Vilner Restored A 1970 Mercedes 250 CE Using Pieces Of A Riva Boat

Vilner has made a name for itself customizing vehicle interiors to the highest standard. The results can often be rather outlandish, and typically fitted to modern vehicles. But this one is an altogether different story.

That’s because it’s a 1970 Mercedes-Benz 250 CE, effectively the precursor of today’s E-Class coupe, and one of about 20,000 made (out of nearly 2 million W114 models in all – mostly sedans) . This example was originally commissioned (together with a matching Riva Aquarama) by a Saudi Arabian businessman.

The boat was put in storage for posterity and kept in climate-controlled conditions, but disappeared in 1988. When it finally turned up nearly 20 years later in Cairo, it was completely destroyed, with no clues as to what happened to it and how.

Not to be deterred from making the most of its rediscovery, in whatever condition, the owner sent the remains – beautiful pieces of mahogany and ebony wood – to Vilner, who set about recrafting them for installation in the car. We have no doubt that it took some work, but the result speak for itself.

The coupe’s interior has been completely reupholstered in blue leather and brown Alcantara, the better to highlight the vintage wood and the fresh walnut installed in concert. It also features LED accent lighting, a classic-look Becker Mexico stereo head unit and blue-glowing speakers behind silver-rimmed perforated Lexan shields. Vilner even made a bag to match.

“An automobile which says a lot for its owner and which is a temple for the spirit of his beloved boat,” said Atanas Vilner. “We’ve created a remarkable car.” Looking at the photos (and the build video) below, we’re inclined to agree.

more photos...

  • chippers

    I love it.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    A rare thing of beauty. Rare case in which i genuinely crave for one. That design is timeless and those interiors exude style, class and elgance in a minimalist style that reflects the pure lines of the exterior. Great implementation.


  • Gullet

    I really love the steering wheel, the LED’s not so much.

    • Finkployd

      They’re a disaster in this car 🤦🏻‍♂️

  • SteersUright

    Stunning craftsmanship. If only car interiors came so beautiful from the factory,

  • Liam Paul

    Brought to you by SUV sales and Opec !

  • Bash

    Did you see the ambient lighting. Now that is beyond cool. This is an excellent job and I love every angle of it.

  • pcurve

    I wept a little.

  • Enter Ranting

    Um, no. The original interior is much classier. This is a mess.

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