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Mary Nohr



I have been a member of the Central Coast Section in California for 25 years. I am currently the Photographer & Historian for my section. I own two Mercedes, a 1988 300TE and a 1982 380SEC that I converted to a 500SEC. We also own four running SLC’s, one that’s a Ralley Car replica.

I grew up on a farm near Madison, Wisconsin. After two years at Madison Area Technical College, I graduated with an A.S. degree in Automotive Technology in 1976. Working summers at a Chevy dealer, I continued my education another two years at a nationally recognized aircraft maintenance school called Blackhawk Tech in Janesville, Wisconsin. I graduated in 1978 with an Airframe and Powerplant license.

I made my way to California by accepting a job as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician at the Napa airport where I met my husband Rich, also an Aircraft Technician. In 1980 I successfully completed the test for the Inspection Authorization or IA. At the time, I was one of only six women in the U.S. with that FAA certification.

In 1981 a new career opportunity brought us to the Santa Ynez Valley near Santa Barbara, California as the maintenance team for a Santa Barbara-based business jet. In 1984 another career change took me to Vandenberg Air Force Base where I was the only woman working for Martin Marietta as a Titan Missile Mechanical Technician.

Finally, reaching that final and the most satisfying career step in 1987, Rich and I purchased an existing Mercedes repair business renaming it Nohr’s Auto Haus, Inc. After 16 years in Santa Ynez, we relocated to a much larger facility in Buellton, California.

I have really enjoyed working on all the different Mercedes that have come through our shop over the last 30 years. We work on everything from ’50s Pontons and SLs to the newest S-Class cars. We have a very large clientele of woman customers who appreciate dealing with a woman as their mechanic and service writer. Many women will continue owning a vehicle brand we work on just so they can keep coming to us. Occasionally for my women customers and local club members, I have put on the women’s car care clinic program that I wrote for the Mercedes-Benz Club “Let’s Talk Auto for Women Enthusiasts”.

After the doors close at the shop, I relax in my studio at home designing and creating stained glass windows. Several of my windows have been national award winners in the “Glastar” company’s competitions. In 2002, I learned the art of glass etching and have etched shower doors, windows, wine bottles and glasses and even automobile windows. In 2011 I started fusing glass, incorporating many unique designs. Go to to see my glass creations on my website.

In the future, when I retire as a Mercedes mechanic, I hope to concentrate on my glasswork full time. I will always remain in the Mercedes family and drive the world’s best automobile.