More than thirty years of classic car craftsmanship
A childhood passion
Bernard Marreyt’s interest in cars is first triggered as a five-year-old when he joins his father to collect the first family car, a Citroën.
From that moment on, a passion develops and flourishes over the years: Bernard keenly observes the neighbourhood cars from his observation post in the front garden and voraciously reads Spirou and Tintin comics, mainly because the cars in it are so well illustrated.
As a student, he finances his studies in microbiology by repairing and selling 2CV’s in his free time, and saves up to buy specialist car magazines. After graduating and while in full-time employment Bernard expands his focus to other cars that fascinate him.
This is when he discovered the world of classic cars. Whereas the scene in Belgium is still very much populated by hobby enthusiasts, there is already a professional scene going on in England. After a prosperous 10-year career in microbiology, Bernard Marreyt leaves the security of his permanent job to pursue his passion: classic cars.
A perfectionist mechanic
Luc Swerts’ father not only passed on his passion for car mechanics, but also inspired his son to work hard and keep on learning from an early age.
After completing various mechanics-related studies as a young man, Luc started working at an engine overhaul company. His evenings and spare time are devoted to his true passion: in his farm he set up a garage where he worked on classic cars, at first by himself as a hobby and eventually as a self-employed person with about nine mechanics.
He carries out his work with respect for the soul of the car and in awe of the beautiful mechanics. His experience in the engine overhaul business and his unmistakable perfectionism Luc emerges as something of a classic car expert who sees every mechanical problem as an intriguing challenge: “There’s a solution to everything.”
Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports… all the others are games. – ERNEST HEMINGWAY
Who we are
With an abundant passion for classic cars, Bernard Marreyt laid the foundation of the Marreyt classic car story in 1988. More than thirty years later, he is a prominent figure in the Belgian classic car community and beyond.
His fascination for the world of classic cars in combination with his knowledge of them and a personal preference for refined English and Italian cars, is unsurpassed. Testament to this are Bernard’s considerable library of reference works, his own unique classic car collection – which he invariably makes the most of at leisure times and on weekends – and the Brussels Retro Festival that he organised from 2000-2010, which grew into the foremost classic car event in Belgium with an international character.
An anecdote of Bernard’s that further illustrates his obsession with classic cars is that he studied Italian for six years in evening school in an attempt to find another hobby, something unrelated to classic cars. In reality, he did learn the language and now uses it to share his enthusiasm with equally passionate Italian classic car owners.
My all-time favourite classic car? The last one I bought.
Thanks to his extensive knowledge of classic cars, Bernard is also a board member and one of the four members of the technical committee at the Belgian Federation for Old Vehicles. He regards a classic car as heritage that should be restored and experienced in the spirit of the time. Whether it is the exact gloss of the paint, the fabric composition of the carpets or the pattern of the wiring harness casing, he eagerly delves into the history of the car with infinite patience and depth so that it can be restored in a historically correct manner.
Feeling the cars and sensing their history, that’s the reason that he is passionate about the profession.
Luc Swerts has been the mechanical brain and heart of Marreyt since the early years. Thanks to his many years of craftsmanship, his extraordinary work ethic but above all his distinct drive to find a solution for every mechanical challenge, he recaptures the true, authentic beauty of every classic car entering his workshop.
Luc is a master of restoration and repair and carries out his work with the utmost respect for the soul of the car.
My favorite is a pre-war Bentley. Because it’s the most difficult.
Whether it’s an aesthetic, mechanical or performance-based old-timer restoration, every detail matters. The right spare parts, the right material and the right technology … Luc aims for nothing less than perfectionism. Or as he puts it himself: “There’s a solution to everything”.
If a spare part is no longer available Luc will make joints de culasse or whatever is necessary, entirely according to the rules of the art and the size of the car. Unravelling the complexity of the classic car is what motivates Luc.
