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The Path to Pebble

Bold vision: compete to win at Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance.


McPherson College’s 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300S Cabriolet secured second in class at the 72nd Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance—the first time in the history of the show a car restored by students landed a podium spot. The vintage car, restored by the students of the college’s Automotive Restoration program, won Second in Class for the Postwar Luxury category. The victory marks the first time in Concours history that a student-restored car has ranked in the top three in any class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Project Updates

  • Project Timeline

    Completed, August 2023

    A vision, 10 years in the making, came true for students, alumni, and employees of the McPherson College Automotive Restoration program when the 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Cabriolet was accepted by the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. See the steps taken during the 7 year restoration process in this project timeline.

Concours Project

  • Pebble Beach 2023 - 2nd in class

    Historic Finish at Pebble Beach

    For the first time in the 72-year history of the world’s most prestigious car show, an entirely student-restored car has ranked at Pebble Beach.

    Student-Restored Mercedes-Benz Captures Second in Class
  • McPherson College MB300S Pebble Beach Team

    It's going to Pebble Beach!

    Our 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Cabriolet has been accepted by the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and will be shown there on August 20, 2023.

    MC Will Show Car at Pebble Beach Concours D’ Elegance
  • History

    The college unveiled its project in 2016 at an event in Pebble Beach. The vehicle came from Richard and Mary Hopeman and is a perfect fit for the program and its mission to be the center of excellence in automotive restoration education.

    Finding our 300 S
  • Sponsors & Advisors

    Aeristo donated nine historically correct leather hides for the interior. The 300 SL Foundation has funded a full year of project team wages. PPG has donated all of the paint materials. PPG representative, Steve Pisano, met with the advanced paint class and worked with the Mercedes-Benz team. Alumna Mariah Bruins ‘09, owner of MRestoration Design, met with the team to advise on bodywork and paint preparation. Both Richard Barnes and Bob Lapane from Paul Russell & Co. have mentored students in the project. Barnes demonstrated and explained techniques that helped students restore the top of the vehicle. Lapane lectured and demonstrated the assembly of the rear axle.

Project Crew Chief

Brian MartinBrian Martin
director of automotive restoration projects

Phone: 620-242-0428

Email: [email protected]