Felix Meier founded Old Legends Garage in Wittislingen in 2015. Photo: Old Legends Garage
This is a costly time for drivers. Still, Felix Meier is in a positive mood. A few years ago he founded the Old Legends Garage in Wittislingen and has been restoring and repairing classic cars from the United States ever since. In an interview, he explains how the nostalgia in northern Swabia for the United States and rising fuel prices are not stopping the scene.
B4BSCHWABEN.de: Mr. Meier, where does your passion for American classic cars come from?
Felix Meier: I used to enjoy watching old American movies. Cars always play a major role here. Even then I felt that a vintage car has more character than a new car. So I bought my first classic car from USA in 2010.
And then immediately set up the workshop?
Not yet. Initially, I made my living selling parts and doing customer service. When I had a master’s certificate in automotive training in my pocket, I started with the workshop. Now I not only repair cars, but also restore them.
Restoration seems complicated…
Although. We currently have two classic cars in our workshop for restoration. 1971 Dodge Charger and 1967 Pontiac Firebird. Restoration involves replacing almost everything on most cars. Engine, fenders, bumper. Altogether it may take a year or two. Especially since we are also struggling with delivery problems for some parts.
Delivery problems are one thing. The rising fuel cost falls on another. Isn’t the love for vintage cars antithetical to a time when carmakers advertise that they want to save as much fuel as possible?
At first glance yes. However, you have to look at the situation from two sides. It is already possible today to retrofit old cars and make them more fuel efficient. It is sometimes difficult to implement everything according to TUV standards. On the other hand, vintage cars should not always be treated as everyday vehicles. Most of our customers use their used cars as a hobby and drive here and there to the ice cream parlor on Sundays when the weather is nice. This means that the fuel consumption is balanced overall. Still, it’s definitely a hobby that tends to be more expensive.
Let’s be with our customers. Do you see trends in the scene?
There are definitely trends. Many classic car fans – like me – like to watch movies from behind and so have their favourites. For example, the Dodge Charger is very popular at the moment. Because it’s Vin Diesel’s car from Fast and Furious. One evergreen is the Ford Mustang, which we like to call the “Golf of the USA.” And the big “road cruisers” from Cadillac and Chevrolet are on the rise again.
And your own favourite?
There are many character and exciting cars. In our workshop I love working with the Dodge, Plymouth and Chrysler brands. But that doesn’t make other vehicles boring. For example, in Wittislingen we had a special model, the Ford Model A. Because this car was already over 90 years old: it was made in 1930.