Motoburo isn’t your standard Porsche modification company, it’s an automotive destination that’s driven by design, explains Creative Director Rich Colvill.
Over in the North of England there’s a genial destination where air-cooled Porsche fanatics can indulge their passion for the individual – whether it’s gleaning informed advice on updating their pride and joy or signing on for a full-blown conceptual project that’s the very definition of unique.
Labelled an ‘automotive sanctuary’ Motoburo is the brain-child of Managing Director Matt Heap and Creative Director Rich Colvill, a man who’s infamous 911 Outlaw creation has featured in various mags and shows, even garnering ‘Best Wheels’ at Ultimate Stance, thanks to its rare magnesium BBS E28s. So where did the inspiration come from for Motoburo?
“ It has been a dream of ours for a longtime to own and run a resto bodyshop, but in a fresh way. Both myself and Matt have experienced how not to run a shop, you could have the most talented staff on the planet but if its not run correctly it won’t survive.”
Once a premise was secured, a rather vast 6000sq ft in all, and staff secured, the obligatory cool name added, however Motoburo’s aim wasn’t just to focus solely on modifications. As well as total project design and build capabilities, the company also offers designated storage facilities, secure transportation, parts - both bespoke and standard - social events and a range of typically design-led merch. And if you’re in the market, they’ll even buy and sell, depending on your request.
“We’ve already got 20 cars in, ranging from 911s and 914s to Camper Vans, there’s even a Ford Cosworth.
“I come from a design background and Matt from a parts background so together we have a strong understanding of the game, we also have a lot of contacts and so set out to approach our dream team. We pitched the concept and talked through many many details and secured the MB Crew! Each one bring their own superpower to the table. We really wanted the team to be a part of this journey from the start, even choosing the premises.”
All brilliant projects that utilise our vast experience and knowledge!” Design is at the forefront of the Buro philosophy, Rich’s background as creative director for Agency TK, who produce the celebrated adverts for Strasse, intrinsic to the direction. However, the company eschews the need to be OTT, subtlety is the watchword here.
“If you viewed one of our cars from afar you wouldn’t necessarily think it’s something special. However, move in a little closer and you’ll see the exceptional level of detail that goes into each creation,” explains Rich.
“It’s not about adding bigger arches and fins to make it stand out (although we do like adding turbo style width too;), it’s about those individual touches that all add up to something completely unique. There aren’t many, operations in the UK that can provide this type of service.”
And while Moto Buro maybe part of the air-cooled renaissance, with Singer as its vanguard, Rich is keen to stress that, while he admires the Californian company, Auto Buro’s direction is distinctly different.
“Back in the day, modifying a 911 was like tampering with the Holy Grail, you just didn’t do it. However, with Singer coming along there’s a new acceptance - they’ve done a lot of amazing things unbelievably well, but to copy is not for me.
“I’ve always had my own ‘house style’, that’s what people know me for. Some clients love it and are happy to throw £100k at a project, along with us sourcing the car, while others have their own ideas, which we’re equally happy to entertain. You may get a guy from Scotland wanting to incorporate tartan fabric into the design, for example. The ultimate objective is create something beautiful.”
As for the future, as the company continues to grow in strength, Rich is keen to develop standalone events that celebrate the culture, bringing like-minded enthusiasts together to swap ideas, look round projects and make connections. “Matt used to run the Northern Retro event, which worked along similar lines. Motoburo isn’t just about creating amazing machines, we’re keen to engage with the wider audience and provide not just a service but an experience that celebrates why Porsche is so special!”
Style's 'Drive Five'
Most memorable road trip?
Has to be from Leeds to Aviemore with the end goal of some Snow, Ski & beer. Such a beautiful place. Planning a trip once the lockdown releases its grip.
I did one with eight friends a while back called the Porsche Tour a while back. We drove from Leeds to Manchester, taking all the back roads over the Pennines. I recall a rock smashed my windscreen via my friend’s 997 rear tyre on route, pretty much taking it out completely!
Ultimate Road Trip
Dying to do a GumBall Rally, any of them to be honest!
Porsche of choice?
991.2 Turbo S Cabriolet
Adolf Hitler…is that weird? You’d definitely have something to talk about and I’d get to ask some big questions!