Matthew Collins and Diane Paterson are the business partners who created Ecosse.
The concept was born from a desire to modify and maintain Peugeots to a high standard. As they owned Peugeots themselves they really understood the frustration of the Peugeot owner who wanted to create their dream car. The lack of parts, accessories and knowledgeable Peugeot companies was all too evident in Scotland, but it quickly became obvious once Ecosse was up and running that its niche was not only Scottish Pugs.
Matt and Diane joined the Peugeot Sport Club (formerly the GTI Club) to hopefully share info and ideas with like minded enthusiasts. A short time later Diane was becoming very involved with the running of the national side of the club. This was mainly due to her success in regenerating the Scottish section. Through Diane’s contact with club members she started to realise that most members were experiencing similar problems, where to find creative styling, who to speak to about honest tuning advice and where to buy products that really do work! There were no Peugeot companies that could combine tuning, interior, exterior styling, suspension, brakes etc and had the passion to build new and diverse projects and put Peugeot into the limelight.
Through their own experiences of modifying Diane’s 205 they knew there was a real need in the Peugeot sector for a good all round company that could innovate and pioneer new ways to take Peugeot modifying to its peak. This is when Ecosse began to take shape.
Matt and Diane had been both so involved with Peugeots over a period of years that they were fast getting known as the people to speak to for information and advice. They had begun to locate unusual styling and tuning parts from France and they were now convinced that their own experience of modifying could help others to create special Peugeots through the expertise of Ecosse. The task of making Ecosse happen was more of a transition for Matt and Diane. They had always been searching for parts and service as enthusiasts.
The chosen location of Ecosse was due to Diane and Matt staying locally which would make life easier for commuting every day. They wanted to make sure they weren’t in a maze of industrial estates nor far from the major motorways. Though the workshop came from humble beginnings the real transformation can only truly be appreciated by looking at the photos. The workshop was renovated from sheer determination and a great belief by friends and family who gave their time to make Ecosse come alive. The Peugeot Sport Club members were just as involved in building the workshop and instigating its creation. All the tradesmen were Peugeot owners from the plumbers, joiners, roofers to the builders and they gave their time in exchange for parts and labour on their own Pugs. It took the best part of a year but the workshop came to completion to allow Ecosse to open in February 1997.
Now Ecosse were starting to build their project cars which gave them magazine features in all the modified car magazines in the UK. Through these cars Peugeot owners were given new inspiration on what Ecosse could do about tuning and styling on their own Peugeots. Pioneering engine projects that had never been attempted before started making their way from the Ecosse workshop. The first 406 turbo engine into a 306, V6 24V into a 306 cabriolet, two door conversion sedan with a modified 360 bhp T16 engine and a Mk1 106 with a 106 1.6 16V to name just a few.
As the name Ecosse is French for Scotland we wanted to make the French connection. This was our intention from the start as France is the Peugeot heartland. The French way of styling was a breath of fresh air in the UK market and Diane & Matt knew they could build amazing cars if the manufacturers/suppliers in France would join forces with them. Many French specialist companies have been involved with Ecosse from the start. They built up a trusting and loyal relationship with each other. Ecosse ensured that the French products were protected and they made sure the products were shown in the best way possible.
The success of Ecosse meant that the business was soon outgrowing the original premises and plans started to be put into place to build a completely new building, we decided that we should make a one stop complex for all things Peugeot, which meant big changes in what we could offer on site.
This new purpose built complex was officially opened in October 2002 and included;
Our own prep shop & paint shop on site, which, along with our master painter, allowed us to offer fitting and painting of our bodykits along with full colour change resprays without having to find a third party bodyshop that lived up to our exacting standards.
Multiple workshop bays so our techs could continue to pioneer ‘world first’ engine conversions such as 106 GTi 1.6 16V turbo’s, supercharged 306 GTi-6’s and 206 GTi 180’s, T16 engines into 205’s along with hosts of other exciting stuff.
An on site Rolling Road which allowed us to do anything from real time diagnosis to rally prep along with live mapping, power runs and everything in-between.
It really was the complete one stop shop for all things Peugeot and people travelled from far and wide to ensure their Pug got the best treatment it possibly could.
As the years went on, the car scene changed massively with many manufacturers offering more ‘personalised’ and faster cars from the factory, and the days of massively modified project cars started to change into a different, but just as varied scene. We have been modifying what we offer to meet a new generation of car enthusiasts. Our evolution means that we offer the same passion and attention to detail we always have, but we have expanded that to all makes and models. As a testament to how little our evolution in to catering for all marques has diluted our core ethos, many of our Peugeot Ecosse customers have evolved with us and still see us as the only place to take their cars regardless of what they have moved on to – Audi, Porsche, Ferrari and everything in between.
A trip down memory lane.
Here is a small selection of the cars we’ve been involved with over the years.
Click the Magazine cover below to be taken to our media archive section.