Origin Story Pt I: Heritage in Machines

Fourtillfour was founded in the desire to bring new life to old objects, restoring adventure into vintage machines and bringing people together through the ritual of coffee.


Nico came from a lineage of builders. Both his father and grandfather were creators, inventors, and car builders. His grandfather owned a tool-and-die shop after emigrating to the US from Greece in the 1920s.

Fourtillfours origin story starts in a tool and die shop in the 1930s in Oakland, CA

The shop that Nico’s grandfather built by hand eventually became the legendary skateboarder Max Schaaf’s custom bike shop in Oakland, California. Nico spent many of his childhood years visiting this space in the Bay Area, without knowing it'd be such a spark of inspiration for him many years later.

Max Schaaf's Custom Bike Shop in Oakland California was the building that Nico's grandfather built

Fourtillfour’s ties to Porsche are traced back to a man named Don Burns. Nico’s dad, Byron, worked for him in the 60s and 70s at his Porsche and Volkswagen dealership in Garden Grove, California. 

Together they would race, engineer, and build the newest and fastest cars of their day, specifically the Porsche 908/02. It was also during this time that Byron built the first Karmann Ghia drag car in recorded history. This time was the heyday of this era in Southern California.

Burns became a best friend and mentor to Byron. After years of working together, Burns wanted Byron to be the yacht captain of his newly built boat, Resolute. Byron, then in his twenties, had never stepped foot on a yacht before let alone captained one. Nevertheless, he took the job and signed up for a new adventure. Byron spent the next twenty years working on the boat and taking Resolute all over Europe. 

Byron Samaras, Nico's father, worked as a captain on the Resolute for 20 years in Europe

Nico grew up hearing stories about racing and life in the 1960s and 1970s in Southern California and Europe. Nico was lucky enough to have spent many years with Burns and to have heard his stories, from his helicopters that were used in Steve McQueen’s Towering Inferno to the cars they would build for Paul Newman. 

Origin Story of Fourtillfour

These real life stories and experiences passed down to Nico from a lineage of classic machinery and vintage cars would inspire the aesthetic and entire lens of Fourtillfour. 

Nico Samaras and his father Byron Samaras
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