We spoke with Guy Vermant about his “Collection by Vermant” concept: we go for top quality and top service for the classic car owner…

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Guy Vermant proudly posing at his Mechelen premises alongside his Volvo 122 S...

Classic cars are becoming ever more popular. Many enthusiasts, old and new, have now their shining treasure standing in their garage. But of course there is more to it. One has to drive it. That is where the problems for many owners begin. Who will service and maintain my car, eventually store it and keep it in running condition at all times so it can be fully enjoyed? This is where Guy Vermant steps in with his new concept, recently presented and launched at the Antwerp Classic Car Salon. We commented about this in our columns already. Just klick the following link: http://www.autoprova.be/2018/03/04/vermant-nv-launches-collection-a-full-service-for-classics/

This was also a good reason to have an in depth interview with Guy Vermant, and about his love and passion for classic cars…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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Our cars: the BMW Z3 gets a cosmetic update and passes technical control with flying colors…

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Our Z3 proudly posing in front of the technical control centre, after it had passed the test with flying colors. Note the wheel badges and the nicer looking short antenna…

We told you last time in our column “Our Cars” that we went to Jorssen NV with our cherished Z3, where Jeroen Van der Reeth had made us an offer for the repair(s). On March 9 we were kindly received and told that the repair(s) would take a day. Due to family circumstances we could only collect the car after the weekend, which proved useful, as service manager Roel Smets had contacted us on March 9 in the afternoon that the door grip rubbers had to be re-ordered, as they were not correctly ordered originally.

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New wheel badges, antenna and as new looking door handles and its proper rubber surroundings…

So we found our Z3 back next Monday, proudly bearing new wheel badges and a new short external “BMW Sport” antenna, and of course the correct rubber surroundings of the door handles. The final bill of 379,13  Euros correctly matched the original offer, safe for the slight extra for the correct door handle rubbers, and we found all this very reasonable indeed, as it included VAT, labor and parts. The glove box lock had also been replaced, and this had taken only 15 minutes, with the lock and cylinder only setting us back 71,17 Euros. The new wheel badges with its proper chromed surroundings cost only 10,74 Euros a piece. We were very pleased with the result, and it also shows the excellent spare parts policy of BMW, offering original factory spares at very reasonable prices of a (US built) BMW of a good 20 years old now, with last but not least excellent repair times. Replacing the antenna – the shorter new one works better with the car cover and has also improved looks, took only 30 minutes.

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With a properly functioning glove box it was now time to check in for the annual technical control, where our BMW Z3 met with admiring looks and comments. Of course everything was OK, with the inspection people commenting “what a fantastic car”, when they scrutinized the car (also) underneath.

So now we are all set for pleasant spring and summer drives…stay tuned!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

We drove the Renault Espace 160 dCi EDC Initale Paris: your noble transport.

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French diplomats and heads of state use it for ceremonies and their daily business: indeed, this car has earned its marks amongst people which matter. And rightly so. Laurens van den Acker and his styling people succeeded in giving the latest generation of the Renault flagship people carrier this style and panache which sets it out from the crowd. But the latest Renault Grand Espace does not only please the eye. It also has qualities which make it enviable to own and drive. Just read on…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Mazda MX-5 1.5 SKYACTIV-G SkyCruise: the purest joy of roadster driving.

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Never mind the season: this MX-5 teaches you what car driving is all about, and it is the ultimate four wheeled pleasure, whatever the weather, whatever the road. Many people have seen the light, and have bought an MX-5, and therefore it is the most sold open two seater sportscar in the world, actually more than a million of it have already hit the road. About seeing the light, did you know that Mazda is an ancient Iranian god of light?

