The History Behind Portland Oregon’s First-Class German Automotive Facility

It All Started With Volkswagen

Matrix Integrated Inc. began in 1995 as Matrix Engineering, a part-time venture specializing in Volkswagen club-level race car construction. Our first shop was a fairly small 2500sf space in Tigard, comprising of one lift, a fabrication area, a clean room for engine and transmission building, an office and a parts room. Roll cage fabrication and chassis development was our specialty. This remained the focus until late 1999 when Jeremy Williams helped take the company full-time.

Matrix-Integrated_History-2001Before we knew it, we were involved in all aspects of Volkswagen performance and racing. We soon purchased our first chassis dyno, a Mustang MD-250 2WD model. We knew this tool was essential to our growth as a company based on our philosophy of supporting products with honest power claims and offering superior tuning. Shortly thereafter the purchase of our dyne, we became the first company to perfect a completely custom 3.1L version of VW’s 12V VR6 big bore all-piston normally aspirated engine, offering components, engines, and consulting to clients from coast to coast, and even to clients in Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. A little while later, we perfected the 3.1L 24V VR6 setup as well. We also started a lengthy R&D process for our production run of VR6 turbo kits, working with GIAC on our own custom software (unfortunately we discontinued our kits three years later in 2003 due to low interest in the marketplace for a kit of paramount quality). From both of these VR6 specialties (engines and turbo kits), we were soon receiving project vehicles from all over the United States; a Mk3 VR6 turbo from Minnesota for the 1Lap of America, a Mk3 GTi 3.1L 24V Syncro(AWD) from Wisconsin, a Corrado 3.0L VR6 turbo from Minnesota, a Mk4 GTi 3.0L VR6 turbo from British Columbia, a Mk4 Jetta 3.0L VR6 from California, a Mk3 GTi VR6 racecar from Washington for the 2002 Speedvision World Challenge Series, and so forth.

In 2001, Jeremy became heavily involved as one of the early members of the Portland Audi Club. Through the solid relationships built with PAC members, our scope of Audi performance and service work began to increase steadily. Realizing we needed more staff, Justin Williams came on board full-time in late 2001. With 2002 arriving quickly and observing that growth was imminent based on our vision for the company, we decided to move our premises to a 7500sf shop in the soon-to-be South Waterfront district close to downtown Portland. This allowed us space for 3+ lifts, a much larger clean room, parts room, and fabrication area, a showroom and office, more storage, and a dedicated space for our dyne. However, our onward push into the Audi market and other German all-wheel-drive markets (Porsche, etc) prompted us to soon sell our 2WD dyne and purchase a Mustang AWD-500-SE in 2003, capable of dynoing both AWD and 2WD vehicles.

As well around this time, we felt the need to slightly modify our company name, as our focus was no longer strictly “engineering” racecars and performance builds. We had built an extremely loyal repair and maintenance client base, expanded into BMW, Mercedes, MINI Cooper and Porsche, and had integrated these in with our performance work, yet many of our current and potential performance and racing clients weren’t aware that we would perform routine fluid changes, brake services, timing belt services, etc. Matrix Engineering became Matrix Integrated, Inc, to help signify that we were no longer just the racecar builders we started out as.

In late 2003 and into 2004, duMatrix-Integrated_History-2003e to our AWD capabilities, our team was instrumental in helping GIAC R&D the Audi C5 RS6 V8 twin turbo, B6 S4 V8, and the Volkswagen B5.5 Passat W8 software on our in-house dyno. As well, members of our staff were involved in working on STaSIS Engineering’s SCCA World Challenge Audi touring car team. Through this partnership, one of our team members was solely responsible for vehicle data acquisition and dyno tuning the MoTeC engine management while also interfacing with Mahle Powertrain (Cosworth Racing) and Champion Racing engineers. The major highlight of this era was during a World Challenge race at PIR, Champion Racing/Michael Galati’s RS6 race car was running horribly when at low fuel levels. Since we were aiding STaSIS and Champion with trackside support, they commissioned the use of our dyno to help them track down the drivability issue. For two days Champion used our dyno, eventually finding that the fuel cell was leaching chemicals into the fuel and contaminating it. The car was raw, it was loud and snarly, it was a memory we will never forget!

In 2005, we needed more shop space yet again, this time moving to the larger side of the building, a 15,000sf workshop. Our focus remained not only performance tuning for street vehicles (software, exhaust, suspension, brakes, big turbo kits, superchargers, etc), but also full-spectrum German automotive repair and maintenance as well. In late 2010, bursting at the seams once again, we added our original 7500sf shop to our existing 15,000sf work space. With both a north shop and a south shop, we were able to add more talented staff and expand our scope of services even further.

Our current 22,500sf “Downtown” workshop offers a comfortable granite/tile lobby, an expansive shop floor area with 11 lifts and alignment rack, a dedicated software tuning room with technician’s resource library, a spacious clean room and fabrication area, a large special tool and parts room, numerous staff offices, and even more storage space.

New for 2016; We’re very excited to announce that we’ve expanded to a secondary location, further west of Portland for our Cedar Mill, West Hills, Beaverton, Tigard, Hillsboro, and Forest Grove clients. This secondary “Westside” workshop close to Nike, Intel, and Columbia Sportswear, offers a modern lobby with client work lounge, a sizable shop floor area, dedicated alignment rack space, special tool and parts rooms, and all resources and staff to properly take care of our westside German automotive clientele.

We look back over the past 18+ years, see where we have come, where we are going, and it’s as exciting as the first day we opened shop!