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Ducky – From rags to Porsche-driving

26.01.2024 By Richard Lindhorst

“From rags to riches” is the essence of the American dream. Anyone can become a millionaire, regardless of their background or social status. Anh Duc Nguyen, Ducky for short, set off from Vietnam to Germany in 1999 with similar goals. Almost 25 years later, he has two restaurants, a bar and fulfilled his lifelong dream of owning a Porsche 911 GT3. Ducky is an inspiring character and an absolute speed freak. He told me in the Elferspot Porsche Talk why a Porsche is good for love and why he was initially afraid of being seen in it.

Hi Ducky, nice of you to take the time! What do our users need to know about you?

I am Anh Duc Nguyen, 37 years old, born in Vietnam and have been living in Germany since 1999. I live in Celle with my wife Honey and our two children Sophie and Jason. I have been self-employed for more than ten years and run a Vietnamese restaurant here called Ricetime.

Anh Duc Nguyen, also known as Ducky, is a Porsche fan with heart and soul. He worked as a kitchen assistant to supplement his pocket money and now runs several restaurants. © Tristan Übermuth

Your story is somewhat reminiscent the rags to riches cliché. How did it all start?

My parents earned their money as restaurateurs in Berlin. My father wanted me to go to university and take a different path. That’s why I studied business informatics after school, partly for his sake. After a few years, however, I realized that sitting at a desk every day wasn’t the right job for me later on.

And that’s how I got back into gastronomy. As a teenager, I was already supplementing my pocket money as a kitchen assistant in a restaurant. I also enjoyed helping out my parents. I then took over my first restaurant in 2012. After the first four years of self-employment, I opened Ricetime, the first restaurant that was completely tailored to my ideas.

Where did you get the courage to start your own business as a restaurateur without any training?

“Everything happens for a reason” – this saying defines my life. If you make an effort, you will be rewarded. Of course, I learned a lot from my parents when it comes to cooking. And gastronomy is totally different to cooking at home. But I love sushi and do everything with passion. And if you put your heart and soul into it, it usually turns out well. I’ve always taught myself everything in life and it was the same with gastronomy.

“Everything happens for a reason” – this saying defines my life. If you make an effort, you will be rewarded.

Anh Duc Nguyen

We have great guests, many regular customers and are very happy in the region. That’s why we’ve now added a bar in Celle Castle. My wife is now also a self-employed florist. She was even recently named florist of the year.

Where did the passion for fast cars and Porsche in particular come from?

Nobody in my family is actually interested in cars. But in the early 2000s, computer games like Need for Speed: Underground or Gran Turismo were totally my thing. I also loved the Fast and Furious movies. But my heart always beat for “German cars”. When I was later able to afford a second-hand Audi A6, I was so proud! And even that had to be upgraded with Porsche parts. The 911’s exhaust tips fitted plug & play.

I have always been fascinated by acceleration in general. That’s why I’ve always enjoyed riding fast motorcycles. I’ve had a Ducati 848 and still own a 1098 and rode a lot. Today, I don’t really have enough time for that. But the passion for fast cars has always been there.

When people talk about sports cars, they mean Porsche. These cars are the spearhead of German engineering. They themselves are driving works of art. Ferrari, Lamborghini and co look aggressive and cool, but they are not such a good allround package. You only get that with Porsche. They also don’t exude the same understatement as a Porsche. People who are familiar with the brand will recognize a 911 GTS or GT3. For normal people, however, it is just any other Porsche 911.

What was your journey to the first 911 like?

There used to be a group on a social network called “Porsche before 30”, where lots of people posed with their cars. Of course, I dreamed about it too, but thought it was unattainable. A good friend from Nuremberg really got the ball rolling in 2017. Employees from the Porsche Center were regular customers at his restaurant and asked why he actually drives a BMW and not a Porsche. One thing led to another and he bought himself a Porsche 991 Carrera 4S Cabrio.

We met up in Berlin and drove around a bit. I was completely blown away. It was a sign to me that the dream was within reach, so to speak! Back then, I saw Porsche drivers as successful men over 50, but not us young people. However, the brand has developed really well for our generation in recent years.

Then it became more serious very quickly. I was so enthusiastic about the car that I couldn’t think about anything else. To top it all off, my neighbor treated himself to a 991 for his 40th birthday. He likes to drive fast and gave me a lift. By then it was clear that I wanted to fulfill this dream soon.

What happened next? And when did it work?

