by Philipp Deppe | 5.Juli 2010
The Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Fellbach near Stuttgart is the worldwide center for automotive Mercedes-Benz originality. It was opened on 19 May 1993, and it makes an important contribution – together with the Mercedes-Benz Museum, the Archive & Collection and Club Management – to the historic brand communication of Mercedes-Benz.
Its services include the servicing, repair and restoration of classic Mercedes-Benz vehicles, as well as the provision of appropriate genuine parts. In addition, it also sells or brokers sales of exclusive Mercedes-Benz classic vehicles.
The Mercedes-Benz Classic Center (MBCC) is both pioneer and market leader in the comprehensive, responsible and professional care of historic Mercedes-Benz vehicles worldwide. As part of the world’s oldest automotive plant, the MBCC acts as a guardian of the company’s tradition and as a service provider for all those interested in or owning historic Mercedes-Benz vehicles and their predecessor brands – as well, of course, as being a treasure trove of fascinating stories linked to the brand with the world-famous star.
It is not only the historic and more recent automobiles in the Mercedes-Benz Museum that receive the professional attentions of the MBCC. The unique technical and historic expertise of its employees is also available to all customers of the brand anywhere in the world who wish to maintain their Mercedes-Benz in its original condition.
“For our customers, such authentic care of their Mercedes-Benz classics represents a guarantee of value retention. For the Mercedes-Benz brand itself, the work of the MBCC is proof positive of quality, innovation and fascination”, says Michael Bock, Head of Face-to-Face Communication at Mercedes-Benz Cars and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Museum GmbH. “It is a policy which the company, as inventor of the automobile, is set to follow in the years ahead, since MBCC also guarantees authentic care of today’s vehicles once they have become a part of Mercedes-Benz history.”
The classics one sees on the world’s highways provide the best evidence of the traditionally outstanding quality of Mercedes-Benz automobiles. They demonstrate the high level of production quality and the leading role of the Mercedes-Benz brand in automotive history. Accordingly it is of the utmost importance that MBCC ensures the same functionality for Mercedes classics of all eras as the company does for its new models.
Every Mercedes-Benz classic makes the values of the brand immediately tangible; each one of these cars stands for and demonstrates quality, innovation and fascination. With this aim in mind, the MBCC makes its own special contribution to “lifelong service”.
Mercedes-Benz sells not sheet steel, glass and rubber – but fascination. The service provided by the MBCC is part of the fascination which present and future Mercedes-Benz classics represent for classic vehicle enthusiasts.
What all customers of the MBCC benefit from is the MBCC’s direct access to all the corporate resources it requires. In addition to having full access to the archive, the MBCC has the use of the research and development facilities, the prototype development experience of the plants and the latest technical methods for reproducing original components. Moreover, access to the specialist know-how of suppliers closely associated with the company goes even further to underline the fundamental originality to which the MBCC adheres. All these factors help to maintain the originality and historical and technical perfection of the classic vehicles. A Daimler, Benz, Mercedes or Mercedes-Benz remains an original even after its restoration by the MBCC.
Genuine parts for Mercedes-Benz classics
The MBCC is responsible for all replacement parts relating to Mercedes-Benz vehicles whose series production ceased at least 20 years ago. The range of genuine parts currently comprises around 40,000 item numbers for more than 20 different model series.
Parts which are no longer available can be reproduced in authentic quality and to Mercedes-Benz standards using firmly established processes. The main focus of these reproductions and new production runs is on components which are crucial for safety and operational reliability. Wherever possible, the original supplier is charged with production of a new batch, or alternatively over 150 newly certificated suppliers are available.
The Replacement Parts department of the MBCC is also a treasure trove when it comes to unearthing replacement parts lists, workshop manuals, operating instructions, technical tables or service booklets.
