A Saturday in May 2023 just under 2200 metres above sea level. On the 48-kilometre-long Grossglockner High Alpine Road, we deliberately skip the many parkingspots at the side of the road in order to be able to look into the impressive landscape. The anticipation is too great and the patience too short to finally be able to explore the F.A.T. Mankei, which lies shortly after the pass summit.
In the place where a conspicuous number of marmots cross the roads, Ferdinand Porsche has now established F.A.T. Mankei, a new place for car fans on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. At the very place where his grandfather Ferry Porsche tested cars back then, “right past the door”.
As part of “Porsche Heights”, breathtaking vehicles gathered at the Restaurant & Café on the opening weekend. Photographer Lorenzo Kikisch was on site and photographed these cars for us in black and white.
First things first. Why “F.A.T. Mankei”?
The name F.A.T. Mankei is made up of two things. First of all, F.A.T. is a former logistics company that sponsored two Porsche 962s in the 1994 Le Mans race. As those cars were among Ferdinand Porsche’s favourites, he decided to name the company after them. The second part “Mankei” is, as already mentioned, due to the marmots, which are also called Mankei in parts of Austria.
The F.A.T. Mankei consists of two buildings, the traditional main building, which serves as a restaurant and café, and a pavilion next to it, which offers space for a changing exhibition of vehicles. Together, they create the perfect place for like-minded people to talk about cars over coffee and the final drive along the 36 hairpin bends to the top of the pass.
Lorenzo had the unique opportunity to listen to the twelve cylinders of the Porsche 917 singing on precisely these hairpin bends.
From Mars directly to Austria
Marc Philipp Gemballa’s Marsien, a vehicle that could not be more different from the Porsche 917, also arrived on the Großglockner a little later. The 750 hp off-road super sports car has already been seen on Lake Como, in New York or even in the Arabian desert.
The idea for F.A.T. Mankei came to Ferdinand Porsche after he and his friend Vinzenz Greger revived the GP Ice Race back in 2019. It quickly became clear to Ferdinand that he would like to do something like this more often than just once a year. When the house on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road came up for sale a little later, it was the right opportunity for him.
The F.A.T. Mankei is now open daily (except Wednesdays), from 09:00 to 18:00. You can expect to see exciting vehicles there every day and, after the 36 hairpin bends, to finally be able to look out over the breathtaking landscape.
Color pictures: Porsche Newsroom