Behind the Wheel with Hedi Sersoub

On our latest shoot for Alcantara, we sat down with friend of the brand, Hedi Sersoub, at his family’s home just outside of Lyon in France. Hedi is an accomplished creative, photographer, founder of the International Automotive Photography Awards and, of course, a vintage car enthusiast. Listen in as we discuss family, cars and the twenty-eight-year-old history of his latest vintage car…

What started your passion for cars?

All souvenirs from life that I have, are in cars. The experiences, the memories, the stories, but more importantly, the family connection. This passion of mine has been passed along through my family. Growing up, I was the middle child of three boys, and since I can remember, our lives were intertwined with automobiles. My grandfather was actually a mechanic and owned his own garage, with the help of his seven sons and one daughter. My father was a sales director for a petrol company in France, but had an appreciation and love for cars. He is a very handy man and loved to spend countless hours working on the cars by himself in his workshop. Like anything in life, passion is transmitted by family and I owe it to my father and grandfather.

You’ve built your career to involve so many of your interests: photography, creativity and automobiles. How did you make that transition to include so many of your passions? 

My background is actually in the five-star hotel industry. For many years, I was a lifestyle manager and my main job was to bring together people and create beautiful and unique experiences for our guests to share. I think of my career and what I am building with IAP like this—bringing together a group of people with shared passions, to create experiences to remember.

Tell us about this vintage Porsche 930 Turbo from 1980?

When my brother and I were born, my dad had three classic cars he had collected. He had our names written on the cover of each, with mine on a Porsche 930 Turbo from 1980. I spent my childhood in love and obsessing over this car; a fast and sporty Porsche, in a gorgeous champagne color. However, at 17, before passing my driving license, he sold it to buy another car. I was so sad, as I had always dreamt that this car would be mine. 

11 years later, I heard rumors that the guy who had originally bought it was interested in selling. I jumped on the opportunity, convinced the man to sell it to me and brought it back home. Over the 12  years of ownership, I don’t think he ever fully washed and cleaned the car so there was some work to do. During the first wash (inside and out), I found a sterling silver pen that my dad thought had been stolen from him years ago. He had, in fact, just lost it under the passenger seat. That moment is still so special to me and completes the story. The car was back home and with a piece of my dad. This story still makes me emotional, not gonna lie.

You founded the International Automotive Photography Awards (IAP) with Amy Shore. What do you think is so special about the car photography community?

The passion for cars is hard to explain. For me, it is the flashbacks and memories of parents, grandparents and relatives driving me somewhere in a cool classic car. These old classic cars are so much more fascinating to me than modern cars. There is something more human to them (they are handmade after all…). The sights, sounds, and associations with these classic cars are all snapshots that, to this day, are so vivid in my mind. For me, photography is very similar. Memories of an old camera from a relative and them capturing a moment in time that can never be relived. The authenticity of those two passions is something that really moves me.

IAP is all about that – the people behind their cameras capturing timeless machines. It's not about your age or your background, but rather about your interpretation of that moment in time and how you feel you can capture it. Our hope is that IAP can bring together a community that shares this appreciation and celebrates the people behind the lens, capturing these beautiful moments in time.

What is in your current car collection?

I still own the Porsche 930 Turbo and will probably never sell it. I also have a Mercedes W124 E500 from 1995 and a Mercedes W111 280SEC from 1971.

What car do you dream of owning?

My Porsche is everything I need really, but maybe one day I will own a Jaguar D-Type. 

If you could relive one of your best memories with a car, what would that be? 

That's a difficult one. I think what I love the most today is sharing this passion so closely with my father. Every road trip to Le Mans Classic or any other car meeting is something I truly cherish.

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