Mercedes-Benz's return to motor-racing in the late 1980s proved to be very successful, very quickly. Encouraged by its on-track exploits, the engineers at Stuttgart set out to construct a road-legal counterpart to the C11. The result, which was unveiled at the 1991 Frankfurt International Motor Show, was the C112.
Ah, the future. So difficult to predict accurately—but so easy to speculate on—these clips from the archives show the automobile in a state of flux. From the futuristic (and record-breaking) Mercedes-Benz C111 project to the ‘40s assertion from General Motors that highways of the future will help to displace “undesirable slums”, this weekend’s playlist has anything a futurist could want.
In 1957, Mercedes-Benz decided to use a single platform for its new big saloon and two-door models, due to the large development engineering and development costs. As it turns out, with the W111-series sedans, coupes, and convertibles, it created one of the best-ever model lineups offered by the brand.
Let’s be clear from the beginning: most people won’t do what I did. Most fathers who want to go camping and motorcycle riding will choose to take their truck or family people hauler with aged french fries in between the seats—and saucy fingerprints on the windows. Camping means dirt, along with the lack of showers and the strong possibility of off-road driving. All of which suggest practicality as the primary motivator when choosing transport. Thing is, with access to a Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG Roadster, the only option when camping in Joshua Tree National Park quickly becomes: “Let’s take the ’Benz”.
As an architect, Monti has a unique perspective on his beloved family heirloom, a Mercedes-Benz 280 SL. In the family for 30 years, you’d be safe in assuming its crisp lines and form-follows-function details have influenced his take on buildings. But first: did you know its roof was designed to be used as a photographer’s perch?
/ 13 May 2015
Every auto enthusiast has a dream race in the back of their heads, a race where you could throw together the best cars and drivers, and have them tackle the most challenging terrain imaginable. Over the course of history, it’s actually a rare occurrence to have these elements come together in a single event. The 1955 Mille Miglia is one such event. Let us explain.
/ 12 May 2015
It’s both difficult to put a classic race car into a modern context and to talk about such weapons-grade machinery without delving into the small engineering details that make it great. Sometimes, however, a car like the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR requires your undivided attention as you learn about what makes it great. Its racing achievements are stuff of legend, and listed here. But first, why is this car so special?
Few triumphs have inspired drivers like Sir Stirling Moss’ victory at the 1955 Mille Miglia. Then just 25 years old, driver Moss and co-driver Denis Jenkinson roared through 992 miles of Italian countryside in just 10 hours, 7 minutes, and 48 seconds. Average speed? 98.53miles per hour. Here, Moss tells the story of his victory in his own words.
As an Ayrton Senna fan, I recently wondered when Senna was “known” for the first time. Yes, I know he raced in karts from a young age, and moved up through the ranks of Formula Ford 1600, Formula Ford 2000, and Formula 3 competition with lots of success. But many drivers have done the same. This story is about the race that shocked everyone in Formula 1 into asking the same question: “Who is this Ayrton Senna guy?”
/ 23 Apr 2015
This Benz was made for working, and that´s just what it´ll do. We’re competing in the Carbage Run, a Dutch initiative that aims to be a poor-man’s alternative to the world-famous Gumball rally, and one that wants to teach petrolheads the beauty of trekking long distances in an old car.
Back in 1970, with no Internet or regular magazines with large selections of collector cars, we often scoured the Sunday New York Times. It had an old car section full of great stuff, and most of it was local in the Northeast.
I would read it religiously, but most of the cars were out of reach. There were plenty of Duesenbergs, but they were all over $50,000, and a medical student’s salary back then did not go very far. What other options did I have?