300 SL (W 194)

Daimler-Benz unveiled the 300 SL (W 194) racing car in March 1952. Not even two months later, the new Silver Arrow finished second in the Mille Miglia, this being followed up by victories in the Bern Grand Prix and at Le Mans. In the August, the racing team celebrated a quadruple triumph with the 300 SL at the Nürburgring.

Three months later, Karl Kling won the hazardous "Carrera Panamericana" in a 300 SL. Car, driver and race all went down in the motorsport history books. Just like the production vehicle that came after: the famous 300 SL Gullwing (W 198).

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Gullwing doors

Development of the gullwing doors was attributable not to the bizarre whim of an overexuberant designer, but to a design-inherent necessity: when building the W 194 racer for the 1952 season, Rudolf Uhlenhaut and his engineers developed a tubular steel structure to replace the conventional chassis. However, while providing exceptional torsional stiffness and stability, the new frame needed to be at the shoulder height of the driver.

There was no room for a door. This meant that the driver had to climb in through the roof – the "gullwings" were born. To this day, it is difficult to resist the charm of the design. The gullwing made a return in the later Mercedes-Benz C 111 and C 112 prototypes as well as in the Mercedes-Benz SLR and the current Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.

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The 24 Hours of Le Mans

After the Mille Miglia and the Bern Grand Prix, the Le Mans race in June 1952 was the third test for the newly developed 300 SL. Turning up with three cars, the Mercedes-Benz team deeply unsettled the competition with a novel detail: the roof on one of the racers was fitted with a pop-up wing, which acted as a kind of "airbrake". Although this bold design was not used in the actual race, it left a lasting impression in the minds of the competitors.

The three teams at the start were Theo Helfrich & Helmut Niedermayr, Hermann Lang & Fritz Riess and Karl Kling & Hans Klenk. At the end of a tremendously exciting race of fluctuating fortunes, victory went to the team of Hermann Lang and Fritz Riess with an average speed of 155.575 km/h – a new record in the history of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

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The only race to be contested in Germany by the Mercedes-Benz team in 1952 was on the Nürburgring, a circuit that had been opened in 1927. Not even two weeks after victory in Le Mans, Kling, Lang, Helfrich and Riess were back in initial practice on the Nürburgring. Karl Kling set a new benchmark on his fourth practice lap, completing a circuit of the 22.8 km course in just 10.34 minutes. Yet there was something else to grab the attention: the Mercedes-Benz motorsport department had cut the roofs off its four 300 SL (W 194) Coupés!

The roadsters thus created afforded a better view of the winding Nürburgring circuit, thereby giving the drivers greater safety. The result of the "Anniversary Grand Prix": 1st Lang, 2nd Kling, 3rd Riess and 4th Helfrich. The Silver Arrows were victorious across the board.

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Carrera Panamericana

In response to management directive No. 4150, Daimler-Benz's motorsport department embarked in 1952 on an adventurous undertaking: participation in the Carrera Panamericana in Mexico. On 4 October four 300 SLs, two Coupés and two Roadsters, were put on a ship to Veracruz along with an entire team of mechanics. Racing manager Neubauer decided on Hermann Lang and Eugen Geiger, as well as Karl Kling and Hans Klenk. These were joined by American driver John Fitch, who was teamed with the Swabian Erwin Grupp.

Contested over desert tracks in scorching heat, the tough five-day race was full of surprises, including the famous collision between Kling's car and a vulture. Yet despite all adversity, his team went on to win the Panamericana ahead of the duo of Lang and Geiger. Kling became a national hero in Germany – and, for Mercedes-Benz, this triumph ushered in a new era of motorsport.

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Karl Kling

A bizarre accident in 1952 will probably for ever be associated with his name: during the Carrera Panamericana, the world's fastest road race, a vulture flew into Karl Kling's windscreen as he was driving along at full speed. Kling reacted brilliantly to the situation. The next day, he and his co-driver, Hans Klenk, set off with thin metal bars in front of the windscreen, finally going on to victory in the chase along desert tracks and through Mexican villages. A racing triumph that was to make Kling a national hero in post-war Germany.

Speaking from the Federal Chancellery at the Palais Schaumburg in Bonn, the German Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, stated: "This victory opens the door for our exports." Already 42 years of age, Kling had waited a long time for his triumph. In 1954/55, the man from Giessen contested a further 11 successful races for Mercedes-Benz before, in 1956, he succeeded the legendary Alfred Neubauer as coordinator of racing and rallying activities.

