As I was growing up, I spent a lot of my time with my eyes glued to the windows of my parents’ cars, trying to recognise cars at night by the shape of their tail lights.
I was always attracted to cars. I knew by heart every make, every model, and most of the trim levels of the cars surrounding me or those I read about in car magazines.
From this early age, I grew a passion for drawing, and most of the time I was drawing — you guessed it — cars.
At first they were always drawn from the side. Then I slowly began to draw ¾ fronts and backs, learning about perspective. The details that make a car’s personality such as lights and wheels were always nicely finished.
When I became a teenager, the drawings showed more and more sporty and racing cars, always presented with a spec sheet. The looks are important, but if they’re not supported by good performance, you end up with an underpowered cruiser.
Then came the time to decide what I wanted to study and which career I wanted to aim for. My grades were good, so I stayed on the scientific track I was on. I graduated and began studying mechanical engineering.
I realised that I didn’t have nearly as much time to draw and create as before. After a couple years, I realised it wasn’t going to work out, and that I wouldn’t thrive from doing calculations or management all day long.
I called it quits and joined the Espera Sbarro course in Montbéliard. There, over the course of one school year, the other students and I built two working car prototypes from scratch. I was back to designing car shapes and sketching technical chassis details and I was loving it.
During that year, I learned a lot about chassis design; how to build a fiberglass body, how to tig/mig weld, how to turn metal. At the end of the year, we had two fully functioning cars — a BMW V12 open wheel single-seater, and a 4WD mid-engined hybrid rally car that even ran a road rally.
After this very formative course, I was eager to apply those skills in a real job.
Life led me to Holland and there I began restoring cars, applying the welding skills I had learnt to my work at various companies.
Now I work freelance and I do everything from restoring old classics, helping more recent cars go through the annual inspection (CT/MOT/TÜV/APK), converting vans to food trucks and strengthening and modifying race car chassis. I am always happy to take on new and original projects.
One particularity of the way I work is that I don’t own a garage. I prefer to work on site, going to the place where my clients need me. If it’s a 10-kilometre drive I’ll take the car with my tools, but if, for example, it’s a big restoration project in the middle of France, I take my old trusty Mercedes-Benz 608d van with all my equipment and I can stay there working for a week or more.
This organisation gives me a lot of flexibility and often makes it easier and cheaper for the client.
I can work all over Europe, but you’ll see me a lot in France and Holland. If you’re interested, don’t hesitate to contact me to check if I am in your neighbourhood/region/country/continent.