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Farragut residents open auto garage in W. Knox


Two Farragut residents opened a 12,000-square foot auto garage off Sherway Road at the end of 2007.

David Hinkle and Karl Poeltl opened European Auto Garage to fill what they perceived as a hole in the market.

“What we felt like was missing in the marketplace was a place you could take your car if you wanted dealer-level service and similar amenities, but not pay the dealer cost and get more personal attention,” Hinkle said.

“We wanted it to be an environment where if I sent my wife to have a car serviced, she would feel comfortable with the

atmosphere.

“We think it’s very important that if somebody’s going to bring in a nice car to be serviced, they should feel good about the attention to detail they’re getting from the minute they walk in the door until we’re done with their car,” he added.

“So when you come to our office, it will remind you more of a doctor’s office than a typical car repair place … We have wireless Internet for our customers; we have a flat panel T-V … We have the same floor covering that the NASCAR shops have, and it’s a very clean

facility.”

Hinkle and Poeltl have a passion for cars that extends beyond their professional lives. Both Hinkle and Poeltl race cars: mostly Porsches and BMWs.

“We race primarily on the East Coast … people in the South typically think of NASCAR … but you race sport cars at road courses, which aren’t oval tracks. There are both left- and right-hand turns,” Hinkle said.

Poeltl, with a degree in engineering, is well-known in the sports racing circuit, both for racing professionally and for designing parts for Porsches.

“[Poeltl] also has a business that trades as Racer’s Edge: he designs upgraded parts for Porsches, he imports specialty items from Europe. He’s the technical side,” Hinkle said.

“My background is that I owned a retail company that developed commercial real estate … and so we put our skill sets together to open this facility,” he added.

The two also own “a motor sports division where we do everything from build and develop race cars to maintain race cars for customers,” Hinkle said.

However, Hinkle wants customers to be sure to understand that the garage does not cater only to high-end vehicles or racecars.

“Our focus at European Auto Garage is repair and maintenance for everyday street cars,” Hinkle said.

“When you work on race cars, you see pretty much everything compressed in a short amount of time. So we have the technical expertise for everything from the basic repair and maintenance of a street car all the way up to building and developing race cars,” he added.

“We have customers that we maintain their street car and their race car as well.

“But we’re careful not to mix the two together. We don’t want people to think that these guys are only interested in working on racecars,” Hinkle said.

For more information, call 865-862-5270.

 

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