When you enter the hall at Bartosch Markowski's, the first thing you notice is the rows of stars, both young and mature. Slightly hidden away at the back are a lifting platform, tools, and the carolus MECHANIC workshop trolley.



Bartosch, aka Toschi,

is 32, married, a father, and a car dealer by passion. His preferred clothing style: pleasantly "unexcited" – chinos, T-shirt, pullover and trainers. "I'm not one for suits," he says.

For him, an outfit has to be equally suitable for talking to customers and for working on his vintage cars.

At his car dealership "Fahrkultur" in Solingen, just 3 minutes from home with his wife Tine, daughter Leni and Labrador Emma, Toschi sells year-old cars, young second-hand ones, and young and old timers – ideally with the star. He developed his passion for Mercedes Benz as a 19-year-old during his training at Daimler. He spent a total of ten years working in the most diverse areas, from the spare parts stores to selling cars.

In his spare time, he liked to repair old Vespas. "I met lots of fabulous people through selling the Vespas. Sadly, the profits weren't quite so pleasing," says Toschi.

That story was six summers ago, and much has changed since then. Toschi has fulfilled his dream of his own dealership in the form of his 400+ m² premises. "I have enough space to display my gems here, and to indulge in my favourite hobby," he says. By which he means tinkering on his vintage cars, and in particular on his baby-blue Mercedes /8, for which his tools of choice are carolus. Whether changing oil or tyres, replacing brake pads or spark plugs – carolus ratchets, torque wrenches and the impact socket set are always close at hand.

"For me, working with screws is a wonderful balance to sales negotiations, and reminds me of my time with Daimler," reminisces Toschi.


And talking of Daimler: he loves telling the story of his first soft-top, an SLK, which he saved up for and bought while he was still training. "I was desperate to have the car, and I had to drive over 700 km into the heart of Bavaria to collect it," he recalls. Number plate, money – he had it all with him. Unfortunately, he was unable to hide his instant love for the car from the dealer – and had to accept the price with no room for negotiation. "Rookie mistake! There's no way it would happen to me today," he smiles.