Saturday, January 28, 2006

M-Benz to Open Classic Center for Golden Oldies

Now there's something you don't see every day - a car dealership devoted to restoring, appraising, servicing and selling the classic models of a particular marque.

In this case, the classics involved are all Mercedes Benz products and the dealership is owned and operated by the German automaker's American subsidiary.

The Classic Center at Irvine in California will open next month and "will offer a full compliment of services, including retail sales, restoration, appraisal and vehicle-search assistance for Mercedes Benz models aged 20 years or older," according to a release from Mercedes-Benz USA.

Vehicles available for sale at the Classic Center will range in price from $25,000 "reaching upwards into the millions."

Technicians employed by the Classic Center will be qualified to work on all models classified by the company as "classics," a range that spans vehicles up to the 126-series (280-560 models) built from 1979 to 1992.

"Imagine the chance to step back in time and purchase the Mercedes-Benz of your dreams right off the showroom floor and that is the magic of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center," said Mike Kunz, the center manager in the release.

The German automaker opened a similar facility in 1993 in Fellbach, Germany, making the new Irvine center only the second of its kind in the world. The company estimates there are approximately 500,000 of its classics registered to operate on roads in America.