The Mercedes-Benz L 319: espresso bar with the star

Beautiful red Mercedes-Benz L 319, a former "Renntransporter".

Dusty, unused, discarded. This was how Uwe Ziegler found his Mercedes-Benz L 319. It has been back on the road for five years – as a mobile espresso bar.

The old-timer flair of the 60ies – cult technology brought back to life

An attraction wherever it goes: a road-worthy Mercedes-Benz L 319 has become a true sensation. Uwe Ziegler’s fire-engine red “racing van” is unique and more than worth a second glance: with the 120 hp machine from a Mercedes-Benz 230 under the hood, the 1962 van has now become sporty. When the large side hatch at the rear opens, the classic van reveals its new purpose: A FAEMA, also built in 1962 and still a highlight of Italian coffee machine technology, makes the L 319 into a mobile espresso bar. The interior includes another original from 1962 – a Majestic refrigerator, naturally in fire-engine red to match the vehicle. Equipment such as sunshades, tables and chairs are all transported in an old fire service trailer – This also from 1962, another sixties original.

A mobile coffee machine in a Mercedes-Benz L 319.

A FAEMA, also built in 1962 and still a highlight of Italian coffee machine technology, makes the L 319 into a mobile espresso bar.

From a dusty relic to a shining star

It was just whiling away its days: the Mercedes-Benz L 319 was long past its days as a campervan when Uwe Ziegler discovered it in a dark corner of a friend’s workshop in 2011. This was the spark that led him to fulfill one his life’s dreams: to build a mobile espresso bar. He already had the right coffee machine and refrigerator in his garage at home. The classic enthusiast thoroughly revitalized the L 319. At the rear the master mechanic converted both side walls into large folding doors.

The energy system is a technical highlight: The FAEMA espresso machine runs on both electricity and gas. The batteries on board are large enough to supply the mobile coffee bar with electricity for two days. The Mercedes-Benz classic became a shining star at a Christmas market: “When the power failed completely one evening, only our L 319 remained brightly lit and fully operational. The entire market gathered around the mobile coffee bar”, reports Uwe Ziegler.

Transforming a retired camper van into a mobile espresso bar with the star

The Mercedes-Benz L 319 relaxed and on tour

The Mercedes-Benz L 319 with the espresso bar on board: Uwe Ziegler has been living his dream for the last five years. His café van is the highlight at events and exhibitions. Since selling his repair shop in 2011 he has more time for it. At least when he is not currently behind the wheel experiencing adventures with which he also earns his living: He has attended almost all of the important dates on the international rally calendar. With off-road trucks, which he converted himself, he also takes part in the Dakar Rally as a mobile workshop. Another time he acts as the host and organizes a classic rally. When he participates in one of the classic car events himself, his “Mercedes-Benz Pagoda” is his first choice. The L 319 parks at the driver’s camp, providing catering for the team and friends.

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The Mercedes-Benz L 319 was the first van developed independently by Mercedes-Benz and celebrated its premiere in the year 1955. It went on to become the predecessor of numerous, successful van generations from Mercedes-Benz.

> Read more about this beautiful classic van