Owner and founder Noel C. Coulantes began his career in the automotive
industry, in the mid 1960's, working for Bailey Motor Equipment, rebuilding
carburetors and ignitions. At 16, Noel built his first Big Block Chevrolet
for the 1958 Corvette that belonged to Don Bishop at Stetson University in
DeLand, Florida. Noel attended Cornell University as an Electrical
Engineering major and was a part of the Electric Car project.
In 1969, Noel joined the United States Army and Noel was stationed in
Heilbronn, Germany, as head of a division of the 572nd H.E.M. Company that
remanufactured Cummins diesel engines. Noel bought his very first Mercedes,
a 1957 219, for $35, and proceeded to drive it all over Europe including
Italy, the UK, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, and Belgium.
After the Army, Noel went to work for Sherman Barnett in El Paso, Texas,
building 19 foot race boats with Big Block Chevrolets. Noel also built race
engines for dragsters, street racers, dirt track racers, dune buggies, and
In 1971, Noel opened a Texaco station in Winter Park, Florida. Noel will be
forever grateful to Frazier Bailey, of Bailey Motor Equipment, that loaned
him new parts and equipment, and sent all of Bailey Motor Equipment's drive-in carburetor and ignition customers to Noel's Texaco. In a year, the shop
became a reputable Mercedes Benz and Porsche repair shop. Noel rebuilt his
first Mercedes engine, a 280SL, for one of his customers, Tom Saunders.
In 1977, Noel added the salvage division in Orlando, which became the
largest Mercedes salvage yard in the country, all under 77,000 sq ft of
building, and also began the brokerage of good titled, damaged Mercedes,
Porsches, and Ferrari's. The salvage business was discontinued in 1988, when
the car brokerage and the engine company became a major part of the
business, progressing into an all aluminum block specialty. At the new
location in Winter Park, Noel did the machine work on the V12 and finished
TIG welding the frame of the Oldest Complete Ferrari in the world, 004C, a
166 Spyder Corsa, that belongs to his Cornell roommate, Jim Clark.
Today, Noel's is the largest remanufacturer of Mercedes engines in the US,
primarily supplying Mercedes dealers, and building the latest engines, the
new twin-turbo V12, AMG 5.5's, DOHC 3.5 and 5.5's, and the new BLUETEC V6.