Take a drive to Sipoo, not far from Helsinki here in Finland, and down some nice winding roads (perfect for summer driving in a Porsche 911). Eventually you will come to a small industrial estate close to a railway line. Among a number of interesting companies you will find the unit where Liquid Tension Studios are based (Vaahteramäentie 2 B).
From the outside this is an industrial unit just like all the others it is surrounded by, but step through the door and you are in no doubt that this company knows paint and custom body work.
As you step into the large industrial unit the first thing you see is the paint booth in the far left corner of the building. It has been professionally built in, and looks like the building was built round it rather than the booth having just been installed there. On the right as you walk in is the office, and between the spray booth and the office is the body shop – and where my CoolCava Racing Porsche Boxster S was sitting, having come close to completing the RSR conversion that LT-Sudio and CCR Motorsports Engineering have been working on. Heikki the owner of LT-Studio had invited me to come and spend a day there and follow (and maybe assist a bit) the Boxster RSR project. And I must say I was blown away by how good the car looks already!
Whilst all work done at LT-Studio is overseen by Heikki, this project has been managed and done by Tuukka, LT-Studio’s composites expert.
When I arrived to LT-Studio in the morning I was greeted by Tuukka in his usual warm but calm and relaxed way, which was quickly transformed into an exited desire to show me the progress on the Boxster and the attention to detail – every panel gap is spot on and I would even go as far as to say better than factory! And considering the RSR fenders on this car are not factory, but fender extensions that Tuukka has painstakingly grafted on – the work is fantastic… Sure, there is still work to be done, and the paint will need some fine tuning, but the work done so far is outstanding.
After spending some time looking at the car and the detailed attention Tuukka has put in making every panel fit perfectly, I was treated to a cup of coffee and a look round the facilities at LT-Studio.
At the side of the spray booth they have the paint mixing room. I have never been to a professional body shop like this before, the closest I have been to painting a car is with spray paint cans you purchase from your local DIY car shop. But this is another world. At LT-Studio they have rack after rack with paint in special containers, and special computer equipment to mix the paint for any registered car manufacturer’s colour code.
But with all this great computer stuff and all the other advanced technology they have there, the “toy” that I was most fascinated by was their special torch to mimic sun light. They use this to be able to see the actual colour on a car or a test card when matching paint for a job.
Heikki and his team at LT-Studio are no strangers to German cars. Both Tuukka and Heikki have a long history with BMW and sitting in the corner of the LT-Studio workshop is a Porsche 993 project which has been keeping my Boxster company from the day she got there.
After the coffee was drunk and the pleasant chat was over with, Tuukka put me to work on the Boxster whilst he was prepping the parts that had already been removed from the car ready for paint – the complete car is going to be painted black, just like the front and completed with a custom LT-Studio livery for the 2014 season.
My task for the day – get the side radiators installed with the new supplied Porsche 996 RSR radiator mounts and ducting. This I figured would be a simple task, but as it turned out required a lot of assistance from Tuukka to get completed. But by 14:30 in the afternoon we were done!
As I drove home I reflected on the day and the work that Tuukka had done so far on the car. I have done some composite work in the past and I am sure I will do some more in the future, but Tuukka and the LT-Studio team are artists and have a special connection with this work – you can see their passion in the details. This is what separates an outstanding shop like this one from an every day body shop.
I am honored to have LT-Studio as a sponsor for the 2014 Porsche SportsCup season, and with luck this will be the first of many seasons…
If you are looking for a professional shop in Finland who put their passion into every job, then I am sure that LT-Studio would love to hear from you.
Vaahteramäentie 2 B, 04150 Sipoo
Tel. +358 40 774 0119