It doesn’t have to be to place an order for restoration work, or to pick up a car that’s just been restored – there are plenty of reasons for visiting Kienle Automobiltechnik. Last year there must have been about 50 sizeable groups of people that made the trip to Heimerdingen to visit the firm. Their reasons for doing so were many and varied: A good Kienle customer, a dentist, brought along a group of colleagues to share in his pleasure over his perfectly restored 190 SL. A delegation from the Stuttgart Chamber of Industry and Commerce was surprised to see just how much effort the relatively small company puts into training up the next generation of auto specialists.A group of students from Japan wanted to see modern and traditional craftsmanship in action, bringing historical technology back to life; and some members of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Club came for a goodwill visit with club chairman Erich Bertagnolli to see how things are done at Kienle – and were very impressed by the excellent quality of the work.But it’s not only groups that make the trip to Kienle Automobiltechnik: Many customers come in person to bring their classic car for restoration work, and drop by now and again while the job’s being done to see how things are progressing – or simply drop by for a cup of coffee between friends. Early this year, for example, ex-Ferrari boss and new FIA president Jean Todt popped by to check up on the progress on his 300 SL roadster, which is currently in the middle of being restored. Todt was very taken with the way things are coming on with this, the second car of his to be restored by Kienle. This was his third visit to Heimerdingen in all.Another celebrity who made the trip to Kienle was VfB Stuttgart footballer and striker in the Rumanian national team, Ciprian Marica, though the reason for his visit was a less pleasant one. He had bought a Mercedes-Benz 190 SL from a dealer for a princely sum – only to find that the roadster was basically ready for the scrap heap and not even roadworthy. Marc Kienle put it in a nutshell: “Rustthrough all over and the brake booster was even missing altogether. The long story now has a short end: Ciprian Marica returned the car to the dealer and has now asked us to find a good, reliable car for him.” That’s no problem for Kienle.