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von Braun´s history - since 1984
von Braun is made up of several companies with activities geared to Sports-, Performance- and Classic cars. The business development have been possible thanks to many enthusiasts, knowledgeable staff, colleagues in the business and supportive friends and families.
Torbjorn von Braun started already as a teenager, his business with a friend. The driving force was mainly a strong will and a vision to work with the most exciting cars in the world. Without any money in a small corner of the workshop, Torbjörn's father voluntarily donated, they began to create cars that made them famous. During 1980-90 the workshop was considered to be the most exclusive garage in Scandinavia. The focus was exclusive renovations of classic cars, modifications and specially developed racing and prototype vehicles. After years of determined effort it took off to prestigious and well known clients such as Porsche AG in Stuttgart, Mercedes Benz AG Oldtimercenter, and several engine publishers and collectors.
The company is renovating and moving into their own workshops in the barn built in the countryside just outside Kinna in Sweden. When that happens, von Braun want to differentiate themselves clearly from the usual car service workshops. The workshop did not look as garages usually did in the 80s and it quickly became well known. The workshop was bright and clean. It had carpets on the floor shiny sewer grate, and it was possible to go there without shoes even if you had white socks on your feet! Instead of the traditional pin-up pictures on the walls hung the framed motive of exotic cars. Home stereo had a central place and along the windows were plants and curtains. The work was done also in white overalls. Because the paint jobs were an important part of the business the young boys also build a custom paint workshop. They did it without money, but with diligent self-effort and recycled materials.
For ten years, the shelf was filled up with prices of awards from car shows. The company built Sweden's second best-looking car, in 1986. It was also involved in various body and paint work on some of Scandinavia's most beautiful hotrods in the early 90s. Some of the most award-winning classic cars in Scandinavia and Europe in the first half of the 90th century were renovated by the company.
The business moved to new premises in the village of Skene. These premises were built and renovated to yet another level of quality not previously seen in automotive business.
The company celebrates its 10th anniversary. The first employee was hired. His name is Henrik Ludvigsson and he will be a long and important person for the business. In later years he became prototype manager for the company's sports car development.
The company purchases the assets and liabilities and operations of "Les Routiers AB" in Varberg. This was the oldest official and authorized Ferrari service dealer. Former owner was Ulf Boman, active race car driver since the 60's. He drove the Swedish Formula 2 Cup with Formula 1 drivers like Ronnie Pettersson and Reine Wisell. He also competed internationally with his Ferrari 275 GTB, the Ferrari 365 Daytona and his BRM racing car.
The business is growing and enlarges their facilities with a small showroom and larger workshop premises. In total it now covers 1200 square meters.
In 1997, the business became official workshop and also distributor for Ferrari in Sweden. The remains from a bankruptcy of the company "Machina Rossa” was bought. This was a Swedish company, which had specialized in the renovation of Ferrari and other Italian sports cars of the early 1990's.
The business was now also official distributor and service centre for Maserati. At the same time an important part of the company's history begins in parallel by Clas Müller from Stockholm. A sports car that bears the name Bizzarini Europe is in the collection of Clas. On his honeymoon in Italy, he contacts the legend Ing Giotto Bizzarini, once in charge at Ferrari as director of engineering. He also constructed Lamborghini's famous V12 engine and produced historically interesting cars under his own name. Instead of talking history, they start discussing future. The two decide to begin to develop a sports car with lightweight engineering. Together they begin a partnership and begin to construct a sports car based on classic Italian craftsmanship together with the young and talented Swedish designer Tue Beijer.
A "pre-prototipo" was produced by Giotto Bizzarini in Italy , following the guidelines developed in conjunction with Clas Müller.
Plans around the sports car project are further developed in Italy and a carbon fiber monocoque with a Yamaha motorcycle engine and a fiberglass body based on Bizzarini Europe becomes the Prototype no1. Meanwhile, designer Tue Beijer developed a new design model for its own body. The P1 was showed by Giotto and his Swedish team at Turin Design Show. The P1 was also tested for the first time on the race track Varano in Italy .
Ferrari announces that they had intended to appoint von Braun's sales activity being responsible for all of their distribution in Scandinavia. This condition was combined with an investment in a new showroom. An additional 1000 square foot showroom in Skene was built after Ferrari's guidelines. The designer of the Sports Car project Tue Beijer, graduate from the Royal College of Art and has obtained "Pilkington Award" for best design project in 2001 with a BMW motorcycle that he had designed. During the education, he also creates the design for Radical RS3.
von Braun started the racing series Ferrari Challenge Scandinavia, together with two Danish friends. With a start field of 20 cars he wins the first race, and is competing for several years thereafter.
