Buff Talks Shop
(Photos by GARY MALERBA/Special to the Free Press)
wasn't your average trip to the car mechanic.
Inside a one-man shop in Royal Oak, 27 men and two women this
month enjoyed a
breakfast and watched a ponytailed mechanic dole out an unusual
of Saturday service: a brake-job party.
another pastry, but don't mess up the spotless floor of Gilson
audience -- many of them members of the Porsche® Club of
America -- had driven
from as far away as Grand Blanc and northern Ohio, drawn by a
seminar for car nuts
billed as "Everything you need to know about your brakes."
the shop talk, they socialized around a television as a car race
aired. The timing
was perfect for Jim Stevens, 47, of Waterford.
got spring on their minds," said Stevens, owner of two classic
and a pair of 1970 Pontiac Trans Ams.
noticing the Camaros and Mustangs coming out now. Something
this is one of
the rites of spring," he said, gazing at the swirl of car
buffs ogling cars around the shop.
The spread included a race-ready Honda -- hood up -- and several
Howard Gilson, 35, of West Bloomfield opened up shop in October,
any make but specializing in Porsches and other German makes.
a recent Saturday, Gilson taught all comers how to change their
own brake pads and
the visitors had parked their wheels: a late-model Chevrolet
a high-performance 1998 BMW M3 and more than two dozen Porsches® --
many of them classics, including a 1967 Model 912.
wasn't Gilson teaching himself out of some brake jobs? Nope, just
with savvy car owners, he said.
crowd ranges from street-drivers to track guys," said Gilson,
clad in safety glasses
and a red Porsche® shirt. "They may not do the work
themselves, but they really like to
know all about it."
by step, he went through replacing disc brake pads, then changing
the brake fluid,
on a silver 1999 Porsche 911 Carrera.
it was time for the send-off from any decent party: goody bags.
were brake pamphlets, special wheel wax, pens, stickers and spray-on
handed out by Gilson MotorSports.
is great, Carrie," said BMW owner Ken Borg, 40, of Grosse
BILL LAITNER at 248-351-3297.