Journal: A Garage Is Made Into Family Heirloom

A Garage Is Made Into Family Heirloom

By Petrolicious Productions
April 9, 2013

Walt Baumgartner opened Burlingame Motors in 1979 as a factory-certified Mercedes repair shop. The shop thrived over 20 years under Walt’s ownership until his passing in 1999.  Walt’s wife, who desired to keep the shop in the family handed the reins over to her son-in-law, Rene, who had been working with the shop since 1991. Despite steady business and a 20-year focus on Mercedes-Benz, Rene had plans to grow and expand the shop. Over the past 14 years, Rene has helped build Burlingame Motors into a successful classic car maintenance and restoration shop.

In those years, Burlingame Motors has seen a number of rare classics pass through the doors including Stirling Moss’ 1951 Jaguar Mk VII, one of the original Batmobiles, Steve McQueen’s 1972 300 SEL and the 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 that was recently featured at the Amelia Island RM Auction (the car didn’t sell and is still available if you have some extra cash). During a recent visit to the shop, I found an original Fiat Cinquecento (500), to a couple Mercedes 300SL roadsters, and a Jaguar XK150 coupe.

Even among the high-end rarities, the shop still does repairs across a range of classics from Mercedes to Ferrari to GM. For Rene, it’s about “…appreciating the craftsmanship of a bygone time. Everything today seems to be strapped together by robots and that’s just not for me.”

Photography by Jonathon Glazebrook

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9 years ago

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Sale Dept.

117/29/6 Ho Van Long Street, Tan Tao Ward, Binh Tan District, HCM City, Viet Nam.
Tel: 8 48 22452841.
Fax: 8 48 5425 8884
Gmail: nguyenduy2901(at)


Trading Hours:
Monday – Friday
8.30am – 4.30pm

11 years ago

Rene helped us out with a 1972 300SEL 4.5 and a 1970 300SEL 6.3. It looks like he is standing next to a 356 engine though, did he start taking Porsche work?

Jonathon Glazebrook
Jonathon Glazebrook
11 years ago
Reply to  secorp

They still have a pretty high focus/specialty on Mercedes, but have the ability to service/restore a wide range of vehicles. The engine is actually out of a early 911 project if I recall correctly.

Drive em
Drive em
11 years ago

Rene has been my family’s mechanic for 12 years. He and his crew do great work, are very trustworthy, and charge very fairly! I always enjoy dropping off my car so I can check out what is they are working on.
Thanks Rene, Al, and the rest of the crew.

Gerard Kassabian
Gerard Kassabian
11 years ago

These photos are so PETROLICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!

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