Small Shop, Big Dreams

It’s an amazing thing how many auto shops you can find around a big city, and Bucharest is no stranger to these types of places. Whether you’re looking for performance, for design, for detailing, or for a complete do-over, there’s surely a garage that can suit your needs. It just comes down to finding one where your vision can take shape. Of course, considering you’re not a do-it-yourself type of car enthusiast, case in which all you need are some parts and the tools to fit them on. Well, not only that, but you get the idea.
On our search for some of the best and unique car shops, we stumbled upon a little start-up garage, very close to the city, hidden on a lake shore, filled with dreams and cool projects. We suspected that even from the parking lot, where a bunch of interesting cars caught our eye, so we knew something special awaited inside.
The first car that we decided to take a closer look at was a yellow Seat Ibiza, which featured an 1.8T Octavia RS swapped engine (resofted for a cleaner and smoother performance), producing 245 hp and 410 Nm, with an additional gas pump, forged exhaust 76/63 with Borla and Magnaflow elements, Deka injectors, Iridium plugs, changed front intercooler, enlarged admission, Alcantara interior, and a full Cupra R package. All these details were visible at a first glance, but the small hatchback had much more to it than met the eye.
Looking deeper into this project car, we could observe some elements that really stood out, upon analyzing what was built here: Toora 17” wheels, Eibach Pro-Kit springs, Brembo V-Max brake discs with ATE ceramic brake pads. It even featured reels taken from a Lamborghini Murcielago, now how cool is that?
In the middle of the garage, an interesting Audi A3 had its own story to tell. Boosted up to around 250 hp from a 2.0 Stage2+, with its RS3-look front bumper from SRS, RS3 side skirts, rear S bumper with RS3 diffuser, RS3 rear wing, RS grille, custom black headlights, enlarged turbo from 2.0 to 2.7, downpipe 63 with Pilot Sport and 70 exhaust, this blue wonder was indeed something very special.
The Audi was also fitted with a K&N sport filter, and had some small interior mods. As well as fitment and stance go, we were told that the Rotor twisted RS 2-color wheels were unique in Romania, and also, to top it all off, the car was fitted with an airride from AFS. Talk about a full project, well here you have it.
Through all the pops and bangs that were coming from the nervous exhausts in the garage, we got the chance to talk with the car owners, to find out more about how they began working on their projects and to get a glimpse into what being dedicated to your car really means. This also goes for the garage owners, who told us their story, how they began this small business and where they aspire to be in the next few years. Some cool projects hailing from Auto Custom Design will most likely follow on Tunedside, we’re sure.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to find out all the details about the amazingly extreme-tuned E39, but we did enjoy hearing it start and roll around the garage yard. Sitting behind the wheel of a classic is always a treat we can’t refuse.
Hard work, passion and perseverance, these are all the patterns we found in every story we heard on this visit. Be it that you want to become a tuner, a mechanic, a unique car owner or just make a name for yourself on the car scene, all these are not possible without the aforementioned attributes. But, as the results showed us, the silver lining at the end of the road is worth it.
There’s always a special thing about each and every visit to a car shop, whether it’s a big name or just someone trying to put their foot in the door. New styles, new cars, new stories just waiting to be uncovered. But the appeal of entering a small garage and discovering all the nice things hidden in every spot, that will always be a wonderful bonus. And there’s a nice and plentiful photo gallery below, to show you exactly what we mean. Until our next visit, enjoy!
Words: Mihai Dumitrescu // Instagram
Photos: Anna Dumitrescu // Instagram