How Mercedes-Benz Classic Can Help Restore Your Older Car

The automaker says the cars it restores often end up better than when they were new.

Front three-quarter view of a silver Mercedes 300 SLMercedes-Benz

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Having a car restored by the company that built it provides enthusiasts peace of mind, though it's not necessarily a cheap way to bring a classic back to like-new condition. For those more fiscally minded, the Mercedes-Benz Classic Centers can also be an invaluable resource for manufacturer knowledge.

Any of Mercedes-Benz's Classic Centers can perform a wide scope of repair and restoration work, including regular maintenance and bodywork.

Blue, burgundy, and white classic Mercedes-BenzMercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz Classic Center Explained

Mercedes-Benz inaugurated its first Classic Center in Fellbach, Germany, on the outskirts of Stuttgart in 1993, and it opened a second location in California in 2006. Both locations offer similar services. They're staffed by mechanics trained to perform mechanical, body, and interior repairs on older cars. The company explains these are usually services that its dealerships are no longer willing or able to perform.

Several orange Mercedes-Benz sports carsMercedes-Benz

What the Classic Center Does

Mercedes-Benz stresses that no job is too big or too small for its Classic Centers. The services available include an engine oil change, a ground-up restoration, and anything in between. Customers can request a specific service, such as rebuilding parts of the rear suspension system, or they can ask a Classic Center representative to assess a car's overall condition and make service recommendations.

If a customer commissions a full restoration, the Classic Center staff begins the project by taking the car apart to inspect every part and refurbish or replace it. Technicians then turn their attention to the body. They repair rust, fix dings and dents, source missing trim pieces, and either repaint individual panels or give the full car a new coat of paint, depending on its condition. The centers paint cars using factory-correct paint colors and techniques to preserve originality.

Technicians then reassemble the car and inspect it before delivering it to its owner. Mercedes-Benz claims its Classic Center quality control standards are sometimes higher than the ones applied when the car was built, which partially explains why none of the services offered are cheap. The automaker describes its customers as "wealthy" and warns that there's nothing in the Classic Center for bargain hunters.

Mercedes-Benz doesn't advertise Classic Center rates, and the final bill depends on the kind of car being restored and the type of work required.

A gathering of Mercedes-Benz GelandewagensMercedes-Benz

Center Is Also a Good Source for Parts

If you'd rather bring a classic Mercedes-Benz back to life on your own, the Classic Center can help by providing genuine parts. Its online catalog of spares includes thousands of items that fit cars built from 1954 to 2006. The catalog is divided into two volumes. The first lists parts for cars made between 1954 and 1984, such as the W116-generation S-Class and the 114-series models — the predecessors of the modern-day E-Class, while the second lists parts for newer classics manufactured from 1984 to 2006, including the W202 and W203 generations of the C-Class and the W210-generation E-Class.

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Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American journalist and automotive historian based in France. He enjoys working on old cars and spending time outdoors seeking out his next project car.