Classic car restoration business sold to GAIN group

The GAIN Dealer Group has purchased Rudi & Company and will reopen the classic car restoration business in downtown Victoria under a new name.

GAIN chief executive Peter Trzewik said Saanich-based Rudi & Company was acquired for an “undisclosed sum.” It will be renamed The Classic Centre and open on lower Hillside Avenue within the next two months.

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Trzewik said Rudi & Company founder Rudi Koniczek— a colourful personality in the world of classic-car restoration — will continue as the public face of The Classic Centre for “the foreseeable future.” Rudi & Company’s staff of eight will be retained.

Rudi & Company has an international reputation as a restorer of vintage automobiles, particularly the Mercedes 300 SL. The company oversaw the restoration of Pierre Trudeau’s 1960 Mercedes 300 SL, one of the most famous automobiles in Canada.

Trzewik said he’s talking with Coachwerks Automotive Restoration about a possible partnership with The Classic Centre. Handling the body and paint work, Coachwerks has collaborated with Rudi & Company on more than 120 restorations including the Trudeau car.

The Classic Car Centre will be housed in a 10,000-square-foot building in the 500-block of Hillside in Victoria’s industrial district. “The shop has been renovated. We’re just waiting for the equipment. The hoists are in there already. We’re just waiting for things like workbenches and the parts department shelves to come,” Trzewik said.

Trzewik said the Classic Car Centre will retain Rudi & Company’s focus on classic Mercedes restorations as well as other brands such as Porsche and Alfa Romeo.

GAIN’s Vancouver Island dealerships represent Alfa Romeo, Audi, Fiat, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, BMW and Volkswagen. GAIN also owns the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit in the Cowichan Valley and the Villa Eyrie Resort.

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