An Evening In A Retro Garage

  1. Lights on
  2. Nuts and bolts and stories
  3. The 70s Queen
  4. Even harder projects await
  5. Lights off
1. Lights on
When we got invited to this specific garage, for a photoshoot, a nice conversation, and some true car culture experiences, it wasn’t a hard choice at all. Although not our usual piece of cake, who could decline a visit to one of the most passionate car people we have ever met?
Located deep in the heart of Bucharest (we will not reveal the actual spot), the garage is well hidden and for a good reason, since it doesn’t provide work for others, but rather acts like a personal shop and a keeping place for the amazing machines created here over the years.
We parked somewhere close-by, and after the gate closed behind us, we entered into one of the coolest and coziest places that we were invited to. The garage is tidy, filled with car parts, retro memorabilia, and that warmth that you can only find in places that are created out of passion.
An array of various vibes can be found in this magical place, all of them strongly connected and deeply rooted in car culture. From the gasoline and oil smells to the old school souvenirs, the trophies won throughout the years, or the cute toy car collection on the wall.
Clearly, a lot of hard work has been put into creating this special place and our first impression was “how can we spend as many hours here, as possible?”. Lucky for us, the owner had some stories to tell, so we opened our camera lens and our ears and began listening to what the garage had to say.
2. Nuts and bolts and stories
The passion for old school cars, for classics, and for long-forgotten treasures started out in 2010, with a humble Dacia, which was reconstructed and revived to its mint condition state, and it still features in the owner’s collection. Fast forward some years and 9 cars later, you have one of the most well-known and respected collectors in the retro automotive world from this part of Europe, and we’re pretty sure this passion will not stop here.
Rumbling with his fingers around in a box of small pieces, the stories keep on coming. From the ownership of one of the official cars that belonged to a certain Romanian dictator, to hiking the mountains in big offroad vehicles fabricated in the 70s, to struggling for years to rebuild a classic sports-coupe, all the words that came out were filled with a deep passion and understanding of what automobiles really mean to us all.
3. The 70s Queen
The idea of rebuilding a classic German vehicle came about 2 years ago, and ever since, day after day, a lot of hard work was put into making one of the nicest and cleanest builds we will ever feature on Tunedside.
The chosen model was a Mercedes W114 Coupè from 1971. Imported from the USA, it features an original interior, while all the exterior body kit pieces were personally made and fitted on the car by the owner. Months and months of seadrching for certain bits that would make the car return to its original state, nights spent on shady website places or under the massive body, trying to figure out what to do next, what can make this beauty come back to life. This is what it takes, sometimes, time out of your own time.
As far as the engine goes, although the badge says 250C, the fitted motor is a 2.8-litre, which produces in excess of 130 hp, but that’s plenty to go around for an elegant old coupe. This particular project was never about power, but rather about style. And by the looks of the finalised work, it sure delivers an unique look.
When it came to wheels, the ones from 1971, who weren’t already fitted to another car, were impossible to find, so after careful consideration, a set of BBS rims from the 80s were chosen, to give a fresh vibe, yet not to seem out of place. Revamped and perfectly cleaned, they’re the final touch to an amazing build.
4. Even harder projects await
Sitting quiet and dark, in another part of the garage, was another old-timer, but this one had nothing to do with the classy Benz. This was a rugged, hardcore off-roader, which caught our eye from the moment we set foot into the workshop.
It’s a majestic Jeep Wrangler YJ 1987, with a 4.2-liter gas engine, and it’s still a project car, with lots of bits and pieces missing. From the words of the owner, this could take a while, as it doesn’t seem to have the appeal of his most recent built car, but from the look in his eyes, something amazing will come out of this vehicle, too. When it does, we’ll make sure to let you know, in another article.
5. Lights off
What can be said after such an interesting evening? What is our take out of all what we have seen? Simply put, that passion for cars creates wonderful things, that can outlast time. Whether you’re trying to recreate something from the past, or tune it, or rebuild it in an unique way, some pieces of design and engineering will never fade away. They will always be reanimated and enjoyed.
Hard work, countless hours, broken knuckles and a ton of dedication, in order to create timeless machines, this is what our visit was all about. Discovering an essential truth, that, no matter the effort, when you’re driving your own creation, you drive more than a car. You drive a state of mind. And that retromobiles will always be a part of the future, if they’re treated with the care and consideration they deserve.
Photographed by Ana Dumitrescu
Written by Mihai Dumitrescu