Having seen concours-winning success with our very first Mercedes restoration, JD Classics have done it again with our second!

A customer asked us to restore his 1981 500 SL Roadster in memory of his late mother. Having been held spellbound by the seductive black paintwork and tan interior, her husband had bought it for her new direct from the Lancaster family at the launch of the new 500 SL, held at Lancaster Garages, Colchester, UK.

Latterly, the mother had bequeathed it to her son in her will. Eventually, he came to us in the summer of 2006 to help restore it to its former glory after the car had lain unused for 20 years.

But due to the way it was originally engineered (with an incredible amount of detail and build quality) the restoration was extremely demanding and time-consuming for our entire workforce, as the car had to pass through every department on its way to completion.

Our task was made even more demanding when the owner saw the quality of the rebuild eight months into the project, and then decided to enter it into the Mercedes Owners’ Club GB Concours, held at Brooklands, Surrey UK. This meant that we had to squeeze an 18-month rebuild into just one year!

In the event, things couldn’t have got any tighter. We finished the rebuild late on the night before the event, and the car was driven through the early hours of Sunday morning to meet the deadline.

On arrival, the car’s proud and emotional owner entered it into the concours arena and was overwhelmed with the response from Mercedes owners and the public alike. Even the chairman of Mercedes UK said that it was the best restoration he’d ever seen on a Mercedes and wanted it for the Mercedes Benz Brooklands museum.

As if that wasn’t enough, the car then went and won first prize!

“Huge thanks must go to the owner for entrusting us with a project of such enormous personal significance,” said JD Classics’ owner, Derek Hood. “And huge thanks go to my entire workforce for the really impressive craftsmanship and dedication they showed towards making all this happen in such a short space of time.”