In Porsche Wonderland
One customer that Standox is particularly proud of is based just a few kilometres from Standox headquarters: “Early 911” in Wuppertal is one of the world’s leading specialists for historic models of the Porsche 911.
There’s little about the Early 911 building to indicate what’s inside. Two Porsche 911s in bright 1970s colours are in the car park, but the scene is otherwise dominated by vehicles of other makes. “Unfortunately, we don’t yet have a showroom where we can display our vehicles,” says Manfred Hering, Early 911’s founder. “But we’re working on it.”
As soon as Manfred Hering opens the door to the first hall, it’s immediately clear that the company already has more than enough exhibits to fill a showroom: Inside, a wide array of Porsche models stand bumper to bumper: 911s from the 60s, open Targas, Turbos with huge rear spoilers, a 911 S/T in racing design, a 356 cabriolet once used by the German road policing unit, and much, much more...
Entire bodyworks stacked on racks
But what comes next will really amaze any Porsche fan: The classic car hall houses dozens of cars still in the process of being restored. The hall containing spare parts is perhaps even more exciting: Massive racks three storeys high are used to store the bodywork of entire Porsches. The selection ranges from the first post-war Porsches to the 993 series from the 1990s, the last models to use air-cooled engines. “Currently we have around 400 vehicles,” says Manfred Hering.
“The Porsche was never my dream car as a kid.”
The 49-year-old Hering is an industrial engineer at heart and originally wasn’t very interested in cars. “I always like the shape of the Porsche,” he says. “But driving a 911 wasn’t a childhood dream of mine.” His first encounter with the car came through his former ad agency. “We used an old Porsche in a campaign we ran, and I realised what bad shape it was in.” When he looked into the matter more closely, he realised that there was a market for restored 911s – and in 2006 he set up Early 911.
Today, Hering is an acknowledged expert when it comes to Porsches. His expertise is much sought after by many buyers. Which is understandable: After all, a perfectly restored 911 can easily cost several hundred thousand euros. And not just any vehicle that’s up for sale makes for a suitable investment. “It should have a particular past, special accessories or a special finish,” explains Hering. “These kinds of details are what make a Porsche 911 a collector’s item.”
Not just the mechanics but the finish, too, has to be perfect.
Around 70 employees, from body specialists to upholsterers, attend to every detail of the classic cars from Zuffenhausen at Early 911. “We only do complete restorations,” Hering points out. “That means the colour has to match the original, too, of course.” That's the job of the in-house paint shop in nearby Solingen. There they rely on Standox paints, especially the basecoat Standoblue.
When it comes to finishing, Manfred Hering is quite meticulous. “Porsche developed some really attractive colours,” he says. “This is why I put a lot of emphasis not just on getting a vehicle’s mechanics just right but also on the finish as well. And the accuracy and brilliant finish that Standoblue provides has won me over.”