"Spimpal" will be the car

When did you first encounter car tuning? I have been fascinated by cars since I was a child, and I started working on car modifications as a hobby while studying mechanical engineering. First, of course, I tackled my car, because

When did you first encounter car tuning?

I have been fascinated by cars since I was a child, and I started working on car modifications as a hobby while studying mechanical engineering. First, of course, I tackled my car, because I was tempted to squeeze some more "horsepower" out of it.

And then the idea of having your own tuner workshop was born?

What a big flashback didn't happen because it was my hobby. The workshop you see today grew completely organically out of my hobby. While following the tuning scene abroad and in our country, I soon realized that most of our tuning enthusiasts go abroad for parts, so in 2000 I opened a specialized shop for the parts we need for car conversions. The concept of tuning is otherwise very broad and ranges from the addition of external decorative elements to modifications of the chassis, exhaust system and engine. I took the middle path and offered parts for sports car conversions in my shop, followed by our workshop.

Is tuning a lifestyle, a passion or something else?

All of the above. You could also say that tuning is a kind of approach to motor sports, because many people want to squeeze a little more out of their production car through conversions, to make it even more dynamic. In any case, we are people who live a more dynamic life, we are individualists at heart, and a car means more to us than just a means of transportation. It is interesting that the popularity of tuning rose noticeably in Slovenia when the movie Fast and Furious hit the big screen. Later, this euphoria fortunately passed, so those who know what they want take up the modification of the car. It's good for us. It is true, however, that tuning is not highly developed in our country, as auto-moto sports are also poorly developed. Both activities go hand in hand. Abroad, they regularly organize competitions for "weekend" racers, where they can test their modified cars.

Do you drive a converted car yourself or is the blacksmith's mare barefoot?

Of course. My beemve is technically heavily modified, but it is true that the exterior is not extreme. Then there is my road bike, which I also modified a few little things. And not to mention the money I "left" in the motorcycle equipment store in Goriška.

How does a converted car come to be, like that much talked about seat leon with lamborghini style doors?

Does this in any way remind you of the behind the scenes of MTV's Pimp my Ride? We usually discuss with the client what his wishes are and how much money he has in mind. If money is not an obstacle, there is legislation, because ours is not as liberal as, for example, American, as far as automotive conversions are concerned. We made this black beauty for Alex from Črnomlje. Last summer, he contacted us with the desire to make him the "worst" lion in Slovenia. After the introductory meeting, we started the creative process. Our workshop manager Sebastjan and I prepared a conversion concept based on Alex's wishes. Since Alex himself did not know exactly how and what he wanted, he entrusted many decisions to us. But we had another challenge – the car had to be ready by September, when the Ljubljana Motorshow was scheduled.

Was Alex happy with the concept?

Yes, so we immediately ordered all the necessary parts and Operation Leon began. To begin with, we expanded the body and reworked virtually all external parts, from the bumpers to the lights, which we replaced with more attractive ones. This was followed by the installation of a Lamborghini-style liftgate, the replacement of rims and the installation of an adjustable chassis. Of course, many other minor modifications had to be made: the engine got a new sports air filter, we replaced the exhaust system, added neon undercarriage lighting, etc. From the point of view of the technical implementation, the conversion itself was not difficult, but we were pressed for time, because in a month we had to practically disassemble the car to its original form, carry out our conversions, repaint it and then reassemble it. To make things even more "fun", I had a planned vacation in August. Although my girlfriend is very supportive of my work - she understands that boys are children, only the size and price of toys change over the years - it wouldn't be the healthiest thing to cancel the holidays.

And the result?

After the conversion, we presented the car at the mentioned fair accompanied by two long-legged beauties. Alex was so excited that he practically did not move away from his leon, which really moved us. Speaking of remakes, what amount of money are we talking about?

Let's say the sky's the only limit.

How do you spend your free time?

What is free time (laughs)? Together with my girlfriend, we prefer to spend it on the motorbike. We use almost every free moment for various motorcycle trips, preferably to warm places. In recent years, we have traveled Europe far and wide. We are most attracted to Mediterranean places. But we're always on the move, and our vacation is never even remotely like a week's worth of lounging on the beach. I just don't like such static. The question is, how will it be with our motorcycle wanderings when the growth comes sometime in the future. My working day is already 10 hours long on average. Apparently my hobby is really becoming a job - who knows if that's a good thing.

You say that people in this business are also great individualists - does this also show in other areas of life?

This is definitely true for me. I can say that I am a hedonist - after all, you only live once. I like to eat good food, seafood is my favorite. but I'm not a fan of expensive restaurants. I usually prepare seafood specialties at home, if time allows. Otherwise, almost every Sunday I indulge myself with a coffee and a croissant at Le petit in Ljubljana's Križanke, where guests get the feeling of Provence. For Italian food, I wave it in Piazza. The Italian way of life is very close to me and I am thinking of moving to a village in the south of Italy when I retire, where the air temperature would not fall below 20 degrees Celsius.

Info Box

Matej Kadunc

"Boys are children, only the size and price of toys change over the years."

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