Europe for Visitors - Home
Europe Index Germany Index

Arrow Find a vacation rental in Germany

Europe > Germany > Cars > Mercedes-Benz Classic Center

Mercedes-Benz Classic Center

When you're ready to restore your vintage Mercedes (or to buy an already-restored collector's car), contact the M-B Classic Center in Stuttgart, Germany.

Mercedes-Benz Classic Center Werkstatt

ABOVE: Car restoration in the Werkstatt. INSET BELOW: A vintage Mercedes-Benz from the Classic Center's collection.

Vintage Mercedes-Benz at Classic Center in FellbachStuttgart, Germany is a city that takes pride in its automotive heritage, as evidenced by the Gottlieb Daimler Memorial and the Mercedes-Benz Museum, both of which are essential stops on any car enthusiast's trip through Germany.

But history means more than places or institutions: Material culture plays a vital role in preserving the past, and the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Fellbach (a suburb of Stuttgart) serves as "a guardian of the brand's tradition" by restoring historic cars and supporting owners of vintage Mercedes-Benz automobiles.

The Mercedes-Benz Classic Center has several functions:

  • It restores cars for the Mercedes-Benz Museum, other car museums, and private collectors;

  • It supplies parts (and, in some cases, makes custom parts) for "oldtimer" cars, meaning vehicles that are more than 20 years old;

  • It buys, sells, brokers, and even rents Mercedes-Benz classic cars;

  • It supports "Classic Partners" such as dealers, independent workshops, and Mercedes-Benz clubs around the world.

Although the Classic Center isn't a tourist attraction per se, it welcomes visits by Mercedes-Benz owners, mechanics, enthusiasts, and prospective buyers of classic cars and parts.


Visitor information:

Mercedes-Benz 300SL gullwing at M-B Classic Centre Fellbach

ABOVE: The open door of a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing frames the entrance of the Classic Center in Fellbach.

The Mercedes-Benz Classic Center is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except holidays.  For more information, see the Classic Center's English-language Web site (links below) .

  • Note: The Classic Center has a gift shop with Mercedes-Benz car models, driving accessories, clothing, etc., so you needn't go home empty-handed if you've resisted the temptation to buy a classic car.

The Classic Center on the Web

Mercedes-Benz Classic
Learn about Mercedes-Benz heritage and see this parts & service page for more details (including contact information) about "the world's most important rendezvous for enthusiasts and owners of classic cars."  We suggest e-mailing the Classic Center to schedule a visit.

If you're shopping for a classic Mercedez-Benz or parts in the USA, try the Classic Center in Irvine, California.


More information from Mercedes-Benz:

Random facts and figures

  • More than 23,000 Mercedes-Benz car enthusiasts showed up at the Classic Center during its grand opening weekend in May, 1993.

  • Mercedes-Benz defines "oldtimer" cars as vehicles that have been out of production for 20 years or more. (The company has been building cars since 1886.)

  • The company has a satellite Classic Center in Irvine, California, and is planning a third center in Shanghai, China.

Parts and manuals

  • Currently, some 40,000 parts are available from the Classic Center. (36,000 can be shipped from stock; parts for extremely old or rare cars can be made to order, using drawings and other data from the corporate archives.)

  • Every year, the Classic Center receives some 30,000 parts inquiries.

  • The Classic Center also supplies copies of hard-to-find parts lists, workshop handbooks, owners' manuals, technical data manuals, and maintenance booklets.

Restoration

  • The Classic Center buys, restores, and sells about 80 classic cars per year. (About 40 percent of the workshop's restoration work is for the Mercedes-Benz Museum and other clients within the company; 60 percent is for private owners.)

  • A typical restoration (for example, of a 600 Series sedan) might take one to 1Ĺ years and cost up to €750,000.

  • Restored cars have a three-year warranty. With proper care, a restored vehicle should last 50 years.

  • The Classic Center's workshop also restores Formula 1 race cars from the previous year. (F1 cars are considered "oldtimers" after just one season of racing.)

  • In its first 10 years of operation, the Classic Center did some 250 complete or partial car restorations. The largest job was a complete restoration of a W196 Streamliner racing car from 1954, which took five years.

Staff

  • Mechanics at the Classic Center are normally hired from within the company. The typical mechanic has 25 to 30 years of experience.

  • Classic Center mechanics have the authority to seek help from Mercedes-Benz's 7,000 master mechanics, apprentices, and engineers when they encounter problems with parts or materials. They're also able to consult with experts at Stuttgart's university without asking permission from higher-ups.

Souvenirs

  • Looking for something to take home? The Classic Center manufactures full-size working replicas of the Benz No. 1 Patent Motor Car from 1886. (The price was €64,000 when we last checked several years ago.)


More photos:

Mechanics and sedan at Mercedez-Benz Classic Center Fellbach

Two mechanics work on a Mercedes-Benz sedan from the 1960s at the Classic Center in Germany.

The company also has a Classic Center branch in Irvine, California. (I chatted with a German mechanic who'd worked in Irvine for a year on an exchange program.)


Restored cars at Mercedes-Benz Classic Center Stuttgart

At any given moment, some cars at the Classic Center are likely to be undergoing restoration for the Mercedes-Benz Museum, which is located only a few kilometers away.

Other vehicles are restored for private collectors, for independent museums, or for sale to wealthy auto enthusiasts who visit the Classic Center's showroom.


Mercedes-Benz race car at M-B Clasic Center Fellbach

This Mercedes-Benz race car from the early years of the 20th Century was undergoing repairs during my visit.


300SL Gullwing restoration in M-B Classic Center Fellbach

In this picture, a mechanic welds a tubular frame behind a 300SL Gullwing sports car.


More Mercedes-Benz and Stuttgart articles:
Mercedes-Benz Museum
Gottlieb Daimler Memorial
Straßenbahnwelt Stuttgart (Stuttgart Tram Museum)