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Alfred Neubauer

"During the race, a racing driver is the loneliest person in the world," said racing manager Alfred Neubauer. So he did his level best to remedy this state of affairs. He was invariably busy with flags and signboards in the Mercedes-Benz pit, ensuring that his drivers had an information advantage. His ingenuity was proverbial: the W 25 racing cars having exceeded the stipulated 750 kg weight limit for the 1934 Eifel Race, Neubauer instructed his mechanics to remove the white car paint with sandpaper.

The Silver Arrow was born. The motorsport enthusiast (born in 1891) was one of the driving forces behind the resurrection of the racing department after 1945. He was in charge of the Mercedes-Benz team during the successful era between 1952 and 1955.

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Desmodromic valve timing

While travelling by tram in 1952, Mercedes-Benz engineer Hans Gassmann had a flash of inspiration. He quickly scribbled down his idea of "desmodromic valve timing" on the back of an envelope. In the process of developing the successor to the W 194, Rudolf Uhlenhaut and his team had observed that, at very high revolutions, the valve tappets of the Grand Prix engines lifted away from cam.

Gassmann's design simply envisaged two cams per valve. One opened the valve as normal, while a second closed it again via a rocker arm. The technique was used in the newly built W 196 R as well as in the 300 SLR three-litre version.

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Single-joint swing axle

Rudolf Uhlenhaut developed this new form of rear axle to make allowance for the vehicle dynamics of ever more powerful cars such as the W 194. The single-joint swing axle had just one common, lowered pivot point for both axle halves, which lessened the changes in track and camber while the vehicle was in motion.

This patented system was first tested in the W 194 011 – the 300 SL Transaxle. The axle was to remain the standard design throughout the entire Mercedes-Benz range up until 1967.

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Rudolf Uhlenhaut

In 1936, Rudolf Uhlenhaut was appointed Technical Director of the Mercedes-Benz Racing Department. The young, educated cosmopolitan proved a natural talent in the cockpit of a racing car: "I had no idea about racing cars," he said later, "I taught the racing car to do the driving." With resounding success: 1937 promptly became the most successful year to date in Mercedes-Benz's racing history. Uhlenhaut was the only designer himself capable of racing round the track at Grand Prix speeds. In 1954, he is reputed to have raced round the Nürburgring to "distribute his lunch better".

He undercut the best time of works driver Juan Manuel Fangio by 3.5 seconds. Yet his suave enthusiasm for automobiles was paired with supreme engineering skill. Both the 300 SL from 1952 – the first gullwing model – and the later racers W 196 R (1954/55) and 300 SLR (1955) notched up victory after victory for Daimler-Benz. The visionary is also revered by car fans for his concept cars: the 300 SL "Hobel", the iconic "300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé", and the C 111 Wankel-engined sports car.

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300 SL Transaxle

It was to remain a one-off: for the 1953 racing season, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, head of the passenger car testing department, developed the 300 SL Transaxle, a worthy successor to the W 194. It carried the chassis number W 194 011. Fans affectionately knew it as the "Hobel" (woodworking plane). With the decision to enter Formula 1 in 1954, preparations for the 1953 season were brought to a close, and the "Hobel" remained a one-off.

The Transaxle was the first Mercedes-Benz vehicle to make use of ground-breaking innovations such as direct petrol injection and Uhlenhaut's patented "swing axle with lowered pivot point". The 011 thus became the forerunner of the later 300 SL Coupé.

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Direct petrol injection

In the 1930s, Mercedes-Benz engineers Hans Scherenberg and Fritz Nallinger, in collaboration with the Bosch company, embarked on the construction of injection systems for aircraft engines. And they were to become absolutely prolific in their field, at times bringing home as many as two patents on the same day. At the end of the 1940s, Daimler-Benz took the decision to develop a petrol injection system for a standard production vehicle. Dr Hans Scherenberg, head of passenger car design from early 1952, gave the project top priority.

In cooperation with experts from Bosch as well as in-house engineers Rudolf Uhlenhaut and Karl-Heinz Göschel, he finally achieved success in December 1952, with a three-litre direct-injection engine that reached 214 hp. Having been extensively tested in the 300 SL Transaxle experimental car, the engine went into series production in 1954 in the legendary "Gullwing" Coupé.

