The Mercedes-Benz 250 CE is a car that holds its own – so to add more character to it and make it even better is a job only Vilner Garage could do. And they have outdone it by turning the iconic Mercedes-Benz 250 CE into a one-of-a-kind collectible by doing up its interiors using wood pieces from a boat cabin. The story behind the wood is what adds the rare quality to enhance this already beautiful set of wheels.
The wood was a part of Riva Aquarama which was built from mahogany and ebony. The boat and the car were both built in the same year and were both owned by the same Saudi Arabian entrepreneur. Although Riva was kept in a climate controlled warehouse, in 1988 it went missing. It was found in complete ruins 19 years later and the case still remains unsolved. The owner decided to use the remains of late Riva and rebuild his Mercedes-Benz 250 CE. He received some parts that included the ebony wood pieces which were used in revamping his car. Vilner Garage undertook the project that required the highest level of creative skill to use the mysterious bits of Riva and the empathy needed to preserve the emotion while weaving a combined story of both the vehicle and the vessel.
Vilner styled the cabin with classic details except for LED lights and the Becker Mexico stereo that kept up with the luxury quotient while still having the retro look. The high-end, old-school looking speakers are protected by perforated Lexan shields which glow in cold blue making it the most eye-catching upgrade to the car. The floor and ceiling sport LED lights too laid with perforated Alcantara. Those holes are not there by chance – “We used perforation because of the original leather lining, to retain the classic atmosphere despite the technical fabric,” says Vilner. Brown is the color of choice for the floor and blue leather for the rest of the cabin.
The frame piece around the gear lever is also wrapped in Alcantara and the door restrainers, as well as the door pockets, are made from leather. The walnut interiors are completed with brown seatbelts while the blue leather is matched with a completely black and blue leather. The Mercedes-Benz 250 CE is a stunning piece of both art and history with hues of ebony and blue along with the smell of new-car leather and the sea – Vilner perfectly aligned the visuals and the olfactory senses with the story. They also made a complimentary custom cover for the car using the same materials because of how special it is. “We’ve created a remarkable car. An automobile which says a lot for its owner and which is a temple for the spirit of his beloved boat” says Atanas Vilner.