Mercedes-Benz will be represented at the Silvretta Classic Rally Montafon 2018 from 5 to 7 July 2018 by no fewer than four SL sports cars. The line-up will be completed by four further classic cars with the star on their bonnet. Particular attention will no doubt be paid to a red 300 SL “Gullwing” (W 198): Magnus Walker will be at the wheel, “Urban Outlaw”, fashion designer, sports car collector and author. Walker will celebrate his 51st birthday during the rally on dream Alpine roads in Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
Stuttgart. Sportiness is in the DNA of each generation of the Mercedes-Benz SL. This was demonstrated by the vehicles from the outset with their successes in the world of motor sport. At the Silvretta Classic Rally Montafon, Mercedes-Benz Classic will recall this tradition with four very different sports cars: a 300 SL “ Gullwing” (W 198), the racing version of the 190 SL (W 121), a 230 SL (W 113) in the style of the rally vehicle of Eugen Böhringer from the early 1960s and a 500 SLC Coupé (C 107). The Stuttgart brand will line up with a total of eight classic cars from the company’s own collection and from ALL TIME STARS, the vehicle trading platform of Mercedes-Benz Classic.
The birth of the SL tradition from the spirit of racing was marked by the 300 SL “Gullwing” (W 198). The coupé with the characteristic doors made its debut in 1954. Based on the 300 SL racing car (W 194) from 1952, the production version ranked at the time as a super sports car. The racing triumphs of the “Gullwing Coupé” include a class victory in the 1955 1000 Miglia. Fashion designer, sports car collector and author Magnus Walker will contest the Silvretta Classic Rally Montafon 2018 in a black 300 SL. This will be a big coup for Mercedes, as “Urban Outlaw” Walker, who now lives in California, is a famous Porsche fan.
Racing driver and Mercedes-AMG brand ambassador Karl Wendlinger will drive a racing version of the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL (W 121) at the Silvretta Classic. The vehicle is based on the rare racing version of the 190 SL from 1955 with windowless aluminium doors, a smaller windscreen and other modifications.
The 230 SL (W 113) dates from the 1960s. Nicknamed “ Pagoda” by the fans, the sports car recalls the legendary victory of Eugen Böhringer in a vehicle of this model at the Spa–Sofia–L iège long-distance rally of 1963. One year later, Eugen Böhringer finished third.
Christian Boucke, Head of Mercedes-Benz Classic, will compete in the rally at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz 500 SLC (C 107). The 500 SLC, which was built only from 1980 until 1981, is the top-of-the-line model of the coupés based on the SL roadsters of the R 107 model series. At the Silvretta Classic, the vehicle will also represent Mercedes-Benz’s rally successes of the late 1970s with various models of the C 107 series.
Vehicles from more than six decades
Two very different Mercedes-Benz high-performance sports cars are the SSK (W 06) from 1928 and the E 60 AMG from 1994. Racing driver and Mercedes-Benz Classic brand ambassador Jochen Mass will be at the wheel of the legendary supercharged SSK sports car in the Silvretta Classic Rally Montafon. The vehicle belongs to the family of “white elephants” (S, SS, SSK and SSKL models). With these super sports cars from the late 1920s and early 1930s, Mercedes-Benz was exceptionally successful on the track in that era. These models are also popular among discerning customers as sporty vehicles.
Six decades later, the E 60 AMG will be present as the top-of-the-line model of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class model series 124. It was one of the early performance automobiles that were developed by direct cooperation between Mercedes-Benz and AMG and which were sold through the sales organisation of the Stuttgart company.
At the Silvretta Classic Rally Montafon, two other classic models will point to the wide range of vehicles available from ALL TIME STARS, the vehicle trading platform of Mercedes-Benz Classic: both the exquisite open-top luxury-class 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet (W 111) from 1971 and the rugged off-road classic 230 GE (model series 460) from 1985 are part of the current range on offer from ALL TIME STARS.
Set up in 2015, the vehicle trading platform of Mercedes-Benz Classic has its showroom directly at the Mercedes-Benz Museum and offers classic cars, both modern and vintage, of the brand with the star. Every vehicle is inspected by the ALL TIME STARS experts according to a 160-point checklist. The wide-ranging offer includes the categories “Concours Edition”, “Collectors Edition” and “ Drivers Edition”. In this way, the dream of owning a classic Mercedes-Benz becomes a reality.
