Thursday, September 7, 2023

I Love A Success Story - Antonia Belcher

Trans mission: a Porsche enthusiast’s inspirational campaign for inclusivity

Antonia Belcher

In 1995, Antonia Belcher took delivery of her first Porsche, a Lapis Blue 993-generation 911 Carrera 2. It was a milestone moment for the driven and successful chartered surveyor and the start of a lifelong love affair with the brand. But over the next few years, Antonia’s life would witness far greater moments of change. Ones that would lead through heartbreak and self-discovery to an encounter at Windsor Castle with the King of England.

Antonia’s passion for cars came early, modifying a classic Mini with her younger brother at the age of 17, before a series of company cars introduced her to the world of high-performance German engineering. “By the mid-1990s I’d had this itch to own a Porsche for some time, and my first was a 993 Carrera 2, leased through the chartered surveyors I worked for,” she explains. “Lapis Blue with a pale blue interior, it was a fantastic car that just opened my eyes to Porsche.”

An enviable collection

Antonia owned that car for three years before moving in quick succession from 996 C4 and C4S to a Basalt Black, six-speed manual 996 Turbo S, one of fewer than 60 such examples ever delivered in righthand drive and a car she still has to this day. It would later be joined by the first of several GT cars in an enviable collection that now includes a 991 GT3, first- and second-generation 991 GT3 RS and a head-turning 700 PS Guardsred GT2 RS with Weissach package. Bookending her eight-car Porsche fleet today are a rare US-only 1976 air-cooled 912E, noughties flagship 996 GT2 and a 718 Spyder that will soon be sharing the mid-engine limelight with a Guardsred GT4 RS.

Awarded an Order of the British Empire

Following several years of public speaking engagements, Antonia was awarded an OBE, or Order of the British Empire, for her services to equality in business. In February, this highly regarded honour was bestowed upon her by King Charles III at a formal ceremony at Windsor Castle. Antonia and her partner have also started a charity in the meantime, The Antonia and Andrea Belcher Trans Fund, which raises awareness and financing for trans communities all over the world.

Between her public engagements and charity work, it can be a struggle for Antonia to find time for her beloved Porsche collection, but a road trip is never far from her mind. “There are so many drives I want to do,” she says. “I’d love to experience the Mille Miglia, and a vintage rally like Peking to Paris really ticks my box. A friend and I are seriously toying with that idea. Driving gives me freedom,” she adds, “the freedom to go wherever I like. But I also see these cars as works of art and get a buzz out of just sitting in any of my Porsches. I haven’t quite got to the level of bringing them into the lounge, but it wouldn’t take a lot to get me there.”

Experience how the iconic Porsche 911 transformed Antonia Belcher's life beyond driving. Her journey from man to woman intertwines with her passion for the Porsche 911, defying norms and embracing authenticity. Amidst her inspiring path of empowerment, Antonia's gender reassignment led to fresh perspectives, driving her commitment to inclusivity.

Antonia's dedication to fostering inclusivity extends through her involvement with GiveOut. Collaborating with her wife, Andrea Belcher, they established the Antonia & Andrea Belcher Trans Fund in 2018. This fund supports transgender individuals, especially in regions where acceptance remains a challenge.

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