Mercedes-Benz: EXKLUSIV Photo Gallery
On Saturday, September 9th, Mercedes-Benz and AMG® enthusiasts from all over the country gathered at the Mercedes-Benz Vehicle Preparation Center in Long Beach, CA for an epic event called Mercedes-Benz: EXKLUSIV.
Produced by a coalition of enthusiast communities, including MBjunkies, So Cal’s Finest, and MBWorld, we made our way down to Long Beach for a pre-meet with another community, AMG® SoCal Lounge, before heading over to the event.
One of the most amazing things about being a car enthusiast today is the ability to mobilize large numbers of people and cars almost entirely digitally. EXKLUSIV is a prime example of this: It was created by members of digital communities and promoted entirely online to a voracious audience of like-minded people. The result? Over 450 vehicles were in attendance, dozens of sponsors participated, and thousands of attendees enjoyed learning about and showing off their passion.
AMG® SoCal Lounge Pre-Meet
Our journey to EXKLUSIV started with an early-morning sprint from Westlake Village, through Calabasas, to Malibu, where we met up with a member of the local AMG® SoCal Lounge who came down from Port Hueneme (near Oxnard, CA). From there we made up a two-car convoy down PCH, through Santa Monica and West LA, and eventually onto the dreaded 405 South. Perhaps it was the nature of our CL63 and E55 cars, or maybe it was because it was a Saturday, but it was brisk sailing for our small group, and we made it to the pre-meet with nearly 30 minutes to spare.
The pre-meet was an impressive showing of nearly 40 AMG® cars and owners, all members of AMG® SoCal Lounge, ready to socialize and talk shop. Mercedes-Benz vehicles of all types were on hand, from a vintage, 1965 280SE to an electric blue AMG® GT with the instant-classic license plate: “HIOCIFR”.
Mercedes-Benz Vehicle Preparation Center (VPC)
Once everyone was in place, we cruised the short distance over to the Mercedes-Benz Vehicle Preparation Center (VPC). The VPC is an impressive facility, the scale of which is almost impossible to describe. One needs to see it to fully comprehend it, but therein lies the challenge: no pictures are allowed to be taken from within the VPC.
Based out of a repurposed Boeing hangar near the Long Beach airport, The VPC occupies nearly one million square feet to serve multiple purposes. The first is that it is the center for ongoing education for Mercedes-Benz technicians on the west coast. In addition to the ongoing education of MB-certified technicians, students from automotive technical schools are regularly enrolled here in the 16-week Mercedes-Benz Drive program to further improve their likelihood of employment with a Mercedes-Benz franchised dealership. To that end, multiple classrooms abut technical garages where they learn the inner workings of each of ten different functional systems on Mercedes-Benz and AMG® vehicles going back two generations.
The second purpose of the VPC is for quality assurance, repair, and compliance of all vehicles headed for delivery at west coast dealerships. Up to 6,000 cars per week are processed by the facility, where repairs, part replacement, and even paint and body work are conducted prior to being shipped out to dealers and their customers. The VPC is truly awe-inspiring and a must-see for anyone lucky enough to be granted a tour.
Browse the photo gallery below to get a glimpse of the impressive array of enthusiast-owned vehicles on display at this fantastic event. When you’re done, make sure to follow us on Facebook!