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My name is J G Francis. I live in Los Angeles California and I do vintage
Mercedes-Benz restoration.
It´s a kind of a lifestyle for me.
I´ve driven one for years, traveled hundreds and thousands of miles probably by now.
Yeah I specialize in Mercedes-Benz Diesels. You know a lot of people you know would tell
you I wish somebody would just build the car that would last forever. The answer is Mercedes-Benz
did that 35-40 years ago, maybe 100 years ago.
I´ve been building cars since I was a kid. I grew up next door to a Mercedes-Benz mechanic.
He kind of sold me on the idea of Mercedes-Benz Diesels.
I try and do them to the best of my ability, just like Mercedes-Benz did from their factory.
Every nut and bolt I use exactly like they did, the way they saw things, the distance
between stitches. It took me years to kind of come up with my own trade secrets and ideas
on how to make things as well built as they did.
What´s up, Matt? Ok, how you´re doing?
Doing alright. I call it the bone yard. It´s where I get
pretty much a lot of the rare and unusual parts that Mercedes-Benz does not manufacture
anymore. I guess I´ll leave them at that.
It´s like finding hidden treasures when I go around there.
In California there is a huge Mercedes-Benz culture. And it ranges from early Mercedes
till late Mercedes, just people everywhere in that mix. We´re one of the few only Mercedes
only wrecking yards in the US. This one was nicer than this one. I´ll take
the good one.
Los Angeles gets a bad rep sometimes, but… I can´t say enough good things about L.A.
It appeals to me in so many ways. I spend a few hours every morning scouring
the planet for the best Mercedes-Benz I can pretty much find. I usually fly to wherever
the car is that I find and my close friend Sean – friend, photographer, a polster
– he usually meets me wherever I go and we drive them back to Los Angeles together.
I’ve met a lot of great friends here. We just spend a lot of time just hanging around,
enjoying Los Angeles, you know. Jimmy is…
I would say Jimmy is compassionate… I think I would say integrity.
…Genuine. Jimmy is genuine. If I could say anything, it makes me wanna
get a better job.
Years ago when I started “Mercedes Motoring”
you know I´ve read a quote by Carl Benz. It quoted “The best or nothing”. And it
kind of stuck with me. I always in my own humble way considered myself as overachiever
and when I first started building these cars I really wanted to be the best at it.
We´re going the wrong way half the time. We make a lot of U-turns.
We have kind of a motto which “The wrong way or the long way”.
I´ve heard it quoted in different ways but Hemingway once said “The shortest answer
is to just do the thing”. And I love this. You don´t have to talk about all the things
that you want to be, that you wish you could be, you are trying to be. Just go and do it.
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Mercedes-Benz.tv: Classics - a way of life

2731 Folder Collection
VoiceTube published on February 5, 2013
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