Authenticity and exclusivity.
Two words omnipresent in automotive culture. They are words that cause collectors to go through hell and high water to obtain cars they grew up dreaming over.
On one end of this story, exclusivity is what led the owner of this Mercedes 190 SL to rub pennies together. He saved every last bit of money that he could in order to buy this (once) prized beauty.
On the other end of this story, authenticity is what led this same Mercedes into the hands of our good friend Gaston Rossato.
You see...when one door closes, another one opens. Not instantaneously, however. In this case, when the barn doors closed on what once was a perfect 190 SL restoration waiting its revival, the other door didn't open till 30 years later.
That's when Gaston comes in.
Being the owner of a local dealership, The Barn Miami, it only seemed perfect for this car to stumble in his path as it quite literally was a barn find only blocks away from his own house.
Luckily, we interviewed him on the story behind this car and took advantage of this moment to ask if it is worth it to restore a find like this? It is a parts matching car, but it is also only original once.
Here's what he had to say...
-What does it feel like to find a barn find?
"It’s an incredibly rewarding experience. 'One more saved!' Is how I like to think of it. It’s what we work for everyday, so when these moments come up it’s the ultimate reassurance that we’re making a true impact for the automotive community (on a global level)"
-How do you feel to know you've found something that has potentially been waiting for someone like you to show up?
"It’s humbling to know this car has waited for as long as I have been alive, but sharing the moment and story is equally, if not more, important."
-Tell us a short summary of how the Mercedes came to be and how it was acquired by you.
"Some of the best finds come from word of mouth. It's a continuous effort of shooting out lines in hopes that someday you’ll catch something. This was exactly what happened here. The fact is anyone can find their own “barn find” and I teach you how on my podcast episode 3. (click here)"
-Lastly, it's only original once. When do you know if it's worth restoring or not? (Example the 964 RSR that is unrestored with 10 miles on the clock and will never be restored that sold for incredible amounts of money)
"Restoring or not can sometimes be a difficult decision. There is a lot of factors to consider. A 7 mile car is hard to justify, but a car that is perhaps not so original, but has gained value in the market is typically a good candidate. However, as a general rule, the total cost of a restoration shouldn’t exceed the market value of the car, but like every rule, it has its exceptions...everyone has a different motive and in many cases money isn’t a factor, it’s strictly emotional."