese, Braun began working as a Business Consultant for Bain & Company and then for A.T. Kearney. As soon as Porsches were approved as company cars, the enthusiastic consultant acquired a used 911. However, in 2001 the 53-year-old car connoisseur treated himself to the car he had long desired and even configured it himself – his very own Porsche 911.
The Munich-based consultant drove a 996 Carrera 4 throughout his years with Audi. However, in his role as General Secretary of the AvD, he has driven a Mercedes-Benz as his company car since 2009. Obviously, the Porsche enthusiast's job involves driving all kinds of interesting vehicles, but for sentimental reasons and due to his fondness for the vehicle, he has held on to his 911. “You just cannot help feeling attached to your first new and very own car”, he believes, adding: “I have had her for 15 years, not to mention the high emotions that are attached to this car. It is a very solid everyday vehicle with a wonderful driving performance. So far, my 911 has travelled around 40,000 kilometres (25,000 miles) and I have never had a single problem with it.”
Braun's Carrera 4 continues to provide immense joy. However, it is now his wife who occupies the driver's seat most of the time. She shares her husband's devotion to the sportscar with the beautiful Alcantara interior. Nowadays, it is only on rare occasions, such as the drive from Munich to Monrepos Lakeside Palace in Ludwigsburg, that you'll find Matthias Braun behind the steering wheel of the 911.
No matter what Braun did during and after his student years, all his internships and his first professional experience were based in the automotive sector: he paid for his studies by working in a car dealership and writing for the German car magazine Auto, Motor und Sport or working for Mercedes-Benz under the former press officer Günther Molter before taking up work with a consultancy – “my focus has always been on cars”, he adds. From there he moved directly to Audi in Ingolstadt before finally switching to the AvD.
“Of course, the AvD is focussed purely on cars: from Formula 1 to classic vehicles”, explains the car enthusiast in an excited manner. The AvD has always had close connections with Porsche. The legendary Huschke von Hanstein, long-time Press Director, Racing Manager and Racing Driver at Porsche, was one of the driving forces behind the German Automobile Club and was one of the honorary members if the executive committee.
What does the General Secretary of an automobile club do? He leads the club and is responsible for ensuring that the club fulfils its statutory mission – to promote automobility and motorsports. Braun explains the club’s focus on sports, “We are very heavily involved in motorsports; we are a supporting association of the Deutscher Motorsport Bund (DMSB – German Motorsport Association). As a founding member of FIA, the worldwide organisation of the automobile clubs, we also organise Formula 1 races in Germany.”
The scope of the AvD is very diverse. “At the AvD Classic Car Grand Prix (OGP) at the Nürburgring, which we have held for more than 40 years, Porsche is a close partner. This also applies to other classic car events such as the Solitude Revival, which has taken place for several years on the Porsche home circuit, the AvD Saxony Rally or Rossfeld race in Berchtesgaden, which is the highest pass road in Germany. Of course, we are also responsible for events abroad, whether in Chantilly or at the Beijing-Shanghai rally”, states the Porsche lover, listing some of the AvD activities that the sportscar manufacturer is extensively involved in.
Braun has written several books. These of course are also on the subject of Porsche. “The wealth of innovation within this company has always been fascinating to me. The vehicles and systems devised in Weissach are highly sophisticated – be it motorcycles, tractors or fire brigade systems. Porsche is really very flexible”, sums up car connoisseur Braun in an impressed tone.
Dream car, dream job – pure passion has inspired Matthias Braun to resolutely pursue his passion for cars. And he has done so with great success. It is not difficult to see that Braun is a man who is completely satisfied with his (professional) life. Plus, he has preserved the child within himself and his genuine enthusiasm for cars, which is something truly essential.