Whenever I find myself in the middle of a privately-owned car collection, a few questions always come to mind.
Admittedly, in the first instance it’s about trying to figure out how the owner came to be able to afford so many vehicles, which are often rare and highly collectible. Were they just in the right place at the right time, or was it generations’ worth of wealth now materializing in form of exotics and classic cars?
Predictably, in many cases it’s a combination of the two, thus a new question presents itself: Why a collection in the first place? It’s something I found myself asking more times than I expected to on my recent visit to Indonesia.
Of the few collections I saw, the craziest was this group of race cars. It allows the owner to compete in pretty much every class during a race weekend.
And that included some vehicles not intended to be driven on tarmac.
Another collector I met got hooked after flipping cars for profit in his youth. These days he keeps them rather than selling them off.
Of all the collections though, the most interesting one belonged to a real character named Pakde Bei Budiono.
With newspaper clippings, miscellaneous memorabilia, and vehicle parts hanging all over the place, the single lot I was given access to seemed more like an industrial museum than a car collection.
And just like you’d find at a museum, each piece on display had a unique story behind it. Take the bicycles hanging in the rafters for example; these were the bikes that Pakde Bei and his parents rode when he was a child.
The Mazda B600 was a popular family car for the average Indonesian family back in the day, and the same vehicle Pakde Bei’s father owned. Just sitting in the back brings back memories of his drive from Surakarta (Solo) to Jakarta, a 500km+ journey.
Corollas and Coronas, on the other hand, were cars usually reserved for those of wealth and power.
The seal on the front windshield indicates that a doctor was an owner – a good thing to know if there is an accident or emergency on the road. Or if you were more on the power side of the spectrum, the flag holder addition was the option you needed to check off on the extras list.
As an entrepreneur, Pakde Bei’s father owned both, thus having them in this collection keeps more memories alive.
I didn’t really expect to find any Citroëns in the collection, but these things have a unique story, too.
In Indonesia, the Citroën Dyane 6 is commonly mispronounced in a way that actually sounds like Pakde Bei’s wife name. Because of this, he bought the car around a decade ago and has held on to it ever since.
That then snowballed into looking into other Citroëns, and over time building up a vast collection of the French vehicles.
If you were going to have a collection, what would you collect and what would be the story behind doing so? Let us know in the comments.