The other Denis Gorteman (D’Ieteren): comics and classic car collector
CEO of the Belgian Volkswagen Group brands’ importer D’Ieteren Auto, Denis Gorteman is an avid collector of comics and classic cars. He just transformed his house to welcome his collection of 6.800 comics and some classic cars. Belgian newspaper L’Echo payed him a visit at home.
“I had to make sure the floor was strong enough to hold the weight. Beneath my library is the garage with my classic Porsche, it would be a shame to destroy all my toys at the same time”, jokes Denis Gorteman.
Like 9 out of 10 car lovers in Belgium, the comic strip series of Michel Vaillant, by Jean Graton, influenced him when young. But he hasn’t only got car related comics. His collection is full of French and Belgian comics about all subjects. He recently transformed three rooms of his Brabant house to welcome his colossal collection of 6.800 comics, statues and models.
In the middle of his library sits a model of the Gallic village from the ‘Asterix and the Vikings’ comic strip. “The Gallic village, it’s a bit like D’Ieteren compared to Volkswagen. Thankfully, VW doesn’t act like Ceasar”, laughs Gorteman.
“More seriously, D’Ieteren is the ‘magic potion’ to keep VW’s confidence. It’s our know-how, our customer service, and our market share. There are many ingredients like those in Panoramix’s potion”, explains the CEO.
Models and real size models
On every shelf of his library sits a small model of a car that featured in a comic strip. There is even the famous Turbotraction from Spirou. Gorteman is such a fan that he not only has the scale model, but also a real size version of the fictitious car. “It is beautiful and in the 60’s it was very advanced. I’ve only got the ‘big one’ since two or three weeks”, he explains.
Gorteman estimates he’s still missing 2.000 pieces to complete his elaborated comics collection. But being a real fan he won’t stop scouring second hand shops and markets. Denis Gorteman almost always buys second hand. Finding unique pieces at the right price is one of his favourit pleasures.