The oldest active film director in the world and one of the most influential film-makers in Europe, he has a passion for cars and raced in his youth in Portugal and Brasil.
Manoel Cândido Pinto de Oliveira is a Portuguese film director born in Oporto, Portugal. The son of a prominent businessman, Manoel de Oliveira spent part of his youth engaging in athletic pursuits. While attending school in Galicia, Spain, Oliveira excelled in sports, becoming a champion pole vaulter.
However by the age of 17 he had dropped out of school and had begun working in the family business. Meanwhile he still persued other interests which included the cinema and motor racing. His goal was to become an actor and so at the age 20 he enrolled in Italian film-maker Rino Lupo's acting school, but later changed his mind after watching Walther Ruttmann's documentary 'Berlin: Symphony of a City'. This prompted him, in 1931, to direct his first film, a documentary about life in his native Oporto, entitled ' Douro, Fainafluvial'.
With his passion for cars, he made a film about an attempt to build a racing car in Porto. The car, built by Eduardo Ferreirinha, a Portuguese engineer and racing driver, was called the 'Edfor' and used a Ford V8 engine, a modified chassis, and bodywork of his own design. Three cars were built, one of which was raced by Manoel, winning the II Rampa do Gradil in 1938.
de Oliveira raced mainly in Portugal, especially in the Vila Real races, he also raced in Brasil. His brother Casimiro also raced and as a driver is better known.