Engineer and classic car enthusiast Koen Matthijs came on board in 2020. Thanks to his professional experience in various companies and in being a Marreyt customer himself, Koen knows better than anyone what the classic car service partner needs next to take the company to a higher level.
A few years ago, he experienced the magic of the Marreyt-Swerts duo first-hand when he visited the Brussels showroom and left with not one, but two classic cars. Since then, he has been a loyal customer and fan of Marreyt’s craftsmanship and passion. Koen had no reservations about joining Bernard and Luc’s journey.
Every day I am amazed by the formidable range of classic car models, and I am constantly in awe of the technical accomplishments I see in our workshop. The combination of passionate craftsmanship and iconic car history is fascinating.
Koen’s background and personality adds the required boldness and scope to Marreyt and thus provides “the wings for the quantum leap”.
Together with Bernard and Luc, he wants to add colour to the ambitious Marreyt ideas and translate them into reality. Koen’s arrival also guarantees the continuation of the Marreyt business in the future.
Showroom and Workshop in Brussels
You can admire a large selection of the Marreyt classic car collection in the spacious showroom which accommodates dozens of classic cars and showcases our most recently restored and iconic cars.
Are you looking for that one classic car that suits you? Or are you an enthusiast who wants to take a look at our current selection of cars for sale? Don’t hesitate to visit our showroom, where we’re happy to welcome you to join us for a tour or a conversation about your classic car dream.
The workshop is the beating heart of the Marreyt restorations. This is where classic cars are restored to their former glory according to the rules of the art of restoration.
Our machines and tools are all authentic instruments that allow us to carry out refined manual work, which is crucial for a faithful classic car restoration. There is no run-of-the-mill work here: you’ll find a specialised workshop where we execute the technical aspect of the classic car métier with the greatest craftsmanship and utmost care.
Our workshop is an important part of the classic car experience for many of our customers. Some pass by on their day off to follow the progress of their car restoration.
Our fascination for the complexity of the classic car repair process and the challenging and meticulous nature of the restoration work is a part of the process that we are happy to share with you.
Experience Room at Knokke
A classic car is more than a car, it’s an experience.
We bring that unique experience to life in our Experience Room at Knokke. Monthly themes highlight various aspects of the rich old-timer history and the Experience Room is where we can show you the dream, the discovery, the craftsmanship and bring you the connection to the classic car experience. Step into the fascinating world of the classic car!
It always starts with a dream … Each of us has our own classic car dream. At the Experience Room you can admire remarkable and iconic Marreyt classic cars. Every month we exhibit one or two cars that embody the theme with their exceptional story and unique identity.
No richer story than that of the classic car world … Every month we highlight one of the many themes in old-timer history. The video wall displays the theme and maps out its historic role; a specific decade in classic car history, the vision of a car builder like Bugatti in the 1920s, the role of a car mechanic like Zagato, the evolution of voitures de ville … There are unlimited topics of conversation and each has a significance within the classic car experience.
You can also discover our very own Marreyt story in the Experience Room. As a classic car specialist with more than thirty years of craftsmanship and passion for the profession, we also have our own timeline with surprising milestones. View the most memorable stories and events of the Marreyt journey, such as the account of the restored concept of the Bugatti T57 Gangloff, the exceptional restoration of the Aston Martin DB4, the first prize at the Villa d’Este concours d’élégance or the memories of our Mille Miglia participations …
The classic car experience goes hand in hand with ultimate craftsmanship. Patient and meticulous restoration reveals the true, authentic beauty and sophistication of your car and restores your classic car to its former glory.
At the Experience Room we give you a glimpse of the beating heart of Marreyt by means of a livestream of the workshop. Our experience sessions can give you a real feel for the classic car expertise and finesse.
Nothing makes your classic car experience more valuable than being able to share your passion with like-minded people. At the Experience Room you will enter a space that brings together connoisseurs and classic car enthusiasts in a familiar, casual yet stylish setting.
In our meeting room you will get to know other classic car enthusiasts, including ourselves, and you can exchange experiences.