I secretly arranged something with my friend from Nuremberg – my wife didn’t know anything about it. I told her that I was going to spend a weekend with him, visit my buddy. In reality, I picked up a car from the Porsche Center for two days and went for a long test drive. That test drive was so good that I almost wanted to take the car with me straight away. But I then specced and ordered the car on the spot. It was really special for me. I opted for a black exterior and interior with Race Tex. That was 2019.

On the day of the pick-up, I told my wife that we were going to visit my buddy together this time. To her astonishment, I suggested that we take the train. After all, it’s more relaxed! But before that, I sent the license plates and a bottle of her favorite champagne to the Porsche Center by mail.

My friend picked us up at the station and said he had to go to the Porsche Center because he needed to clarify something about his winter tires. She was already a bit suspicious, but it got really weird when I hugged the salesman in greeting out of sheer joy. When the cover was pulled off a black 992 Carrera S and the CE license plates were on it, she asked me directly “Are you serious?”

How did you get out of that trouble?

That’s when the aforementioned champagne came into play. After we raised our glasses to the car, her anger quickly evaporated. Later on the drive back, she said that she was really angry with me for two minutes. Today, however, she is just as enthusiastic about the brand. She once put it very nicely when she said to me: “When we drive in the Porsche, you say you love me more often.”

Is she right? What does a ride in a Porsche trigger in you?

I think so! The Porsche was the first car that made me smile every time I got in it! Despite over 80,000 kilometers in four years. It was always emotional and fun to drive. I drove it almost every day and yet it never got boring. We’ve been to Munich, Stuttgart, the south of France, the Alps, Milan… We’ve also been to the race track in Hockenheim and Bilster Berg. I enjoyed every single drive in the car. And the best thing: my 911 always worked. There were no breakdowns, no problems, it just always ran!

In Germany, young people in sports cars are often viewed critically. How did you feel about that? Were you afraid of envious people?

Totally, in the beginning! Germany is a complete envy society. That’s why I initially parked hundreds of meters away in the multi-storey parking lot and walked to work. But after a few weeks, I dared to park in front of the store. I was surprised because I got a lot of positive feedback. People said “You work a lot. It’s obvious that you’re hard-working, so you’ve earned it”. Sure, you sometimes hear other stories “in the shadows”, but you live your life for yourself and not for others.

And since I’ve had a Porsche, many others around me have also bought one. A community is forming. For example, we went to Lapland for drift training on snow and ice. I met some great people there and my Porsche network is growing bit by bit.

In the meantime, you have swapped your Carrera S for a Porsche 992 GT3. How did that come about?

I always took my Carrera to the Porsche Center. That’s where I met another salesman, about my age. We got on well and chatted from time to time… At some point I asked him, just for fun, if I could get a 992 GT3. His answer knocked my socks off. Because he just said “Yeah, sure!”

Then things quickly got serious. Since I got my 2019 Carrera on very good terms and Porsche had been regularly increasing the prices since then, I had a car that was worth even more than when I bought it. And then I specced the car. I wanted PDK and a black interior with carbon buckets. But then I had to decide between PCCB or paint-to-sample. I opted for the PTS paint finish in Viola Metallic. I saw the color for the first time in Hockenheim and said to myself, it has to be this one!

Did your wife know about it beforehand this time?

That was actually a secret too. But at a joint meeting, a friend who was in on it asked me if I was sure about the color. My wife terrorized me after that! But luckily I know how to persuade my wife to love the things I love. (laughs)

© Tristan Übermuth

How do you use your Porsche 992 GT3? Are there any dream destinations?

I drive my car almost every day. And I love every single drive in it. The GT3 is simply incredible! Together with my wife, I sometimes drive it to Milan – I’m a huge fan of AC Milan. But I also love driving it on the racetrack. I try to drive it at least once or twice a year at Hockenheim or Bilster Berg. It’s always about having great experiences with the car.

If money was no object, what would be your dream car?

There are exactly two. One is the Porsche Carrera GT. The first photo album I created on Facebook was called “Porsche Carrera GT – A dream on four wheels”. I think that says it all. A Porsche 992 GT3 RS would probably be a bit more realistic. That would be the fulfillment of a damn big dream for me.

Meet our contributor

Richard Lindhorst is our chief-editor and lives in Northern Germany. He thinks about cars and bikes almost 24/7. If you’ve got a story for him, or just want to get in touch, feel free to contact him on his Instagram (@rchrdlndhrst).

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