Turning your hobby into a job: Christian Wilmer from Wildeshausen is living the dream of many. Wilmer is fond of old cars. At his “Go Gondzo” master workshop in Nordernde, he and his colleagues work not only on newer models, but also on old cars. The 42-year-old has long made a name for himself: “My clients come from Berlin to Aachen, from Dettmarschen to Munich,” he said. People from all walks of life put their trust in the Wilmer, whose car doesn’t require much work.
“If old cars fall into the wrong hands, they can be fixed broken,” Wilmer explains. So the challenge and the fascination is to understand vintage car technology and think your way into it. “Unfortunately, you can no longer ask auto manufacturers from the 1950s, so you have to find out for yourself what the intentions are behind the technical chassis,” Wilmer says. The oldest vehicle Wilmer worked on was a Ford Model A from 1925.
Scrap boxes can be saved
Even old “junk bins” can be kept: “The body is first entered in an acid bath, then treated with a rust converter and a bath liner is submerged.” After stopping at the painter, a complete overhaul of the engines is carried out, the floorboards are repaired and the car is completed again.
The twelve vintage cars on Wilmer’s private estate were repaired in a similar manner. These include a Beetle Cabriolet, an Opel Kadett and two BMW E12s. Eight of them are on the road, and four of them are being restored. His favorite car is the Jaguar XJ 12 Series 3, built in 1990. “The car took me everywhere – even to the Cote d’Azur.” A young 32-year-old classic car, after all the car can only be described as a classic from the age of 30. Cars between the ages of 20 and 30 are referred to as juniors. Wilmer once bought the car from a Frankfurt lawyer. “I found a total of 27 defects there.” Work on the engine of the 300-horsepower car took three weeks, 6,500 euros went to repairs, “but the work was worth it.”
It’s the classic, timeless yet discreet design that Wilmer values about the car. “With this model, you get encouragement and appreciation from all sides, but it still does not arouse envy,” explains the man from Wildeshausen. Cheerleading isn’t that important to Wilmer. “I don’t brag about my old car,” he says. “It’s about bringing back a piece of my childhood.” After all, his parents had also owned a Jaguar XJ 12 since 1992, and Wilmer remembered it as a hallmark.
Increased end-of-life vehicle repairs
Since many classic car friends have found their passion through childhood memories, he is happy to take on the role of “wish-fulfiller” and support people in making their dreams come true on four wheels. Wilmer has the impression that more and more people are interested in vintage cars. “We are seeing an increase in old car repairs.” Cars are meant for the many relaxing havens where you can get away from the stresses of everyday life.
Here’s another reason why Christian Wilmer’s search for new classic cars isn’t over yet: “Someday, I’d like to get an old Rolls-Royce.”
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