Douglas Works: A shelter for classic Porsche parts and recovery

Introduction

New cars have fast, insane technology and are easy to come by as long as you have a healthy bank balance or a friendly bank manager. But to be a true car enthusiast, I think you need to own a classic at least once in your life, and if it’s a Porsche, even better.

Located in the heart of Cape Town’s central business district, you’ll find Douglage Works. Matthew Creve, owner of this expert Porsche Workshop, fell in love with the classic air-cooled scene when he quit his financial career and sold his shares in a wealth management company to pursue and finance his passion.

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Matthew has many fond memories of the car, his trip to his grand Jaguar Mark II, his father’s BMW 5 Series, and the lightly smashing of his uncle’s expensive Mercedes-Benz 450 SL garage door as a child.

His first car was a 1976 Alfa Romeo Spider – which taught him more than a few mechanical repair skills – but he eventually drove to VWs and Audis before reaching his goal – a Porsche 997 Carrera S.

Then the Porsche bug bit.

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After working from his home garage for a while, Matthew decided he needed a proper store. That’s how Douglas Works became a reality less than two years ago.

It’s a small, boutique-like operation, but Matthew likes it. Some of its employees are skilled Porsche specialists who focus on only one or two vehicles at a time, doing the job properly. In Douglas Works it is more quality than quantity.

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There are many old engines and body parts around the store – which Matthew has collected over the years – that have added some real character to the place.

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Another showpiece – but one that is still in use – features the latest 930 Turbo Lower building.

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The 356C Outlet is an epic device that Matthew invested more hours in than he wanted to count, but the end result – as always with such projects – was absolutely worth it.

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The work of paint is stunning, but it is also an impressive aspect to many. The out back is a 2.1L engine from the Willhite Auto Restoration, which gives the 356 a lot of power. And just check out the interior.

Strip, recover and reassemble

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This Mint 993 was on the operating table, a complete nut and bolt being recovered. Good to see this black black!

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On the other hand, there is no need for any work in the shop van. I think it’s just as perfect.

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Technicians from Douglage Works oversee all assembly work at the main store, where there are lots of spare parts around the place. Although everything is very nicely arranged and stored, which makes my OCD very happy.

Parts, on parts, on parts

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So I mentioned a haven of classic Porsche parts, and although the original store was pretty well stocked, it wasn’t. Near the corner from Dogleg Werks – no trace of a warehouse and no clue what is hidden inside – the real treasure of Matthew’s parts.

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Now how come one person or store so many parts? Matthew told me that most of them came from specialist stores in Porsche, South Africa – especially Carrera Motors in Johannesburg. They had been in business since 1983, but when they closed well Matthew was able to broker a deal to buy all their inventory.

If you can think of a classic Porsche part, Douglas Works has a good chance of having it in stock.

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As older cars find it harder to get back to their former glory, the availability of parts usually becomes the biggest hurdle. So while they’re not working on the customer’s car, the DougLog Works team is constantly maintaining and renewing the parts that come through their door.

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On one floor of the parts storage facility, with the recently completed recovery, several cars are being stored waiting to be returned to their respective homes.

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It’s good to know that stores like Matthews’s are looking after a lot of devices that will slowly return to the timeless air-cooled beauties so that they can live, drive, entertain and impress their owners for years to come.

Stefan Coates
Instagram: stefankotzemedia
[email protected]
www.stefankotze.com

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