Press release #Automotive Aftermarket

Bosch Classic ensures sustainable spare-parts supply for modern-era classic and classic cars

  • Starters for historic Porsche models have been reissued
  • Reverse engineering as key strategy to ensure long-term parts supply of classic spare parts
  • Repair concepts for electronic components ensure the future of classic cars to come
Nico Krespach

Nico Krespach >


Karlsruhe (Germany) – There is a great and still growing interest in classic automobiles. This fact is proven by the great attendance of numerous classic-car events and fairs. For many years, the Bosch business division Bosch Classic has also been committed to preserving historic vehicles. “At Bosch, we share the enthusiasm of classic-car fans. After all, the history of automobiles is also part of our company’s history,” Manfred Baden, president of Bosch Automotive Aftermarket, said.

At, a comprehensive online archive comprising more than 60 000 technical documents provides fans of historic vehicles with a wealth of classic-car know-how. In addition, Bosch Classic also supports owners of modern-era classic and classic cars by means of tips, hints, advice and technical know-how. The main task of the classic division, however, is the spare-parts supply for historic vehicles – dealing with classic cars being at least 30 years old, this task is not an easy one. Some older parts – collected from the company’s worldwide production and subsidiary network – are still in stock. In case the production tools and documentation are still available and as long as the project is still cost-efficient, Bosch Classic even opts to have genuine parts produced again.

Joint project of the classic divisions of both Bosch and Porsche

By means of Porsche 911, 928 and 959 starters featuring their historic design, Bosch Classic presents a recent spare-parts project developed together with Porsche Classic. The drive bearings and the adaption of the overrunning clutch and the pinion of both starters with an output of 1.5 kW and 2.0 kW each have been redesigned. This allowed the use of a motor and an engagement relay out of the current series-production range. Repairability and spare-parts supply are thus ensured. These starters form part of the Bosch Classic reverse engineering program and, of course, they do also comply with the original-equipment standard.

Ensuring long-term supply of spare parts for classic cars

Since it was first released in May 1973, the olive-green fuel storage has been an important component of Bosch K/KE-Jetronic systems. In order to ensure its long-term supply, the corrosion protection on its surface has been substituted by a new and more environmentally friendly treatment.

Reverse engineering is yet another strategy used to ensure long-term parts supply. A current project in this field is the well-known hazard lights switch a lot of vehicles were retrofitted with in the 1970ies as hazard lights or flashers had become compulsory. Instead of discontinuing the production of this switch, the responsibility was handed over to Bosch Classic. As a result, the hazard lights switch is still available with its original historic design, but is now equipped with modern electronics. Thanks to its installation instructions and exemplary circuit diagrams, vehicles built before 1970 can still be retrofitted with this switch. Another example of reverse engineering is the black classic battery. While its exterior is an exact replica of its historic predecessor, its interior combines modern technology and compliance with present quality standards.

Increasing importance of electronic component remanufacturing

When it comes to keeping classic cars running, electronic components are of increasing importance. After all, Bosch D-Jetronic celebrated its 50th anniversary just last year. By means of remanufacturing and repair of electronic components and control units, Bosch Electronic Service provides useful alternatives in this field as well. Let us take the case of D-Jetronic control units, for example. Thanks to Bosch remanufacturing, they are given a second life. Over the years of automotive engineering, the electronic components used have become increasingly sophisticated and ever more connected. As a result, there is an increasingly frequent need for comprehensive simulations of the vehicle environment for both troubleshooting and remanufacturing. The know-how required for this purpose is usually restricted to the manufacturer of the respective component. Bosch Electronic Service thus focuses on remanufacturing electronic components originally produced by the same company; although continuously expanding its range. The portfolio now also includes important components used in classic cars such as early ABS, ignition and engine control units. In addition, Bosch Electronic Service also repairs control units of the latest generation as well as navigation, control and display systems. As the use of electronic components continues increasing, this job is also gaining importance when it comes to ensuring a lasting future for tomorrow’s classic cars as well.

Servicing and trainings for classic vehicles

By means of special Bosch Services with special know-how concerning the maintenance of historic vehicles, Bosch Classic built up a network for modern-era classic and classic vehicles. At present, 71 Bosch Classic Service workshops in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France point out their specialist knowledge regarding repairs on historic vehicles.

This year, the comprehensive online archive containing classic-vehicle knowledge has been expanded even further. From now on, it will also include operating instructions for historic Bosch testers. Manuals for devices produced until approximately 2000 are sorted by type designation and can be accessed online.

Additional special trainings on older Bosch systems allow fans of classic cars with a passion for technology to deepen their knowledge. Details on these events are available online at

The Automotive Aftermarket division (AA) provides the aftermarket and repair shops worldwide with modern diagnostic and repair shop equipment and a wide range of spare parts – from new and exchange parts to repair solutions – for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Its product portfolio includes products made as Bosch original equipment, as well as aftermarket products and services developed and manufactured in-house. About 14,000 associates in more than 150 countries, as well as a global logistics network, ensure that spare parts reach customers quickly and on time. AA supplies testing and repair-shop technology, diagnostic software, service training, and information services. In addition, the division is responsible for the “Bosch Service” repair-shop franchise, one of the world’s largest independent chains of repair-shops, with some 15,000 workshops, and more than 1,000 “AutoCrew” partners.

Additional information can be accessed at

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 400,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2019). The company generated sales of 77.7 billion euros in 2019. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT provider, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, Industry 4.0, and connected mobility. Bosch is pursuing a vision of mobility that is sustainable, safe, and exciting. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to facilitate connected living with products and solutions that either contain artificial intelligence (AI) or have been developed or manufactured with its help. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs some 72,600 associates in research and development at 126 locations across the globe, as well as roughly 30,000 software engineers.

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