A Look Inside the U.S. Mercedes-Benz Classic Center

Words Jim Davis | July 13, 2011
The Mercedes-Benz Classic Center sustains the lifetime service of vehicles by helping to locate and purchase even the rarest parts
Words Jim Davis July 13, 2011

A typical day at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center based in Irvine, California includes a 1950s Gullwing vehicle restoration, researching the owner history of a 1937 540K and finding a spare part among the 50,000 available for classic Mercedes-Benz cars. With the backing of 125 years of history, the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center has wisdom beyond its years considering it was started just five years ago.

By offering customers hard to find parts or meticulous repair and restorations to the prime condition of factory standards of originality and preservation, the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center has grown to service over 6,200 customers in the past 60 months. The success behind the Classic Center is driven by qualified Mercedes-Benz brand technicians and a dedicated approach to providing unique services in the marketplace.

“The Mercedes-Benz Classic Center is in a unique position because of the knowledge and resources that we have onsite and can tap as a result of being part of the oldest car company in the world,” said Mike Kunz, Manager of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center USA. “Our customers trust us with special cars that are valuable either monetarily, historically or sentimentally, and know that their vehicles are being reviewed or worked on by experts in their field that are backed by 125 years of history.”

The only one of its kind in the United States, the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Irvine maintains its close partnership with the Classic Center in Fellbach, Germany, which provides a direct link to access the parts, tools, service manuals and production records needed to work on vintage Mercedes-Benz automobiles. The Mercedes-Benz Classic Center sustains the lifetime service of these vehicles by helping customers locate and purchase even the rarest parts needed for certain models and by maintaining an exhaustive archive of materials that document the vehicles history dating back to the original owner. Technical and historic brand experts from the Classic Center can even access a vehicle’s original build sheet and other archived data – often free of charge for a Classic Center customer. These services embody the authenticity of the brand promise and values as Mercedes-Benz vehicles are built to endure many lifetimes.

The Mercedes-Benz Classic Center has gone to great lengths in restoring customer vehicles. In fact, its latest endeavor includes a full mechanical restoration of a 1910 Mercedes-Benz Simplex originally owned by one of the founders of R. H. Macy & Co. The vehicle sat for many years without running and technicians at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center are in the process of bringing it back to life, which includes the fabrication of a water pump and radiator.

Beyond classic car owners, Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts continue to visit the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center throughout the year to browse vintage vehicles on display, take advantage of retail car services or shop the boutique, which contains a range of auto memorabilia, accessories and literature. The Classic Center also hosts numerous special events and parties. While many brands claim a strong following for their classic models, Mercedes-Benz can point to world-renowned durability and owner dedication as foundation stones for the Classic Center business success. In many markets, decades-old Mercedes-Benz models are a common sight on the roads, and the 60 authorized Mercedes-Benz clubs around the world include some 130,000 members that look to the Classic Center as a sanctuary and “garage majal” for the three pointed star.

The Mercedes-Benz Classic Center staff provides support to these enthusiasts outside its garage doors participating in numerous classic car events throughout the year ranging from the Colorado Grand to the Amelia Island and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Over the past several years, the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center has taken a leadership role in support of education for proper restoration technique through a scholarship program with McPherson College, located in McPherson, Kansas. The scholarship program supports three students each semester and provides an internship at The Mercedes-Benz Classic Center where real world experience is learned first hand to develop the future leaders pursuing a career in automobile restoration business.