Photos: Heike & Moritz

06/28/17

Kathleen Morton

Kathleen is the founder of Tiny House, Tiny Footprint, a community blog and website that shares stories of people living alternative lifestyles.

In collaboration with our friends from MYVAN by Mercedes-Benz, we present you Heike and Moritz from Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany. They are sharing with us their love for old Mercedes-Benz vehicles and how they restore them together.  The couple is married and owns a 1974 Mercedes-Benz L206D. They have traveled all over Europe and enjoy restoring old vans. Let’s find out how they got where they are now and what’s in store for their future plans.

 

Hi, Moritz & Heinke! Tell us a little about how you met.

Some people bond over their love of food or travel locations, but for us, we fell in love over our passion for old Mercedes-Benz. Eight years ago, we discovered we had a common fascination with restoring these vehicles from scraps to treasure.

 

 

What are you traveling in currently?

We recently went searching for our perfect van and found an old Mercedes-Benz L 206 D aging away in our friend's barn. It was love at first sight for Mortiz, but for Heike, it took a little more convincing. But now we are both happy with our adventure mobile.

 

How did you restore it?

The 1974 van was in poor condition when we saw it, so we spent a few months restoring it. The old Weinsberg body had rotted completely and we pulled almost two buckets of cables out of the vehicle. But the electrical system in the van functioned perfectly, so we spent most of our time designing the interior to match our preferences.

 

 

 

Walk us through the interior layout.

Inside you’ll find a gas stove, refrigerator, warm air heating and wardrobe, all laid out like a WEINSBERG van. This offers us all of the comforts we need on camping trips. Now, the passenger seat rotates back toward the sleeping compartment and there is plenty of storage space underneath the bed. In the summer, we can enjoy a cool glass of white wine or beer. Our improvised cellar is always within reach.

 

Where have you been in your travels?

We have taken it all over Europe, including Normandy, Alsace and Poland. In Poland, we went on a long journey through the Masurian Lake District and along the coast.

 

 

Do you take it only on vacations?

Our Hano is not only used on holiday, but also on a daily basis. During the warmer months, one of us takes the van out almost every day. It just eats up the kilometers and runs without any problems.

 

What’s your favorite thing about your campervan?

It helps us start conversations with new people in new places. People are happy to see the van. You easily end up talking to other people and get some good insider tips. Without our Hano, we never would have had a chance to enjoy the best piroshki in all of Poland.

 

 

What’s next?

We’re excited about their upcoming trip through the Baltic countries, including Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. We are also dreaming about taking a long tour through Russia. But we still have plenty of time for that. We have several other classic Mercedes-Benz vans in our garage, such as a /8 and a 200 D Fintail. We have also had our eye on a Mercedes-Benz 911 all-wheel drive for quite a while—totally unnecessary, but simply amazing!

 

For more inspiring Mercedes-Banz content, head to MYVAN website or their Facebook page here

Photos: MYVAN / Heike & Moritz

Base on the original text of Rainer Brenner