Tag Archives: Freedom Boat Service

2014-Mercedes-CLA-Class-production car

2014 Mercedes Benz CLA Class Makes Appearance at Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance – Twin Cities Auto Show Just Gets ‘Empty’ Concept Car Version

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2013 CLA250 on display at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

A friend of mine emailed me this photos from the Amelia Island Concours ‘d’Elegance yesterday from beautiful Amelia Island, FL. My friend, Dave Bortner from Freedom Boat Service, has a 1930 30’ Hacker Craft Triple Cockpit Runabout, a beautiful vintage wood boat, in the RM Auctions sale being held in the area. While strolling the grounds of the Concours he took this photo, of a Mercedes-Benz display showing off some vintage Mercedes hardware from the Classic Center in Irvine, CA… along with a new production model CLA class car.

So, while at the Twin Cities Auto Show we get a cool looking concept… it is a non running (no engine, no interior, can’t even open up the doors) example. At the Amelia Island Concours they get a road ready street version.

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2013 Twin Cities Auto Show got this shell of a CLA Concept.

At the Twin Cities Auto Show yesterday, people were asking me about the door handles on the concept… there aren’t any really, just a different color silver inlay, flush to the body. I mentioned to one person that I was quite sure the door handles on the actual production car would be just like all the other door handles on the cars. Looking at this photo, that does seem to be the case. I’m not sure that I love the wheels chosen for this car, in black. The lower front bumper is a bit different than the concept, as one would expect… but keeps the same general shape. As expected, the CLA is basically a ‘baby CLS’.

I suppose there is no argument to be made as to where the ‘money is’ when it comes to reaching the most REAL potential buyers and where Mercedes-Benz would get the most bang for their marketing buck… Amelia Island is essentially the Pebble Beach of the East, held each March.

Hopefully they’ll make them fast enough to keep up with demand, my guess is that they will be in short supply for the first few months of production, it probably won’t be easy to get one.

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The 1930 Hack Craft Triple Cockpit Runabout consigned at RM Auctions by Freedom Boat Service from Mound, MN.

Dave Knows Cars Road Trip to Texas! Keels and Wheels Vintage Car and Boat Show, Seabrook, Texas

I went on a roadtrip over the past week, to the Keels and Wheels Concours d’Elegance for vintage cars and boats held at the Seabrook Yacht Club in Seabrook, TX each year. My friend from the Mercedes-Benz Club, Dave Bortner, owner of Freedom Boat Service, a company that restores, maintains and brokers the sale of vintage wood boats, invited me to go along with him.

The trip started Wednesday afternoon April 27th. It was a 20 hour drive from Minneapolis to Seabrook, just South-East of Houston on the gulf coast. We towed Dave’s 1961 21′ Century Coronado “Endangered Species” the whole way… we had one flat tire on the boat trailer along the way, in Oklahoma (see photo of where we changed the flat far below) other than that, it was a long, but uneventful drive.

The show itself was wonderful, the weather was warm and sunny most of the time. The quality of the cars and boats on display was extremely good. The cars and boats on display were there from all over the country, but mainly from the South and Southwest. The food was good, the company was better. We met some new friends and had an exceptional time. There were plenty of Mercedes about, only a couple in the show surprisingly, but a handful in the World Wide Group’s collector car auction held on Saturday afternoon.

I was happy to have met and spoken with the publisher of my all time favorite collector car magazine, Keith Martin, of Sports Car Market Magazine and host of the HD Theater show “What’s My Car Worth?.” We had a nice chat as he walked briskly to the auction tent where he was to act as Master of Ceremonies for the distribution of the awards to the car show winners. A nice, gracious guy and a car guy through and through.

It was a great time. I must thank my friend Dave Bortner for asking me to go along, I logged more hours behind the wheel of a vehicle towing a boat than ever before in my life, I eventually go used to it, a 3/4 ton Suburban with Quadrasteer is a great tow vehicle. If you’re even remotely interested in nice things… cars, boats, people, etc. I suggest you put this event on the calendar! While it was 39 degrees and rainy in Minneapolis, we enjoyed sunny weather in the high 80s on the Gulf Coast, a great place to escape for a few days during the early Spring in the North. Enjoy the photos below!

A beautiful Aston Martin DB4 from Mexico.

Dave Tobin relaxing in 'Endangered Species' 1961 Century Coronado.

Dave Bortner driving 'Endangered Species'

Keels and Wheels Seabrook, TX vintage boats in the water, cars on the shore.

Bortner in the Coronado.

This Mercedes-Benz 250SL won "Best Mercedes".

Interior of a 1971 Mercedes Benz 280SE Cabriolet.

The Mercedes 280SE Cabriolet, a very nice example.

1961 Mercedes Benz 300SL Roadster from the "Driver Source" in Houston.

Inside the World Wide Group auction tent. Pierce Arrow, Mercedes 190, Jaguar XKE, some nice cars.

Captain Dave Bortner with his Century Coronado at Keels and Wheels Seabrook, TX 2011

We changed a flat trailer tire in the shade at this defunct gas station in Oklahoma.