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A great car guy left to Four Wheel Heaven

Jan Bruijn_by_John_Mulder_470

Farewell Jan! Your knowledge but more important your charm will be badly missed in the Old Car World. Jan Bruijn, most of you probably know him through his showroom of  Style-e-Auto in the north of The Netherlands. But Jan was much more than a man buying and selling cars. His education at the Design Academy of Eindhoven is visible in everything he did and what he left us. No wonder that three consecutive locations were all in early 1900s factory buildings. He loved that atmosphere and was able to change a nasty building into a stylish post modern showroom & office with simple corrections and additions. 

Our first meeting was at the Automuseum Deventer which he started with Tony Paalman. I wanted to speak with him about my wish to find an Amilcar. With the typical air we used to get to know from him he was not at all interested to talk with me and after half an hour dropped the word that there might be something available from a Swedish museum;  never heard again about that one from Jan. I tend to think that he thought I was just too young to deserve such a car or simply thought my budget wouldn't reach, which would have been a very accurate observation.  Most impressive then & there was a perfectly unrestored BMW 315 roadster, way beyond my budget and still in need of a massive investment to get it on the road. 

So we never came in the position to buy a car from Jan.  Only after we found an Amilcar by ourselves in Texas and after we started PreWarCar his respect grew a little. And we found we had a lot in common during numerous conversations about what is a proper car and what not. Regal Underslung was one of the subjects. And the racy Underslung project he found through these pages was the conversation piece at our first Interclassics-Topmobiel show. It took Jan 11 years to rebuild the car like he wanted it. A rough but extremely good looking pre WWI racer, not hiding its battle scars. Another fabulous conversation piece was the FIAT Tipo 5 from Eastern Europe.  The owner didn't want to advertise and asked us to look around for somebody who would understand the importance of the car. Jan Bruijn was our first choice and he grabbed the chance. The way how he transported the car from Eastern Europe to Holland is a book on its own. And that's where we want to lead you. 

Jan Bruijn's wife Fransje Versloot, also mother of his still quite young sons Dapper(15) en Sterk(12). Not overlooking the two children from an earlier marriage: Tim (29) en Marlies(31) like to collect as many stories as possible. From you. From people who worked with Jan, people who bought from Jan or sold to Jan.  People who rallied with him. People who met him during London-Brighton. People who whatever. Fransje wants to bundle all emails and photos into a booklet to show her sons what kind of man Jan was outside their home. And outside Style-e-Auto, which by the way will be continued. So if you like to share your memories of adventures with Jan, please contact Fransje at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . She will be most grateful for anything that you may have. 

And to Jan: have a good one up there! I hear most cars go to hell, but proper ones end up in heaven. Happy hunting!


(photo John Mulder)


#7 2017-01-11 21:53
Farewell my friend, thanks for everything.
#6 2017-01-11 20:41
A great loss for Fransje, Dapper, Sterk, Marlies and Tim. But also for the genuine classic car community. Warm memories remain. Rest in peace (professor) Jan.
#5 2017-01-11 13:53
I bought my Sizaire Naudin from Jan, back when deals were started with an ad in a magazine, many hand written letters and undeveloped roles of film that the buyer had to have printed to keep the cost down for the sellers. My deal ending with the container being opened and seeing the little car for the first time after 3 months of waiting. Through all my travels, I never met Jan in person, but through the thoughtful letters back in forth I felt like I knew him. Something to think about in this time of brief emails, youtube videos and short texts with one word answers. God speed Jan.
#4 2017-01-11 13:18
Glad we spoke at het Loo Concours.R.I.P.
#3 2017-01-11 12:08
#2 2017-01-11 10:39
R.I.P. Jan, Great guy. Could,nt believe the Email Fransje sent me as i had just spoken to Jan a week or two before Xmas. Said he was in reasonably good condition considering his illness.
#1 2017-01-11 07:10
we will miss you friend

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