In 2014, I vividly remember having to remove my appendix the day before the Porsche Literature meet in Los Angeles. I recall my family telling me that I needed to rest and skip the event. Being stubborn, I went anyway.
I could barely walk but was determined to scour the show for Porsche memorabilia. I stumbled into a booth filled with an impressive collection of race photos, all laid out. I saw pictures of Porsche 910s, 3.0 CSL Batmobiles, and other race cars. After looking deeper into the archive, I finally asked the gentleman who was selling the items where everything was from. He explained that the items on the table were only a fraction of Vasek Polak’s personal archive. I picked a few photos I liked and asked the man to call me if he was looking to sell the entire collection. He laughed, telling me that I wouldn’t have a car big enough to fit the archives…little did he know I owned a Sprinter Van.
A few days passed and I received a call. It was the man from the meet, he explained that he did not want to drive all the memorabilia back home and pack them all back into storage. He then asked if I was still interested in purchasing the collection. We met up and made a deal. I still didn't know what all the boxes contained, and was intrigued to find out.
14 boxes later I found myself immersed in a compilation of Vasek’s life. I unraveled magazine clippings, photo albums, car toys, books, and trophies from his races. I even found a photo signed by drivers like Jody Scheckter. There were numerous books with numbers from dealerships in Manhattan. I found personal items such as handwritten letters from customers and clients selling Vasek’s cars and notes asking if he was interested in purchasing specific cars. I even discovered Vasek’s chest X-rays. I immediately knew the archive had enough photos to paint a picture of Vasek’s life. Some day I hope to compile the archive into a book. But for now, I want to share the photos with fellow enthusiasts.
Written by Bryan Calvero