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Carmania: Hamburg's Mustang specialist

A German Mustang expert? Yup. Almost 25 years ago, Philip Ewerwahn founded Carmania in Hamburg, a casual, colourful company dedicated to the muscle car legend. Classic Driver took a trip to find out all about it…

Miami, beach life and rental cars

At just 17 ​​years old, Philip Ewerwahn, the founder of Carmania, bought his first classic: a DS that he worked on himself. In the late 80s, his early love of cars and a desire to travel took Philip and his wife to the United States. “We lived on the beach in Miami, regularly trudging off to car dealerships,” Ewerwahn recalls. “Whenever a new issue of 'Recycler' or 'AutoTrader Classics' was published (remember, the internet wasn’t an option back then), we would rent a car and drive for miles until we had acquired a full container-load of cars. I sold my very first Mustang in 1988.”

Pimping is allowed

After establishing several successful businesses, Carmania was founded in Hamburg in 1992, as a focal point for Mustang owners and other interested parties. “Our workshop arose as a logical step, since the buyers of our U.S. cars eventually needed to bring the cars in for maintenance and repair. Initially, we sent them to other, trusted workshops, but finally opened our own,” says Ewerwahn. At Carmania today, Mustangs and other classics are not only serviced or repaired – there are also customers who commission the build of a complete car to their personal specifications. Because ‘pimping’ a Mustang is still acceptable, according to Ewerwahn.

Conversion or original, the choice is yours

“One of our recent major conversions was based on a Mustang convertible. The car had a Shelby front, a fastback rear, a 450HP big-block engine, disc brakes, sports suspension, rack and pinion steering and custom-designed Alcantara bucket seats.” In addition to exotic specimens such as this, you will find classic pony cars at Carmania, such as a 1966 Ford Mustang coupé or a (sadly already sold) Mustang fastback in original condition with just 20,000 miles on the odometer. A look in the engine bay of the bronze-coloured coupé reveals the truth of that reading – it looks brand new, as though it had just emerged from the factory for the first time, but nowhere near as exciting as a properly 'pimped' motor.

When he has time, Ewerwahn continues to travel to the U.S. to buy Mustangs. But what he missed during his time in Miami Beach was the honest, straightforward attitude that Hamburg residents are famous for: it’s an attitude that we sensed from the entire team at Carmania.

Photos: Jan Richter

You can find many Mustangs for sale at Carmania in the Classic Driver Market.