My ‘first’ first encounter with a Prancing Horse occurred when – as a little boy, in the 1960s – I was visiting relatives in New York City. I was walking up one of the avenues of Manhattan and I passed a parked red Ferrari Daytona with a black leather interior, its engine rumbling.
I was so fascinated by the design, the colour... and, of course, the sound. Which came from an incredible array of four exhaust pipes! I had never seen anything like this in my life. It looked more like an aircraft than a car. It was a moment I have never forgotten.
Joachim Brauner has dedicated an entire floor of his home to his collection
A few years later, during a family trip to Italy, I came across my ‘second’ first Ferrari: in this case, it wasn’t even a real one, it was a toy. My eyes fell upon it in the gift shop - a model of the Ferrari 312 T driven by Niki Lauda in the F1 Championship - when we stopped at a rest station along the autostrada for a snack. I was so fascinated by this car that I pleaded with my parents to buy it for me. Thus my model Ferrari collecting hobby was born.
That 312 T was the first of what has become – over the years – one of the largest collections of quality Prancing Horse model cars. In my house-museum in Munich I have some 1,700 Maranello roadster and racer models, in scales ranging from 1:43 all the way up to 1:8. It’s all very up to date: the latest additions are models of the Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2.
The collection is not simply about cars, it is about all things Maranello
The vast majority are in ‘classic’ Ferrari colours, like red and yellow. But my collection isn’t just about cars: over the 40 years of my collecting life, my passion has grown to include pretty much all things Maranello.
I own posters, pictures, memorabilia. I even have a ‘Scuderia Ferrari’ TV room, where with family and friends we watch F1 races together. And of course, books, especially books from the 1950s and 1960s, which contain exquisite drawings. Armed with these illustrations, some 20 years ago I contacted one of the best model builders, a German company called “One-Man-Factory”, and we began building miniature one-offs, creating models that no one else has ever seen. These are real gems of workmanship.
The collection includes some 1,700 Maranello roadster and race models
Over the years word has spread about my little ‘Ferrari Museum’ – my ‘Ferrari Man-Cave,’ as one of my sons has nicknamed it, jokingly – and many friends and family members have come to visit. When my boys were younger, I remember how they used to ask me to take their friends to see the collection. I was always happy to indulge them, for the collection is a way to share my passion for Ferrari.
Being surrounded by so much Prancing Horse beauty, you might think it would be difficult to have a ‘favourite’ Ferrari. But this is not the case. While they are all works of art, the F40 is my preferred rossa.
This was the last car that the company produced under the leadership of Enzo Ferrari himself. I recall that at the time it was considered the fastest road car ever built. And the design was – and still is – iconic. It is even my favourite in terms of my collection. In fact, I own several versions, in scales ranging from 1:43 to 1:8. It’s a true masterpiece, one that keeps me coming back for more.