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300 SL Coupé

Unveiled in 1954 at the Motor Show in New York and developed for series production from the successful 1952 racing car, the 300 SL Coupé (W 198) was not just a dream for automobile fans at its launch; it was also voted "Car of the Century" by motorsport journalists. With only 1400 units produced, the 215 hp "Gullwing" was the first standard-production car to be powered by a petrol-injected four-stroke engine.

With its characteristic doors, it remains to this day one of the most coveted and expensive vintage sports cars. A key role in the success of the 300 SL was played by Mercedes-Benz's US general importer Max Hoffman, who did his utmost to back the decision to build the 300 SL, presenting the vehicle to a select clientele in his exclusive showrooms in New York and Los Angeles.

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W 196 R

On the vehicle's very first outing in Reims in 1954, Juan Manuel Fangio and Karl Kling brought home a double victory for Mercedes-Benz. The engineers around Professor Fritz Nallinger had developed an all-new 2.5-litre eight-cylinder in-line engine with desmodromic positive valve timing.

Carrying works number W 196 R, the car was built in different versions: some of the "new Silver Arrows" featured a futuristic-looking streamlined body, while others sported free-standing wheels. Star driver Fangio drove the W 196 to the Formula 1 World Championship in 1954 and 1955.

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Juan Manuel Fangio

There can be few racing drivers to have remained as loyal to their brand as Juan Manuel Fangio. Even away from the race track, he swore by the cars with the star. Or in his own words: "Safety is everything." The Argentinian was enticed away from Maserati by racing manager Neubauer for the 1954 racing season. Fangio having suffered a breakdown in his private Alfa Romeo on the Nürburgring in 1953, the shrewd Neubauer promptly made sure that the man from Buenos Aires was supplied with the necessary spare parts – from Mercedes, of course. Fangio was won over.

He went on to become World Champion in 1954 and 1955 in a Mercedes-Benz W 196 R. The commitment with which he got his Silver Arrows across the finishing line, even in the most adverse circumstances, was legendary. The racing icon was also to remain loyal to the brand in his later years: as president of Mercedes-Benz Argentina with his own Mercedes-Benz dealership.

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300 SLR (W 196 S)

For the World Sportscar Championship, the rules of which permitted engines with larger displacements, Mercedes-Benz developed the 300 SLR (known inside the company as the W 196 S), which was based on the W 196 R with an engine that had been increased to three litres displacement. The 300 hp car - namesake of the new SLR - became just as much a legend as Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson's victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia.

Moss won the 1597-kilometre race across Italy at an average speed of 157.65 km/h - faster than anyone before or since. Motorsport journalists wrote unanimously of "a masterpiece of automotive engineering". The SLR and its drivers were unstoppable, occupying the front places in every race. Come the end of the season, Mercedes-Benz was the World Sportscar Champion.

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300 SLR Coupé

The W 196 S three-litre racer developed in 1955 also spawned two models with closed bodies. Rudolf Uhlenhaut wanted to give "his" racing drivers improved protection against wind and rain, especially in long-distance races such as the "Mille Miglia". With its gullwing doors, the body was reminiscent, at least on the outside, of the 300 SL. Known to car fans as the "Uhlenhaut Coupé", the grand tourer was adored around the world by automobile aficionados.

Daimler-Benz having decided to pull out of motor racing with the end of the 1955 season, the road-going 300 hp coupé never made it to the race track. Incidentally, Uhlenhaut himself used one of the exclusive models every day as his company car - presumably the fastest of its kind. Today's Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren is a reminder of the iconic Uhlenhaupt Coupé - the 300 SLR Coupé.

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Striling Moss

The Englishman Stirling Moss joined Daimler-Benz in 1955 to contest the racing season in the new 300 SLR. He was a passionate racing driver. Already as a 16-year-old, he had bought himself an Austin Seven and converted it into a two-seater. When, during the 1955 Argentinian Grand Prix, he suffered a bout of faintness from the heat, like many other drivers before him, his car was pushed back to the paddock. Moss staggered back to the pits.

