Enthusiast of the German made Mercedes-Benz who attended the Mercedes Auto Show at Shelton Vineyards Saturday proclaim that their love of the cars isn’t merely a hobby, rather a commitment to the well-known three-pronged star symbol for the luxury automobile.
The auto show celebrated its 11th year with Saturday’s gathering, attracting roughly 65 entries.
Dierik Freed, president of the Tarheel section of Mercedes-Benz Club of America, said that he was hoping for a turn out of at least 50 cars, but was pleasantly surprised to see the additional entries.
Freed is a die-hard Mercedes-Benz lover, owning five Mercedes-Benz automobiles. He explained that the commitment to the brand started when his grandfather purchased a Mercedes-Benz in 1955 and ever since the Freed family has been a family full of Mercedes.
Out of Freed’s five Mercedes-Benzs, he’s most proud of a 1972 280SEL 4.5 that he saved from being crushed.
The original idea to hold the auto show at Shelton Vineyard came after several members of Mercedes-Benz of America drove to Dobson from the Raleigh area for a day trip and realized that Ed Shelton, one of the founders of the vineyard, also drives a Mercedes-Benz.
“It’s just a very nice place to come together with friends and talk about Mercedes-Benz,” Freed said of the show.
Regions of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America that attended the show include the Triangle region, Raleigh and Durham area, Tarheel, Piedmont area, and the Carolina region, Charlotte and part of South Carolina.
Jim Roberts, regional director of the eastern region of Mercedes-Benz Club of America, drove his own Mercedes-Benz from Alabama to the event.
“This has become a nice regional event,” Roberts said. “The cars bring us together, but the people keep us together.”
Roberts said that he tries to attend all of the major events throughout his region.
“Our mission as the keepers of the flame is to keep them how they were made,” Roberts said of the club’s aim to preserve the cars.
Joseph Zangerle was in attendance at the show, having driven his 1969 280SE Mercedes-Benz from Bakersville. Zangerle explained that the cars are a labor of love for him, having fully restored his car from the frame up.
“It’s never lost, you can bring it back if you want,” Zangerle said, adding that 380 individuals parts went into the restoration of his car.
At the end of the show, the top 12 cars were awarded a Private Mercedes Label.
The vineyard also serves as the host to an annual British car show and a Corvette show in the summer, according to Somer McHone, special events coordinator.
“Since starting this show, it’s been a great partnership for all involved,” McHone said.
Aila Boyd may be reached at 336-415-2210.