Photos by Brian Rozar
As many of you know, my parents own the Ingram Collection. Perhaps it’s better known as the People’s Porsche Collection, as I’ve come to understand from the heartfelt messages we have received from across the globe. We have received an overwhelming number of messages of support after the tragic gas explosion in downtown Durham last Wednesday killed a local businessman, sent more than a dozen people to the hospital, and caused major damage to the building that houses the Ingram Collection.
More than a few individuals mentioned their shared sadness over a collection that they feel a part of in so many ways.
Our collecting journey has evolved over a twenty-year period. We documented my parents’ story in the book “Porsche Unexpected- Discoveries in Collecting,” that Randy Leffingwell and I co-authored. As the title implies, my family wanted to provide a “how-to” and reference guide for historic automobile collectors. In the book, we shared all our insights and mistakes of building a focused Porsche Collection. We saw it as a way to give back to the hobby that we loved so much.
My father’s mission statement with the Collection has always included the belief that we have a responsibility to share the cars with the world and fellow enthusiasts. “The cars are the stars,” he has said. “We are just the caretakers.” As a result, we have spent the better part of twenty years participating in automotive events around the country. Whether it was Concours events, or loaning cars to museums, or to special displays that celebrate design excellence, the enjoyment has always been sharing our cars with mutual enthusiasts. Our collection space was also legendary for its unique warmness thanks to my mother. She designed the space from scratch and decorated it to make it feel like a luxurious living room. Our guests always marveled at the elegance of the space and the Collection.
My brother Rory’s dedication as General Manager made the Ingram Collection a destination. He developed a wide circle of organizations and individuals both in our community and globally that hosted events for employees, customers, and friends. Numerous non-profit philanthropic organizations worked with Rory to host events that have benefited innumerable worthy causes. Rory also created strategic partnerships with many corporations, which we plan to continue as we rebuild.
The last week has been a transformative experience for our family. It has been a vivid reminder that the most important things in life are not things but Health, Family, and Friendships. Words are inadequate to express our gratitude for all the support we’ve received.
My Road Scholars colleagues have been simply unflappable and performed like consummate professionals last week. They worked tirelessly to evacuate the cars from the Collection building. Their continued commitment to excellence is inspiring. To say that I love my team is an understatement. You’ve really done something when the local Fire Department Battalion Chief says, “Who are these guys, and can we hire them?”
My family is feeling strong and we are moving forward with the rebuilding process. Some of the cars are fine, some will pass into the next life, and others will be restored. But we will continue to share them. Rory and I are already making plans for the future. The Ingram Collection will continue to celebrate my parents’ legacy.
“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work,” as Colin Powell so eloquently put it.