Lina van de Mars and Sidney Hoffmann

Lina van der Mars and Sidney Hoffmann will help us make the Crafter into the ultimate rolling research station that will very soon explore cities far and wide.

© Andy Küchenmeister

Lina van de Mars, who became known via TV tuning shows, studied art history and is a trained engine mechanic. Some of her cars are not only for display purposes, but are also used in races. She herself has a racing license and participates in rallies—at the moment, the Dutch off-road championship in a buggy.

Interview with Lina van de Mars

“I Transfer Elements from Art to the Car“

ON DISPLAY: You studied art history. Does art play a role in your job?

LINA VAN DE MARS: I engage a lot with contemporary art, for example I’m interested in street art. I try to transfer elements from art to the car—especially as far as ways of thinking and attitudes are concerned.

OD: What artists inspire you?

LVDM: I find Icy & Sot very exciting. They’re two Iranians who are involved in the street art scene. They both work with everyday objects, like satellite dishes, but also with garbage, in order to thematize political issues. It’s not only famous artists that interest me, but also people working in the underground scene.

OD: Your other passion is music. What role does music play for you? What does it have to do with tuning?

LVDM: So, for a long time I made punk music as an expression of my soul. But I also love jazz and classical music, and in the workshop I listen to a lot of jazz and soul, because they help me to think more freely. But I would separate my life as a musician from my life as a mechanic and a tuner—they are very different ways of thinking. But there is a link: you have to be creative in both areas.

OD: Perhaps there’s another link between your life as a tuner and your life as a punk rocker: dissociation from the mainstream. Or in other words, do you belong to the tuning underground?

LVDM: I definitely don’t belong to the mainstream. I’m closer to the tuning underground. For one, because I’m one of the few women active on the tuning scene. And because I don’t work as commercially as some. I’m not a “wider, deeper, faster” kind of lady; I’m more of an artist.

OD: You’re currently working on a Golf I, inspired by the famous architect Zaha Hadid. How did you discover her?

LVDM: I’ve always found architecture exciting. And Zaha Hadid’s architecture with its flowing forms has appealed to me for years. Also, she’s an exciting, expressive person. She started out by studying mathematics, then architecture, and ended up making her job about art. Her life itself is an inspiration. Sadly she passed away in 2016. If I could have dinner with whomever I wanted, she would definitely be there!

OD: When I think of Zaha Hadid, who was a very elegant, distinguished woman, it’s a Jaguar rather than a Golf GTI that comes to mind.

LVDM: I also think that a Jaguar fits Zaha Hadid—because of her elegance. But that’s the challenge. That’s why I chose a cabriolet for her. The angularity of the GTI also suits Hadid’s early architecture well, and the inside of the car is softer, more flowing, rounder; in line with her later works.

© SIIND / Sidney Industries

Sidney Hoffmann is not an unknown figure in the field: The tuner has his own YouTube channel with well over 20,000 subscribers and has appeared on TV programs including 2 Profis für 4 Räder (“2 Professionals, 4 Tires”). In addition, in Sidney Industries he has his own workshop complete with a retail shop.

Interview with Sidney Hoffmann

“A project is never finished”

ON DISPLAY: Are tuners actually designers?

SIDNEY HOFFMANN: Yes, I’m a designer in disguise. I have an idea, a concept of how the car should look, to make it something different, special—and then I realize it.

OD: Where do your ideas come from; what inspires you?

SH: Everything inspires me. For example, I’ll be in the supermarket, and I’ll get ideas. My girlfriend sometimes thinks that I’m on drugs, but I say to her, “Hey, you know that I’m working on the GTI .” I get my inspiration from everywhere.

OD: Do you make drawings, designs, sketches from these ideas?

SH: When I try to make drawings myself, it’s a total disaster. I can only make drawings after three days at the earliest, but at that point the vision is already so old that it’s become petrified, and that’s not good. I only make one sketch for myself as a memory aid, and then I pass it on to the people who can visualize it really well.

OD: Do you have role models?

SH: Of course, I’m often in America, in Los Angeles, the tuning market there is bigger and more flexible than it is here, because there’s no TÜV (the German vehicle safety authority). There are people there I look up to; they are role models and inspirations. But no one’s trying to outdo each other. Instead we exchange ideas, especially in the developmental phase; encourage each other. And I try to bring the spirit I encounter in the USA and other countries back to Germany.

OD: Tuning’s also always about optimization. Is there a point when you can say that it’s reached its optimal state; it’s finished now, you can’t optimize it any further?

SH: No, a project is never finished. You just have to say that it’s time to stop. Technology develops further, you develop further. I once made a Beetle and when I sit in it now, I start to think of all kinds of things that I would do differently, better. Because I’ve grown. So it never stops, and there’s always a new project to be working on.