THREE TALES OF TRUE APPRECIATION
Preserving the legendary Borgward cars over a period of several decades is the result from the passion of committed enthusiasts from borgward. They have kept the brand alive – and the legendary cars on the road.
Henry Preneux still fondly recalls the moment he fell in love with his first Borgward. There was a businessman in the suburb of Recklinghausen, where he grew up and attended school, owned an ivory-colored Isabella TS de Luxe. “I walked past it every day on my way to primary school,” explains the 66-year-old. “I knew, of course, that this Isabella was a genuinely fast car, but I was also captivated by its beautiful curves.” His passion remains.
Initially intended as a hobby, the car ultimately changed Henry’s life. At the age of 37, he decided to take the plunge. He resigned from his secure and well-paid job and, with the support of his wife Angelika, placed his faith entirely in Borgward. As well as making reproduction parts, Henry dedicated his labor to restoring historic Borgward vehicles from scratch. He has shown the real passion of enthusiasts from borgward.
Henry cherishes the contacts he has established with Borgward fans all over the world. Many of those named in his card file of 3,500 names and addresses are now close friends. “From my living room to the workshop is just a ten-meter walk,” he says. Over a period of 30 years he has fully restored more than 65 Borgwards. For Henry, Borgward is epitomized by the Isabella.
20-year-old metalworker Oskar Pfeffer’s preference for his first car was never in doubt: it had to be an Isabella. Unable to afford a new Isabella, he travelled from his hometown of Frankfurt to Wiesbaden with a friend and purchased a second-hand 1954 model. From those days onwards, Oskar’s enthusiasm for the marque has never waned. Even the company’s collapse in 1961 did not shake his faith – he established a network of Borgward devotees in the Sixties and gradually became involved in buying and selling a variety of Borgward models and relics that had lost their popular appeal.Even when the family moved to the USA for six years, he continued to expand his collection by purchasing exported Borgwards.
Upon returning from the United States, his Borgward collection now shelters as many as 30 cars. Oskar’s collection includes the extremely rare Hansa 2400 Pullman – Oskar is the only owner in the world to possess all three variants in a roadworthy condition – and the last-ever registered P100, which even now has driven only 60,000 kilometers. “Carl F. W. Borgward has shaped my entire life,” concluded Oskar Pfeffer. With his enthusiasm for the company’s history undiminished, one wish in particular remains, namely for Borgward to build cars once again.
Ulrich Koböke is owner of one of the largest collections of Borgward model cars, “I just enjoy the everyday company of all these Borgwards,” he explains. His collection does contain some very rare specimens, including 1:43-scale plastic Isabella and Isabella Coupé models displayed on their small cardboard boxes bearing the Borgward logo –plastic models that were formerly produced as promotional gifts for Borgward customers.
Ulrich’s passion for Borgward is steeped in family tradition. His father was a glazing merchant, who owned not only Borgward delivery trucks, but also an Isabella for family use. After school, Ulrich frequently took to the road in the Borgward B 611 Transporter to deliver panes of glass to customers. After Borgward’s bankruptcy, only the model cars he owned remained as a keepsake.
In the mid-Seventies, however, Ulrich began to buy full-scale, time-worn Borgwards for restoration as a hobby that he shared with friends. His favorite is a 1959 Isabella Coupé Cabriolet, acquired in 1982 to fulfill a long-held ambition. He is also the proud owner of a rare B 611 delivery truck built in 1961 – the very same model in which he made his earlier deliveries.