THE USUAL SUS­PECTS

Where do you keep your pride and joy? Our man meets some­one who’s solved his stor­age prob­lem three-hun­dred times over, and in­vites you to join him. Plus, when Porsche pow­ered aero­planes, and the clock’s now tick­ing on Blood­hound’s 1000mph run

911 Porsche World - - Contents -

Paul Davies has his say

Where do you keep your car col­lec­tion? Not got one, sorry about that. But it’s not such a silly ques­tion. More peo­ple than you might think do have one. OK they’re usu­ally the pre­rog­a­tive of the su­per-rich, but I did once visit a man who man­aged to cram five Porsche 928s onto his front lawn (not one was a run­ner) and knew a lo­cal builder who sim­ply lined up in a field the cars he dis­carded each time he bought a new one.

Not ev­ery­one of course has a handy field or a gar­den big enough to take even a mod­est cache. The prob­lem hit me last year when I bought a camper van big­ger than the VW I’d had for years. Yes, the new job just fit­ted on the drive, but the thing tow­ered over the hedge in­tim­i­dat­ing the neigh­bours – and I had to move it each time I wanted to get the Car­rera 3.2 out of our tiny garage.

Five quid a week to rent a space in the farmer’s barn down the road eas­ily cured my prob­lem. But I reckon once upon a time Rodger Dud­ding had more of a headache – he’s cur­rently got some­thing ex­ceed­ing 320 cars he’s col­lected over the years. Ac­tu­ally Rodger solved his wor­ries by build­ing a ware­house to (ahem) house his col­lec­tion. Now he’s look­ing af­ter other peo­ple’s gems as well as his own, and also build­ing a new state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity that’ll take 500 more.

Car stor­age has be­come big busi­ness, and ‘sig­nif­i­cant’ Porsches are of­ten can­di­dates for it. Our old chum Neil Bain­bridge, of BS Mo­tor­sport in Buck­ing­hamshire, set up a pre­dom­i­nately Porsche stor­age cen­tre sev­eral years ago, whilst I re­cently vis­ited the im­pres­sive His­toric build­ing at Bices­ter Her­itage. All over the coun­try there are car col­lec­tions, small and big, some more pri­vate than others, and fa­cil­i­ties ready to house them of­fer­ing se­cu­rity and (if re­quired) anonymity.

Back to Rodger, a truly af­fa­ble fel­low who made his money by in­vent­ing the sys­tem that is­sues a lit­tle printed ticket when we queue at the deli for our pate or stink­ing bishop. He ad­mits to be­ing a se­rial car buyer. He’s got no am­bi­tions to cre­ate a com­plete col­lec­tion of, say, as we would, Porsches or even, as we would not say, Fer­raris. He just buys what takes his fancy; of­ten at­tend­ing an auc­tion to chase some­thing he saw in the cat­a­logue and re­turn­ing with five others as well.

Rodger’s 300-plus ve­hi­cles (you name it, he’s got at least one) fill most of his orig­i­nal Stu­dio 434 at Pot­ters Bar, north of Lon­don, and since he started to take in, so to speak, pay­ing guests, the two-storey build­ing is now full up. Stu­dio 434/2, just around the cor­ner, con­struc­tion of which is now al­most fin­ished, of­fers an ex­tra 500,000sq ft of se­cure space and should be up and run­ning by the time you read this. Prices start at around £45 per week. (stu­dio 434.co.uk)

Ac­tu­ally, there is one theme in Rodger’s pre­dom­i­nately eclec­tic col­lec­tion. Re­mem­ber the Wil­liam Towns de­signed, wedge shaped, As­ton Martin Lagonda of the eight­ies? He’s got 23. He just likes them. Porsches, I’m sorry to report, are not that plen­ti­ful (al­though there are two nice 356s, one with US race his­tory, a 928 and I also spot­ted a cou­ple of what must be RSRS un­der wraps), so per­haps that’s an area for im­prove­ment.

Rodger Dud­ding’s 356 has US rac­ing his­tory The new Stu­dio 434/2 stor­age fa­cil­ity has space for 500 cars on three floors

PAULDAVIES 911&PW’S rov­ing re­porter

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