A quiet Thursday morning in the upper Franconian town of Münchberg between Nuremberg and Leipzig. Rain fog hangs in the air and the summer days are interrupted by a morning rain shower. The Mercedes-Benz dealership Hahn is located at the edge of a small town in northern Bavaria. The unique thing about the dealership: It is one of 25 Mercedes-Benz Classic Partners throughout Germany and specializes in restoring classic cars. The experts carry out most of the work at the dealership itself. This includes all types of maintenance, whether on the chassis or the engine.
Benjamin Benavides is one of the restoration experts. He presses a button to open the dealership’s glass doors and let in a little fresh air. The dealership uses a very special delivery van to transport spare parts: an Mercedes-Benz L 319, model year 1959. “We have a lot of different vehicles here. But the L 319 definitely stands out”, says Benjamin Benavides while he strides into the classic cars workshop.
It is immediately obvious what makes the L 319 standout: its reliability makes it unique. Benjamin Benavides tells us a story while he rolls his tool trolley over to a shining red W 113. “We discovered the vehicle purely by chance. We purchased it from a customer seven years ago and wanted to make an impression with it. It already has cult status and is also something of a rarity.” Unfortunately, you cannot rent it out but the dealership occasionally present it at classic car meets. The classic van is still on the road, working as a service mobile.
It is still extremely reliable and we use it for longer distances. Our customers are often surprised that such an old workhorse is still in full-time use
The previous owner had already thoroughly overhauled the van and done some work on the body. Autohaus Hahn only had to carry out some final installation after the paintwork and overhaul the engine. “It is still extremely reliable and we use it for longer distances. Our customers are often surprised that such an old workhorse is still in full-time use”, explains Benjamin Benavides. Breakdowns are not on the agenda. “The fuel gauge broke once”, he says with a smile. The old L 319 has seen a lot over the course of its long life. Even half a century after the economic miracle, it remains reliable and busy on the road.
Benjamin Benavides gets to work: it is time to restore a W 113, also known as the Pagoda. “This afternoon I have to go on a courier run with our L 319. That is definitely a highlight,” he says before climbing back into the pit.