It all started with a go kart.
In the early 60′s a young man named Greg had a passion for cars and racing. No matter what make or model Greg wanted to know everything about it. Wanting to have a car of his own but not old enough to drive Greg built a go kart on his own. From then on his passion for cars grew even stronger. His family moved to the US in the late 60′s and all that he had was left behind.
During the day Greg worked in construction for his father, at night he filled his passion for cars working at a gas station on Sunset blvd. in Hollywood. What a time to be on The Strip. Those exotic cars that he loved were always stopping in for gas and minor repairs. Greg knew that he had the talent and applied for work at an independent VW & Porsche repair shop run by factory trained German mechanics. Wanting to learn more, he later began working at a VW dealer in Hollywood in the service department. They noticed that he had talent and determination and sent him to factory training school to become a certified VW master mechanic.
As time went on working at the dealer he wanted to start his own repair shop in the now growing Orange County. In 1973 he opened German Car Repair on the corner of Trask and New Hope in Westminster, CA. He was working primarily on VW, Audi, and BMW with some Porsches in there as well. This was a very successful shop for Greg and he was active in the VW Drag Racing scene at Orange County International Raceway and was a member of a very popular VW club, DKP II. His Black ’67 was a 12 second street car in 1975 not an easy task to do at that time.
In 1988 opportunities allowed the sale of German Car Repair and Greg decided he would start a machine shop, doing primarily bench work. At that time finding a shop to do performance engine and transmission work was not easy. He opened German Motor Works in 1991. The shop was much smaller than it is today, but Greg was happy building motors for other shops in the area. Then his former customers caught wind that he had opened a new shop and started showing up needing repairs.
In 1992 the shop was doing great and Greg and Arda had amassed a small collection of cars. One of them was a White 1973 VW Thing. They decided to fully restore this car. After the car was painted and all the assembly was complete. Arda realized that she needed side curtains but what was available on the market at that time was nothing like the originals and originals were incredibly expensive from the dealer. She decided to make her own side curtains. After many attempts and prototypes, she found the best way to make them. After a small ad in a VW Thing Club newsletter was placed, the Things For The Thing side of German Motor Works was born and the phone hasn’t stopped ringing yet.
People who needed side curtains usually needed other parts for their Thing as well. Greg and Arda began selling Thing parts and local Thing owners started showing up at the shop in need of repairs. One problem at that time was other mechanics that were not familiar with the Thing were not paying attention to the details and used incorrect parts as replacements. Owners were having more trouble than they started with. Greg and Arda had then created such a knowledge base of all things Thing, that they were the obvious choice for repair and restoration of any Thing.
After restoring many Things and now with so many customers and friends that they have helped with keeping their Thing on the road, as a thank you they decided to host a Thing show at their shop in 1996. This tradition would continue for nine years to follow and the show has grown so much that it will be held off site for the first time in 2006. (Click here for details)
One thing is for sure Greg and Arda are passionate about their customers and the VW Thing. They pride themselves on providing the best quality parts and service available. If you are ever in the Orange County area please stop in for a visit.
It all started with a go kart.