Henning Wiehemeyer gets into a real sweat: Between smoking barbecues, loud shouting and coordinated passing on of steaming food, he tries to do justice to the rush of hungry guests. But the queue is growing. More and more people are attracted by the spicy fragrances exuding from the barbecue of the food truck “Der Grillwagen”. And this is no wonder: Juicy Pulled Pork, Pastrami and Spare Ribs, but also vegetarian and vegan offers, such as Portobello mushrooms in honey thyme marinade, sizzle on the grill and let the mouth water. But it’s not just the delicious fragrances that attract the guests, the food truck is also a real eye-catcher: A vintage Mercedes-Benz LF 407 offers the perfect backdrop.
What began as a part-time hobby at the beginning of 2016 has now become Henning’s main occupation together with a café. In just four months, the trained businessman and business economist set up the “Food Truck” project with the help of his whole family. “I’ve always been a passionate hobby cook and so I came up with the idea of bringing a food truck onto the streets,” explains Henning. “The great thing about a food truck is that you’re very flexible and mobile and can get to know a lot of new places.” Henning and his food truck are usually used at private events such as weddings, birthdays or company celebrations in the greater Osnabrück area. But you can also catch a glimpse of the beautiful Mercedes-Benz classic at street food and city festivals. Where would Henning prefer to park his LF 407? “On a beach in great weather, for example on an East Frisian island,” he says with a grin.
M 121 B III
But why this Mercedes-Benz classic as a food truck? “My family, especially my grandfather, had always been a big Mercedes fan. That’s why the name ‘Karl’ was chosen, because that was my grandfather’s name,” Henning reveals. “The LF 407 is also a real eye-catcher. And just like our food, the van should also be special and unique.” Originally, the classic van Karl was used as a fire engine in Hirschau. In Coesfeld near Münster in Germany the van waited for its new owners and Henning took his chance. “The previous owner did the restoration for us,” he remembers. “We only had to do a few minor repairs and install a trailer coupling to accommodate all our equipment.”
My classic van in three words: unique, nostalgic, top-quality.
But not everything always went so smoothly: “Before the first event, it was unclear whether our products would really be appreciated by our customers,” recalls Henning. But the very first time they were in action at the Street Food Festival in Munich proved that customers couldn’t get enough. Further challenges followed: Peak times in which as many portions as possible had to be delivered in a very short time. Henning’s high quality standards and of course the respect for professional cooking times – in the case of Pulled Pork at least 16 hours. Nevertheless, Henning can proudly say, “in the meantime, we have managed to bring 300 portions per hour from the BBQ. The result are many satisfied customers – and that’s worth it,” says Henning.
Ingredients for 2 persons
Small potatoes (triplets)
*Tip: If you do not have a smoker, you can also use a charcoal grill with a cover for smoking. Moist wooden chips from a specialist retail outlet and a water bowl are used.
The shown conversions were carried out by independent third parties. The suppliers and conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. In this respect, these illustrations do not represent an assessment of the supplier and/or conversions by Mercedes-Benz.