Dream cars on dream roads
The Silvretta Classic Rally Montafon is an especially attractive date in the classic car calendar. It is one of the Motor Klassik rallies staged by the magazine of the same name. Having been held since 1998, the Silvretta Classic is now well on the way to becoming a classic itself. This year, some 180 dream cars will line up on the grid. From 5 to 7 July 2018, they will explore heavenly Alpine roads in Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The programme kicks off on 3 and 4 July with accreditation, technical inspection and a rally course covering theory and practice. The start for all rally stages beginning on 5 July is in Partenen. The finishing line is in Partenen (5 July), Gaschurn (6 July) and Schruns (7 July). The route highlights include Bieler Höhe, the Albula pass, Faschinajoch and the Flexen pass.
Silvretta Classic Rally Montafon 2018: Mercedes-Benz Classic brand ambassadors
Born on 30 September 1946 in Dorfen near Erding, Germany
Jochen Mass, originally a trained seaman, began his varied career in motor sport in 1968 in touring car races for Alfa-Romeo and as a works driver for Ford from 1970 to 1975. During this period, he won the 24-Hour Race at Spa-Francorchamps in 1972. At the same time, he also took part in Formula 2 racing (1973) and competed in 105 Formula 1 Grands Prix (1973/74 with Surtees; 1975 to 1977 with McLaren; 1978 with ATS; 1979/80 with Arrows; 1982 with March). In 1984, Mass drove a Mercedes-Benz 500 SLC (C 107) in the Paris–Dakar Rally. After winning the German Sports Car Championship in 1985 and a stint as a works driver with Porsche until 1987, he joined the Sauber-Mercedes team as a works driver in 1988. He drove in Group C for the same team until 1991. In the new Silver Arrow, the Sauber-Mercedes C 9, Jochen Mass triumphed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1989 in the same team as Manuel Reuter and Stanley Dickens, going on to finish runner-up in the world championship in the same year. Three years later, Mass joined the team management of the DTM. Sir Stirling Moss once described him as a “soul mate” and as “a driver with an enormous feeling for racing cars and a great deal of expertise who is familiar with the racing history of every era”. It is therefore not by chance that Jochen Mass can nowadays be seen at the wheel for Mercedes-Benz Classic at historical events. From the W 125 Silver Arrow to the Mercedes-Benz SSK – Jochen Mass knows and drives them all.
Born: 20 December 1968 in Kufstein, Austria
Karl Wendlinger’s motor sport career began in karting at the age of 14. In 1989, he won the German Formula 3 Championship. In 1990 to 1991, the Austrian was a member of the Mercedes Junior Team, along with Michael Schumacher and Heinz-Harald Frentzen, and competed in the sports car world championship. In 1991 he graduated to Formula 1. From 1994 Wendlinger drove for the Sauber-Mercedes team together with Heinz-Harald Frentzen. This was followed by outings in DTM, Formula 3000 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. His main successes on the track included winning the FIA GT Championship (1999), finishing first in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GTS class (in the same year), overall victory in the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2000 and second place in the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring (2003). From 2004 to 2011, Karl Wendlinger competed for various teams in the FIA GT Championship. With Jetalliance Racing, he finished runner-up in 2007. Since 2012, Karl Wendlinger has been a Mercedes-AMG brand ambassador and instructor at the AMG Driving Academy.
Silvretta Classic Rally Montafon: Mercedes-Benz Classic vehicles
Mercedes-Benz SSK (W 06, 1928 to 1932)
Of the high-performance sports cars of the Mercedes-Benz S-series launched in 1927, the SSK (W 06) was the most exclusive and fascinating model. The model designation of this supercharged car with a 7.1-litre six-cylinder engine stood for Super-Sport-Kurz (Super Sport Short) and featured a shorter wheelbase alongside its particular sportiness. Following numerous victories achieved by the Model S as the first model in the series, the succeeding SS and SSK models continued the success story. In the summer of 1928, works racing driver Rudolf Caracciola won the Gabelbach Race on the first attempt as well as the races to the top of the Schauinsland Mountain and the Mont Ventoux with the brand-new SSK. In 1930, he won the European hill racing championship driving an SSK. In the same year, the supercharged sports car also took part in the 1000 Miglia for the first time. Rudolf Caracciola and Christian Werner took sixth place in the overall classification in a time of 17 hours and 20 minutes. With reduced weight and another power increase to 220 kW (300 hp), the 1931 version, also known as the SSKL (Super Sport Short Light), achieved a spectacular success in the 1000 Miglia: in April 1931, Rudolf Caracciola was the first non-Italian to win this demanding road race from Brescia to Rome and back – in a new record time of 16 hours and 10 minutes.
