"Johan, what kind of car do you think I should buy?” asked Jim Delwiche, looking at his ten-year-old grandson. He then narrowed down the choices: “A Porsche or a Corvette?”

Little Johan-Frank Dirickx’s answer would have a lasting impact on his life. “My grandfather drove a British sports car – but didn’t feel it was practical for everyday use,” says Dirickx. “That moment would change everything.” Anyone who’s visited Dirickx’s collection in Antwerp, Belgium, knows at once which sports car manufacturer he ultimately chose. The spacious, brightly lit garage houses around 50 Porsche models, all lined up neatly on special platforms.

Johan-Frank Dirickx, Moby Dick 935 from 2019, Antwerp, 2022, Porsche AG
Dirickx con la sua 935 del 2019. Il motore GT2 RS da 691 CV e la carrozzeria ispirata alla Moby Dick 935 rendono questa vettura una delle sue preferite.
Johan-Frank Dirickx’s Porsche collection, Antwerp, 2022, Porsche AG
Che si tratti di quadri sulle pareti, di oggetti incentrati sull’automobilismo o della collezione Porsche di Dirickx, la sua passione risplende in tutti i colori dell’arcobaleno.
Johan-Frank Dirickx‘s Porsche collection, Antwerp, 2022, Porsche AG
Per poter ospitare tutte le Porsche nel suo garage, il belga Dirickx ha installato supporti speciali.
Johan-Frank Dirickx‘s garage, Antwerp, 2022, Porsche AG
Nel garage di Dirickx non si trovano solo auto. Gli angoli senza vetture sono pochi, ma davvero entusiasmanti.
Panamera 4S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo, Antwerp, 2022, Porsche AG
Nella sua vita privata, Dirickx guida una Panamera color Brewstergreen.
Johan-Frank Dirickx's garage, Antwerp, 2022, Porsche AG
Curiosando nel garage di Dirickx, si ha la sensazione di essere in un Museo Porsche.

It was his grandfather who first began purchasing the cars, guided by his grandson’s instinct. “The first 2.0-liter 911 Targa S was followed by a 2.2-liter 911 S and then a 2.4-liter S,” recalls Dirickx. “When a bright-yellow Carrera RS 2.7 joined the ranks, I realized I was officially addicted to the 911.” The big moment came when Dirickx passed his driver’s test – and was given access to the ignition keys. If he’d required such a thing, this moment could be referred to as the initial spark. But it was, in fact, the ultimate confirmation of true 911 love. A love that led Dirickx to acquire his first 911 at the age of 18 – a used 911 T. But without a budget for restoration, he had to sell it again soon thereafter. Dirickx had little choice but to enjoy his grandfather’s vehicles during his studies in economics. “I’ll never forget the time I drove the 911 Turbo on the streets of Antwerp, which at that time were nearly empty.”

Less Is More, Johan-Frank Dirickx, Antwerp, 2022, Porsche AG

And that’s also why you’ll find two 911 Turbo (type 930) in his garage: a 3.0 and 3.3 – in the ideal condition. They perfectly symbolize one aspect of Dirickx’s philosophy: “A car needs to be kept in its original condition – with the patina it’s developed over time – or it needs to be restored to perfection.” According to Dirickx, you can’t restore patina. “But it should be maintained wherever possible.”

Malinconia:
Nostalgia: Dirickx has owned his first 911 RS in Rubystar for 30 years.

Dirickx perfected this philosophy when he kicked off his career. At the age of 33, he purchased another 911 – a 964 RS in Rubystar – this time for keeps. The two letters RS were important, as driving his grandfather’s RS 2.7 formed the basis for Dirickx’s appreciation for lightweight design. “Although, it’s actually an anachronism for spending more on less car,” says the collector, grinning. “But the 964 RS embodies the true spirit of a race car.” The desire for this attribute would ultimately never wane. So he went in search of the object that once formed the foundation for his love of the lightweight car. “After 30 years, I found my grandfather’s old RS just outside Barcelona,” says Dirickx. “But it had been destroyed. The owner had had it restored on the basis of a 911 T body – it was no longer the RS that I remember.” However, that didn’t extinguish his affinity for the RS. He now has two of the coveted cars in his collection, one of which is the very rare RS 2.7 homologation lightweight.

Rarità:
il garage di Dirickx ospita colorati esemplari da corsa.

But the star of his garage is a white 911 R from 1967, of which only 20 were built. “The holy grail,” says Dirickx. “Unfortunately, it’s so valuable, that you really shouldn’t drive it anymore.” The collection primarily consists of lightweight vehicles. With the exception of an IROC RSR, his plan to own all of the air-cooled RS models has been a success. “I now also have the RS 3.0, the 3.0 RSR, and my recently acquired 934,” he says. “I even have two 911 SC/RS models. There were only 20 of those made.”

Dirickx also owns some water-cooled Porsche models, of course, including a 911 GT3 RS (type 996) and the 935 (2019), whose body is inspired by the 911 race car christened Moby Dick from the late 1970s. But he does have something in common with so many of the collectors: “I love the air-cooled, lightweight, early race cars, which are more difficult to drive, but are endlessly fascinating.”

“The star is the 911 R” Johan-Frank Dirickx

The Belgian can also drive his cars the way they were meant to be driven – he has competed in 12 Hours of Sebring, Le Mans Classic, and twice in 24 Hours of Daytona. But he enjoys the rallies more. And drifting: “In the winter I practice on frozen lakes in Scandinavia,” he explains, turning an imaginary steering wheel in his hands. And if you look more closely, you’ll see his foot softly applying the gas pedal.

Info

Text first published in the Porsche magazine Christophorus, No. 404.

Author: Jürgen Lewandowski

Photos: Theodor Barth, Lies de Mol

Copyright: All images, videos and audio files published in this article are subject to copyright. Reproduction in whole or in part is not permitted without the written consent of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG is not permitted. Please contact newsroom@porsche.com for further information.

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