A little later, Hans Herrmann also suffered a collapse, whereupon Karl Kling took over from him at the wheel. Towards the end of the race, having come round again, Moss chased back to the track to take over again from Kling for the final two laps. He finished fourth, together with Herrmann and Kling. Graham Hill spoke these words of praise: "For me, Stirling Moss is the greatest driver of them all. Greater even than Fangio."

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Argentinian Grand Prix

The 16th of January 1955 was one of the hottest days of the year in Buenos Aires. The temperature was to exact its toll on the teams. The 375-kilometre race on a roasting-hot track lasted over three hours. Only the Argentinian Fangio seemed able to cope with the heat, which brought one driver after another to the verge of collapse.

Having gone on to victory ahead of Gonzales in a Ferrari, he was frenetically celebrated by his compatriots. Hans Herrmann, Karl Kling and Stirling Moss shared fourth place.

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Millie Miglia

The 300 SLR was on everyone's lips in the 1955 Grand Prix year: its ruggedness surpassed all expectations, and its handling was no less than compelling. A key role in a season that was to end in such glory for Mercedes-Benz was played by the young Englishman Stirling Moss. At the side of British journalist Denis Jenkinson, he finished the Mille Miglia from Brescia to Rome and back in the sensational time of 10 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds.

Neither driver nor car was spared - and the record still stands to this day. To denote the start time of 7:22 a.m., the vehicle sported the number 722 – and it was to become a legend. The 300 SLR with the very same starting number is today the most valuable automobile in the world.

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Belgian Grand Prix

The 300 SLR was on everyone's lips in the 1955 Grand Prix year: its ruggedness surpassed all expectations, and its handling was no less than compelling. A key role in a season that was to end in such glory for Mercedes-Benz was played by the young Englishman Stirling Moss. At the side of British journalist Denis Jenkinson, he finished the Mille Miglia from Brescia to Rome and back in the sensational time of 10 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds. After 36 laps, nothing had changed: a double victory for the Silver Arrows.

English Grand Prix

The 1955 English Grand Prix at Aintree was the penultimate race of a season that was to end in triumph for Mercedes-Benz. After a somewhat mediocre start to the season, Spa saw a change in fortunes, after which the clear superiority of the W 196 R racer, which had undergone revision for the 1955 season, made itself felt. On 16 July, enthusiastic spectators looked on as four Silver Arrows outclassed the rest of the field: 1st place went to Stirling Moss from England, 2nd place to Juan Manuel Fangio from Argentina, 3rd place to Karl Kling from Germany and 4th place to Piero Taruffi from Italy.

All were driving a W 196 R. With 41 points, Juan Manuel Fangio was 1955 World Champion, with Stirling Moss finishing second on 23 points.

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Tourist Trophy

For Mercedes-Benz's Stirling Moss, the Tourist Trophy on the Dundrod circuit in Northern Ireland was yet another highlight of an outstanding 1955 racing season. With home advantage, it came as no surprise when Moss finished the race a full lap ahead of the field in his SLR along with co-driver John Fitch.

Juan Manuel Fangio and Karl Kling came home second. Third place went to Wolfgang von Trips and André Simon, also in a 300 SLR.

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Targa Florio

On the fourth lap of the 72-kilometre mountainous course in Sicily, Stirling Moss and his 300 SLR plunged down an embankment, to be stopped only by a boulder. Although the driver was uninjured, his Mercedes-Benz was seemingly a write-off. Yet the appearance was deceptive, as enthusiastic spectators pushed the car back on to the road and, after arriving at the pits, Moss was replaced behind the wheel by Collins.

The duo of Moss/Collins again went on to take first place, in front of Fangio and Kling. John Fitch, another Mercedes-Benz driver, later commented in amazement: "This machine, while built like a tank, has the speed of reaction of a jungle cat."

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Withdrawal of Mercedes-Benz from motorsport

From 1952 to 1954, Mercedes-Benz racers and sports cars proved their credentials time and again. Mercedes-Benz dominated not only the illustrious Grand Prix tour, but also Europe's tough long-distance races and touring car championship as well as the sportscar championships in Italy and the United States of America. Now, 1955 was to bring a glorious close to the foray onto the race track. For, with racing still in progress, it began to emerge that this would be the final season of the Silver Arrows and that the company was planning to withdraw all its teams from motorsport.

