Generally speaking, when you meet someone driving a 904/Carrera GTS you can assume that they’re up to some interesting stuff, but when they tell you that they keep said car in a collection of Porsches surrounded by one one the world’s most respected chandelier restoration and manufacturing shops, your eyebrows rise a bit more.
This is what mine did when I met Regis Mathieu a few weeks ago in Marseille. He was there on that day for the first concours to ever be held on the grounds of the Palace du Pharo, which overlooks the Marseille harbor. “Come with my wife back to our town, you must see the collection!” he explained, of course our answer had to be, yes.
It turns out that there is scarcely a palace, museum, Grand Hotel, or gallery that hasn’t had Regis Mathieu’s hands on their ceiling ornamentation. The Victoria and Albert? Check. Versailles? Yep. Palais Royal? Of course. In the combined space of in Provence you will find some of the world’s most beautiful and delicate chandeliers juxtaposed with his incredible Porsche collection. Two mediums, both gorgeous.
As all great collectors are aware, the earlier you start, the easier it is, and from the moment he could get behind the wheel, Regis knew he was a Porsche fanatic. He bought his first car when he was 16—a run-down VW Beetle—which of course led to a convertible Beetle, and then inevitably a 356 Speedster. We all curse the deals that we skipped out on back in the day, and Mathieu’s one of those people who just has consistently been in the right place at the right time.
For this shoot, Mathieu trotted out his 1964 Porsche 904/Carrera GTS, which he claims (and it appears to be) one of the lowest-mileage 904s on the road today. Well below 5,000km. That’s not to say he doesn’t drive it regularly though, as he is averaging around 1,000km a year lately. On pairing it with his 356C he says, “I think it’s great to show them next to each other. These both could have been owned by the same driver in period, one for the weekday and one for the weekend.”
Understandably, Regis is a master in the art of the slow reveal, so over the next few months we hope to share more and more of his impressive collection that he’s built over a span of 40 years.