For the newest episode of our partner portrait series, we traveled to Hungary. Just a few miles behind the border crossing in Nickelsdorf, Austria, there is a specialized Porsche manufacture called Vehicle-Experts. The company itself was founded more than ten years ago by the German Florian Scheuer. We met Florian at his workshop and talked about the exciting story behind the company and its origins.
Florian, for a start: What is Vehicle Experts and when did you start restoring classic Porsches?
Vehicle-Experts is a German manufacture for authentic Porsche restorations in Hungary, if you like. Roughly ten years ago, we started to concentrate on restoring classic cars of the Porsche brand. To us, our customers deserve a maximum of expertise, when it comes to rebuilding a car. Professionalism is the key in the restoration process. With all that different models out there, we had to specialize ourselves on a small amount of cars. If you want to guarantee a certain quality for every single car, that leaves the workshop, you have to concentrate on a limited amount of different models. That’s what we did.
How did it all start?
It was in April 2004, when I paid a visit to a good fried in Hungary, who founded a dental clinic there. After stops in Salzburg and Vienna, I went on to Hungary, where I should meet up with him right behind the border in a small town. Shortly before the arrival, already on the Hungarian motorway, a car pulled out to my lane, right in front of me. In order to avoid crashing into him, I had to smash the car into the barrier. The Hungarian driving style definitely caught me out then. It’s that kind of situations, where friendship really shows. That very friend recommended an automobile painter… who is, thanks to very thorough work on my car, responsible for founding my Hungarian business. The idea of Vehicle-Experts was born.
Where does your passion for Porsche come from?
In the 70’s, the era of my childhood, Porsche was a synonym for elegance and sportiness. Owning one of the Porsche sports cars was possibly the biggest dream of many young kids that day. I think, that’s where the origin of my passion lies in.
The term of “restoring” is used inflationary, when it comes to Porsche. What’s your very own definition?
For many years, the word restoration was used for repairs as well. Not so often, customers enter our shop with an already restored car to order a technical overhaul. When taking a closer look, it becomes obvious, that everything that has been done to the car, was a repair job at best. But considering these cars’ prices 10 or even 20 years ago, that is more than comprehensible.
For many years, the word restoration was used for repairs as well. – Florian Scheuer
Today, we offer a restoration, which is far more than that. It’s nearly an adventurous process. Every customer is part of the process, right from the start. Thanks to the internet, it’s possible to share data in real time with our customers, so they can sit in the front row and always know, what has been done to their cars. Nearly every question could be answered immediately and what’s more our immense know-how in terms of authenticity comes in handy. With more than 100 restored Porsche 356 and at least the same amount of 911s, we have secured a huge amount of sustainable knowledge, especially with the extensive (photographic) reporting we’re doing.
You offer a broad variety of craftsman’s service in Hungary. From body repairs, to engine rebuilds, painting and even saddler works. Why Hungary and how are you able to guarantee such high quality?
Our main goal is, first and foremost, to assure maximum quality to our customers. From my perspective, the only way to achieve that standard is to pool the whole responsibility for the restoration under one roof. From collecting to stripping the car and its paint, body work to building engines and fabricating upholstery, assembling and even delivery, everything is done by ourselves. And in a country, where the level labour cost allows you to do a restoration without compromise, despite the market fluctuations for classic car prices, the result will be the way you want it to be. By the way: Hungary is just 35 miles away from Vienna!
Vehicle-Experts’ appearance has changed dramatically in the last year. What was your intention?
The quality of the brand should mirror the quality of the work itself – but the passion behind every step in the process has to be shown as well (driven by enthusiasm). All in all, the brand’s appearance gained some strength, which we can verify from the feedback of fair visitors. The person Florian Scheuer is brought – subtly but still noticeably – to the fore while vouching for quality and German precision with his signature, which is a flexible element of the corporate design. For our new website, we paid particular attention to a good user experience, so every customer can grasp our whole range of services and navigate easily. Speaking of service: Many think, with us you can only completely restore vehicles. It’s not like this. We also offer a service check and partial revisions such as interior, paint or engine revision.
We also offer a service check and partial revisions such as interior, paint or engine revision.
From collecting to stripping the car and its paint, body work to building engines and fabricating upholstery, assembling and even delivery, everything is done by ourselves.
How did the market change in the past 15 years from your perspective?
Many people jumped to the Porsche-bandwagon in recent years, even if they have no idea, what the brand is all about. That’s the reason why Porsches became an asset, instead of a collectible. Investors had a strong interest in pushing the brand Porsche, just to cause an artificial short-term price increase.
How will the market for classic Porsches develop in the future?
At the latest, we will have reasonable prices in about a year. Recent years’ oversaturation will have died down then. One thing is for sure: bad and overpriced cars of today won’t sell in the near future. The customers changed their aspiration, which is a good thing for me, as it is great for us as a company.
One thing is for sure: bad and overpriced cars of today won’t sell in the near future. The customers changed their aspiration…
What’s the impact of that for you as an entrepreneur?
Many cars from dealers, which have been bought overpriced or haven’t been sold due to lacking quality will find their way to us. But we’ve been busy as well, and are already making plans to develop our company and develop new business fields.
What was the most spectacular of all the countless projects?
A 1956 Porsche 356A Speedster, which had to be completely rebuilt due to fire damage.
If I wanted to paint my 1978 911SC for example, what would be the numbers?
At first, we have to clarify, where the car is from. Cars from the USA, which in most cases have been painted already, can’t just be painted. Chemical reactions inside the paint can cause damage and we are aware of that. In case the car still has its original paint, be prepared to pay around 6-7,000 EUR and the cost for rotten rubber seals.
You’ve restored an amazing amount of cars over the years. Which was your favourite?
I am and always will be a real Porsche 356 fan. It’s the embodiment of design and elegance to me.
If you could choose one of the current Porsche models, which would you choose?
Revealing wishes is not all that helpful for the realization… 🙂
Thank you Florian, for the interesting chat. We wish you and your team all the best and maximum success!