Classic Cars, a passion
Pedro Villas-Boas was one of the founding partners of Turaventur, and is my father. His Classic Car Museum is the result of a childhood passion. It was certainly not by chance that his childhood’s placemat had embroidered a Jaguar…
It was from Mr. Domingos, the grandmother’s driver, that my father learned mechanics and carpentry. From his mother (my grandmother) he inherited a great commitment for what he chooses to do and a passion for nature and adventure. I am fortunate to have inherited these characteristics.
With Mr. Domingos Pedro also learned to drive, in an Austin 8, on the road between Barcelos and Famalicão, at the age of 12. At the age of 10 he had already attended the Boavista Grand Prix, becoming a Jaguar fan. He chose the XK120 as a favourite and collected brand catalogues and followed the brand events. A passion for classic cars was already there, at such a young age!
On a trip trip Canadá, to visit his unckle Douglas, he drove for the first time in a car of the brand, and already on a dream trip: in Canada, Coast to Coast, hitchhiking, in a XK150. In his words: “I was 20 years old and I couldn’t believe my luck!”
In 1965, in Canada, with the first salary, he bought a second-hand Triumph TR3A. After the engine was undone and rebuilt, it travelled the Pan Americana, from Canada to Mexico, down through the centre and back up by the coast, in 1 month and about 15000 km.
OFF ROAD ERA
Years later my father became a reference name in the off-road driving in Portugal, being considered one of the “fathers” of the sport, and he rode in less comfortable cars! He discovered Portugal from North to South, in jeeps, through dirt roads (I am a witness to it, with a childhood spent jumping on the backseat!), and explored everything there was to explore.
At that time he called himself “an adventurer by profession and an engineer in my spare time”.
PARIS DAKAR RALLY
In 1982 he participated in the Paris Dakar Rally, in a Portuguese vehicle, brand UMM. The motto was “3 on departure, 3 on arrival”, and so it was! He repeated his participation in 84 and 87. Meanwhile, he also participated in the Camel Trophy which his team ended with the same score as the winning team (Dutch). The tiebreaker was made based on the condition of the car and, as the Portuguese had capsized, they ended up in second place!
Founding partner of Clube Aventura, with José Megre, he organized several off-road events, including TransPortugal, a true adventure of 10 days, traversing the country from side to side, with orienteering and trial.
The Transaharianas were another of the great organizations. They consisted of expeditions crossing the north of Africa with a duration of about 1 month, again always on paths, trails and desert. Amazing! I was lucky to participate in one edition (Lisbon to Bissau) when I was 15! There were 5 editions between 1985 and 1989.
In 1990, challenged to start promoting renewable energy projects, he left Clube Aventura and, with Ana Barbosa, with whom he already shared his life, adventure and 2 daughters (evidently, my mother) he founded the company Turaventur (to learn more about our vast experience in organizing adventures and events, just browse our various websites and see our section WHO WE ARE).
In 2005 the classics’ project begins to develop. The Greeks said that “perfection is the alliance of beauty and functionality”. Beautiful vehicles start to appear here at home, with striking colours and immaculate design, and the collection began to grow to the point of not fitting in the garage. The goal was never to collect, because that is not in my father’s nature. He is not about looking at things. All classic cars go through a disassembly and assembly process, and parts and screws accumulate in the corners. All of them are used, whether on a rally, a tour, to go for a beer at the end of the day or simply for the pleasure of driving.
The collection grew and now has almost three dozen cars, including a replica of the first car in the world, the Benz of 1886.
Pedro participated in the 2nd edition of the 1000 Mile Trial 2014, between London and Edinburgh (the first one was in 1900!), in the Ennstal – Classic cars 2015 test, in Austria, in several tours of clubs and friends in Portugal, and was present, with his pearls, in two editions of the Estoril Classics event.
In 2013 there is yet another project … PVB (as he is known in the family and among friends) does not stop!…
In partnership with Miguel Côrte-Real, and with the logistical support of Turaventur, the 1st edition “1000 Milhas”, which is a kind of TransPortugal in classic cars, is organized.
The tour was a success and the 2nd edition appears in 2014, already in a partnership between the 3 previous players. The tour is again throughout the country, but on a different itinerary.
With no lack of roads or desire, we repeated in 2015!
After 2015 Miguel and my dad decided not to organize further editions of the 1000 Milhas event.
PORTUGAL BEST CLASSIC
In 2018 Turaventur organizes, in partnership with Pedro Villas-Boas, a private edition PORTUGAL BEST CLASSIC 2018 with a majority of foreign participants and which ends up taking the nickname “Meals On Wheels”, given by the participants themselves.
For 2020 we had planned to launch another week tour around Portugal, already with the new brand PORTUGAL BEST CLASSIC. The pandemic has interfered with our plans, but our desire is still here and the program will be launched as soon as possible. Check the PORTUGAL CLASSIC CARS 2021 page and send us an email on [email protected] to be sure you are updated on information!
In the impossibility of organizing such a return to Portugal in 2020, we made a 2-day edition exploring a part of Alentejo, the Vinho, Queijo e Olives Classic Car, which brought together some of the participants of the previous tours.