The Benz in the Window: Mercedes Showroom Demolished

For years, I have seen click-bait images of a yellow Mercedes W115 parked high above a city in Spain. The caption was always something mysterious, like Abandoned Mercedes showroom or Haunted factory in Spain but as is the norm, the reality is far less exciting. Regardless, this yellow Mercedes that hung in a gorgeous industrial building with gigantic Mercedes lettering on the side has finally had its story told, as it tumbled to the ground. The update is courtesy of the posters here on Facebook in the Vintage Mercedes Benz w108/w109 group.

First and foremost, I think it’s a shame this building was lost. From what I can discern from Google Translate, this is the former Louzao Mercedes-Benz showroom in the city of Coruña. I sincerely hope someone grabbed the priceless factory lettering from the sides of the building, but I doubt it. This type of brutalist architecture is rarely seen anymore, especially one housing a glass-ensconced showroom.

Image courtesy of https://masquecars.blogspot.com

The internet chatter indicates that the Mercedes was just a shell – no engine, transmission, or interior, nor were there any electrical components left inside of it. The owner seemingly had a connection to the dealership and owned a similar car, but used this one for the good parts and left it in the building as perhaps a tribute to better days when a grand Mercedes showroom was sustained by the local economy.

Image courtesy of https://masquecars.blogspot.com

Although some attempts were made by the demolition company to save it, no one came forward; after all, beyond nostalgia, who is going to want an empty shell of a Mercedes, long exposed to weather? Regardless, I still find it sad to see a car that for so many years had the best view in town reduced to one more pile of rubble; sadder still to see the loss of a showroom the likes of which we’ll never see again.

WANT ADS

WANTED 1970 Dodge Super Bee 4 speed, coupe preferred but nego., 383 or 440. Willing to pick up in lower 48. Contact

WANTED 1949-2014 FIAT-LANCIA-JAGUAR-MG-ROVER-SIMCA-NSU PRINZ-MORRISMINOR 1000 WOODIE VARIOUS ELDERLY CAR NUT SELLING COLLECTION-SPECIAL CARS-EMAIL RQ FOR LIST RARE ITEMS FROM EUROPE!=OFFERS YES Contact

WANTED 67-69 Chevrolet Camaro Looking for an affordable Camaro in need of resto. Something with a solid frame and cowl. Thanks. Contact

WANTED 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle I am seeking an original 70 chevelle 454 block and heads in good condition Contact

WANTED 1960 – 1966 Volvo Pv544 Parts car. Need bumpers,taillights, turn signal housing at steering wheel, etc. Contact

Submit Your Want Ad

Comments

  1. art

    That is sad.

    Like 16
  2. sir mike

    If it’s anything like here in the USA they tear down a piece of history to build a vacant strip mall….sad

    Like 36
    • ICEMAN from Winnipeg

      Or in my home town Winnipeg, they destroy a heritage building, and turn it into an eyesore parking lot. That way, the owner of the property pays less property taxes.

      Like 11
  3. Spud

    Little of that story makes any sense at all.

    First, the blogspot story (from which the photos come) is over ten years old. A little work with Google indicates that the demolition deed occurred in March or April of 2007. That car has long since returned (and possibly passed yet again) as refrigerators and various auto parts. Why this would pop up again as news here (originally via FB) is mysterious.

    Second, it’s clear that the car got up there via an elevator (see the large bay doors behind the car before it’s dragged out of the glass box). It was apparently just the latest in a series of cars that had been displayed in that way in that building since the 1940s. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just take the car down the way it came? And in fact, that would likely have been true if this demolition was something that happened in modern times (and in the US) where demolition safety is a concern. Of course, we’ll never know as this is all ancient history now.

    What’s entertaining though are the “OMG, WTH?” comments in the FB story that dredges up this old story and lays it out there as somehow news. Just showing that most people will react to things at face value rather than put a bit of brainpower to work reviewing the facts and perhaps winding up with a much more interesting, and certainly more factual, story.

    Cool story, BF…

    Like 34
    • Jeff Lavery Staff

      You must be a blast at parties.

