Porsche, Porsche Everywhere, And All the Light to See Them
Images: Mathieu Lustrerie
Born on the 8th of October 1971, Régis Mathieu is a French craftsman, restorer, and maker of chandeliers. He is also the founder and the owner of the company Mathieu Lustrerie, which has been labelled an Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant (EPV), or a living legacy business by the French.
The son of Henri and Yvette Mathieu, Régis’ father was the one to establish the chandelier maker in 1948, in Saint-Jérôme, near Marseille. The company then had more than 200 employees. Henri Mathieu died when Régis was just 11 years old, in 1982, and his wife Yvette continued the business until 1992, when the company was on the verge of shutting down.
The youngest son of the family, Régis Mathieu, then took over the company in 1992, whilst studying business management, integrating the family’s restaurant business with the making of chandeliers.
In 2001, Régis restored an old ochre factory, built in the 19th century, and disused since 1930, in Gargas, in Provence. Crazy about the history of art, Régis set up his workshops there, where he led a team of about 15 restorers who specialized in bronze and now carry out the restorations of most of the chandeliers of French and international historic monuments.
Thus, it was Mathieu Lustrerie (as Régis’ company is called) that restored the chandeliers of the Versailles Palace in 2004. Since then, Mathieu Lustrerie has won several awards in France, and has also worked for many famous French fashion houses including Hermès, Christian Lacroix, Chanel, Cartier and Louis Vuitton.
Mathieu Lustrerie has also restored the municipal theatre of Fontainebleau, the Opéra de Monte -Carlo in Monaco, as well as the Paris Opera, the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, and Laxmi Vilas Palace in Vadodara, in India.
In fact, Régis Mathieu has been a great fan and regular visitor to India since the early 2000s, at first in search for rock crystals, and then meeting and interacting with all those who are interested in traditional luxury and chandeliers.
By 2011, Mathieu Lustrerie was selling 500 chandeliers per year, had two stores in New York and India, as well as a showroom in Russia, and then later, China. In 2015, Régis Mathieu opened a workshop in India.
Since he was very young, Régis Mathieu has always been an automotive enthusiast, with specific interest in VW Beetles and Porsches. In the late 1980s, at the age of 17, he got his first car, a Volkswagen Beetle. Over the years he acquired more than twenty significant Porsches, including a 904 GTS, a 718 RSK, a rare 356 Carrera Abarth and the 911 S that belonged to Ferry Porsche himself.
In 2018, he exhibited, for the first time, his collection of historic vehicles, as well as some of his chandeliers, during an exhibition at the Cité de l'Automobile, Schlumpf Collection, in Mulhouse, as a celebration of the 70th anniversary of Porsche.
Now, Régis Mathieu has decided to showcase his collection of Porsches from the 16th of December 2022 to 22nd of January 2023, at Mathieu Lustrerie itself.
With the end of the restoration of the extension of Mathieu Lustrerie’s ochre factories, the inauguration of the new space (of some 5,000 square metres) is being twinned with the anniversary of the Porsche 911, which will be celebrating its 60th ‘birthday’ in 2023.
To highlight the legendary history of the 911, as many as 40 of the most iconic, rarest, and most unexpected models of the German marque, will be on display alongside the history of chandeliers.
“The 911 is the only car with which you can take part in an African safari, run the 24 Hours of Le Mans, go to the theatre or even drive through the streets of New York,” was how Ferdinand Porsche had described the 911.
With Régis Mathieu’s passion for both chandeliers and Porsches, a most unusual ‘encounter’ of the two will be on display. The lamps and the automobile are expected to form a dialogue between beautiful mechanicals and the serenity emanating from the chandeliers floating in the darkness.
Staging it all in the night is expected to amplify the source of the emotion. “A setting of light and ochre memories for the enhancement of the epic of the 911,” explains Régis Mathieu.
The list of Porsches on display include a very early 911, from 1964, a 1966 911S, a 911 Targa Soft Window, a 911 R from ‘67, a ‘70 911 ST, a 911 RSR 2.1 Turbo from 1973, as well as a 911 RSR 2.8 and a 911 RSR 2.7 RS from the same year.
Then there will be a 911RSR 3.0 from 1974, a 911 SC/RS, a 934, a 935, and a 959. Also, a 930 Turbo S 3.3, a Ruf Yellow Bird and a 911 Speedster 3.2L narrow, all from 1989.
The list is long—if you are into Porsches, specifically the 911, this is one exhibition you must visit. Just come across.
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