Under its bonnet the Mercedes-Benz O 319 is rather usual: 2 litres capacity, 4 cylinder Otto motor and 80 h.p. – this is the original O 319. The specific features can be found in the rear of the classic car. The vehicle is equipped with a huge table, eight comfortable and rotating seats, a mini bar, an espresso machine, a washbasin, an air system and an electricity generator. With these characteristics the bus can be used perfectly as mobile conference room.
The O 319 is called “Willi” and belongs to the vehicle fleet of the Hotel Ritter Durbach in Southwest Germany. The owners and hosts Ilka and Dominic Müller are classic car enthusiasts thus the idea of a vintage automobile hotel emerged. The guests can enjoy organised road trips with an accompanying programme. Moreover, services like professional road books and a repair shop with lifting platform are offered. Treasures like a Rolls Royce Type 20/25 from 1935 and of course “Wilhelm”, the O 319 from 1963 can be found in the hotel’s own rental service.
The expensive restoration impresses the guests. Doubts only emerge when it comes to the rotating single seats. Are they really original? Yes, of course. But they are provided with a special turn mechanism and are arranged differently. For the bus a trailer with additional equipment like tables, chairs and flipchart is available. So it’s also possible to have a conference instead of a picnic. Besides the everyday use in the hotel, the O 319 is a minor celebrity, tells Romy Fritzsch, marketing director from Hotel Ritter Durbach:
The MG Drivers Club was so impressed, that they held their director’s meeting in the bus at the Techno Classica. Moreover, Wilhelm can be seen regularly in a German TV program.