Celebrating the Silver Star’s Super Sports Cars Museum to Feature Eight Icons
Among the automobiles of the world, few stir the passion of enthusiasts more than lean high-performance racing and road cars. With power to spare and aggressive good looks, the high performance ‘super’ sports car has fascinated us since the dawn of the automobile.
Most volume manufacturers have produced super sports cars at some time in their history with varying levels of commitment. Automobile racing, the supreme test of a manufacturer’s technical prowess and financial commitment, serves as a periodic marketing program for many car companies. Few remain eternally committed to both high performance automobile production and auto racing. Few with the exception of Mercedes-Benz.
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SLR ‘Uhlenhaut’ coupe is an example of Mercedes-Benz’ road/racing synergy. the fearsome and noisy coupe featured 3.0 liter straight 8 and 302 hp and was based on the 1955 Mille Miglia winning 300SLR roadster. The coupe was the personal transport of the fabled Competition Director Rudi Uhlenhaut
Super Sports Car Fascination in Stuttgart
The Silver Star has constructed high performance products since the turn of the last century and competed with few interruptions in auto racing events for over a century. We can’t forget Mercedes triumphed at Indianapolis in 1915 AND 1994*.
With its current spectacular high performance road cars and world beating competition cars, Mercedes-Benz continues this long tradition today. Beginning April 27, the factory’s stylish Museum in Stuttgart will present a glorious display of eight influential ‘Super Sports’ cars. Spanning 109 years of sports/racing car production, the new exhibit focuses on ‘extreme performance and innovative technology.’
C111 project focused on Wankel engine development. This is the 1976 variant fitted with a 3 rotor engine developing up to 280 hp. Wankel development eventually ceased. CLK GTR roadster and new SLS AMG Gullwing follow.
A thinly disguised LeMans car, the lowline CLK GTR Roadster street edition is piloted here by ’70s/’80s touring car ace Dieter Glemser.
Super Sports Cars
1906 Mercedes 75 hp
1929 Mercedes-Benz SSK
1954 300SL Gullwing
1955 Mercedes 300SLR ‘Uhlenhaut” coupe
1976 Mercedes-Benz C11 2-D
2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster
2010 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing
To publicize this special exhibit and to limber up cars that will be demonstrated at various 2010 historic racing gatherings, Mercedes conducted an exciting press day at the Unterturkheim plant’s fabled test track. Drivers included current F1 pilot Nick Heidfeld, past and present touring car aces Dieter Glemser and Bernd Schnieder, retired all around racing star Jochen Mass and ’50s era star Hans Hermann.
Expect to see superb demonstrations of these cars at these 2010 historic racing events:
ADAC Eifelrennen LeMans Classic Goodwood Festival of Speed
If you’re planning to be in Europe over the summer, a visit to the Mercedes-Benz Museum is a must. While the Super Sports Car exhibit would be worth the visit alone, the museum’s breathtaking displays and multimeda presentations could detain you for days.
(*Penkse chassis powered by Mercedes-Benz (Ilmor) pushrod V-8)
roy spencer/editor mercedesheritage
Suggested Reading: The Mercedes-Benz Racing Cars, Karl Ludvigsen ISBN 0-87880-009-3 Mercedes-Benz 300SL, William Boddy ISBN 0-85045-501-4 Mercedes-Benz W196, Michael Riedner, ISBN 0-85429-717-0 Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Racing 1934-1955, George C. Monkhouse ISBN 0-904568-42-3