A Classic Coffee Pleasure

A real eye-catcher: the L 319 from 1964 provides a catering service with fancy flair.

The construction year of the Mercedes-Benz L 319

Christoph Norrmann spotted an announcement on the internet in spring 2004. The good looking Ackermann construction made his decision for the L 319 much easier. With an interior height of 2.5 m the vehicle offers a lot of headroom. His plan was to build a mobile coffee bar in a classic car and the L 319 was perfectly made for it!  Norrmann wanted to offer smaller caterings directly from the car thus he saves a lot of unnecessary work and walking routes. Due to some lacking documents the year of construction could only be determined with several production stamps on the vehicle parts. On some of them the number 64 was embossed, this suggests that this number could be the year of construction. Now it is officially listed in the documents. The mobile coffee bar is in use since summer 2005.

The difficult conversion

A lot of work had to be done until the gem was completely available. The repairs of the sheet and the painting were done by professionals. Any other repairs for example the overhaul of the electricity, the mechanical maintenance and the wheelwright works were completed by the owner himself. At first, the mobile coffee bar received a more powerful engine: the popular OM 616. It worked out without any problems and in addition the aggregation was economical as well. The vehicle is permitted for the public traffic and it is so sprightly that it could drive around the whole world. “The van has some minor weaknesses for example a twisted clutch release bearing or a weary automatic gear shift. Due to dirt in the fuel tank the fuel pipe was clogged, as well as the start switch was corroded and the self-made oil filter flange was broken”, reports Christoph Norrmann

An eye-catcher for every event

Two people can work comfortably without constraining each other in the generous loading space. The big height of the vehicle has a practical side benefit: At larger events with many people you can already recognize the L 319 from afar. Less powerful employees can handle the vehicle very well because of its comfortable road performance. Everyone who ever had to rank an old van knows how much power you have to bring up for it.  Once, the van was used as a sausage booth for the music channel MTV in front of Berlin’s Olympic Stadium. In spring 2012 the L 319 supplied the visitors of the Gerhard Richter exhibition with coffee for three months at the New National Gallery in Berlin. The German federation of trade unions placed the mobile coffee bar even in front of the Reichstag in order to provide strikers with meals and to get the attention of pedestrians.

“He couldn’t have shown his enthusiasm for us any better”

When the electricity supplier RWE presented the new smart electric drive at the Berlin Grand Hotel Esplanade the mobile coffee bar was also in action. “When we arrived, the doorman was gesturing wildly. He came up to us and we thought that we have to move away quickly. But it turned out that he only wanted to shoo the big limos away in order to free enough space for us. He knew us already from the flea market in Berlin where he had a cup of coffee once in a while. He couldn’t have shown his enthusiasm for us any better”, comments Christoph Norrmann. “The reactions of the customers according to the vehicle are very positive, in every respect. The male staff is pelted with ladies’ underwear regularly.”

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