Improving modern classic cars has become big business, with companies such as Singer and Redux demonstrating the possibilities.
However, one Japanese firm is taking a rather different approach, instead returning the W124 and S124 series of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class back to its purest form.
Kanagawa-based Arrows specialises extensively in this particular E-Class model, which was produced from 1984 through to 1996.
It is the earliest cars which Arrows takes inspiration from, and looks to restore later versions of the W124 and S124 E-Class back to how the very first examples left the production line.
On the outside, that means a complete respray in one of three original Mercedes-Benz colours. Customers can choose from ‘Pueblo Beige’, ‘Rodeo Gray’, and also ‘Light Ivory’ hues.
The latter will be familiar to anyone who has taken a ride in a German taxi, and immediately reinforces the aim of Arrows to make these cars look as subtle as possible.
Any large alloy wheels are binned, with a set of 15-inch steel wheels bolted in place instead, and combined with genuine Mercedes-Benz wheel trims.
Arrows does not delve into upgrading the engine for more performance. But buyers are able to choose from donor cars with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, or 3.0 and 3.2-litre six-cylinder units depending on preference.
The interior also sees a minimalist overhaul, adding the distinctive check pattern cloth trim to the seats and door cards. Arrows sources the material from a German manufacturer, keeping it as close to the original as possible.
Wood trim is removed from the interior as well, taking the Classic Line back to the most basic example of the W124 with plain black plastic used instead.
Even the steering wheel is swapped out, and replaced with a simple earlier version without an airbag. Although it is larger in diameter, Arrows believes that the thinner rim makes for a better driving experience.
The estate version of the E-Class Classic Line does retain the extra seats in the boot, with a roof rack available to be added as an option. Who needs a seven-seater SUV when you can have a beige Mercedes from the 1980s?
For those who do want off-road ability, Arrows is also able to apply the Classic Line treatment to the venerable Mercedes G-Wagen.
Prices for the E-Class Classic Line transformation begin at ¥2,000,000 (£14,000) where the owner supplies an existing vehicle. Asking Arrows to source a donor vehicle pushes the starting price to ¥3,500,000 (£24,000) instead.
That may seem a lot for a simple Mercedes-Benz, even if W124 Mercs are predicted to increase in value. However, the work by Arrows serves as a refreshing riposte to never ending cycle of horsepower and exterior chintz on modern cars.