      And honestly, I had no idea where the building was, or whether it was an actual showroom. All I know is that one picture is plastered over every “abandoned places” story that is hyperlinked at the bottom of various websites and blogs. Most of the references to it are vague in nature.

      As per the timing of the blog posting, you’re right – I ignored the date. If I was a betting man, I would say 98% of the Barn Finds audience has never seen a reference to the story, making it as fresh as new-fallen snow to this crowd.

      Finally, as an editor, it is our decision whether the story is of interest to most readers. We’ve done this more than once, where tales of a curious nature regarding the history or origins of a car are told, even years later. I personally wrote an entry about an Amphicar that sank in fresh water and was later dragged up for restoration. People loved it, and no one paid any mind to the fact that the car had been restored and sold by the time we wrote about it.

      Frankly, given what passes as “news” on most major networks these days, I will take an old story about a car any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

      Like 65
      • art

        Precisely.
        If this occurred last week, last year, or 2 decades ago, it does not matter, it was relevant. It is relevant to us as collectors and to architectural admirers and to preservationists and if this is an old event, it then becomes history to learn from and to avoid in the future.
        “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”.
        It was a great read.

        Like 22
      • CanuckCarGuy

        Count me in that 98%…interesting tale that was news to me. Shame to see something that was likely the talk of the town demolished, happens too often IMHO.

        Like 15
      • Jon Tanner Member

        One of the best replies ever to the haters: “You must be a blast at parties.” I literally laughed a little too loud here at my desk this morning, giving away the fact that I am not really working on my assigned project.

        Unfortunately, there are too many folks that love to correct the rest of us. Loved the story, and love your reply even more! Keep up the excellent work!!

        Like 16
      • Story Vogel

        Right on Jeff………..I too am a blast at parties………..”how do you find the intersection of Main and Fourth, crowded?”. Hmmm…no.
        Regardless of the provenance or timing of the article, being a relatively clueless individual I had never seen the original story but then there’s a lot of chaff on the internet and my time is limited on this mortal coil and Azzcrack is a place I assiduously avoid. So thanks for covering this. Your acquaintance with Le Corbusier like Brutalist architecture is reassuring though I despise it.
        The ins and out and whys and why not of the situation are less interesting than the juxtaposition of the car with the hard edges of the buildings concrete sides and the glass cube.

        Like 1
    • glen

      That’s assuming that the elevator works, or that there was even power in the building.

      Like 7
    • stevee

      The story begins, “For years”… not yesterday, or last week. It’s a great lesson in the backstory of a car company, a car and a building lost to time. If this is of no interest to you ‘ just move on, nothing to see here’.

      Like 4
    • Paul Reilly

      The date only matters if time is linear.

      • David Ulrey

        Time being linear is open to debate based on a persons beliefs or even opinions. Having read extensively on it, I’m still not positive which to believe.

  4. dcowan

    Very well written. I also too am somewhat sentimental sometimes. I hate to see any car with significant history sent to be demolished

    Like 7
  5. Gaspumpchas

    Yea Dcowan, IMHO that car would have been a great conversation piece even stripped, because it was that car in the old benz building. Jeff super story, and the fact that its old doesn’t make a hoot of difference. Keep em coming!! Thanks for all you folks do at Barnfinds!!!
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 10
  6. Bakyrdhero

    I agree. I enjoyed the story. Old cars and old stories, I’ll take em all. I don’t need breaking news from Barn Finds

    Like 11
  7. Mark

    They just built a new Mercedes-Benz dealership here in Louisville and it’s got a similar future. They call it a “Jewel Box” it’s only about 30 feet in the air but it’s got an elevator to take cars up. They actually did this to get around a stupid sign ordinance limit how many square feet of sign they could have. The car in a glass room doesn’t count! I couldn’t find a picture of it but I’ll keep looking for one.

    Meanwhile: here’s a picture of a similar designed “Jewel Box” in Texas.

    https://parkplusinc.com/jewel-box-display-woodlands-mercedes/

    Like 7
  8. Will

    There is a new Mercedes dealership in Birmingham Alabama that has one of the “Jewel Boxes”, located on I-459 at the Grant’s Mill Rd Exit. Google maps photos are old, so it is not on there yet.

