PHOTOS | HELEANA GENAUS
So I finally found the right mechanic for my 1971 Mercedes-Benz 230 "Sophia" and cannot have asked for better. I mentioned previously she needed some TLC but with John, she also got a plan of action for her restoration. I'm calling this workshop her retreat where she goes to detox, restore and re-enter the world functioning better.
John migrated to Australia with his family from Egypt in the late sixties, his parents left everything behind, including their wealth to avoid her sons mandatory military service. Johns father got work on a the Mercedes-Benz production floor which led to becoming a qualified M-B mechanic and went on to establishing his own business. While John was studying and working as a civil engineer, he'd help his father work on M-B cars in their backyard in Sydney's inner east before growing into a full mechanic workshop they owned and operated from the late seventies in the western suburbs of Sydney.
After John's father passed away, only a few years after they set up shop, John continued where his father left off, leaving behind his engineering career. He told me he preferred work that is more hands-on and has never looked back. MB Classic star specialises in M-B from 1930-1992 exclusively as John prefers not to work on cars after 1992 when the company started outsourcing to cheaper quality parts and fabrication.
On my few visits, his workshop is immaculate and Sinatra is always on the radio. He's organised, generous and a total wealth of knowledge. I look forward to going back soon for Sophia's next retreat to have her shocks replaced. This round she had the following fixes: new brake pads, new rear right brake caliper and discs, new master cylinder and carburettor rebuild... plus he fixed the driver side window, badge and rear tail light cause he's a nice guy. If you own a M-B in Sydney between the years 1930-1992 MB Classic Star is the place for you.
Heleana is a force of nature. The founder of In Venus Veritas and The Petrolette, and a co-founder of Rising Sun Workshop. Heleana shares her love of vintage cars, riding motorcycles, and (not-so-secretly) dreams of flying planes and piloting a riva aquariva (a la Sophia Loren) very fast through the canals of Venice. Supportive and connected, community is her lifeblood, and she is as real as they come.