It is often wrongly claimed that the tragedy at Le Mans in 1955, when Pierre Levegh's 300 SLR accidentally collided with the Austin Healey of Lance Macklin, killing over 80 spectators, was the reason behind the company's complete withdrawal. Yet the Board of Management had already decided in the spring to focus on developing new passenger car models for the Mercedes-Benz brand. Victory in the 1955 Constructors' World Championship was to close the chapter on motorsport for more than three decades.

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Vision SLR

Mercedes-Benz gave a new form to the technology and design of its successful Silver Arrows. At the Detroit International Auto Show, the premium brand within the newly founded DaimlerChrysler Group unveiled the concept of a 21st-century grand tourer that fused stylistic elements from the current Formula 1 Silver Arrow and SLR sports cars from the 1950s to create a new and fascinating concept. Its name: Vision SLR. Three letters were sufficient to characterise the vision: SLR – "Sporty, light, race-ready".

The Vision SLR represented the launch of a joint project between DaimlerChrysler and McLaren Cars Ltd. In the wake of the presentation of the stunning concept vehicle, the Board of Management of DaimlerChrysler AG gave the go-ahead in July 1999 for production of this sports car, and the vision of a Mercedes-Benz super sports car became a reality. Yet, even in those days, would-be owners had to accept a waiting time of over three years for delivery of the first "21st Century Silver Arrows". Thus, collaboration with Formula 1 partner McLaren gave rise to the SLR, which reflected the heritage, philosophy and styling of Mercedes-Benz while employing state-of-the-art production techniques.

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Details of the Vision SLR

The Formula 1 racing car in which Mika Häkkinen had become 1998 World Champion served as the inspiration for the prominent front end with its arrow-shaped nose and characteristic twin fins, the formal concept of which was repeated at various points on the body and in the interior. This Formula 1 look harmonised with the familiar twin-headlamp design, which found an unusual reinterpretation in the Vision SLR.

The stylistic concepts of the iconic SL models of the 1950s and their SLR racing variants, which had swept Juan Manuel Fangio, Karl Klink and Stirling Moss from victory to victory, served as the basis for the stretched bonnet, powerfully curved wings and gullwing doors of the Vision SLR.

The interior of the concept vehicle was dominated by the wide, gently curved centre console with its circular controls as well as by the silver-painted wing profiles in front of driver and front passenger. These features replaced a conventional instrument panel while at the same time symbolising the state-of-the-art lightweight construction of the grand tourer. The cockpit consisted of two aluminium-bezelled round dials evocative of high-grade chronometers. 

Carbon fibre bucket seats, an oval steering wheel and state-of-the-art information technology, such as the Cockpit Management and Data System (COMAND), were among the other technical features of the sporty interior.

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Event No. 1: Monte Carlo

The first SLR customers came together in 2002 at "Event No. 01" in Monte Carlo during the Monaco Grand Prix. The "Vision SLR" was unveiled to this select group in an exclusive showing. Exactly one year later, again in Monte Carlo during the Monaco Grand Prix, the customers were given an exclusive live sneak preview of the version of the SLR by the then McLaren Mercedes team driver David Coulthard.

Launch of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

The Mercedes-Benz line-up at the 60th German International Motor Show (IAA) in September 2003 was dominated by an automobile that sent out a clear signal in terms of design and technology, thereby reinforcing Mercedes-Benz's role as pacesetter and innovation leader among passenger car brands: the SLR McLaren high-performance sports car.

The new SLR high-performance sports car was unveiled in Frankfurt/Main as a fascinating blend of tradition and innovation – a modern-day "gullwing" following in the footsteps of the SLR racing cars of the 1950s.

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Production in Woking

From May 2004, the "21st Century Silver Arrow" was produced exclusively by hand in Woking near London, where the vehicles were also handed over to their proud new owners. All work steps were in line with Mercedes-Benz standards and processes, which were adapted to meet the special requirements for producing the SLR. Production brought together the advantages of Mercedes-Benz's manufacturing system with McLaren's expertise in the construction of super sports cars. High-tech materials from the fields of aviation and Formula 1 went into the making of a standard-production automobile.

With an architectural design created by the celebrated Sir Norman Foster, the McLaren Technology Centre not only offered ideal conditions for producing the super sports car, but could also wonderfully meet the high expectations of its exclusive customers. Customer access to the Technology Centre was strictly limited. Only SLR customers enjoyed an exclusive and diverse programme that included a peek behind the otherwise closed doors of Formula 1 development as well as a spectacular vehicle handover ceremony.

