How Adam Levine's, John Travolta's Vintage Mercedes Get an Upgrade

Spencer Lowell
Before: A 1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SL took 2,000-plus hours to restore.

The Mercedes Classic Center in Irvine makes the classic cars appear "as it was never restored" with five- and six-figure prices to boot.

The Mercedes Classic Center in Irvine is a rare option for those looking for a pristinely restored classic: All refurbishing is done with extra precision by artisans trained by the manufacturer that first built the car. "Our whole objective is to make the car appear and drive as if it was never restored," says manager Michael Kunz, "to bring it back to an 'as it was when it left the factory in Germany' level."

The Classic Center offers from-the-ground-up, period-correct restorations on all models (with five- and six-figure prices to boot) as well as the ability to buy a vintage — yet showroom-fresh — car. Opt for a $300,000 1971 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet, a favorite of Frank Sinatra; a $1 million-plus 1955 300SL Gullwing, an object of obsession for Adam Levine (who recently posted an Instagram photo of his silver Gullwing that was captioned, "I talk to it. Sometimes I kiss it"); or an immaculately restored 1965 230SL Pagoda, named for the pagoda lines of its removable hard top.

Driven by the likes of John Travolta, the Pagoda — with a timeless midcentury design that makes it perfect for weekend getaways to Palm Springs, Ojai or parts unknown — has seen its price more than double in the past decade to nearly $300,000.

This story first appeared in the Oct. 21 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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