in west styrian schwanberg reinhard koppe runs a car workshop for race drivers and oldtimer-aficionados.
Helmut Marko, austrian racing legend and central figure behind Formula One world champion Red Bull, is mostly spairing of praise. In this case he is not at all. „Reinhard Koppe is a good guy, he is capable“, the doctor ennobles his former mechanic, who was responsible for setting up and applying touring cars in Markos race team in the eighties.
The 47-year-old takes notice of the Marko-compliment with a smile, in the industry it is nearly an accolade. His former job at Markos racing team in Graz recommended him for further positions in the international racing industry, where he took care of some other bolides and earned his spurs: From Le Mans to Fuji.
Koppe thinks of his years of travel as the basement of his present core competence, which he lives up to in his hightech-workshop in Schwanberg. Koppe: „The transfer of knowledge and technology in the cross-cultural teams at that time was a delectation for me. In addition, at this time the teams were structured relatively small and – in relation to today – were definitely not elaborated. It was necessary to set one’s hand on all sides and monitor all processes. Racing shaped me.“
After four years at the motor trial of AVL List in Graz the engineer took the plunge into independence in 1993 before he built up a jewel of a workshop in Schwanberg on some green grassland. With the aim to make it the top address for setting up racing cars of all categories as well as classic cars.
Koppe: „My strength are decades of experience, the know how and the widespread understanding of an allround-support. Other core competences are engine construction and tuning, as well as manufacturing customer-specific parts.“ Together with his master craftsman Mario Prenner, Koppe does not only draw on his knowledge but also on his equipment. The technical equipment (own test block, mobile wind tunnel) is up to speed.
This is how luxuriously oldtimers string together with rally-cars and prototypes in development in Schwanberg on polished 500 square meters – from 60 to 600 HP. Koppe: „The professionalism makes the difference – this applies service and maintainance also.“
Which car would the passionate Alfa-driver (GTV, year of construction: 1985!) like to construct for himself? „A Lamborghini Miura“ – with great pleasure.“ The west styrian has a favourite brand too: „Unquestionably: Jaguar – a great comeback. They make wonderful cars again.“
(Gerhard Nöhrer, Kleine Zeitung, June 6, 2014)