    Like 1
  9. Bryan Cohn

    Jeff,

    With all due respect, and you gave relevant points as to why posting this made sense/was of interest to your readership and so on, dates in journalism are kind of important. It would not have changed the scope or interest in this article for 99% of us if in posting this you mentioned the original date that the building came down and wrote the article from the standpoint of “all of us learning something new and interesting from the past about a well know MB under glass”.

    Al good in the end as many of us learned something new today.

    Like 9
  10. Alfred

    I rented a beautiful farm house in new Hampshire for years untill we were able to buy our own house. It included 5 working fire places circa 1875. It was in beautiful shape. When we moved the owner tore it down for tax purposes. What a shame. It’s and empty lot now.

    Like 3
  11. Hasse B.

    Agreed that old news like this has a value too, even being bad old news. I could be argued though that it´s essential to make it clearly noticable that it´s just that. Otherwise, I can´t see no reason to fuzz about it.

    Pity about the car, that´s always been one of my favorite Benz´s (somebody with the knack for it could propably have rebuilt it into some kind of restorod with a later MB drive train and what not, or at least used some body parts) and the MB wall signs.

    Fun fact: it was designed much alongside of the first big Audi in the 60´s (developed by then-owner Daimler-Benz, if the chief designer Paul Braq had his way the Mercedes would have looked a lot like that.

    As for the brutalistic building, that´s a kind of architecture I´m usually glad to see it go. Reeks of 1900´s totalitarianism with its bunker apperance and weathered raw concrete by the tons. Over here it was THE architecture for the period of around 1960-80, we even got a shopping mall in that style built around 1970 that seems to have been inspired by the San Quentin prison (really!). On the upside I guess buildings like that would withstand any natural disaster the alarmists of today can foresee…

    Like 2
  12. Henry

    The only country that really values it’s heritage buildings, seem to be Australia. I was amazed to what great lengths they go to preserve a facade, but gutting out the interior of the building, and leaving the front intact as if nothing had happened to the building. Many places can learn from that.

  13. Big Mike

    All heck with a little body work and some bondo it will be fine!! LOL

    Like 3
  14. Doug

    Kinda like the Berwin car spindle. What happened to them? If I was a local i’d have loved to have one of them as (back) yard art!

    Like 2
    • Jim in FL

      Doug, I lived in Berwyn (IL) from 1994-1999, and remember the car spindle well. After I moved away they tore down the spindle claiming it was a hazard. (yeah, right). The whole area is undergoing gentrification, trying to be another Oak Park.

  15. Wayne

    The Mini store in Reno has a “glassed in” second floor showroom. It doubles the showroom space in the same foot print. The picture in the article of the narrow/tall building made me think of places like Tokyo where the land cost and taxes per foot print ( not to mention actual space available ) are incredibly high.
    Stacking is the way to go when space is at a premium.
    US Americans are used to wide open country with lots of room and “relatively” cheap taxes. ( please note the relatively is in quotes, denoting in regards to other countries ) Having worked in dealerships off and on for around 45 years. There is something to be said for not having to walk all over 5 acres in the heat or snow storm to show a vehicle. But being crammed into small spaces is no fun either. I do like interesting architecture however and the Mercedes store in the article is different, but only slightly interesting. IMHO

    Like 1
  16. TimM

    Was it really necessary to destroy it????
    Seems to me they went out of there way to do so!!! I hope the person that made that decision goes to automotive hell and continuously gets run over by that car for eternity!!!!!

    Like 2
  17. Little_Cars

    What is wrong with people? Aren’t there any gearhead lawmakers working in governments around the world to keep such things from happening? Why must anything with age give way to an even more boring pile of poured concrete with no architectural character? Those Benz letters, if saved, will show up on eBay some day for a ridiculous price and be purchased by a fan only to be stuffed away in private garage for the world never to see again. Probably JL.

    Like 1

Leave a Reply to Alfred Cancel reply

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.