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On the initiative of the SLR's international clientele, Mercedes-Benz set up the SLR.CLUB and, in July 2006, customers were able to celebrate the launch of the SLR.CLUB in Le Castellet in the south of France. Every SLR owner is automatically a member of the SLR.CLUB, which today counts around 2000 members.

Since its founding, the SLR.CLUB has lived from its members' commitment and passion for one of the world's most fascinating automobiles. And the SLR legend is still alive today. Even after the end of production, the spirit of the SLR lives on in this exclusive club of gentlemen drivers.

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Summary – The Fabulous Five

From 2006 to 2009, the success surrounding the SLR Coupé was augmented by further model series and editions. With the new SLR 722 Edition model variant, Mercedes-Benz evokes the memory of an unforgettable victory in Italy's classic Mille Miglia long-distance road race, which was won in 1955 by British racing legend Stirling Moss and his co-driver Dennis Jenkinson in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR with starting number 722. The vehicle went on sale on 11 July 2006 to the thrilled excitement not just of car fans.

Launched in September 2007, the Mercedes-Benz SLR Roadster represented an impressive blend of tradition and innovation, state-of-the-art technology and open-air driving pleasure. Unveiled as a vision already in 1999, the SLR Roadster ideally united the qualities of an elegant coupé with the incomparable feeling of freedom that comes from driving with an open top. Brought out in 2008, the new Mercedes-Benz SLR Roadster 722 S added a further spectacular dimension to open-top driving.

With an even more dynamic suspension set-up, further improved aerodynamics and a sporty, high-specification interior, the SLR Roadster 722 S, production of which was limited to 150 units, was similarly capable of delighting the most discerning of automotive enthusiasts. Mercedes-Benz crowned the model family with the world launch of the new SLR Stirling Moss in Detroit in 2009. A high-performance sports car featuring state-of-the-art technology and breathtaking design, this vehicle was a legitimate bearer of the name of British racing icon and Mille Miglia record-holder Stirling Moss, who piloted the legendary Mercedes-Benz SLR racing cars from victory to victory in 1955.

Production of the breathtaking high-speed racer was limited to 75 units, closing the final chapter of modern-day SLR history.

Fabulous Five – five superb variants of the SLR family: two coupés, two roadsters and the uncompromisingly puristic SLR Stirling Moss.

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Fascination of the 1000 miles.

The 1955 Mille Miglia – what a triumph for Stirling Moss in his Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. Even 60 years on, this victory has lost none of its glory. Mercedes-Benz has honoured this special anniversary with a trio of spectacular events. Gala – Touring – Tribute to Mille Miglia.

“Heroes of the Mille Miglia”: it was under this motto that the 1950s and a magnificent era in motor racing came alive. The heroes of the 1950s, the iconic cars of those years plus Sir Stirling Moss, Hans Herrmann, Mika Häkkinen, Jean Alesi and Bernd Schneider, came together at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Untertürkheim – and with them the fascinating spirit of a glorious era. The monumental highlight next morning: 60 (!) SLR vehicles parked in formation on the Piazza – a once-in-a-lifetime scene that will never be forgotten.

This time the array of classic cars was crowned by three legendary 300 SLR vehicles: number “722” driven by Sir Stirling Moss in person, number “658” with Hans Herrmann at the wheel and number “654” driven by Susie Wolff – a unique, historic lineup that delighted everyone who witnessed it. Some Italian highlights and enormous automotive fascination came with the SLR. Mille Miglia Tour, which treated the participants to perfect weather, an excellent mood, picturesque landscapes and the ultimate driving pleasure.

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The “Mercedes-Benz Tribute to Mille Miglia” took place in parallel with the legendary road race. Drivers of current Mercedes-Benz models led the field as active participants in the race. Brescia – Rome – Brescia: this stands for 1000 miles of emotions, maximum driving pleasure and ecstatic spectators. Escorted by helpful Carabinieri they shared the demanding route, unforgettable moments and all the test stages with the classic car drivers – while carrying on their own hard but fair competition amongst themselves. Sheer racing delight!

Three unique events, the Mille spirit three times over - this superlative programme was a fascinating homage to the triumph 60 years ago.

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