In the world of classic cars, we’ve grown accustomed to the fact that if you want to restore a historic vehicle, you are essentially on your own—that is to say you will have to do it with parts and assistance from specialized vendors, not usually the original company that built the vehicle. This has become the norm for almost every classic vehicle—but not for Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes-Benz is unique in several respects. For one, they are one of the few manufacturers that retained all their original design and engineering drawings dating all the way back to the late prewar era. As a result, in the 1990s, Mercedes-Benz came to the business realization that there was both brand value and money to be made by supporting and servicing the community of enthusiasts that collected and restored classic Mercedes. Therefore, in 1993, Mercedes-Benz opened their first “Classic Center” a stand-alone facility devoted to the parts and restoration of vintage Mercedes in Fellbach, Germany. With the U.S. comprising such a large portion of Mercedes-Benz’s market, over the past 60 years, it soon became apparent that there was a need for a satellite Classic Center in the United States. As such, a Classic Center was opened, in Irvine, California, on June 6, 2006, under the direction of Mike Kunz.