Mercedes specialist receives four cars from Asian royal family

Two 540Ks and two 600 Pullmans from a south-east Asian royal family are to be restored by Kienle Automobiltechnik

Restoring a classic Mercedes of average value is simple, as there are so many specialists out there, and parts supply is plentiful. However, if you own a really valuable classic Mercedes, with its value going into millions, there are but a handful of places in Germany which you can entrust with the most sensitive of restorations.

One is the Mercedes Classic Centre in Fellbach, opened in 1993, which has access to the original factory blueprints, 52,000 original parts and over 130 certified parts-machining shops. The second outfit is HK-Engineering which specialises in the 300SL whose values have skyrocketed over the last decade.

The third one is the family business of Kienle Automobiltechnik in Heimerdingen, close to Stuttgart. The immensely experienced staff at Kienle will be very busy over the winter, as they just received a shipment of cars from an Asian customer to be evaluated and then restored from the ground up.

The consignment entrusted to Kienle consists of four cars. Two Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman limousines from 1971 and 1973, a Mercedes-Benz 540K Spezial-Roadster from 1936 and a Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A from 1937 have been owned from new by the unnamed royal family of a 'South-East Asian kingdom'.

The 540K Spezial-Roadster was handbuilt between 1936 and 1939 in the Sindelfingen factory, and only 25 units were made. The 540K Cabriolet A is slightly less rare, with 83 units produced. The former is now worth in excess of €10 million, and the latter at least €3 million. Each of the supercharged cars will require at least 8000 work hours to bring it back to showroom standard.

The two Pullmans have sat unused for decades, and apart from some damage resulting from long-term storage, they display excessive wear on mechanical parts, and the complicated hydraulics do not work at all. Klaus Kienle believes the Pullman models will require 4000 work hours each, and that the restoration of all four one-owner royal cars will take two to three years.

The 85-strong Kienle workforce has ample experience with work for Asian clients, as they have fully restored, among others, two 600 Landaulets for the royal family of the Johore kingdom in Malaysia.

They have become the world's leading authority (apart from Mercedes Classic) on the W100 model, especially on its aviation-derived, hellishly complex Bosch hydraulics, which operate the partition separating the driver, help adjust the seats, operate the door locks, window lifters and the baggage compartment lid.

The Kienle family have been handling repairs, maintenance and complete restorations of W100s for the last 30 years, including vehicles from the fleets of the King of Morocco, the royal house of Qatar and the Emirate of Dubai.

Kienle Automobiltechnik also buy and sell classic Mercedes, will service anything with a star on the hood, including the 300SL Gullwing, SLR McLaren and Maybach 62S. They also offer spare parts plus race and rally preparation for those customers who wish to participate in various forms of motorsport.

Photography by Ampnet

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