SPE­CIAL­IST: RE­NAIS­SANCE CLAS­SIC SPORTS CARS

If you're look­ing to buy, sell, re­pair, re­store or even de­tail a Porsche, Re­nais­sance Clas­sics is the one-stop pres­tige car shop for you!

911 Porsche World - - Contents - Words & Pho­tog­ra­phy: Paul Knight

Long name, im­pres­sive busi­ness

Lo­cated in Ri­p­ley near Wok­ing, Sur­rey (just a few min­utes from junc­tion 10 of the M25), Re­nais­sance Clas­sics has its foun­da­tion in the long-stand­ing pas­sion that the Sohl fam­ily has for clas­sic sports cars and rac­ing. When the Ri­p­ley lo­ca­tion be­came avail­able it was an ir­re­sistible op­por­tu­nity to de­velop a unique clas­sic car op­er­a­tion with out­stand­ing show­room and work­shop fa­cil­i­ties. In fact, the site’s her­itage is unique as it has been the base for an in­ter­na­tional Porsche rac­ing team, known as Track­speed, and is yards away from the site of the 1950s For­mula 1 Con­naught rac­ing team. Also, Ri­p­ley is a short dis­tance from his­toric Brook­lands, the start­ing point for Bri­tish mo­tor rac­ing and clas­sic cars – truly a great lo­ca­tion for a spe­cial­ist work­shop and show­room.

It’s an im­pres­sive out­fit and you cer­tainly wouldn’t miss the build­ing from the road as you drive by. There’s al­ways a se­lec­tion of cars for sale on the fore­court – ob­vi­ously Porsches play a large part of things, but it’s not un­usual to find a se­lec­tion of var­i­ous pres­tige and sport­ing ve­hi­cles on dis­play.

Out­side we spot­ted ve­hi­cles in­clud­ing a par­tic­u­larly nice GT3 Club­sport and a very pretty Cay­man S in sil­ver, which was priced to sell at just £15,995. Other deals in­cluded

a 996 Turbo and a lovely 997 Car­rera 2S, both priced at less that £40k.

Walk­ing into the re­cep­tion we were met by Court­ney Ma­hon who takes care of the dig­i­tal me­dia and events side of the busi­ness and ex­plained that our tour would start in the show­room be­fore mov­ing into the de­tail­ing bay and fi­nally the work­shops.

The re­cep­tion is a bright and friendly space with seat­ing, mag­a­zines and a large TV, plus free wifi for those wait­ing to col­lect ser­vice ve­hi­cles etc. From here we walked into the show­room, where longterm Porsche en­thu­si­ast, Gra­ham Bee­son, met us. Gra­ham is the gen­eral man­ager and head of sales, but is also one of the most knowl­edge­able and help­ful peo­ple you could ever hope to meet when dis­cussing all things Porsche.

Gra­ham in­tro­duced us to di­rec­tors and busi­ness founders, James and Keith Sohl, be­fore they set­tled down at a meet­ing re­gard­ing an­other as­pect of the busi­ness, the AC Schnitzer fran­chise. Ob­vi­ously this ap­plies to BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover and Mini etc, which fits in nicely with the non-porsche ve­hi­cles on sale and in the work­shops etc.

Mov­ing through the show­room we were faced with a se­lec­tion of top-qual­ity ve­hi­cles in­clud­ing a few BMWS, a Cater­ham, Fer­rari, As­ton Martin and also a par­tic­u­larly nice 1970 911 2.2E in tan­ger­ine and a 928 GT, which was in great con­di­tion. Up to 14 cars can be dis­played in­side the 200sq-me­tre show­room and ev­ery car on dis­play has

Up to 14 cars can be dis­played in­side the 200sq-me­tre show­room

been picked as if it were be­ing pur­chased for one of the team, i.e. these are de­sir­able mod­els and all in great con­di­tion, with ex­ten­sive his­tory and provenance. Not only are the cars care­fully se­lected, they are also thor­oughly in­spected in the work­shops where any faults or is­sues are cor­rected prior to be­ing fully de­tailed and pre­pared for the show­room floor.

Both Gra­ham and James Wil­son are on hand to help you with ques­tions or ad­vice re­gard­ing the show­room ve­hi­cles, and it’s this kind of per­sonal ser­vice that has built Re­nais­sance such a great rep­u­ta­tion not only re­gard­ing cus­tomer ser­vice, but also the qual­ity and va­ri­ety of the ve­hi­cles that pass through the busi­ness.

All ve­hi­cles are sold with a war­ranty (which can also be ex­tended) and Re­nais­sance also of­fers ser­vic­ing, repairs and up­grades for not just Porsche mod­els, but prac­ti­cally any ve­hi­cle. Some cus­tomers bring not only their pres­tige ve­hi­cle but also the fam­ily runaround in when work is re­quired as the work­shop team are highly skilled and re­spected – that per­sonal ser­vice and the trust­wor­thi­ness of a good me­chanic is worth its weight in gold!

