It all started for me in the early 1970’s. A family member had brought home a new Mercedes-Benz and everyone wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I clearly remember when I first witnessed the “door test”. The sound of that car door closing sounded so solid, and unlike anything I had ever observed with any other car.
Back in those days Mercedes-Benz had no real competition at all. If you wanted the very best quality in an automobile, it was going to have to be a Mercedes-Benz. My love for cars, and what made them “tick” immediately jumped to the Mercedes. By 1979 I found myself working exclusively on Mercedes as a technician for Jim Marino Imports, the Mercedes-Benz dealer in Alhambra, California.
As the cars “evolved” and became more computerized I found myself enjoying and appreciating the “older” cars and launched out on my own, opening a shop that focused on the repair and restoration of those fine classics. For years I have helped my restoration clients find their dream cars, as well as part with them when it was time for them to find a new home. It has always been a very fulfilling aspect of the job and now with MBClassics I am able to focus more clearly on helping people through the process and in an honest, ethical and transparent manner.
After 35 years I still find myself as in awe of these classics as I did the day I witnessed that first “door test”!
Some people are born “car people”, others seem to grow into it. I was born a car person. I can remember the excitement that my father had when he was going to drive somewhere. He made an adventure out of it, whether it was going to the grocery store or a road trip that ventured several states over. And…… it was always in a Mercedes-Benz. “The Best or Nothing!”?? I thought he came up with that motto!
On my 15th birthday I was painfully anticipating getting my learner’s permit, and I vividly remember my anxiety as my father drove me in his 1968 MB 600 to the DMV for the written test. I was both relieved and excited upon passing the test and as we walked out to his beautiful car I went to get into the passenger side. My father said to me “Hey, where do you think you’re going?!” and threw me the keys to the car. It was late afternoon in Miami and it was starting to rain.
I remember being white-knuckled on I-95 on the ride home as I drove through the rain in rush hour traffic and looked over at my father to see if I was meeting his approval and to see if he was as worried as I was. I glanced over to see him staring out the passenger window, with his seat reclined and smoking a big cigar. “Dad, am I doing everything right?” I nervously asked. “Well, you haven’t hit anything yet!” was his relaxed response. I think my love for Mercedes-Benz was truly cemented that day. Unfortunately my father ran into some financial problems and had to let go of the car before I turned 16 (oh, the trouble I could have gotten into with that car!). But my love for the Mercedes-Benz classics has lived on. I eventually acquired a 600 of my own, after having owned several other MB classics.
After 2008 I started looking more at MB classics as wise legitimate investments (that could also be enjoyed). I eventually wound up acquiring over a dozen cars from both dealers and individuals and was amazed at the amount of misrepresentation and lack of integrity that I kept running into. Having sold my insurance business a few years back, I now saw this as an opportunity to both serve my fellow Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts as well as help change the industry.