Mercedes-Benz Classic in the USA: Experts in the preservation, presentation and lived experience
Mercedes-Benz Classic will be underpinning its activities in the USA with several highlights. On Friday, 12 August 2022, the new Mercedes-Benz Classic Center will open in Long Beach, California. The company is intensifying its heritage activities in the USA with this key destination for classic vehicles of the brand and its fans. The following day, visitors are invited to celebrate the opening and view the new location at a “Classics & Coffee” event. Just under a week later, 17 August 2022 marks the start of Monterey Car Week, which culminates in the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, 21 August 2022. The Mercedes-Benz C 111 from 1969, which never went into series production, stands out among the highly exclusive and spectacular classics on display there. This is a unique opportunity: it will be presented together with the world-famous image of the vehicle from the “Cars” series by pop artist Andy Warhol.
New Mercedes-Benz Classic Center Long Beach
With the inauguration of its new Classic Center in Long Beach, Mercedes-Benz Classic is opening the next chapter of its presence in the USA. Over the past two decades, the brand’s vehicles have been maintained, serviced and restored from the ground up at the Classic Center in Irvine, south of Los Angeles. Long Beach continues this tradition, while at the same time expanding the Center’s spectrum of activities. 400 guests, including customers, dealers and representatives of the world’s oldest car manufacturer, will be able to watch the luxurious and cinematic opening of the Classic Center under the motto “A star is reborn”. A show concept that builds on long-standing ties: Long Beach was the capital of the motion picture industry until Hollywood took over that role. Marcus Breitschwerdt, Head of Mercedes-Benz Heritage, describes the Classic Center Long Beach as a “place of craftsmanship, knowledge and expertise, a key destination for classic car enthusiasts and a key hub for the brand’s heritage”.
The connection between Mercedes-Benz and the United States has traditionally been very close. On the one hand, the market is an important one for the cars with the famous three-pointed star. On the other, the brand has in its turn taken inspiration from there: the SL sports cars 190 SL (W 121) and 300 SL (W 198) were created in the 1950s at the suggestion of the brand’s importer for the eastern USA at the time, visionary businessman Maximilian E. Hoffmann. A large proportion of the production of these two models and all subsequent SL generations was and still is delivered to the USA.
Monterey Car Week 2022
For 26 years, Mercedes-Benz has been one of the sponsors of Monterey Car Week, the glamorous event for luxurious and exquisite automobiles. Numerous Mercedes-Benz models in top condition are an annual fixture at the event. In 2022, the focus will be on the Mercedes-Benz C 111, among others. The extremely low, sleek super sports car designed for use with the Wankel engine was presented to an enthusiastic international public in 1969. To the regret of many brand fans, it would never go into series production. One of the few experimental vehicles from the Mercedes-Benz Classic collection is on display at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. Monterey Car Week now gives the rare opportunity to see another of them in public. Similarly rare are the masterpieces by pop artist Andy Warhol from his world-famous “Cars” series. In California, a viewing of both the model and its image is possible: thanks to the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection, the C 111 comes face to face with the work of the great American artist. The exhibition “Andy Warhol: Cars – Works from the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection” will be shown at Monterey Car Week together with the super sports car – as well as beforehand and again afterwards at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance
The C 111 will also lead the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance, the popular driving event on the roads of California. It will be driven by Marcus Breitschwerdt. A new Mercedes-AMG SL (R 232 series) will be used as another lead vehicle. At the wheel: Dimitris Psillakis, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA.
The brand will also be celebrating the fascination of Maybach in Monterey with the presentation of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class “Maybach by Virgil Abloh” S 680 (WLTP combined fuel consumption: 14.3-13.4 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 326-304 g/km). This unique limousine will be accompanied by the Virgil Abloh Maybach Concept. Further eye-catchers from the traditional Mercedes-Benz brand in the luxury segment will be the concept vehicles Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS and Concept Mercedes-Maybach Haute Voiture.
The Concours d’Elegance, a competition for some of the world’s finest automobiles that takes place on the Pacific coast of California, has been taking place since 1950 and is a highlight in the annual international classic car calendar. Around 200 collector cars gather on the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Club to compete for the title of “Best of Show”. Outstanding classic cars from Mercedes-Benz have already been awarded this title nine times. Last year, the coveted trophy went to one of only two 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 K “Autobahnkurier” (“Motorway Courier”) models ever built, from the Keller Collection, Petaluma, California.
The Mercedes-Benz Classic Center Long Beach will make several classic cars from the brand’s history available to members of the media for test drives during Monterey Car Week 2022, including the 280 SL (W 113), 450 SEL (model series 116), 300 SEL 6.3 (W 109) and CLK 63 AMG Black Series (C 209).