Coachwerks is an elite group of some of the world’s finest technicians and restoration specialists who believe there is nothing greater than taking a classic automobile in any state of decline or disrepair and restoring it – every part, every curve and every stitch – to its original, magical splendour.
Known worldwide for taking on ambitious projects that other garages might not touch due to lack of resources and skills, Coachwerks succeeds without advertising, relying on word-of-mouth to bring in new challenges. In fact, this west coast automobile restoration company has garages double-stacked with client vehicles, each ready for their turn on the work floor.
Acclaimed for Mercedes Mastery
Situated in a pristine 30,000-square-foot complex, Coachwerks offers a full line of services from factory authorized and trained maintenance work to documented nut and bolt, rotisserie, and Concours level restorations.
Manager Dale Hargreaves oversees a team of talented and fully factory-trained craftsmen. Every morning employees clock-in, to work on what may ultimately take years to complete, the prized possession of someone who understands the art of automobiles. Hargreaves promises that his team will deliver a car that looks not only sensational but performs as good or better than the day it left the factory.
An Ambitious Amalgamation
Rudi Koniczek of Rudi & Co – the 300SL guru and industry legend – along with Michael Grams of renowned Coachwerks Automotive Restoration are well-known for being the leaders of two teams of automotive restoration artisans. They collaborated for over 20-years as independent companies and are responsible for the nut and bolt restorations of over 100 Mercedes- Benz 300SLs and numerous other significant European and North American masterpieces. In 2017, they were united under The GAIN Group banner.
At the beginning of our tour, Hargreaves explains what a shock the post-amalgamation transition was. “It was quite a change for us who came from this little restoration shop, which was literally out in the woods, to this complex. We walked in and thought how on earth are we going to fill this and here we are three years later, going we need more room.”
The depth of knowledge these two teams represent in the restoration world equates to decades of uncountable hours in restoration experience of pre- and post-war European sports cars.
Coachwerks specializes in Mercedes-Benz 300SL and Porsche but features an extensive portfolio that includes marquee brands such as Packard, Talbot Lagot, Lagonda, Jaguar, Ferrari, Bugatti, Avions Voisin, Austin- Healey, Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo, to name but a few.
If These Walls Could Talk
Many legendary vehicles have come through the garage, such as Pierre Trudeau’s 1960 Mercedes 300 SL for restoration and the 1965 Rolls Royce Phantom V touring limousine formerly owned by John Lennon. The vehicle was once used to transit Lennon and the rest of the Beatles to Buckingham Palace to receive their Member of the British Empire medals from Queen Elizabeth II and has been part of the Royal BC Museum collection for over 20-years.
For those who love a ‘rare car found in barn’ story, Coachwerks has one of their own. Rudi tracked a 1955 Mercedes 300SL gullwing to a garage in Santa Monica. It had one owner, who was in his late 80?s and had received the car as a gift for graduation but, after the transmission failed in 1971, never repaired or put it on the road again. Only 29 of these magnificent vehicles were built. Restored they fetch a stunning $7M to $10M. A rare find with an incredible story!
The GAIN Group Fostering Community
Coachwerks is owned by The GAIN Group, which has evolved over the past decade from two automobile dealerships to fifteen businesses today. Dealerships now include respected brands like Alfa Romeo, Mercedes- AMG, Audi, BMW, Maserati, Porsche, and Volvo.
In 2018, The GAIN Group acquired two local restoration companies – Rudi & Company and Coachwerks Automotive Restorations – and rebranded them as Coachwerks Restoration. Together, they have set a new benchmark within the classic automotive world of restorations comparable to the best in the world. Also, under The GAIN Group umbrella is the Villa Eyrie Resort, the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit, and the Cowichan River Lodge.
Company partner Peter Trzewik and Marketing Director Cindy Mui have their hands full with operations 7-days a week, but that does not deter them from committing to the people of the Island. Over the years, they have created long-lasting relationships within the community and continue to support an ever-widening group of charities.
Proudly supporting 28 different local arts, culture, and health-related organizations, The GAIN Group also gives time to the efforts of organizations such as the David Foster Foundation and Tour de Rock.
In summer 2019, the group produced the inaugural Vancouver Island Concours d’Elegance held on a splendidly sunny day at the prestigious Shawnigan Lake School. An array of 250 rare, antique, and in mint condition automobiles were competing for various titles. By the end-of-day, the event donated over $185K to the David Foster Foundation and the Cowichan Valley Hospital Foundation!
Adding to Your Collection?
We believe the hottest car for sale in the current Coachwerks inventory is a 2006 Ferrari F430 with 0-kilometres. The asking price is $225K, and this vehicle is touted as one of the last true ‘drivers’ Ferraris, certainly one of the most desirable on the market. The F 430 6-speed manual is sure to give a Formula 1 inspired experience with every outing. A 483 power engine perfectly paired with three pedals and a shifter ensures a feast for the senses that can turn the most routine drive into an emotion-filled dash to the finish line.
If the Ferrari is too ‘new’ for you, consider the Porsche 500 Pre- A in silver metallic on green leather interior and at a reasonable $435K. The 356-model set the for all Porsche to come. It was light, nimble, low and sleek.
Not aggressive enough? How about this spectacular 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS? Refinished in 2015 Camaro Synergy Green metallic paint with black Rally stripes with a beautiful set of 14? Rally wheels, this beast is a perfect blend of old and new and only $55K.
- Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Communications, publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, and multiple digital lifestyle blogs. She is a content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist in the luxury lifestyle niche. She is a regular content contributor to Retail-Insider and has a vast freelance portfolio including Boulevard English & Chinese editions, Indulge, and Montecristo Magazine. When not attending high-profile events in Vancouver's 'Luxury Zone’ or on assignment abroad, she is honing her plant-based cooking skills and caring for her rescues. [email protected]
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