CSCS held their Season Opener on June 02, with reports of rain all weekend it was a surprise to see the turnout. The Time Attack, had more cars starting this year then last. Not only that the starting grid was putting down more power this year then last; and sure enough new records were set. Team Teknotik with their Type-r posted a new FWD record of 1.16.2s and maintaining the title of Canada’s Fastest Time-Attack Front Wheel Drive. On top of this a new track record of 1.13.174s was set by Mike McGinnis in the Voltron Impreza (video) . It…
Sports Car Boutique (SCB) is one of those shops that is hidden from the main streets and hubbub of life. I would occasionally drive by on the quiet street it is located on and see high-end luxury sport cars parked outside. On weekends they would be loading or unloading a tracked prepped Porsche 911 that would be going to, or coming from, the race track.
It was out of pure coincidence that a buyer contacted me for the J’s racing thermostat I had up for sale, and from the email’s signature, I instantly recognized SCB’s logo! I eagerly asked to meet the buyer at their shop after work; there I was on my first visit at SCB. It was during this time that I got a glimpse of their garage area and the sight of it was like deja vu because it is just what my dream garage would be like - white walls, grey hard floor, everything clean, all the tools you need organized and laid out. Oh, and of course, a slew tricked out Porsches occupying the space. Everything in the shop garage was simple, clean and well organized. Porsches and other racing themed posters adorned the wall giving it homely feel. One could easily imagine this being at someone’s home garage. A long white hallway connects the front of the store to the garage bays. As you take the journey from one end to the other, performance inspired photos lead you down the path. At the end, a manikin with full race suit and a carbon fibre helmet… and me drooling.
I talked a bit with the buyer and was told that this shop deals mostly with Porsche’s and other European sports cars. He personally has a few imports that he has built and plays with. I knew immediately I had to find out more about this gem, and not long after, pürbread had an official interview and photo shoot arranged.
So we sat down with Ilker Starck; founder and owner of SCB and started uncovering the story behind it’s success. Ilker originates from a background of fashion – fashion eye wear, that is. I guess they are connected in a way since people who appreciate nice glasses would also appreciate nice cars [sic].
In the past, Ilker had been participating in regional racing and involved with the Porsche club before SCB. It all started when Ilker and a few others were in need of data loggers and couldn’t source any locally. After some research and time spent, he ended up obtaining the distribution rights and over time, more and more brands got added to the list. Seeing a gap in the high end automotive market for European sports and luxury cars in terms of distribution and sourcing parts, it became apparent what his next venture would be. Wanting to create a high end experience and not just a garage or parts shop, Ilker envisioned a boutique environment more like high end clothing/shoe store and so Sports Car Boutique was born! But we are getting way ahead of ourselves.
Flash back to when Ilker was still having the dreams like what every kid has. One which involved karts and racing but as with most people but never had the funds to finance it. It was not possible to go straight into formula racing and other forms of professional racing after coming out of school. This didn’t deter him though and he had always been around cars his whole life in one aspect or another; although never to the full extent like he had originally dreamed. This all changed after he went back to Austria and Europe and obtained a measure of success in his professional life. Living in Europe afforded him the luxury of being near Germany and Italy where lots of race tracks are available and are constantly exposed to many amazing vehicles day in and day out. It was all very inspiring and brought back the dreams from before. This, of course, lead him to getting his hands dirty with … Harley motorcycles. Working on his own bikes and others, the world would pass him by and before long it was 2am. There has since been over 20 different Harleys that Ilker has custom built, unfortunately he ended up working on them much more than riding.
After moving to California, his interests went from motorcycles to pickup trucks and then to cars. One such car was a fully restored 1970 GTO convertible, and in the 10 years that passed since Ilker and his wife (who shares the same interest and between the two of them) have added 20 different cars to their list of ownerships. One such car was their first Porsche, a Cayenne. Affection towards the brand grew so strong that six months later a 911 was added to the family! Soon enough the modifications started and he was looking around for some proper tuning to set the car up and improve the handling. This lead to Ilker to join the Porsche club which transformed Ilker into a track junkie! During one season he logged more than 30 track days at Mosport International Raceway. This lead to a race license as well as participation in CASC. Racing at an earlier age, you have to work with your budget, with a lower priced vehicle… and as you get older you can start to afford to move to a more racing breed vehicle or European luxury which is what Ilker ended up doing and continued for many years.
