Even after 50 years in the automotive industry and countless judging experiences, Rudi Koniczek says he still comes upon the thrill of the unexpected at shows like the Vancouver Island Motor Gathering.
“I look at the artistry of the automobile, and also the artistry of whoever did the job of bringing it back to life,” he says. “Just the originality of something. The purity of the line.” Koniczek, of Rudi & Company restorations, represents more than 150 years of combined experience in restoring 300SL and other fine automobiles. Being able to take the shell of a vehicle and restore it to its former glory is highly satisfying, he adds.
“We restore automotive art,” he says. “We’re saving these pieces of art for future generations.”
And while beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, there’s no doubt that Koniczek’s restorations are striking to anyone who cares to look. The cars have received the highest awards and accolades at numerous shows throughout North America, including Forest Grove, Pebble Beach, Quail, Kirkland, Amelia Island and the 300SL National Conventions.
Koniczek has had a lifelong love affair with all things automotive, beginning with an avid collection of Dinky Toys cars, trucks and motorcycles, moving into scale models, and then a passion for racing at the Mosport International Raceway in Ontario.
He moved out to Vancouver Island in 1968 after training as a mechanic for Mercedes-Benz in Toronto, and has been working out of Victoria since 1971. And Koniczek’s work is so good, he’s never had to advertise. With more than 20 300SLs on the go right now, he says it’s word of mouth that’s kept him busy for the last four decades. “We do more 300SLs than anyone else on the planet,” he says with a chuckle.
We hope you will come down to not only show your vehicle but to also show your support of these 3 great local charities.