How the Greek Superk K car was created: Pavlos and Stella Kerambos explain to ATHENS VOICE.
We meet Pavlos and Stella Kerabos, creators of the first vehicle, made entirely in Greece and with license plates.
Among disassembled engines, 15 years ago, it was where the love story of Stella and Pavlos Kerabos began to mature, to evolve today into the romantic duo of manufacturers of the Greek vehicle Keraboss Super K. This is the car that has occupied more than any has been in the news lately in Greece, and not without reason. When was the last time we heard of a car being built from scratch and assembled in our country, with official number plates and all the relevant certifications in order to hit the roads? Just by hearing the news, one can understand what a difficult undertaking we are talking about in a country, that every similar move failed either because of the production costs or because of the small size of the Greek market and the inability of foreigners to compete, but also because of the bureaucracy. The Super K was on the cards for about 14 years until today, when the green light was given and the first two cars got registration numbers.
I met its creators in the space being planned, in the area of Polygono, in an “atelier” different from the others, with dozens of colourful works of art and installations on the walls and a chassis in the centre among spare parts and equipment that you see in every repair shop. In addition to being a car developer, Pavlos is also a painter, so the studio where they work and create the prototypes for their cars also functions as an art gallery with customers coming to repair their car or to buy a painting.
“Three things I would never part with, Pavlos, Keraboss Super K who is my child and my red lipstick.” These are the first words I heard from Stella. “My prince instead of a white horse rode a Harley Davidson motorcycle and I met him in Nafplion, in this favorite place where I spent all my childhood summers, a wonderful day of May when I was 20 years old. Since then we have been together every day 24 hours and never apart, creating everything together. I basically changed the course of my life from the moment I met him to follow him on his own automotive paths, and I his own creation, having shaped my character over the last 24 years we have been together.”
Her words made me want to know more about her partner who, as I discovered later, is a man with a presence in the Greek automotive sector and a rich portfolio of car constructions and developments since 1975, at a time when the “four wheels” it was a passion for most men. He describes to me how he started in 1966 participating in the Acropolis Rally until his last race in 1972 in the Monte Carlo Rally. ” But how did you arrive at this particular life project?” I’m asking him .
“My grandfather, as he saw me from a young child, said that my kismet is cars. One day 15 years ago we visited a friend who in the conversation above started to tell me “You who have made so many constructions and creations, you can’t not do something new, something new! You have to create! At that moment I answered him irritated “don’t you’re talking to me about construction, I don’t want to listen”, as I wasn’t in the right timing either. As soon as we left my friend’s place, in one kilometer this “timing” inside me changed and I say to Stella, “we’re going to build a car”!”
“In a way, from business administration and economics that I have studied, I was also introduced to the automotive field with passion. I read and studied everything that interested me mechanically and I ended up building the car by myself, with my own hands and even having the approval and help at all times of our serious technical partners.” adds Stella about the period when their exciting and long journey began.
Any car that can be produced in Greece until today, was assembled or converted with the chassis of another company. The Super K has its own frame – chassis and chassis number of an international manufacturer, but since there was no legislation for the manufacture of a Greek passenger car, it was delayed for a full 14 years.
“We’ll never forget the day we turned the switch and the engine started. We immediately took it for its first ride with indescribable thrill from its driving behavior, which was incredible and from that day we never drove another car. We will not forget the late nights we have had and the thoughts that woke us up in the middle of the night about various technical issues and solutions we were thinking about but also about how we could survive financially and succeed. Various acquaintances and friends, seeing that we still hadn’t got a license and plates, told us “leave it, guys, because nothing happens here in Greece” or “if you were abroad they would have helped you and you would have done other things”. that was all
Then there is the stress of finalizing the legislation with us hoping for years that every day would be the last of the wait and our cars would get number plates and license plates to start production and be available for sale. When that finally happened, it was as if we had won the whole world. There is no more honorable moment, than when someone will come to pay to get what you created and that will give them joys, like the ones you get. The vision now is to be able, after all these years of financial exhaustion, to continue decently and find the financial resources we need, to satisfy our plans and the people who want to buy our cars. 2022 is one of those years we will never forget.”
After Pavlos and Stella’s narration, I couldn’t resist the temptation: I asked them for the keys and jumped straight into the black off-road model with the red roof that was parked outside and took the road to Turkovunia. My first time in “Made in Greece” car, which is not a mass-produced car coming out of state-of-the-art production facilities, but is manufactured and assembled in small facilities using traditional methods by hand, which is why it officially belongs to the category of Individual Special Construction Vehicles. Its creators characterize it as an “island car”, intended mainly for islands, sandy beaches and generally off-road situations, estimating that with the help of some development program they can manufacture 70 cars a year. The two were boasting as I walked away on Vrilissou Street, holding each other’s hand, their “child” was walking around the city….
Read the entire article in Athens Voice