Technical data Mercedes-Benz SSK (production version)
Production period: 1928 to 1932
Displacement: 7,065 cc
Output: 125 kW (170 hp), with supercharger 165 kW (225 hp)
Top speed: 192 km/h
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” (W 198, 1954 to 1957)
In February 1954, the 300 SL standard-production sports car (W 198) celebrated its world première at the International Motor Sport Show in New York. The coupé was called the “Gullwing” or the “Papillon” (butterfly) owing to its distinctive roof-mounted doors, which resembled a gull’s wings. The high-performance sports car was based on the legendary 300 SL racing car (W 194) from the 1952 season. It was the first standard-production car with a four-stroke petrol injection engine. With an engine output of 158 kW (215 hp) – a good 25 per cent more than the carburettor motor racing version of 1952 – and a top speed of up to 250 km/h, the W 198 was in the top echelon of production sports cars in its day, which also predestined it for racing. One legendary triumph was the triple class victory of the 300 SL “Gullwing” in the 1955 1000 Miglia. John Cooper Fitch and his co-driver Kurt Gessl won fifth place in the overall classification in the car bearing race number 417, which represented their starting time at 4:17 am, and led the class of production sports cars over 1.3 litres displacement ahead of two more “Gullwings”. Between 1954 and 1957, a total of 1,400 vehicles of the 300 SL “ Gullwing” were built, no fewer than 867 of them in the year of its 1000 Miglia class victory in 1955.
Technical data Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing”< br /> Production period: 1954 to 1957
Displacement: 2,996 cc
Output: 158 kW (215 hp)
Top speed: Up to 250 km/h
Mercedes-Benz 190 SL (W 121, 1955 to 1963)
Together with the 300 SL “Gullwing” high-performance sports car, Mercedes-Benz in February 1954 unveiled the prototype of the elegant, compact 190 SL (W 121) roadster. The open-top two-door model was designed as a sporty, elegant touring and utility vehicle for two persons and, especially in the revised standard-production vehicle, was closely based on its “big brother”, the 300 SL, on the stylistic front. Designed from the outset as a roadster, the 190 SL established the tradition of SL sports cars with a roof that could be opened. The roadster, for its part, was more closely related at a technical level to the Mercedes-Benz 180 “Ponton” Saloon (W 120), copying the latter’s shortened floor assembly. The 1.9-litre petrol engine rated at 77 kW (105 hp) was newly developed. The four-cylinder engine featured an overhead camshaft and became the forefather of an entire family of engines. For outings on the track, there was a racing version with windowless aluminium doors, a smaller windscreen and other modifications. A 190 SL (start number 347) also competed in the 1956 1000 Miglia. All in all, 25,881 vehicles of this model were built between 1955 and 1963, with some 10,000 of them going to the USA.
Technical data Mercedes-Benz 190 SL (production version)
Production period: 1955 to 1963
Displacement: 1,897 cc
Output: 77 kW (105 hp)
Top speed: 171 km/h
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL rally vehicle (W 113, 1963 to 1967)
The 230 SL made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1963. It replaced two models from the previous sales range: the 300 SL “Gullwing” super sports car (W 198) and the elegant 190 SL touring car (W 121). Known internally as W 113, the 230 SL maintained the balance between the principles of its predecessors as a comfortable, two-seater touring car, offering high performance along with optimal driving safety. The 230 SL was a trailblazer, being, among other things, the first Mercedes-Benz sports car to feature the safety body developed by Béla Barényi (rigid passenger cell with deformable front and rear sections). The removable coupé roof was of concave design. This avant-garde feature made the roof especially strong along with a lightweight construction. And, as a characteristic design attribute, it earned the model series the nickname “Pagoda”. Heavily based on the production car, versions of the 230 SL were successful in motor sport. For example, Eugen Böhringer, driving a rally version of the model, was victorious in the long-distance Spa–Sofia–Liège Rally of 1963. The 250 SL of the W 113 model series replaced the 230 SL in 1967. It, in turn, was replaced in 1968 by the 280 SL (W 113).
