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Classic Mercedes Benz diagnostics, consultations, inspections

Hello. This is Victor at www.RestoreYourMercedes.com. On this page I would like to share my personal life story.

I was born in Russia. My father was an electronics engineer and my mother was a teacher. As a kid, I was messing with all my toys. Every model car was fully disassembled and put back together. Growing up I spent lots of time at my father’s workshop. He used to fix and build all kinds of electronics and taught me electronics basics. In early 90s, while in high school, and I used to be a guy to go to for small electronics repair: cassette boom boxes, gaming consoles, small TV sets, and some household appliances. I was the only one in town to build a stereo system for my bicycle consisting of two channel home-made stereo amp, two speakers on steering wheel, the dynamo at the rear wheel to power the setup, AC to DC converter, and cassette player at steering mounted tool box. Later, I had added a small motorcycle battery. It sounds primitive these days, but back in early 90’s it was super cool.

In 1996 my parents brought me from to USA. After taking English classes I went to work as an auto mechanic helper for free to learn the trade. The shop owner quickly put me in charge to handle all electrics repairs. Lead mechanic was old school gear head and had limited electronics knowledge. He could rebuild any engine blindfolded and I learned a lot about mechanical and engine work from him. Although cars are my passion I had to leave repair shop for another business opportunity.

After working at the repair shop my father lent me money to buy my first car-1986 Ford Econoline E250. My father and I needed a cargo van as we just started our first very small family business-demolition and construction company. Van was cheap and only one I could afford but not in great shape. I had to take it to a welding shop to reinforce the lower floor due to rust. Had to redo the wiring to rear lights as they were all broken. Then I added a CD player in-dash, tweeters in A-pillars, bookshelf speakers under the seats. For a family car we had 1992 Odlsmobile Silhouette minivan. It was a futuristic looking minivan, it was very comfortable and luxurious at the time. In that car, I did a complete sound system with amps, subwoofers, component speakers, TVs, Playstation2, portable VCR player, mood lights throughout the car. Again, sounds primitive now, but back then it was pretty cool. I was young and, most importantly, girls the loved it :)

In parallel with demolition/construction we set up a small manufacturing to produce a novelty item in the numismatic field. I and my father received US patent for this item. We bought 5 tons and ¾ tons punch presses, had custom dies made for presses, bought silk screen printing machine, found suppliers of raw material and printing supplies, made few home-made machines for plastic rolling, etc. Spent all of our money on this business. But it did not work out . We did not get to connect with the right people to bring the item to the mass market at the time. This item can be brought to life at anytime, I always keep it in mind. Might get back to working on this project one day.

Life went on and I saw an opportunity when satellite TV with small 18” dishes came out. We switched our business to satellite TV installations along with low voltage wiring and sound system setups. Back in the early 2000s there were rear projection TVs and Laser disk players and Dolby ProLogic sound systems. We sub-contracted for a local installation company and hired salesman who would bring our own customers. Then flat panel plasma and LCD TVs became more affordable and sound systems became more advanced. We switched our business toward flat panel TV and custom home theater installations. Here is our old website: www.InstallYourPlasma.com. You can find some picture of our installations. This business no longer active.    

But cars were always my passion. I always wanted a Mercedes and in between my busy life I managed to purchase my first one. It was 1988 420SEL gray with palomino interior. It was in good shape and I didn’t pay much for it. Many repairs had to be performed, but I loved it. Unfortunately, there was a crack in rear frame due to an accident years ago. After about two years I had the car crack developed to a point where it needed attention. At that time I already spotted another Mercedes-1990 300E, white with beige leather. The car was sitting in some repair shop parking lot in the non-running state. The owner did not want to put money into it and wanted a quick sale. Body and interior were in perfect shape except for cracked front bumper cover and dirty interior. I fixed it right at the parking lot and drove away. Repair details covered in CARS section.

I loved 300E W124 but I always wanted W140 big body S-class. I found local 1992 500SEL for $1000 in a non-driving state, of course :) That car had jumped timing chain, but it was in perfect condition otherwise. It too is briefly covered in CARS section.

Since then I bought and restored many different Mercedes Benzes, some I kept and some I sold. Most of my cars were project cars, many did not run, some ran but did not drive. After seeing my own cars my friends started asking me to work on their Mercedes. I worked in the back of the house where I lived. In 2011 RestoreYourMercedes.com was born.

My friend had a repair shop in Brooklyn, NY. It had 5 bays. The shop was 5 minute walking distance from my old home. We formed a partnership. He gave me a separate bay with lift and access to another 4 bays on the other side of the shop. I would run a whole shop when he went on vacations, would help with electrical diagnostics, his mechanics would do some mechanical work for me on my cars. We worked great together for years. Then I moved to City Island, Bronx, NY. I commuted to Brooklyn shop for some time, but decided to close it down. It was not too far, but heavy city traffic became too hard to deal with. Moving out the shop changed my life but I adapted.

If I would have had something done to my car I would’ve wanted to see what exactly was done. I make videos to show and explain what needs to be done and what was done, record my diagnostic findings. I can look at the car and suggest what I think it needs and how to correct issues. Some videos of parts and cars can be found in VIDEOS section.

I hope this page was informative and now you know more about me. Feel free to contact me and we can discuss your Mercedes.

Keep your classic Mercedes running!

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My personal story