Recreating the Elegance of a Bygone Era with Fitted Luggage
One of the rarer options from Mercedes-Benz is fitted luggage.
Everybody knows the Mercedes-Benz brand, it’s been synonymous with luxury since day one. People aspire to sit behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz to enjoy all the details and luxuries the brand embodies. One of the more elegant options of the past, long lost to the modern motoring world, is that of fitted luggage.
Mercedes-Benz offered fitted luggage with many models during the first half of the 20th century. Full leather cases to match one’s car interior were a luxurious option, yet one that was often passed by during the ordering process, making original luggage rare today.
Car collector and owner of Palm Beach Classics in West Palm Beach, FL, Sidney Vallon, longed to have his 1954 Mercedes 300b Adenauer represent the “Belle Epoque”. It was not long before this came a reality. When Sidney proudly showed his Adenauer at its first Concours d’Elegance event (Boca Raton Concours) he did so with and original set of fitted luggage in the trunk.
Impressed by the authenticity of the luggage, the attention to detail and the added elegance the set gave the car, several admirers at the show asked Sidney about it. They were interested in finding luggage for their collector cars. After several conversations that day, it became clear there was a demand for fitted luggage. Several people expressed interest in having Sidney help them source original accessory luggage for specific Mercedes models, or even have reproduction luggage custom made.
Karl Baisch / Hepco Re-Edition Luggage.
Today, almost ten years later, Palm Beach Classics’ offers a line of made-to-order Karl Baisch Re-Edition luggage. “We’ve been restoring and selling vintage Mercedes-Benz cars for more than 10 years now,” explains Vallon. “We restore cars using the highest standards, it was a natural progression for us to offer this line of hand-made accessory luggage to finish off the perfect restoration. We have fitted luggage for W113 cars, 190SLs, 300SLs and the W111 / 112 series cars, we also have a line for vintage Jaguars. There is a variety of color choices for leather and canvas pieces, depending upon the car and the client.”
In response to high demand, Palm Beach Classics has partnered with a trusted European craftsman and designer to re-create these original fitted luggage sets. They are excellent reproductions and hold true to the originals that were available as accessory equipment when today’s classic cars were showroom new. Attention to detail is paramount, as is quality, explains Vallon, “We pay close attention to quality, from the calf-skins, coated canvas and leather down to the hardware and buckles.”
Whether a client opts for a new, custom set of luggage, or an exact re-edition of original equipment, these hand-made pieces add an additional layer of sophistication to the cars that carry them on driving tours or the concours field.
Editorial from Palm Beach Classics in SL Market Letter.