Our proud history is becoming a bit more evident with the improvements made to our 1734 cabin. Our new entrance to the cabin will welcome you to a bit of the past. Our location was originally a Toll House on America’s first turnpike, the Philadelphia – Lancaster Pike. After many years of serving as a toll house and residence, the site became the Devon Garage Tea Room in 1908 when the garage was opened to repair horse drawn carriages. By 1914, the shop began to sell and service automobiles and we have been repairing vehicles here ever since. While ownership has changed throughout the years, what has not changed is the consistent high level of customer service and expert vehicle repair.
From horse drawn carriages to Porsches, we continue with the proud history of serving customers in Devon and the Main Line. Our expertise lies with fine European cars, specifically Porsche, Audi, BMW, VW and Mercedes-Benz. We can help you with anything from a full mechanical restoration of any vintage Porsche or BMW, major service repairs, or cost effective routine maintenance.
Mainline Media News: Devon’s Premier Eurocars Embraces Its Past and Future
By Ryan Richards
If they can somehow fit Devon’s Premier Eurocars service center in a convention center during a taping of “Antiques Roadshow,” no doubt the word “provenance” would be bandied about by the delighted appraisers.
The garage has a heritage going back to 1908, when it serviced both horse-drawn carriages and the advent of the automobile. In 1913 it became an auto-repair shop and dealership, selling Packards and Hup-Mobiles. It served tea for a number of years too – called the Devon Carriage Tea Room – to patrons waiting for their cars to be repaired.
A portion of the business on Old Lancaster Road itself dates to the early 18th century. The log cabin was originally a tollhouse on what is dubbed “America’s first turnpike,” then a well-trodden dirt road to Philadelphia. It later became a residence before its transformation into a service center.
Today the service center is still thriving … but under a new name and expanded service… and the autos in the shop are far more technologically complicated under the hood than those Packards and Hup-Mobiles of yesteryear.
Formerly known as Don Galbraith Motoring, Premier Eurocars continues to work on such European performance autos as Porsche, a mainstay of the service center, but now welcomes such other German-made luxury brands as BMW and Mercedes. It also continues to sell pre-owned vehicles.
Among the first orders of business when Michael Forbes took over in October 2012 was to renovate the cabin, which previously had been closed to the public.
“We use this as our customer greeting area,” pointed out Forbes during a recent interview.
“They appreciate us bringing it back,” added Michael Langer, director of marketing.
The cozy cabin includes its original exposed beams and a large stone hearth remains. Forbes added a handsome dark-wood counter.
The garage section is, however, very 21st century. Forbes explained that it includes sophisticated diagnostic devices equipped to service today’s computer-enhanced automobiles. In a back room are large machines resembling sci-fi robots that can perform such tasks as laser-based alignments.
Complementing the state-of-the-art equipment is the service center’s technicians, a combined 40 years of experience. The team, which also performs performance upgrades and track-prep specifications,includes Forbes’ son, Kevin, and longtime employee Richard Rabuse, a master mechanic with years of experience under the hood of Porsches and Ferraris. His expertise attracts Porsche owners who bring their vehicles from out of state for service, according to Forbes.
Asked if he will expand in the future the service lineup of luxury sports cars, Forbes said perhaps, “but for right now this is our focus and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.”
Anyhow, both Forbes and Langer have a personal passion for the autos they now service. Forbes, whose corporate career background includes working for Volvo of North America in service support and technology, owns an Audi s4 but plans to buy a Porsche. “I always have loved Porsches,” he stated. His son owns a 1987 BMW 535is. And Langer owns two 911 Porsches – an older one and a newer model.
Listening to Forbes fondly talk about the service center’s century-old history and newly acquired 21st-century technology, he is apparently comfortable with Premier Eurocar’s location at the crossroads of past and present. In fact he and Langer keep on hand records on the shop’s history as well as copies of vintage newspaper ads – such as this one from 1922, when the property became known as Devon Garage: “New, Modern Gasoline Station,” “Atlantic Gasoline, Motor Oils and Grease.”
“This is Pennsylvania history,” proudly stated Forbes.