Historic car restorers choose latest technology in new Mercedes-Benz van

Ian and Sarah Milford, the couple behind Milford Vintage Engineering, which restores and maintains historic cars, have chosen a raft of the latest options for their new Mercedes-Benz Vito van.

The couple established Milford Vintage Engineering, in the village of Kirkmichael, in rural Perthshire, in 2005. They have built a reputation within the tightly-knit classic car community for the quality of their work – and they demand the same high standards when it comes to their own vehicles.

Hence their specification for their new Vito 114 CDI PROGRESSIVE L1, which arrived via the Dundee branch of dealer Western Commercial. Its 2.1-litre engine produces 140hp and drives the rear wheels – other Vito variants are available with front-wheel drive and gives 43.5mpg economy.

The Vito comes with a raft of safety features as standard too, including Adaptive ESP, an anti-skid system that takes account of a vehicle’s load status, Crosswind Assist, Attention Assist and airbags for the driver and co-driver.

The Milfords added a host of options, including an uprated Audio 40 infotainment system with touchscreen and DAB radio, a reversing camera, heated seats, air-conditioning and LED lights in the load area. The rear doors also have glazed window panels.

The vehicle’s metallic Canvasite Blue paintwork is a very close match to Milford Vintage Engineering’s corporate shade and extends to its colour-coded bumpers.

This is Milford Vintage Engineering’s second Vito and it is now making regular trips to machine shops, shot-blasters and specialist parts suppliers as far afield as the south of England, as well as ferrying customers to the nearest main-line railway station, about 30 miles away in Perth. It will also act as a mobile advertisement for the company at car shows across the UK.

The new Vito has replaced a 2012 version, which provided reliable service for seven years. “Our first Vito turned out to be an excellent investment,” said Sarah. “Routine maintenance apart, it never saw the inside of a workshop.”

It was little surprise that when they came to buy a new van, they went for another Vito. “If I’m honest, we didn’t really consider anything else,” said Sarah. “Our second Vito is very stylish and a lot more comfortable than the van it’s replaced and came with a reassuring array of safety features too. If it also turns to be as reliable as its predecessor, we’ll be very happy indeed.”

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Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a freelance journalist and former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK's biggest selling truck magazine. He writes for both The Van Expert and The Truck Expert.

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