On a recent trip to Germany, I visited Dortmund – a charming city dating back to the Middle Ages, nestled in a picturesque valley between the Ruhr and Emscher rivers.It’s a great place for anyone to visit, but there’s a reason for it you Might want to travel here, thanks to Jean Pierre Kraemer – YouTube personality, entrepreneur and founder of JP Performance.
Jean Pierre (JP) has been building custom cars for years, but in 2020 he decided to take things to the next level by starting a new car museum in Dortmund called PACE (Performance and Automotive Education).
Opening in May 2022, the PACE Automobile Museum has exhibits spread throughout the building, which was previously home to Citroën and Nissan dealerships before undergoing a major renovation. The vehicles on display – many on loan from the manufacturers themselves – are replaced every six months, so it’s definitely a place worth a return visit.
when i’m in town, i have Stop by and check it out.
As far as I know, I saw the second part at the museum, spanning three of the building’s four floors. Walking through the gate, the first thing that caught my eye was a burnt-out Audi RS4 B5 car artwork. Well, part of it anyway. The engine was producing 1,200 horsepower and, by the looks of it, was in serious trouble.
I didn’t notice it at first, but there is a sign on the wall opposite the engine that says: nobody said it was easy.
I ventured down to the basement first, as I thought it was the tram side of the exhibit, so I would find some of JP’s personal buildings. Maybe his rear-engined Golf 2, Beetle GT, or the V10 Supra I saw at Ultrarace last year.
They were nowhere to be found, but then I did find them. More on that later.
Showing these cars underground is a clear metaphor that I find interesting. The coolest thing about this dungeon is that it’s filled with fan-voted cars, so anyone with a good enough project can reach out via PACE and offer a temporary spot in the showcase.
There is a dark atmosphere on the second floor. The walls were painted black, and the gloomy weather outside didn’t help either. During my visit, the space displayed many historic racing cars and some important road cars.
First up is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class DTM/ITC race car – ITC is International RV champion what is this German Touring Car Masters Called up in 1996. The 500hp, 11,500rpm and 199mph machine was runner-up in the ’96 ITC season with Mercedes star driver Bernd Schneider.
However, Bernd Schneider spent four years driving for various Ford teams in the 1980s before switching to Mercedes-Benz. This Ford Sierra XR4Ti is another DTM car he drives.
The Opel Manta 400B Group B rally car may have been beaten by Audi’s 4WD system in the World Rally Championship, but it was a huge success in national championships in Germany, Ireland and Great Britain between 1983 and 1986.
Notice how all those cars are elevated on the platform display? As automotive photographers know, cars always look better from a low angle. JP puts a lot of emphasis on this and presents exhibits in such a way that you can simply crouch down to view them from the ground.
I’m not usually excited about EVs, but I was excited about the VW ID. R is a different beast.This Special Car Shatters the Nürburgring EV Record and Blow up the Goodwood Festival of Speed hill in 40 seconds. It’s a great case study for Volkswagen, using a 915-volt architecture, two motors, and a 40kWh battery to produce 670 horsepower and weigh just 2,425 pounds.
On the first floor near the sky, I found “Car Paradise”.
Seeing a 1996 McLaren BMW F1 GTR is something special. McLaren had won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995 and was looking to repeat it in ’96, but the race was tougher than expected, with two new Porsche GT1s beating their F1 rivals. Six of the seven McLarens finished the race, finishing 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th and 11th.
Overall, the McLaren F1 has won 38 international races. Not bad for a car that Gordon Murray originally designed for road use.
I’m a sucker for safari-spec Porsches, so it was an exciting time to see the real deal. Is it better than a factory 1978 911 SC Safari in Martini Racing colors?
Next to the Porsche is another icon from the same year: the Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC AMG Mampe. Liqueur maker Mampe was interested in promoting its Lufthansa Cocktail and found a partner in Mercedes. The Silver Hammer had one of the largest engines on the track, a 4.5-liter V8 producing 375 horsepower. The car is equipped with a 3-speed automatic transmission and can reach speeds of 170 mph.
Looking at this Judd-powered V8 BMW E36 that belonged to the late Georg Plasa, I hope the weather is better outside. Imagine golden hour light streaming through the windows and bathing this amazing machine…
Around the corner is another performance block. Audi’s legendary Sport Quattro S1 E2 – great value for money. I have nothing to say about this original car, so let’s enjoy it.
Even after the E1 S2, there was another car that gave me goosebumps.
This brutal 1,000hp VW Golf from Dahlbäck Racing was all over the internet about ten years ago, so seeing it in person is pretty cool. It was featured on Speedhunters back in 2008, so if you want to see what makes this fire-breather great, check it out.
On my way back, I noticed another small room with an exciting collection of cars. A McLaren supercar, an outdated Porsche RWB and a Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R are sure to make the perfect combination in any car enthusiast’s garage.
The PACE Auto Museum was everything I was hoping for and more. It’s amazing how all this is possible thanks to JP’s huge fan base.
The next day, I drove back to Dortmund through several cities. Because I was hungry, but mainly because I wanted to visit the JP Performance headquarters.
Essentially, this is Jean-Pierre’s tuning workshop, where all of his cars are built. The showroom area is always on display with some tuned cars, performance parts and various aftermarket wheels.
Because I was uninvited, no one could open the actual studio doors for me and show me what JP Performance was doing at the time. I will make sure to prepare more for my next visit.
As I mentioned, I was hungry, so I ran across the street to a fast food restaurant also run under the JP empire – Big Boost Burger.
Here they are – Jean-Pierre’s personal project car, which I expected to find in a museum.
JP’s rear-engined Mk2 Golf was featured on Speedhunters, and the other cars were just a few shots from my 2022 Ultrarace event coverage. The Beetle GT was envisioned by JP and Andras Belzek of Prior Design as a car that never made it to production, featuring the 2.5-litre TFSi engine from the Audi RS3.
JP’s Mk5 Toyota Supra also has an engine swap, but it’s not the 2JZ you might expect. At the heart of this A90 is the BMW M V10.
The mysterious Pandem-kitted 86 was 2JZ swapped.
Across the room, the latest BMW M4 CSL is parked next to a white Volkswagen Polo, JP’s first car.
Although Big Boost Burger is first and foremost a restaurant, the area somehow feels like a bit of an extension of the museum’s subterranean section, with automotive art on the walls, a pool table lit by the headlights of a Golf GTI, and a Window adjustment facility to JP dynamometer.
See the front bumper on Ken Block’s Ford Focus Rally taking a different hit after the tragic incident on January 2.
After a moment of contemplation, I headed to the counter, ordered — and ate — a juicy cheeseburger.
After visiting all three of JP’s locations, it’s hard to underestimate how much of Jean Pierre’s life was devoted to car culture. His commitment is inspiring, from the attention to detail to how crazy he goes with each project car. I can’t wait to see what rolls out of his garage this summer.