My name is J G Francis. I live in Los Angeles
California and I do vintage
It´s a kind of a lifestyle for me.
I´ve driven one for years, traveled hundreds and
thousands of miles probably by now.
Yeah I specialize in Mercedes-Benz Diesels.
You know a lot of people you know would tell
you I wish somebody would just build the car
that would last forever. The answer is Mercedes-Benz
did that 35-40 years ago, maybe 100 years
I´ve been building cars since I was a kid.
I grew up next door to a Mercedes-Benz mechanic.
He kind of sold me on the idea of Mercedes-Benz
I try and do them to the best of my ability,
just like Mercedes-Benz did from their factory.
Every nut and bolt I use exactly like they
did, the way they saw things, the distance
between stitches. It took me years to kind
of come up with my own trade secrets and ideas
on how to make things as well built as they
What´s up, Matt?
Ok, how you´re doing?
I call it the bone yard. It´s where I get
pretty much a lot of the rare and unusual
parts that Mercedes-Benz does not manufacture
I guess I´ll leave them at that.
It´s like finding hidden treasures when I
go around there.
In California there is a huge Mercedes-Benz
culture. And it ranges from early Mercedes
till late Mercedes, just people everywhere
in that mix. We´re one of the few only Mercedes
only wrecking yards in the US.
This one was nicer than this one. I´ll take
the good one.
Los Angeles gets a bad rep sometimes, but…
I can´t say enough good things about L.A.
It appeals to me in so many ways.
I spend a few hours every morning scouring
the planet for the best Mercedes-Benz I can
pretty much find. I usually fly to wherever
the car is that I find and my close friend
Sean – friend, photographer, a polster
– he usually meets me wherever I go and
we drive them back to Los Angeles together.
I’ve met a lot of great friends here.
We just spend a lot of time just hanging around,
enjoying Los Angeles, you know.
I would say Jimmy is compassionate…
I think I would say integrity.
…Genuine. Jimmy is genuine.
If I could say anything, it makes me wanna
get a better job.
Years ago when I started “Mercedes Motoring”
you know I´ve read a quote by Carl Benz.
It quoted “The best or nothing”. And it
kind of stuck with me. I always in my own
humble way considered myself as overachiever
and when I first started building these cars
I really wanted to be the best at it.
We´re going the wrong way half the time.
We make a lot of U-turns.
We have kind of a motto which “The wrong way
or the long way”.
I´ve heard it quoted in different ways but
Hemingway once said “The shortest answer
is to just do the thing”. And I love this.
You don´t have to talk about all the things
that you want to be, that you wish you could
be, you are trying to be. Just go and do it.