It’s a name you may not immediately recognize unless you’re a a serious enthusiast about Porsche’s history in North America. If you are, you already understand that Vasek Polak, a Czech immigrant who came to the United States to seek his fortune, is today a fabled figure in the Stuttgart firmament. Starting out with a repair shop, Polak opened a dealership in 1959 in Manhattan Beach, California, that was the first free-standing, Porsche-only retailer in the United States. Before shifting his operations to Portland, Oregon, Polak became one of the great privateer entrants in Porsche motorsport, fielding cars for marque legends ranging from Jack McAfee and Milt Minter to George Follmer and Hurley Haywood. The Polak Porsche footprint is vast, and the founder’s descendants are taking some meaningful steps to keep its heritage alive.
Vasek Polak’s granddaughter, Maurie, is making certain that the Polak Porsche heritage remains vibrant by launching the Vasek Polak Collection, the first step in a process by which the family name will receive the same level of recognition in the broader automotive world that’s it’s long enjoyed in the Porsche community. Part of that effort is the planned publication of a major historic book on Polak, the elder, and his alliance with the Porsche family. The site will shortly expand to include an online store and opportunities to acquire memorabilia, including the forthcoming book. Some of the material will be on display at the 2022 Porsche and Vintage Volkswagen Literature, Toy, Model, and Memorabilia Swap Meet set February 26th at the Hilton outside Los Angeles International Airport. Visit the website, as above, and you can sign up for email alerts on All Things Polak.