Legends of the Autobahn 2011

over view

Now in its second year, the Legends of the Autobahn is gaining momentum. With strong support from the Mercedes-Benz Club of America, BMW CCA and the Porsche Club of America, this year’s event featured over 500 cars on display.

Legends Returns
Friday August 19, 2011

Rancho Canada Golf Club, Carmel Valley

Gaining attention for a new event during the typically exhausting August Monterey week is an uphill battle. Event marketing begins earlier and earlier each year as promoters jostle for the attention and disposable income of the hoards of generally sophisticated enthusiasts that overwhelm the Peninsula each August.

Were it not for Sports Car Market magazine’s handy timeline guide, an Excel Worksheet would be required to keep track of the proceedings. I counted 18 events of moderate to high interest taking place from Monday the 15th through Sunday the 21st. Retirement seems to be the only sure fire way to try to take it all in.

This year’s Legends of the Autobahn celebration of quality German automobiles seems to be gaining some traction and the Mercedes-Benz presence was up this year with MBCA members providing about 100 cars. An event for car owners rather than spectators, Legends attracted 500 cars with strong support form BMW and Porsche. Factory BMW support was evident with the BMW Hommage 328 design exercise.

We had hoped to have our project 250SE 5-speed coupe to display but customer demands dictated we couldn’t ready our unique sunroof coupe in time. A lucky find in Santa Cruz on my way to Monterey Thursday(!) allowed me to swap my E-Class wagon for a spectacular 49k mile 1970 280SE sedan. It was no Gullwing but still a vintage MBZ with personality that I was proud to ease onto the grass among the acres of other cool Teutonic iron. I parked next to a new SLS Gullwing sadly covered with gouges after a serious episode of “keying.”

my 280se

My driver for the week was purchased on my way to to Monterey! A superb Arabian grey/burgundy 280SE.

MBCA Award Winners

Best of Show (all marques)- Gerry Holzapple, 1969 280SL
People’s Choice (all marques)- Pat Matthews, 1957 300Sc Cabriolet
Best of Marque (Mercedes)- Gerry Holzapple, 1969 280SL

Class 1 (1886-1962 Vintage Open Cars)
1st – Jeff Lotman, 1961 300SL Roadster
2nd – Pat Matthews, 1957 300Sc Cabriolet
3rd – Bob Buckter, 1960 220SE Cabriolet

Class 2 (1886-1959 Vintage Closed Cars)
1st – Chad Hunt, 1955 300SL Gullwing
2nd – Pat Matthews, 1957 300Sc Coupe
3rd – John Willot, 1955 300SL Gullwing
4th – Peter Thomas, 1952 W194 Gullwing

Class 3 and Class 5 (1963-1991 Classic and Modern Open Cars)
1st – Carole Osselaer, 1972 350SL
2nd – Steve Ross, 1987 560SL
3rd – Thomas Uniak, 1969 280SL

Class 4 (1960-1971 Classic Closed cars)

1st – Keith Morgan, 1971 300SEL 3.5
2nd – Pat Matthews, 1967 230S Sedan
3rd – Frank Pecarich, 1967 250SE Coupe

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  • Bronze and black 2-tone 111 3.5 sunroof coupe.
  • Light custom Gullwing featured lots of chrome, candy burgundy paint and other subtle modifications.
  • Pat Matthews' stunning 300Sc Cabriolet won the People's Choice award.
  • Will Clark surveys the proceedings next to his Rudge wheel 300SL roadster.
  • Jeff Lotman's freshly body-off restored 1961 Roadster picked up 1st place in class 1.
  • Bob Buckner stands proudly next to his attractive two-tone 1960 220SE cabriolet.
  • This creme 300S coupe was an interesting addition as it exuded an comfortable patina.
  • Moss Green 280SL.
  • Carole Osselaer's tobacco brown 1972 350SL captured 1st place in class 3/5.
  • One of my favorites at the show, this restored 0319 kombi was spectacular in every respect.
  • W194 re-creation sits on re-creation Renntransporter. A most audacious addition to this Legends.
  • Steve Ross' always in vogue Champagne (473) 560SL captured 2nd place in class 3/5.
  • The Chad and Barbara Hunt Gullwing.
  • Keith Morgan attends to his class 4 winning 1971 300SEL 3.5. His air suspension 109 sedan is fairly rare.
  • Frank Pecarich's 1967 250SE coupe?
  • A contrarian hit at the show was Udo Putzke's road warrior quasi-AMG retro 300SEL 3.5.
  • Wally Buch's spotless black (040)/tan roadster. Fully sorted under Wally's meticulous care.
  • Pat Matthews' amazing 4 speed 230S Fintail. Remarkably original in every respect.
  • Legends at the Legends: l-r: Sammy Rad, Eli Benhamo, Wally Buch and Pat Matthews.
  • Pat Matthews' gorgeous and highly original 300Sc coupe took 2nd place honors in Class 2.
  • Pat Matthews' glorious deep blue 300Sc roadster sits next to his maroon Sc cabriolet.

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