Fast forward again to 2012 and we asked Ilker why he chose Toronto Canada as their home base. Why not invest in a business based in USA instead, like many others? Ilker explained that even though he had purchased parts from the United States in the past due to pricing, he believed that Canada had the right to have a proper auto shop with quality products and reasonable pricing. Having gathered knowledge and experience from living in Europe and USA, he wanted to fully utilize it here in this industry within Canada. Even though it is rare to see a Canadian based distribution center, Ilker saw the potential in Toronto, being one of the biggest metropolitan cities in North America, he purposely built the business from here in order to provide competitive pricing along with great service catered to Canadians – it looks to be working out well! Of course, there is more of a potential to move to the US market but Ilker and SCB’s goal is to stay focus in staying within, and giving back, to Canada. Their goal now is to be the top Canadian performance and distribution shop for race/safety gear. SCB will continue to race in Canada for another one to two years and then work their way towards the professional races in the US to further prove themselves outside of Canadian soil.
The SCB crew is not limited to just Porsche. They have worked with Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Mercedes. Being heavily involved with the Porsche and BMW club, the shop is always buying/researching/testing parts on a daily basis; this keeps them in focus and loyal to those auto brands. Ilker is participating in the GT3 cup race for 2012 in order to further support the brand and to gain knowledge with Porsche Motorsports.
Hearing about all these cars Ilker has owned and dealt with, we asked him what his dream ride would be. For daily, the answer was an Audi R8. Since tuning a client’s R8 for 600 horsepower, he has fallen in love. Overall, the car is fabulous and is fantastic to drive everyday in traffic, and when you punch it, the V10 becomes a monster! The real dream garage setup though, would be an additional Ferrari Scuderia 430 in a white and gold color combo to sit next to his GT3 (did we forget to mention that SCB just took delivery of a 2010 GT3 Cup Car to replace their previous 997 GT3?). In Ilker’s mind, those two are like enemies, and they have always been up against each other throughout the years and he believes it will be like this for the rest of the modern era. Finally, his favourite car owned up to date is a first generation 911 GT3, and their current daily is an Audi S4 with some minor Brembo and HRE upgrades. The S4 was chosen because it was great bang for the buck, you get a lot from this car and it is fast and reliable as a daily driver. Ultimately, Ilker is still very loyal to the Porsche brand, because it has been part of his life for so long and being involved with people from Porsche North America. Being intertwined with Porsche Canada and Porsche Motorsports is a great experience as you get to visit the factory in Germany and are able see firsthand what new things will be coming from the brand even before the press gets a chance to hear about it.
Even though SCB itself is very young with less than two years of operation, they have already gone a long way and achieved great great success. Prior business experience has trained him to stay focused and cater to the customers and that really shines through. Their model is to simply have as many products as possible available, unlike some shops where you walk in and they say they can get it for you but not have it on hand. With SCB, customers can touch it and sit in it; evident from their showroom. Customers get to come in and try putting wheels on their car, putting helmet and race suits on themselves. SCB has proven their philosophy by not just talking about it to the clients but doing it and bringing the people in for the proper experience as well as service. Sometimes it is something as small as washing down a car that a customer has brought in, or going down with a trailer to pick up a car they need work on and bring it back later. While SCB is able to do everyday repairs and maintenance, their focus is on car prep and tune which includes setup of car, alignment, brake upgrade, suspension, ecu tuning, race support, safety and race prep.
Ilker is the one and only primary driver for their own Porsche race car. In 2011 CASC GT2 series, Ilker and the SCB team finished second with just a few points shy off of the championship. Ilker insists on driving (other than having fun =P) because he wants to know firsthand how the car is doing, what the parts are doing that were recently put on, the suspension setup, and all tests done to prep the race car instead of hearing it from someone else. It is one of the reasons why I drive, so I can take care of the customer and share the knowledge. The purpose of joining the GT3 Cup Series is the same, to build upon the current knowledge and to instruct upcoming drivers who are learning to race and handle these cars so he can be there for them.
The ideal behind SCB is all within their logo, “Style, Performance, Safety”.
- Style is provided by a range of rims available and other carbon fibre elements that looks good on the car but they are also of high end and quality products, proven to work.
- Performance from tuning to putting the right parts on the cars.
- Safety is crucial and always big on any car SCB builds, whatever it takes to have the car safe either on street or on race track; this means incorporating the proper seat belts, helmet, race suit, roll bars, roll cages and gears.
The SCB Race team uses all the products they sell; products are tested and driven on their race car and if it breaks, they will know firsthand that the parts aren’t really as good as it looks and suggest to customers accordingly.
Sports Car Boutique is already looking to expand; they are looking for a new facility to grow into that will be more prestigious, have more brands, and of course will include more project cars.
We are all excited and can’t wait to see what kind of giant SCB will grow into within the auto industry. Keep an eye out for this name, Sports Car Boutique!