Minis, Racing And A Touch Of California

  1. Upon Arrival
  2. Long Talks And Unique Projects
  3. Mini Heaven
  4. Hidden Treasures
  5. Everlasting American Vibe
1. Upon Arrival
From time to time, we get invited to a garage that stays with us for a long time after we’ve visited and photographed it. Even now, upon thinking of the unique experience we had at Tureanu Designs (former Custom Cars), I rejoice in the things we got to see there and the amazing projects they have done throughout the years.
Doing a bit of research, I discovered that Tureanu Cars (named after its founder and head honcho) has deep roots into motorsport (hence the Tureanu Racing division) and the cars they craft in the garage located in a quiet area near Bucharest are some of the most detailed and well-done vehicles in all of Europe. Needless to say, we packed the photo gear and drove to see what the buzz was all about. Here’s what followed...
2. Long Talks And Unique Projects
The garage is situated near a cozy neighborhood of villas, somewhere off the main road leading towards the mountains, and it hits you with a warm and good-taste feeling right after you walk through the door. That is, after you’ve played a bit with the nice doggies guarding it outside.
While Anna was matchmaking her photo lenses with the cars inside the shop, I stepped into the business office, where everything simply oozes with car culture, be it the toy car collection on the wall or the huge monitor where years of experience and passion streamed before my eyes.
Meeting the founder of this amazing concept, a former rally driver and a true petrolhead, I got to sit down and have one of the most comprehensive and long chats I ever had the pleasure of attending, ever since launching Tunedside. The knowledge, the projects, the sheer dedication, these all amazed me and I could feel that everything that was done in this garage had a higher purpose, and it meant something more than just plain vehicle restoration.
3. Mini Heaven
Upon ending the conversation, it was time to get our hands dirty and step into the warehouse, where all the magic happened. Where the Tureanu team leaves the projection tools behind and gets busy creating some of the best one-off cars out there, be it for track or the open road.
Two Minis were lined-up in the middle of the garage, as on-going projects for the racetrack. Last we heard and saw, they are already running on a circuit near Bucharest, so we should pay a visit to see them in their natural habitat. Until then, we enjoyed learning about how they were bought, more or less as wrecks, and how they became reinvented in order to see them racing once again.
Restoring a Mini isn’t easy at all. Restoring two is a titanic task. Add to that the fact that these little cars were intended for the pure racetrack feeling and that they were redesigned and revived to be as unique as possible. If you get the chance to see them racing, feel free to ask about the Scottish flag on the roof, you won’t be disappointed. Anyway, the amount of work that was put into the pocket rockets can’t really be described with words, but rather through images.
4. Hidden Treasures
Of course, there are stories in every corner of the warehouse, apart from the special Minis we featured. Like this wonderfully reconstructed, and tuned for the track, classic Dacia, a car that is currently still being used in national and local races.
A bunch of various cars sit quietly near the office, waiting for their turn to become shining racing champions once again, or just impeccably restored vehicles, for the owners that ordered them. Old timers, hot hatches, stylish 60s icons, you’re bound to find a diversity of projects like nowhere else here, and that’s actually what made this place so special. No project is too little, no car is too hard to make.
5. Everlasting American Vibe
From the moment you step into the Tureanu Cars garage, there’s something fresh in the air, resembling the Californian ocean breeze. Might be the Stingrays that lay on one side of the warehouse, or the surfboard hung above one of the walls, who can tell? It’s an electric vibe, in the air, something between a holiday and 80-hours work weeks, good old hard earned results and the joy of seeing the vehicles you create, on the road at last.
Small American automotive memorabilia, an old Studebaker that awaits revival, or the body of a Mustang (or T5, as the Europeans used to call it), these are things you can stumble upon in the shop we visited, and each an every one of them reminded us of USA, in a stylish and honest way.
Whether we’re talking about their one-off project cars or their racetrack results, there’s no “behind the curtains” here, just pure passion and two other things on which every good automotive business is built upon: imagination and hard work. Those are the pillars that breathe life into every dream, so, as we try to learn a lesson on every visit we make, I believe this was a truly enlightening one.
Words: Mihai Dumitrescu / Instagram
Photos: Anna Dumitrescu / Instagram