Technical data Mercedes-Benz 230 SL (production version)
Production period: 1963 to 1967
Displacement: 2,306 cc
Output: 110 kW (150 hp)
Top speed: 200 km/h
Mercedes-Benz 500 SLC (C 107, 1980 to 1981)
Mercedes-Benz unveiled the luxury-class coupés of the C 107 model series at the Paris Motor Show of 1971. They went into production in 1972, replacing the 280 SE and 280 SE 3.5 Coupé models. Unlike previously, instead of being derived technically from the respective luxury-class saloons, the high-end coupés were based on the SL roadsters of the 107 model series. Apart from the fixed roof of the SLC, both variants of the 107 model series were identical as far as the rear edge of the doors. Conversely, there were significant differences when it came to the rear half of the vehicle: the wheelbase was 360 millimetres longer in comparison with the SL roadster. This gave the vehicle a considerably larger interior as well as allowing it to be designed as a fully fledged four-seater. The 350 SLC and 450 SLC were initially powered by a V8 engine. The 280 SLC with six-cylinder in-line engine was available from 1974. The top-of-the-line model of the C 107 was the 500 SLC, which went into production in 1978, initially as the 450 SLC 5.0 and, from 1980 to 1981, as the 500 SLC. In total, 2,769 units of the luxury coupé were produced.
Technical data Mercedes-Benz 500 SLC
Production period: 1978 to 1981 (including 450 SLC 5.0)
Displacement: 4,973 cc
Output: 177 kW (240 hp)
Top speed: 225 km/h
Mercedes-Benz E 60 AMG (W 124, 1993 to 1994)
The top-of-the-line model of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class model series 124 was one of the early high-performance automobiles to be produced in direct cooperation between Mercedes-Benz and AMG. These three letters stood for the engineering office founded in 1967 by Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher. The initial focus was on the production of racing cars based on Mercedes-Benz standard-production vehicles. From 1990 onwards, Mercedes-Benz and AMG engaged in direct cooperation. The first model to appear was the C 36 AMG, unveiled in 1993, as a top-of-the-range version of the C-Class. That same year, this was followed by the E 60 AMG high-performance saloon in the upper mid-class. Production of the vehicle, which had the key technical data of a super sports car, was confined to just under 150 units. The suspension and tyres were adapted to the increased performance, while the four-speed automatic transmission guaranteed high ease of operation.
Technical data Mercedes-Benz E 60 AMG
Production period: 1993 to 1994
Displacement: 5,956 cc
Output: 280 kW (381 hp)
Top speed: 250 km/h (electronically limited)
Silvretta Classic Rally Montafon: Vehicles from ALL TIME STARS
Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet (W 111, 1969 to 1971)
The Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet was the flagship model in the W 111 Cabriolet range built between 1961 and 1971. In terms of design and style, the family of luxurious open-top cars is based on the “Tail Fin” saloons of the W 111 series unveiled in August 1959. The coupé and cabriolet models featured the same safety body with crumple zones that had been introduced as a world first for the saloon models. Alongside the 220 SE and its successor, the 250 SE, the particularly exclusively equipped and powerful 300 SE (W 112) complemented the range of luxury two-door models. Mercedes-Benz introduced the 280 SE in early 1968, followed in September 1969 by the 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet, which was a far more powerful version with an all-new 3.5-litre V8 engine. The flagship model was exceptionally refined while also offering sports car-like performance. There were also slight stylistic modifications to the cabriolet. For example, the radiator grille was lower and wider, while the bonnet was flattened at the front. Production of the eight-cylinder cabriolet, which came with automatic transmission as a standard feature, did not exceed 1,232 units. Today, it is among the particularly sought-after classic cars of its era.
Technical data Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
Production period: 1969 to 1971
Displacement: 3,499 cc
Output: 147 kW (200 hp)
Top speed: 205 km/h
Mercedes-Benz 230 GE (model series 460, 1982 to 1991)
In February 1979, Mercedes-Benz entered completely new territory when it unveiled the G-models. Designed on the one hand as an exclusive means of transport with the emphasis on leisure, the off-road vehicle was conceived equally for tough everyday use, such as in the industrial or municipal sector. The G-series, as the model series was initially known, came in two different frame lengths and wheelbases, four engine variants and five body variants. The 230 GE was an example of the continuous further development of the G: powered by the efficient 2.3-litre injection engine M 102, it replaced the previous 230 G with carburettor engine in April 1982. A year later, the 230 GE was fitted with power steering as a standard feature. From 1986, a controlled three-way catalytic converter became available, initially as an optional extra. To mark its tenth anniversary, the G appeared in 1989 in the guise of the 230 GE Classic special model, limited to just 300 units.
Technical data Mercedes-Benz 230 GE
Production period: 1982 to 1991
Displacement: 2,299 cc
Output: 92 kW (125 hp)
Top speed: 147 km/h