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The fourth generation of the MX-5, called the ND series, was presented for the European market on the Paris Motor Show in September 2014. The RF (Retractable Fastback) version came late 2016.  A lot of detailed and clever engineering has gone into the car to improve it even more. We drove the roadster for this test over French wintery roads, and are totally smitten. It is surprisingly comfortable, yet has lost nothing of its agility and handling, together with a masterfully willing engine and delightful manual 6 speed gearbox. Pure joy remains built in. Just read on…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Renault Alaskan 190 HP dCi auto: a sturdy gallic companion for all your roads…

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Pickups are all the rage, and they have already inspired entire nations, like the USA for instance. They evoke the lure of wide open spaces, and also Europeans find this ever more attractive. Therefore, it is only logical that Renault uses the opportunities of its alliance with Nissan to add a formidable pickup to its range which bears many similarities with the Nissan Navara NP 300. This Alaskan was initially unveiled in Colombia in 2016 and is already a success in Latin America’s long-standing pick-up market, the Renault Alaskan went on sale in Europe in September 2017. We drove it for you with the powerful 190 HP 2,3 liter diesel engine. Making a strong statement wherever you go…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the new VW T-Roc 1.0 TSI 115 HP Style: A car standing out like a rock…

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VW has an enviable reputation of building rock solid cars, which truly stand the test of time. They just launched another one here, aptly named T-ROC. Standing strong on its longer legs, it carries state of the art 3-cylinder petrol engine technology, together with a host of very clever infotainment and other electronics. Just read on…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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Audi develops “clean” e-fuels…

The first batch of Audi “e-benzin” has been produced by cooperation partner Global Bioenergies.
The first batch of Audi “e-benzin” has been produced by cooperation partner Global Bioenergies.

The writing is on the wall. Diesel powered cars are “out”. Many companies now only allow their staff to choose petrol engined cars as their company car. Indeed, leasing companies in our country now push their corporate clients to do so. Soon we will be assisting at a massive resale value loss of diesel engined cars all over Europe, with the average European car owner, the majority of which own a diesel, paying the bill. Actually, this is already happening.

This loss in resale value also threatens the quality cars made in Germany, despite their longevity and mechanical stamina. This is the last thing they want to see. On top of that comes the ban on diesel cars in cities, which is now legally possible in Germany. In the light of all these uncertainties, who wants to purchase an expensive (German made) diesel with an expected long service life?

So something has to be done, in order to save the millions of owners of (German) diesel cars of financial disaster and even the possibility that they are not able to use their car any more for worry free urban mobility.

Audi has worked on it, since 2014. They come up with “clean” e-gasoline and e-diesel fuel. After this report here was published on our site, we talked to the Audi people in Germany, and they added some further comments based on out further questions. Just read on what they have achieved so far, and find their answers at the end of our report…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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Vermant NV launches Collection, a full service for classics…

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We told you already earlier on these pages, that Guy Vermant, who is a Volvo dealer since decades, and has included now Kia and Polestar in its range, has always nurtured a true passion for classic cars. He now presented on the Antwerp Classic Salon his new project, “Collection by Vermant”.

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At the Antwerp Classic Salon, Guy Vermant presented the “Collection by Vermant”, and the fiery red P1800 won the coveted Concours d’Elegance in the category of cars being built between 1956 and 1975. 

The classic car market has grown ever more popular, and Guy Vermant is convinced the time has come to deliver expert assistance to the owners and lovers of classics.

His concept provides a comprehensive range of services: first of all service, where three specialized mechanics cater for repair, revision or partial restauration.

Collection By Vermant - Photo by www.dennisnoten.com

Then there is storage, where Vermant has a proper “refuge” for your coveted classic.

Collection By Vermant - Photo by www.dennisnoten.com

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Another shot from the”Collection by Vermant”  stand at the Antwerp Classic Salon…

There is also a Care & Shine service, where the owner can select between detailing and corrosion protection operations.

A three step polishing session is developed, and also a special coating process for the protection of bodywork hollow spaces or alloy wheel protection.

Collection By Vermant - Photo by www.dennisnoten.com

Collection By Vermant - Photo by www.dennisnoten.com

Collection by Vermant will also prepare your car for rally’s and will also transport your car to and from concours sites. Last but not least it will provide you with support. This includes valuation, intermediation and expert advice.

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Of course, there will also be classic cars on offer, soon there will be a brand new showroom with a selection of classics to choose from.

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Guy Vermant taking his prize at the Antwerp Classic Salon… 

Soon we will report more in detail about these services, so stay tuned on these columns. One date to note in your diary is April 26, where the Collection by Vermant will have its “open house” evening, from 19 to 23 h, at the Generaal De Wittelaan 7B, 2800 Malines, Belgium.

Hans Knol ten Bensel