Brooklyn – A 1961 300d Mercedes-Benz automobile is an utterly preposterous piece of machinery.
It’s a rolling living room, as designed by your grandparents, with red leather seats that look as if they were ripped from an opera house, multiple ash trays, an engine the size of a bank vault and doors as heavy as football blocking sleds.
The car is big and beautiful, and it’s sitting right here in the courtyard of Albrecht Stachel’s workshop.
Stachel is the master of the Mercedes.
In his hands, vintage automobiles – especially post-World War II 300 series Mercedes – are restored to glory.
You may peer beneath the hood of an automobile and see a simple engine, but Stachel looks at a Mercedes-Benz engine and sees an exquisite work of art.
“All these pieces are like sculpture,” he says, pointing to valves and pistons. “All these artistic shapes together, in symphony with the automobile, work for you.”
Stachel’s business, Brooklyn Motoren Werke Inc., is tucked at the end of town in a series of old brick buildings that once housed a windmill factory and a community center.
It’s as if a piece of the European countryside has been plunked down right in the heart of Wisconsin.
Here, old Mercedes are painstakingly reborn, piece by piece…