Where car fanatics pamper their babies

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Where car fanatics pamper their babies

Do words like “horsepower,” “rear skirt” and “suspension” get your motor going?
Car enthusiast, Peak is the place for you.
“Peak,” in this case, stands for “People Entertainment Autotuned with Knowledge,” and that summarizes ― if confusingly ― the concept behind this shop, which opened last June in southern Seoul.
“There are two kinds of people: the ones who see cars as a means of transportation, and the ones for whom it refers to an identity, a way of life,” said Suh Jin-won, the managing director of this high-end boutique, which is devoted to the dream car and its accessories.
The shop has little in common with a conventional garage, although there’s a workshop in the basement. Peak is more of a chic salon where car fanatics can, in between talking shop, modify their babies to improve their performance and, not incidentally, their looks.
“People want to express themselves,” Mr. Suh explains.
Owners can come in to choose from a panoply of spoilers, rear skirts and other add-ons, items that some might tell you make their vehicles more aerodynamic but which, in fact, exist primarily to look cool.
Drivers can also come to Peak for modifications that actually make a difference on the road.
Doubling the engine’s horsepower costs an average of $10,000, according to Mr. Suh. A car’s suspension can be modified for somewhere between $1,200 and $7,000.
“It depends on how much money you are willing to spend,” Mr. Suh said.
“We set up the budget and then we start the modifications.”
Many of the items have to be imported, so it isn’t a decision that the tight-budgeted should make on a whim. But the tight-budgeted wouldn’t be coming in here in the first place.
Besides, money has nothing to do with any of this, even if it looks as though it’s got everything to do with it.
“It is not about money, but about passion,” Mr. Suh says.
Most customers are in their 20s, according to Mr. Suh.
To further advance the cause of fellowship among car owners, there’s a bar on the third floor.


Peak
Phone: (02) 3446-9675.
Location: Near Riviera Hotel in southern Seoul.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Web site: www.peakmotors.net


by Anne Lajoye
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