As far back as he can remember, Henning Burr has always been a Mercedes fan. His father got him hooked at an early age, and as a Mercedes mechanic, it only makes sense that Henning, too, would follow in his footsteps. His father taught him the ins and outs of wrenching, and capped it with a familiar sentiment: “Henning, you would make me proud if you also drove a Mercedes.” It’s safe to say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Fulfilling that wish is a stark white W201, equipped with a 2.0-liter inline four. When Henning and his father originally found the car, it wasn’t quite up to Senior’s standards. “You will never drive a rusty Benz on the streets!” his father exclaimed. With that, the restoration began. While the chassis itself was in good shape overall, the underpinnings were in need of replacement. Henning began with the rear suspension, removing and replacing components to rid the classic of rust and oxidation, and to update old parts that had seen roughly 160,000 miles of use. Following the rear end, he moved to the front, and then to the engine, performing maintenance across the board.
It took some three years before Henning was able to track down a Zender front bumper, the first step of several in refreshing the car’s exterior. The factory two-tone paint was nixed in favor of an all-white scheme, although the upper half of the car still sports its factory paint.
With most of the basics out of the way, Henning turned his attention towards the fit and finish of the car itself. Wheels were a must, and the car was in dire need of an altitude adjustment. Henning pivoted towards air ride for the answer, eventually landing on TA-Technix air suspension and management. Due to Germany’s strict TUV rules, options are limited, but the kit he’s chosen keeps him road legal and within the confines of the law: a relative feat in that part of the world for a car like this.
His choice of wheel plays well with his Mercedes roots, fitting into an OEM-plus-ish look at its core. RH ZW2 wheels pay tribute to the original AMG Aero splits, and at first glance would likely pass for the same. When Henning first acquired the wheels, he admits they were in terrible condition: the outer lips were bent beyond repair, for starters. At the end of 2020, he began the wheel build, ultimately landing on grey Chevrolet paint for the centers with new black bolts and fresh polished lips. The final measurements come out to 17×8.5 in the front and 17×9.5 in the rear.
Small touches across the rest of the build help to flesh out the image Henning has put together in his head of the ultimate “baby benz.” While the build is far from over, we’re given an awesome look into his progress so far, and it’s progress we can only assume his father is equally happy with.