Re­nais­sance is a Mo­bil 1 ap­proved ser­vice cen­tre and has ex­cel­lent work­shop fa­cil­i­ties and state of the art di­ag­nos­tics equip­ment. As we walked through the bi­fold doors be­tween the show­room and the work­shop we spot­ted a Fer­rari, an RS Cos­worth Sierra and a few other cus­tomer cars along­side a very nice 930 Turbo, which was be­ing pre­pared for the show­room floor.

The work­shops were orig­i­nally de­signed for a top in­ter­na­tional Porsche rac­ing team, with state-of-the-art ramps, equip­ment for track­ing, wheel-bal­anc­ing and tyre changes,

The work­shops were orig­i­nally de­signed for a top Porsche race team

en­gi­neer­ing fa­cil­i­ties ca­pa­ble of sort­ing al­most any me­chan­i­cal prob­lem as well as a well-equipped engine room for ma­jor re­builds, hence there’s not much that the skilled tech­ni­cians can’t fix at Re­nais­sance Clas­sics.

Be­hind the work­shops is a stor­age area, ad­di­tional park­ing and garages where var­i­ous ve­hi­cles are safely stored in­clud­ing a fab­u­lous DP 935 slant nose. This car is around 500hp and fea­tures a car­bon Kevlar body, and with that old school tur­bocharged mo­tor out back we imag­ine that it must be a beast to drive!

Next to the work­shop we find the de­tail­ing bay, which is where cars are cleaned, pol­ished and pre­pared. We should point out that proper de­tail­ing is quite dif­fer­ent from valet­ing.

A pro­fes­sional de­tail­ing ser­vice can re­con­di­tion paint­work and the in­te­rior so your car can be brought back to show­room con­di­tion with­out any ma­jor me­chan­i­cal or body­work at­ten­tion. For many cars a pro­fes­sional de­tail­ing ser­vice is the best step to­wards preser­va­tion and restora­tion. De­pend­ing on how far things need to go, it can take up to four days to work through a full de­tail­ing ses­sion, but the re­sults cer­tainly speak for them­selves. While we were on site there was a nice 944 part way through a proper de­tail­ing ses­sion as it was be­ing pre­pared for sale and we were im­pressed by the at­ten­tion to de­tail and the qual­ity of work­man­ship.

In­ci­den­tally, Re­nais­sance can tackle ev­ery­thing from a ba­sic de­tail­ing through to restora­tion, how­ever you should make an ap­point­ment to dis­cuss ma­jor projects etc.

To sum up, it’s per­haps best to con­sider Re­nais­sance Clas­sics to be a one stop shop where you can buy or sell, re­pair, re­store or de­tail or even dis­cuss a po­ten­tial pur­chase whilst gath­er­ing ad­vice… these guys have got it all cov­ered!

Track­speed House is an im­pres­sive home for Re­nais­sance Clas­sics. Lo­cated on Portsmouth Road (B2215) in Ri­p­ley, it's just a few min­utes’ drive from Junc­tion 10 of the M25 in Sur­rey

Far left: Priced at £67,995, this 2004 GT3 Club­sport has just 40k miles on the odometer Left: Part of the pri­vate col­lec­tion, this in­cred­i­bly rare DP 935 boasts around 500hp and, thanks to the car­boKevlar body, the power to weight ra­tio is im­pres­sive

Right: With more mod­ern cars dis­played on the fore­court, the show­room in­cludes a good mix­ture of clas­sics and ex­ot­ica

Far Right: Court­ney Ma­hon is the dig­i­tal me­dia and events co­or­di­na­tor and is typ­i­cally the first per­son you'll meet when you ar­rive at Re­nais­sance Clas­sics Right: The vis­i­tors/ wait­ing room is com­fort­able and there's a TV, read­ing ma­te­rial and free wifi, too

Left: This fab­u­lous 1970 911 2.2E looked re­splen­dent in tan­ger­ine and had a com­pre­hen­sive his­tory folder, to boot

Be­low: James Wil­son is the sales man­ager at Re­nais­sance Clas­sics – if you see any­thing you like, you can con­tact him on 01483 225878 Be­low left: Grey leather con­trasts the Cobalt blue paint on this sweet 928 GT

Right: The de­tail­ing bay is well lit and spa­cious en­sur­ing cars such as this 944 can be ac­cessed from all an­gles. This car was be­ing pre­pared for the show­room and looked fan­tas­tic

Far right: We loved this neat seat­ing area, which is made from old oil drums! Right: Gra­ham Bee­son has many years of ex­pe­ri­ence be­hind him and is al­ways happy to of­fer help and guid­ance re­gard­ing any as­pect of the busi­ness

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