Backstage at Louwman Exclusive –Marcel Verbeek
Even high-end technicians who practice their profession for years are ready for a new challenge. Marcel Verbeek has a long year experience with Bentley and Rolls-Royce and last spring he made the switch to Morgan at Louwman Exclusive. A brand craftmanship is of high priority.
Since last year you work at Louwman Exclusive but you do have a familiar face.
I used to work for Bentley and Rolls-Royce at Hessing but shortly after the restart of Louwman Exclusive I went to Leusden to work for Bentley.
Do you also work on Bentley here?
If it is very busy I jump in with different brands but primary I work for Morgan. After so many years it was time to change to a different brand. Morgan is rather new and completely different to me. Bentley is part of a multinational with the processes accompanying that. Morgan is a close-knit company that puts all its energy into a small number of models.
Did you experience this when you visited the Morgan factory?
A couple of weeks ago I visited the factory to follow a training for the new Morgan Plus Six. You can see the different approach between a brand like Bentley or Morgan. At Morgan it is like Bentley twenty years ago. It is really beautiful to see that there they actuelly beat the panels by hand (the so called “Panel Beaters”) and bend wood on a template which has been there for decades. The chassis is made of aluminium and on top of that comes a wooden frame and around that comes the plating. It is nice that people can see the charm of this way of building and therefore make the choice for a Morgan. This is a historical development. Morgan remains faithful to craftmanship and this is highly appreciated.
I have been surprised by the passion and craftmanship. For instance I never liked to drive with an open top but now that I drove a Morgan and work on it I fully understand the charm of it. It is a pure way of driving you can smell, feel and hear everything. In a modern cabriolet you hear less because of the almost perfect aerodynamica. With a Morgan this is still quite an experience.
Does a training for a new model differ at Morgan or Bentley?
It is no big deal. I think more hands are needed. There were three Plus Six cars in the training room. One without the body so you could see how the car had been built, one so you could make a diagnosis and one complete model. A Morgan is built out of parts from different factories, the enigine is a Plus Six from BMW. That also is the charm and it is nice to see how it all comes together. The contact with the factory is also much more direct than I was used to at Bentley. You can just make a call or an email beside the registration system they use. You know the people there because you met them at the factory.
Did you have your love for cars and technique at a very early age?
The love for technique has been there all the time. My father used to be a truckdriver so I sat on the passenger seat together with my brother during the school holidays. Of course I wanted to be a truckdriver. But later on I realized that was not ideal. Traffic increased more and more so did the pressure to be somewhere in time. Like my brother I completed the MTS Mechanical Engineering but I knew already during my internship that this was not what I wanted to do all my life. Back then with one year extra you could complete the MTS Automotive Technology. My first job was at a Volvo dealership and within one year I switched to Bentley and Rolls-Royce.
Are you busy with cars in your spare time?
I have three children so I like to spend time with them. The middle one likes cars too. They all love to get in the car when I come home with one of the demo Morgans. I myself have three cars among them a Mustang 1996. Beside that one I have a Chevrolet Malibu 1980 and a Saab 9-3. The Saab I used for commuting but these days I commute on an electric bicycle. It has been a normal bike which I myself converted into an electric bike so this one goes somewhat faster than the normal version.
Morgan Technician / Employed since: 2019 / Age: 44 / Children: 3 children of 5, 10 and 13 years old / What keeps him busy outside work: Marcel likes to walk long distances.