Featured: This Is Portugal's Piece Of Ferrari Heaven

This Is Portugal’s Piece Of Ferrari Heaven

Petrolicious Productions By Petrolicious Productions
August 21, 2017
11 comments

Story and photography by Joel Araújo

Hello. My name is Joel. I’m 26 years old, and I’m a designer and classic car photographer. I daily-drive and am restoring my first car, an ’88 Toyota Starlet EP70 XL, and this was my visit to Ferrari Heaven.

During an average Portuguese day—waking up, eating codfish and drinking wine, sleeping—my routine was suddenly interrupted by a phone call from Salvador Patrício Gouveia, fellow drummer and car aficionado, and one of the directors of Museu do Caramulo, which serves as the home of the Caramulo Motorfestival

Salvador had called to talk about Portugal’s second national sport, which is flirting with women, just after football (…soccer…) of course! He kept talking about these old ladies with funny names like Testarossa, Lusso, Mondial, Inter Vignale, and so on, and just wouldn’t stop chatting about it. I told him I wasn’t interested in his cougar hunting and only as I was putting down the phone, did he refer to something I’m really into: photography.

It turns out Caramulo was to become a piece of Ferrari heaven for the upcoming months, and he needed someone who’s just as crazy about cars as he to capture the moment. As the world celebrates the 70th anniversary of the prancing horse, the Museu do Caramulo had the idea to assemble the greatest roost of of Italian machines ever to be seen in this country. Between them, a 1951 195 Inter Vignale (the oldest Ferrari in Portugal); a very rare and unrestored 1955 French Blue 500 Mondial; a 1964 250 GT Lusso; a 1965 275 GTB/C used in historic racing; a 1970 Dino 246 GT; a dark blue 365 GTB/4 Daytona from 1973; a 1977 308 GTB; an example of the iconic F40 from 1989; a modern classic, the F512 M from 1996; and finally, on the even more modern end of the spectrum was a 599 GTB F1 Fiorano from 2007.

After 160km of driving and some time spent on preparations beforehand, I finally arrived at the museum right at the top of the Caramulo mountains, a very romantic and magical place that was once a region famous for its innovative treatments for tuberculosis. Nowadays, oddly enough, people come here to treat their need for gorgeous cars—a much better situation to find oneself in, surely!

Just as I was entering the big wood-and-stone entrance hall, I was greeted by Salvador, who was still in a hurry until the last moment, making sure everything was ready for the big opening when the exhibition would open its doors to the public a few short hours later. I took some time to take some shots of the final preparations, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the detailers’ dance with the beautiful curvy lines of these machines as they gave them some last-minute attention. A truly special sight to behold before the obstruction of the coming crowds.

After a big lunch (with codfish, what else?), which is mandatory by Portuguese classic car law, there was still some time for me to re-visit other very special corners of the museum, especially the vintage toy collection and the permanent exhibition which features an array of cars from different eras: cars such as the Lamborghini Miura SV,  Lotus Europa, Porsche 356, and Lancia 037 as well as the bulletproof 1938 Mercedes-Benz 770K Grosser and the 1947 Cadillac 75 Series that served António Oliveira de Salazar, the infamous Portuguese dictator who ruled the country between 1932 and 1968. I was here for the Ferraris though, this time.

A few minutes before 5pm, the official opening hour, a mass of people had gathered at the museum’s gates with size I’ve never seen before. Some came from as close as 6km, while others made their ways across 600 just to be there on the first day of the exhibit. For me, there is no distance that can keep me separate from these machines; my life changed when I fell in love with classic cars, and that love was born here, in Caramulo.

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11 Comments on "This Is Portugal’s Piece Of Ferrari Heaven"

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Alex Wakefield
Alex Wakefield

These guys run a first class museum. Salvador, and his family are true stewards of art and motoring. I consider it a privilege to have had my first international exhibition at the Museu. I’m looking forward to going back to the Motor Featival next year. Please go visit this gem!

DomM
DomM

I’m going to Portugal in March and have added this on my list to dos. Hopefully I can rent a car as this seems to be quite away from the two cities I’ll primarily be in. Anything else to do there for a car guy on top of this? Can anyone vouch for a rental service that rents interesting cars?

joel_picsel
joel_picsel

Hello DomM! You won’t regret visiting Museu do Caramulo. Unfortunately, the Ferrari Exhibition only runs until 29th October. However, in March there’ll be another car related exhibition (Just don’t know which one yet). There’s also the permanent exhibition full of other classic cars. Besides Caramulo, Aveiro and Viseu are two nearby cities, both of them very beautiful and rich in history.

Have a nice trip!

Alexandre Goncalves
Alexandre Goncalves
Hello Joel, Nice article! I was very pleased to see it here on Petrolicious! I urge everyone to visit Museu do Caramulo when in Portugal – it always has a permanent exhibition of nice classic cars (and toys), and the scenery is just breathtaking! Btw, didn’t know Salvador was a drummer – I met him a couple of decades ago when I was playing with a friend of him. Nice guy! Just one piece of info about Ferrari – back in the 80’s Ferrari used to sell a 208 GTB/GTS Turbo – it was solely made for the Italian and… Read more »
joel_picsel
joel_picsel

Thank you Alexadre! As it seems, drummers and cars go along well. Nick Mason being one of the best examples. I’ve heard stories of some sportscar brands doing that engine “trick” for the Italian market. It was only natural Ferrari would do it too.

Abraço!
Joel

Pedro Aguiar
Pedro Aguiar

Great piece Joel… You just made me want to go see the exhibition… Sometimes people don’t realise that, no one, knows everything… 😉 Regards

joel_picsel
joel_picsel

It’s totally worth it Pedro! Please do it 🙂

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

Doubt the 365GTB/4 comes from 1975 as they stopped making them in 1973. Otherwise nice piece.

joel_picsel
joel_picsel

Thank you Matthew. I’m going to confirm this data with the Museum and try to help getting the numbers right. Cheers!

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

FYI ; Looks like someone noticed and made the necessary correction .

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
Ahhhh history and facts Matthew . Aint it a shame the way this generation throws both aside preferring revisionist history and alt facts on everything from classic cars to politics ? Oh well … sigh .. a sign of the declining times we’re in I’m afraid . Ah .. but to end on a positive … you familiar with this piece of Ferrari [ as in Enzo ] history ? http://thevintagent.com/2017/08/13/scuderia-ferrari-motorcycles/ All bets are 99% of those participating here are not . But sigh … history .. where would we be without it … errr .. right where we are… Read more »
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