It seems like Wolf Ganssauge not only owns our favorite BMWs, but owns some of the nicest specimens we’ve seen in a long time.
What’s your name, location, and occupation?
Wolf Ganssauge, 41564 Kaarst/Germany, which is almost a suburb of Düsseldorf. For almost 20 years I worked in leading customer service functions (director, VP) for large international companies like NOKIA and Johnson & Johnson.
A few years ago I decided to combine my experience in sales and customer service with my occupation for cars and became self employed with my two companies WR² – wokke rim repair and WP² – wokke performance parts.
What’s your weapon (vehicle) of choice, how did you come to own it, and how do you use it?
A car isn’t a weapon first of all. It is a more or less nice piece of engineering and should be treated accordingly. This means to me, do not abuse it, be aware of the fact that always something can break down and make sure to have it serviced properly. I do not have one favourite car and if I could afford it, my small collection would definitely include a Jaguar E and an Aston Martin, but my financial resources are limited, which narrows down the choices I have. I was always bored by mass production cars which you see all the time on the road. Another important factor is the body lines of a car which explains my enthusiasm for Jaguar E and Aston Martin.
My current daily driver is a 1990 BMW E31-850i which I inherited from a customer. The car was in very poor shape when I got it. I was supposed to repair it and bring it back to old glory. To make a long story short, my customer ran out of money and, since the car couldn’t be sold due to it’s condition, I was asked to salvage it. But can one take an E31 to a junk yard? I couldn’t and, since I’m in the lucky position of having most of the facilities needed for a complete restoration, I decided to bring this car back on the road. It became a rolling restoration, and I admit that I’m still not done with it, but meanwhile most of the work I’m doing on it is cosmetic and/or moderate performance improvements.
You have had many BMWs over the years. What is it that attracts you to them?
Already as a kid I was attracted by my uncles BMW 2000 Tilux . Later as a student I lived in Munich and got stuck down there for over 20 years. So what choices do you have then? :)
Amongst others, I owned three Jaguars (2 x XJ and 1 x E-Type), two Triumph TR6, one MG-B, two VW Golf GTI, an Alfa Romeo Spider 1750, [and ] a Mercedes W108-280SE, but BMW always offered the best value for money ratio to me. As a DIY guy, I became familiar with these cars over the years and so it was a logical consequence to stick to this brand. What I always liked was the technical leadership of BMW products. D-Jetronic in the E3, HID in the E32 or electronic throttle control in the E31/32 just to name a few samples.
Last but not least, BMWs are sadly quite cheap compared to comparable cars. Although the general rule – which I support – is that, the more expensive car is the better car, I try to spend as little as possible on the purchase and then use the remaining money (if any) to built up the car according to my standards. The most boring cars I ever had were brand new company cars.
Your previous cars appear to have been immaculate. What are your thoughts on car care?
You know how much pictures can lie. ALL my previous cars have been daily drivers and I have two kids. By nature a daily driver and kid transporter can’t be immaculate. I could never ever own a garage queen because if I have a nice car I want to drive it. Just looking at it is not enough for me.
I hate pure repairs like fixing brakes, an engine or whatever. If I have to do it I always try to also improve something. For example: The M70 engine of my 850 is running perfectly but nevertheless I want to check the cam timing in the near future. This job requires taking off the intake manifolds and of course the valve covers. That’s time consuming and limited fun. So I already organized some spare valve covers plus a set of intake manifolds which I media blasted and then they got powder coated afterward. This way, at the end, I don’t only have perfect cam timing (again?), but also improved looks of the engine bay.
But I’m not the type of person who loves to clean rims with a tooth brush or polish the entire car on a weekly basis. For a polishing job I rather pay someone then do it myself to be honest. Car care means to me mainly keeping them technically in top condition all the time.
Share a favorite story from your past and a goal for the future.
I admit that there isn’t really any favourite car related story and the only car related goal for the near future is, to bring my E-24-M635CSi as well as my two E24-635CSi back on the road. Both are close to being completed but currently lack of time prohibits any work on them.
Kind of interesting might be what triggered my decision to become self employed in the rim business:
Several years ago I bought a Swiss registered BMW E24-635CSi from a guy whom I knew through the Duesseldorf manager lounge. He loved the car but since he is double left handed everything needed to be fixed by someone else which started to become too expensive for him. He delivered the car in person in the winter time and in the trunk were four more or less beaten up BBS RS wheels. I fixed up the car and refurbished those BBS wheels. When I decided to sell the car, I also decided to sell the BBS RS separately and, to my surprise, they went to someone in Hawaii. This was the start of WR²– wokke rim repair focusing on international customers.
Share one of your favorite tips/tricks/ideas.
I do not have any generic special tips or tricks but I definitely have ideas when it comes to being successful. On the product side ALWAYS deliver top quality and avoid compromises. Quality comes before price. I rather let a deal go then accept to deliver low quality work. It won’t pay back in the long run.
Speaking of quality, check out these before and after pictures of Wolf’s first restoration,a 1986 MotoGuzzi LeMans IV.
What does being a gearhead mean to you?
Nothing special to be honest. To me it’s a hobby/passion like baseball or whatever else. Extremely sad though is if people have no other interests but cars. Life offers a lot more than just this.
How do you define ‘high performance machine?’
Reliability combined with fuel economy. So definitely not the BMW M70 engine. I love the performance of modern diesel engines but the sound is still awful. Direct injection petrol engines are probably the best you can buy right now. diesel performance in combination with petrol engine sound.
Where can people find & connect with you?
The E24 and E31 are two of this author’s favorite BMWs of all time. It’s clear Wolf’s attention to detail and adherence to strict quality standards have paid off. We really appreciate Wolf taking the time, as we know he’s been very busy of late. Be sure to visit his website to see more of his work. It’s incredible.
Now, gearhead, what’s your favorite BMW?