Barbecued delicacies from a Mercedes-Benz LF 407.

Food is sold from a black food truck equipped with a tent

Henning Wiehemeyer has turned his passion into his profession: He inspires his customers with barbecued specialities from a Mercedes-Benz classic van.

An auspicious selection.

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.

  • One of Henning's employees hands food over the counter to a customer
  • Bratwurst in a roll
  • Bread rolls filled with barbecued meat
  • Mercedes-Benz LF 407 from the front

Henning's 3 tips for food truck newbies:

  1. Catering for private events is particularly profitable because quantities and prices can be planned. That makes it much easier.
  2. Especially in the initial phase you should get a lot of feedback from customers – and take this very seriously.
  3. For quantity planning: Always have sufficient supplies ready.

The project “Food Truck”.

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.

Characteristics Mercedes-Benz LF 407 named Karl

Manufacturer

Mercedes-Benz

Production period

1963-64

Predecessor model

L 319

Successor model

L 406

Engine

M 121 B III

Length

4.80 m

Width

2.08 m

Height

2.24 m

Payload

3.5 t

Wheelbase

1.49 m

Top speed

90 km/h

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A food truck for real Mercedes-Benz lovers.

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.
Front view of the LF 407

The beautiful Mercedes-Benz classic awakens nostalgic feelings.

A good portion of time management.

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.

Recipe tip from Henning: Smoked rainbow trout with rosemary triplets

Ingredients for 2 persons

Brine

  • 2 l cold water
  • 90 g coarse salt
  • 70 g brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Fish

  • 2 rainbow trout (preferably fresh)
  • 60 g Butter
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ½ Lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh parsley

Small potatoes (triplets)

  • Olive oil
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Fleur de sel

Preparation

  1. Pour the water into a bowl. Add salt and stir until it has dissolved. Then stir in the sugar and mix the water with the garlic and lemon juice. Put the trout in the brine in the fridge for two hours.
  2. Boil the potatoes in salted water. In the meantime, cut the cold butter into long pieces and the lemon into slices. Slice the garlic and chop the parsley coarsely. After 20 minutes, drain the potatoes and put them in a fireproof dish. Wash the trout and pat dry with salt and pepper from the inside. Then fill the trout with butter, lemon, garlic and parsley and seal with kitchen thread.
  3. Cook the trout in aluminium foil in the smoker* at 110 degrees until they reach a core temperature of 63 degrees (approx. two hours). After one hour sprinkle the potatoes with olive oil and season with rosemary. Place the dish with the potatoes in the smoker for about an hour.

*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 Grillwagen in a meadow with chairs and a pavilion

The Grillwagen is often used at private events.

Side view of the LF 407

Henning has already been to many events with his classic food truck, where he always meets enthusiastic customers.

Henning and his wife Anni are standing in front of the LF 407 on their wedding day

The black classic was also there at Henning and his wife Anni's wedding.

LF 407 during restoration

The LF 407 was already restored by the previous owners.

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.

Photos: Henning Wiehemeyer, Carsten Tembaak

More Links to explore: dergrillwagen.de@Facebook, @Instagram

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