Spanish Guinea was the name for a set of insular and continental territories controlled by Spain from 1844 to 1968 in the Gulf of Guinea and on the Bight of Bonny in Central Africa. It gained independence in 1968 and is known as Equatorial Guinea. To find a passport from this territory is pretty rare and what the document makes even more special is the fact that it was issued to Juan Jover Sanes. A Spanish driver who raced single-seaters and sports cars in Grand Prix and endurance races. He died driving between Sitges to Barcelona when his car went off a cliff in 1960. He was 57 years old. Spanish guinea passport
Juan Jover Sañés represented the original gentleman driver whose personal wealth allowed him to compete in Grand Prix racing. Jover was a Spanish racing driver who started on two wheels in the early twenties but quickly switched to four wheels. He is on the entry list of the III Trofeo Armangué in 1923, where he drove a Cyclecar “Rally Chic.”
As time went by, and after WWII, he took part in some European Grand Prix races, at tracks like Bari, Montlhéry, Reims-Gueux, Pedralbes, Monza or La Sarthe. In 1949 he finished second in the Le Mans 24 Hours, sharing a Delage 3 liters with Henri Louveau, trailing Luigi Chinetti/Peter Selsdon’s winning Ferrari. Later in the year, the same team of Louveau and Jover, with the addition of Mouche, finished second in the Spa 24 hours.
In the 1946 Penya Rhin Grand Prix, he shared a Maserati 6CM with Alberto Puig Palau. After a race plagued with incidents, they both finished in a surprising third place, although 15 laps down. In 1947 he competed in the Bari Grand Prix. In 1948, in the IX GP Penya Rhin – VI Copa Barcelona, he drove a Maserati 4CL under the Escudería Autoespañola banner, but was forced to retire on lap 12. In 1950 he drove a Maserati 4CLT/48 prepared by Speluzzi and known as the “Milano”. In 1951 he took part in the Spanish Grand Prix, again at Pedralbes, this time driving the Maserati 4CLT/48-1612 but did not qualify.
Jover went on racing, and in May 1953, he took part in the La Rabassada Hillclimb, driving an F2 Maserati and a Cisitalia 1100, finishing second and third on scratch. Later in the year, and driving a Pegasos, Jover suffered a severe accident in Le Mans 24 Hours practice. The car was traveling at around 200km/h when, having just overtaken a Cunningham, Jover misjudged the speed at which he was approaching the corner after the Dunlop bridge and hit the barriers. Jover was thrown out of the car, and his left leg was badly broken. It was only due to the skill of his friend, Doctor Soler-Roig, that he didn’t have to have it amputated. Spanish guinea passport
After a year recovering, Jover was back at the wheel in June 1954, competing in La Rabassada Hillclimb. In what was a Pegaso benefit, with Jover finishing fifth being four other Pegasos. Spanish guinea passport
In 1956, Jover finished second in the III Gran Premio Nacional Sports de Barajas, driving a Maserati 300S behind the winning Porsche spyder of J.-Felipe Nogueira. The following year, he won the same race at the wheel of a Maserati 200S, dedicating his win to the recently deceased Alfonso de Portago. In 1958 Jover finally won the La Rabassada Hillclimb, this time driving a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. Spanish guinea passport
By 1960 Jover had almost completely retired from racing, and on Tuesday 28th June whilst driving his small convertible from Sitges to Barcelona, for some unknown reason, the car went off the road and down a cliff. Jover sadly died. In his memory, a race was run, the Trofeo Juan Jover, between 1963 to 1968 at the Montjuich racetrack.
FAQ Passport History
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1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?
The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...
2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?
Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...
3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?
"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...
4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?
Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...
5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?
Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.
6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?
7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?
During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...
8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?
Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.
9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?
Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.
10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?
A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉
11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?
First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...
Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.
Question? Contact me...