Repairs, servicing and restoration
The MBCC restores, repairs and services Daimler, Benz, Mercedes and Mercedes-Benz classics owned by customers, providing a precise technical report and cost estimate beforehand. This applies to every single vehicle produced under these brand names since 1886. The main focus is on the supercharged models of the pre-war era, the 600 and all the models in the 300 series, e.g. the 300 SL Gullwing. The Center’s workshop not only carries out full or partial restorations, but also individual repair and rebuilding assignments for engines, transmissions, axles, steering systems and other assemblies if these can no longer be supplied from the stocks of Mercedes-Benz replacement parts.
In overall terms, expert assessments – which are inspections to ascertain the authenticity of any vehicle built by the company since the invention of the autombile in 1886 and to provide a statement of condition and appropriate documentation – are compiled by the Archive & Collection or commissioned in advance by the customer. The technical aspect of this expert assessment, however, is the responsibility of the MBCC.
At national and international classic vehicle events the MBCC is at hand to give owners of Mercedes-Benz classics the benefit of its specialist advice and practical assistance. On these occasions specialists from the Workshop department carry out servicing and minor repairs on the spot, as the circumstances allow.
Purchase and sale of classic vehicles
The Mercedes-Benz Classic Center also deals in classic automobiles by Mercedes-Benz and its predecessor brands, and specializes in high-value vehicles such as convertibles, the models in the 300 series and pre-war cars like the supercharger models. Long years of experience with the company’s own models and their history as well as careful examinations ensure transparency with respect to current condition and possible follow-up costs. In its buying and selling of vehicles, MBCC is a guarantor of first-class advice and market-related pricing, as it is when brokering vehicles on behalf of customers. Both buyer and seller can rely on the experience and expertise of MBCC specialists.
The permanent exhibition on the premises of the Classic Center in Fellbach contains a number of exclusive classics from different eras and in their original condition – either repaired and/or restored – and can merely be admired or purchased. Before a classic vehicle is offered for sale in the MBCC showrooms, it is examined and checked down to the last detail by the workshop specialists.
Mercedes classics – Tradition with a future
In the eyes of the company a Mercedes qualifies as a classic when twenty years have passed since its production was discontinued. Since 1988, this e.g. has applied to the four- and six-cylinder Tailfin models in the W 110, W 111 and W 112 series, of which 973,000 units were produced in total. In 1993 these were followed by the S-Class models of the W 108 and W 109 series, in which V8 engines were offered for the first time, and since 1996, likewise 20 years after production was discontinued, the classic lineup has included the practically indestructible Stroke Eight (/8) W 114/W 115 model series. Other recent classics include the generously chrome-embellished S-Class models of the W 116 series produced from 1972 to 1980, in which the large 6.9-liter V8 celebrated its premiere along with the first diesel model in the S-Class, though the latter was only intended for the US market. They are joined by the W 100, the world-famous and highly desirable 600 state limousine, which was produced between 1963 and 1981.
Mercedes-Benz Classic partners
Owners of Mercedes-Benz classics do not necessarily need to travel to Fellbach with their vehicles. More than 500 Mercedes-Benz company-owned outlets and dealerships in Germany are able to provide information on the procurement of replacement parts and literature. The same applies to Classic partners in France, Belgium and Switzerland.
Twenty of these outlets in Germany are also able to offer an extended range of services. These possess the specialist personnel, working facilities and in-depth expertise and craftsmanship of a classic car workshop. They are able to provide knowledgeable answers to questions regarding technical aspects, care, repairs and authenticity in close consultation with the specialists in Fellbach. However, the first port of call for full or partial restoration work remains the MBCC.
Since February 2006, owners of Mercedes-Benz classics in the USA have also had a No. 1 Service address to call on: this was when the first Classic Center in the USA was opened in Irvine, California, in close collaboration with Mercedes-Benz USA. This means that in the USA too, “lifelong service” is assured for Mercedes-Benz classics.
Mercedes-Benz Classic Center,
Stuttgarter Str. 90,
Monday to Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Guided tours: Mondays 2 p.m. – 3.30 p.m.
(Group tours are available by prior arrangement)
Mercedes-Benz Classic Center,
Source: Daimler AG
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