Autobahn Interiors has had the pleasure of working with Auto Foreign Services on many projects over the last 10 plus years and together they have many satisfied customers all over the world! Due to such success, and regular contact has also led to a lasting friendship with the owner Eric Linden so we have dedicated this article / biography to them, to be featured on our weekly blog. Links will be at the footer to their website, forum sites Eric belongs to as well as shortcuts throughout the blog.
After hours of research, phone calls and emails it seems to be that there is only one true place early Porsche enthusiasts can buy perfectly made exterior parts and accessories for their 356's and 911's. That place is tucked away in the pacific northwest, in Seattle, Washington and is called Auto Foreign Services owned by Eric Linden, you can follow him on Twitter. They now specialize primarily in parts and accessories for early Porsche 356's and 911s, New Production, NOS, and rare used parts, and also in restoration as well. What makes Auto Foreign Services unique is they make all their own custom products, being sure to use the same methods originally implemented in the factory. All parts and accessories are made with permanent tooling, using NOS parts to ensure an exact fit. All Chrome work is done at the shop and is flawless. Currently they sell their products on their eBay store @http://stores.ebay.com/AutoForeign.
A little background on Auto Foreign Services. They have been in business over 50 years already and are a family owned and operated business. The company was founded by Eric Linden's late father Albert Linden in 1962. Albert had traveled to Europe in the late 1950's on a vacation to see family and during the trip he purchased a VW Beetle. Upon returning to the USA with his new car, he found quickly that it could be re-sold for quite a substantial profit. Once Albert realized this he began making contacts in the car industry, One called Ben Pon, Albert subsequently ended up working their agents.
Ben Pon is a vintner and former Olympian and motor racing driver from the Netherlands. He competed in one Formula One race, the 1962 Dutch Grand Prix, but had a far longer career in sports car racing. Ben's career took him down the path of distribution in Holland for VW's, Porsche's and a few other makes. With Mr. Pon looking for new options to branch out his already successful venture and was willing to sell new cars @ "wholesale price" to distributors in other countries. Albert's keen interest in the industry and tenacity led to a blossoming business relationship, which ultimately prompted him to create Auto Foreign Services.
Albert started to get orders for the US delivery of VW models, Porsche's, Mercedes and a few other makes too. To offer a complete service to his US based clients he added a revolutionary at the time convenient European Delivery service. What this simply meant was a customer could take delivery of their new car at the Factory, drive it through Europe and then have it shipped back to the USA!
This service offered by Auto Foreign Services meant that during the early 1960's to 1980's a flurry of Early Porsche's were imported into the USA by Albert's customers, the option for European vehicles was a much more substantial list at the time than many US dealers offered, topped with a huge variety of order customization's available for your new vehicle.
An example of how this groundbreaking service worked was a very heavily optioned European Model Porsche 1968 911L being delivered new on the docks up in Vancouver BC, ( see the picture above ). Albert, pictured on the right, ordered this car for the new owner pictured on the left . The car was purchased with the very rare rally option #9552, and has the 901/30 engine in it, and a 901/52 "airport" gearbox. Only 28 cars were built to this standard by the factory and all of the others were used for racing Trans-Am in the USA, and rallying in Europe.
From then on, there was no holding back Albert and now Eric Linden's Auto Foreign Service company, 54 years later, as they have continued to grow offering many services, with many happy customers for early Porsche's for customers all the US and the world.