The sales business is becoming the importer and distributor for Pagani Automobili in Scandinavia. At the same time Clas and his team has finished the prototype No. 2 in Italy with a new body design by Tue Beijer. The Sports Car project was corporatised while everything is moved to Sweden. A new enhanced and highly skilled team was recruited for the project. After extensive testing, the project faces to new heights. Dr. Peter H. Bull who is an expert in structural engineering with research experience in damage tolerance of composite materials condemns the monocoque, which had been manufactured in Italy . He is commissioned to collaborate with the designers to develop the world's strongest carbon fiber monocoque for open sports cars. In the tests with the new strong monocoque identifies deficiencies in the front and rear suspension designs, also manufactured in Italy . Jonas Jarlmark, Tech Lic. Vehicle Dynamics with experience in F1 and also chassis engineer for Richard Rydell has been commissioned to develop an optimum design for the car's front and rear together with Öhlins Racing. The new complete chassis was tested and optimized until 2008.
The business is celebrating its 20th anniversary
Based on the assumptions that the newly developed chassis gave so begins Tue Beijer draw a completely new design approach to the body with DNA to be taken from the previous two prototypes. The sales business liberates themselves from Ferrari and Maserati, and von Braun work after that as an independent specialist. Wiesmann Sport Auto in Germany appoints von Braun Sports Cars to its importer to Scandinavia for its sports cars. The representation is not so long, as the national homologations from Germany were not approved in Sweden .
The business will open its first branch along with 500 guests. The establishment takes place in Sweden's capital Stockholm. At the same time the business is modernizing it´s workshop facility in Skene and also establishes a workshop for repairing aluminium bodies. A business that sells used parts from dismantled damaged super cars started. Negotiations between Clas Müller and Torbjörn von Braun launched an in-depth cooperation in the sports car development.
Volkswagen Group Sweden hands over the official import of Lamborghini to von Braun Sports Cars. Sports Car project is being developed further full-time over the next two years and involves a team of 15 people, led by Clas Müller and Tue Beijer. A full-scale clay model is milled around the new body design at Cliff Design in Gothenburg.
The sales operation establishes a new Lamborghini Showroom in Stockholm and builds a new specialized workshop for Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin.
The business celebrates its 25th anniversary. Torbjorn von Braun gets along with Clas Müller, Tue Beijer and Eric Lagergren one of four principal owners of the engineering company, which develops the new super sports car. 22 owners are participating in a private placement and creates ample opportunity to complete the project on the super sports car. The name of the sports car is decided to be von Braun with the model name VB1.
The sales activities are hurt by an extensive embezzlement, which initiates a negative trend. The economic situation and market development in Europe and mainly in the automotive sector reinforces the negative trend.
After two years of difficult challenges Torbjorn von Braun decides to liquidate the old sales business. It starts a job with simplifying the structure and a renewed and more international business model around the motor trade, and operation of workshops. The development of the super sports car continues as before.
Von Braun's new idea about international business on trading and after-market for sports, performance and classic cars begin. Through the strengthening of collaboration between colleagues and partners around the world, the aim is to stimulate and facilitate a competitive and cross-border trade to the customer's advantage.
During a year, many hours is spent building a basic structure and network of distribution models for sales agents and individual workshops under the von Braun Sports Cars brand. An internationally viable and cloud-based business system is being developed together with a team of IT technicians. Knowledge and history are cataloged around each sports car model as well as each individual vehicle and customer that the company has been in contact with since the start in 1984. The business model is launched and a first evaluation period is initiated together with geographically dispersed colleagues.
The dream and love of developing our own sports cars lives on strongly. Several events leads to an acquisition of materials, production resources, tools and agreements regarding intellectual property rights around the Swedish sports car Indigo 3000, which has been European certified 15 years earlier.
For about two years and in collaboration with the authors of Indigo 3000, an updated and modernized version of the Swedish sports car is being developed at von Braun Sports Cars. Together with very talented partners, the project is incorporated and investors with strong capital take a majority control of the company after a short time.
After a period of time and some disagreement in the management regarding core values and marketing strategy, Torbjörn von Braun chooses to leave the board. Sports car production continues but under a new name and brand (Lusitano Cars AB) and without any of the authors' involvement.
For several years, 300 investors have collected classic cars in a fund-like cooperative that was later incorporated through Sportbilsfonden Sweden AB. In the autumn of 2019, these will submit an offer for von Braun Sports Cars. The offer is first rejected, but after negotiations an agreement is drawn up in which von Braun Sports Cars sells the business' cash flow excluding tangible and intangible assets. A lease / license agreement is established between von Braun Holding AB and Sportbilsfonden Sweden AB regarding properties, intangible assets and trademarks. Payment is made both by set-off against shares in Sportbilsfonden Sweden AB and in cash. Assets and resources in von Braun Holding's stock of new and used vehicle components, sign materials, and new von Braun lifestyle products are launched to the market through a new webshop https://shop.vonbraun.com.