Tag Archives: Lake Country Classics

Local Twin Cities Mercedes-Benz Club Member’s Vintage 1971 280SL Featured in Brooks Brothers TV Advertisement

Brooks-Brothers-Mercedes-Mark-Flaten
Click screenshot to view ad on YouTube.

I got a call from my buddy Bruce Kelly over at Lake Country Classics a couple of weeks ago about an advertising agency here in Minneapolis that needed a vintage Mercedes-Benz roadster for a TV commercial. Bruce just seems to be the guy that people call for this sort of thing no matter what kind of car is needed, people just know to call him. He called me to see if I could get a hold of a friend we have in common, and fellow Twin Cities Mercedes Benz Club member, Mark Flaten. The ad agency was looking for a vintage Mercedes roadster, and ideally, one in a light color, to use in a Brooks Brothers TV spot. Bruce and I both thought of Mark’s car… an absolutely pristine 1971 280SL roadster in the classic Mercedes color combination of silver over red leather.

Bruce’s shop, Lake Country Classics, finished a complete restoration of Mark’s car last year. It is one of the most pristine and correct cars of this type and vintage I’ve ever seen. I got Mark on the phone, told him that this ad agency was doing a Brooks Brothers ad and they were looking for a car like his the next day… and that if he was interested he should give Bruce a call ASAP. He did, and…

About a week later, Mark forwarded me this link to the finished ad on YouTube. They did indeed use his car for several hours the day after we spoke on the phone. He was well paid for the three hours the agency used his car, he was on set the entire time with the car. In the end it’s a couple of seconds on film, but it’s a fun story and will certainly ad to the interesting history of the car. Click this link to view the video on YouTube.

1957 Mercedes Benz 190SL Restored at Lake Country Classics in Minneapolis Just Listed on eBay!

Mercedes 190SL For Sale

This pristine 1957 Mercedes Benz 190SL was recently restored by Bruce Kelly’s Lake Country Classics in Minneapolis Minnesota, it was just listed on eBay this evening. This particular 190SL is black with a white leather interior. It has been in the same family for more than 35 years. The owner of the car started a complete restoration more than 25 years ago, and as with so many projects, it was started and stopped and started and stopped. Eventually the owner of the car passed away. At that point it was given to his grandson who commissioned a complete restoration by Lake Country Classics in Minneapolis.
Mercedes 190SL eBay

Over the past 18 months the car was restored, inside and out. Today, the car runs and drives beautifully. It’s smooth and effortless, I’m always amazed how Mercedes-Benz cars from the late fifties don’t feel at all like other cars from the same period. This was a much easier car to drive, in my opinion, than Jaguars of the same period, and it’s certainly a nicer car to drive than just about anything American made in the late 1950s.

The collector car world has noticed the same things I have when it comes to classic Mercedes-Benz vehicles. They start when you want them to start, they’re reliable, comfortable and generally good, easy cars to live with. As we see prices of the A list Mercedes classics climb into seven figure territory, as we’ve seen regular steel body 300SL Gullwings do recently with 300SL roadsters not too far behind, now well into the $600 – $700k+ territory we’ve seen 190SLs increase in value as well. A rising tide does lift all boats in the vintage Mercedes roadster market.
1957 Mercedes 190SL

While 5 or 10 years ago a 190SL like this one might have been a $30,000 – $50,000 car on a good day, it is likely to bring almost double that in 2011. There is a finite number of good cars left, restorations are staggeringly expensive (and getting more expensive everyday thanks to parts price increases and fewer and fewer marque specialists who can actually do the work. The restorations also take a lot of time, time you could be out enjoying a car. If you can find someone else’s completed project, and as long as it’s been restored correctly and to a high standard by a marque expert, like this car, you might just be able to buy it for about the price of the restoration and save yourself the time and headache.

Have a look at the eBay auction by following this link, there are almost 100 photos of the car there and a complete vehicle description.

 

Mercedes Benz Adaptive High Beam Assist: New Feature or Old News?

What does this 2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 4matic sedan have in common with this 1960 Cadillac convertible? They both have an automatic headlight dimming system! Mercedes-Benz made the Adaptive High Bean Assist feature available on the ‘new body style’ E class cars in 2010. The systems essentially keeps an eye on the road ahead of you at night, while you’re driving with your high beams on a desolate road, the car can sense the headlights of oncoming traffic up ahead and automatically dim the headlamps as not to bother the driver of the oncoming car.

The technology Mercedes-Benz uses is a sensor embedded in the top of the windshield. It’s considered a safety feature by Mercedes-Benz, as it allows you to have the best, brightest lights blazing when appropriate, giving you a commanding view of the road, even at night to keep you safe. One might also consider it a convenience feature, as you don’t constantly have to adjust your high beams as oncoming traffic appears. Learn more about the Mercedes-Benz Adaptive High Beam Assist feature on the E class HERE at MBUSA.com.

Notice the light sensor on the dash of the 1960 Cadillac.

What’s funny is that a similar system was available on a number of American made vehicles, most notably, Cadillacs beginning in the mid 1950s. The red 1960 Cadillac convertible pictured here was at Lake Country Classics in Minneapolis when I visited that shop last week. Bruce Kelly, proprietor of Lake Country Classics and vintage Mercedes-Benz SL authority generally works on and restores Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the occasional Jaguar, but this time he had a customer’s 1960 Cadillac convertible on hand.

I saw this thing sticking up on the dash of the Cadillac and I asked him what it was for. Bruce explained to me that it was the sensor for the automatic high beam adjustment. When it senses the headlights of an oncoming car it automatically adjusts your high beams back down to the regular headlight setting… on a 1960 Cadillac, it was available earlier than that, in the mid 1950s.

Of course, the technology Mercedes-Benz employs for the Adaptive High Beam Assist feature is far more advanced that what Cadillac was using 50 years ago. The modern Mercedes-Benz system works better, more efficiently, more quickly and more reliably than the old Caddy system, but it’s interesting to know that the idea of not having to worry about blinding oncoming drivers at night with your high beams was thought about and essentially ‘solved’ more than 50 years ago in Detroit.

There is always something to see and learn when you visit Bruce at Lake Country Classics in Minneapolis, it’s a bit off the beaten path, but if you can find it, it’s worth a visit. This 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL was parked next to the Cadillac when I arrived last week. The 190 is currently for sale on eBay… with its $35,000 reserve price already reached with about 5 days left in the auction.

Local Vintage 1957 Mercedes 190SL Roadster Maintained by Lake Country Classics Now For Sale on eBay Motors!

The owner of this 1957 Mercedes Benz 190 SL roadster has decided to sell his wonderful car on to its next steward via eBay motors. He has owned it for about ten years and has enjoyed using the car as it was meant to be used… driving it often and over long distances. He regularly drove this car to the family vacation home on Minnesota’s north shore from Minneapolis and back during the mild Minnesota summers.

Visit the car’s eBay auction by clicking this link!

It is a driver quality car with an off white / putty colored exterior and a very nice red leather interior. The exterior has its share of paint chips and nicks, it presents well with plenty of patina. It drives flawlessly. It’s a manual transmission 4 cylinder engine equipped with dual Weber carburetors. It was restored in the mid 1980s and now has the honest, patinated look of a well loved, well used vintage Mercedes-Benz roadster. According to the owner you get 90% of the fun of a 300SL at about 1/5th the price!