Thursday, March 23, 2017

Mercedes-Benz at Techno Classica, Essen, Germany


40 hp Mercedes-Simplex, 1902. Driven by Jochen Mass at the super sports car track test in 2010.


Exceptionally sporty vehicles will be the stars of the show on the Mercedes-Benz Classic stand at this year's Techno Classica: a total of eleven vehicles spanning over 110 years of the brand's history illustrate that sportiness has been in the Mercedes genes from the start. The exhibits range from the 40 hp Mercedes-Simplex from 1903 to the brand-new Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50. Services and spare parts for classic vehicles are another thematic focal point. Here the brand with the star will be showcasing the full range of its service expertise. There will also be six ALL TIME STARS to see from the vehicle trading arm of Mercedes-Benz Classic. These include a 300 SL Roadster from 1957, which was factory-restored at Mercedes-Benz Classic. The Mercedes-Benz brand clubs will also be strongly represented at the show. The specialist Techno Classica trade fair takes place in Essen, Germany, from 5 to 9 April 2017.
Stuttgart. From the birth of the modern motor car in motorsport to the high art of refined sportiness: Mercedes-Benz Classic will be telling this story at Techno Classica 2017 in Essen under the banner "Sportiness is in our genes". Taking centre stage on the stand, which covers just under 3600 square metres of space, are ten vehicles from the company's own collection along with the latest Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50.
The oldest vehicle being exhibited is the 40 hp Mercedes-Simplex, which dates from 1903. This model represents the first modern car and in its day dominated the prestigious racing scene on the French Riviera around Nice. Other exhibits include pioneering symbols of the compressor age – for example, the Mercedes-Benz model S (W 06) or the 540 K Streamliner (W 29) – and exceptionally sporty Mercedes-Benz models from the post-war period. Alongside exclusive production vehicles, the 300 SLR (W 196 S) known as the Uhlenhaut Coupé will also be on show. The coupé is the enclosed variant of the tremendously successful 300 SLR sports racer from the 1955 season and marks the pinnacle of Mercedes-Benz's domination of motorsport from the 1930s into the 1950s. Only two of them were ever built. Both are part of the company's own vehicle collection and are now regarded as probably the most valuable motor vehicles in the world.
The youngest representatives in this portrait gallery of the brand's sporting history are three vehicles bearing the acronym AMG in their names. Mercedes-AMG, the performance brand of Mercedes-Benz, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017. To celebrate this momentous occasion there will be four special vehicles on the Classic stand. The most recent example is the brand-new Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50 (C 190).
Originality as the guiding principle
Classic motor cars combine engineering and cultural history to form an exciting whole. For owners, maintaining vintage vehicles is a passion. They can, however, also make use of good and reliable vehicle-related services, extensive expert knowledge and a reliable supply of genuine parts. Mercedes-Benz Classic provides all this to the highest level, as will be demonstrated at Techno Classica 2017 on the "Service and Parts" section of its stand.
ALL TIME STARS will be presenting the following vehicles at Techno Classica 2017:
  • Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (W 198, 1957)
  • Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet (W 111, 1971)
  • Mercedes-Benz 230.6 (W 114, 1975)
  • Mercedes-Benz 230 E (W 123, 1982)
  • Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (R 107, 1987)
  • Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (R 129, 1991)World show for vintage automobiles
The 29th Techno Classica takes place from 5 to 9 April 2017 at the Messe Essen exhibition centre in Germany. As the "World Show for Vintage, Classic and Prestige Automobiles, Motorsport, Motorcycles, Spare Parts, Restoration and World Club Meeting" it is the biggest event of its kind. Last year the event attracted more than 200,000 visitors from over 40 countries. For 2017, more than 220 clubs and interest groups are expected to attend along with over 1250 exhibitors. There are set to be more than 2500 vehicles available for purchase. In total, there will be more than 25 automobile makes at the show. Techno Classica starts on Wednesday, 5 April 2017 with a preview from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. The show is open all day from Thursday, 6 April until Sunday, 9 April 2017, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. (Friday: until 7 p.m.).
A special exhibition at Techno Classica 2017 is dedicated to the development of powertrain engineering over the past 135 years - with a special focus on electric drive systems. According to the organisers, the high-quality exhibits include a Mercedes-Simplex from 1903. It symbolizes the triumph of the combustion engine on the threshold of the 20th century. At that time, the spark-ignition engine, electric motor and steam engine were all still vying for supremacy as the power source for the motor car.
Techno Classica 2017: Mercedes-Benz Classic vehicles
40 hp Mercedes-Simplex, 1903
The 40 hp Mercedes-Simplex was launched in March 1902, superseding the legendary 35 hp Mercedes. The suffix "Simplex" was intended to indicate how easy the new model was to operate for its time. In December 1900, its direct predecessor had defined the motor car's distinctive form for the first time. Characteristic features include the long wheelbase, the light and powerful engine fitted low down and the honeycomb radiator integrated organically into the front end, which was to become distinctive for the brand. The 35 hp Mercedes marked the end of the carriage style that had dominated the industry and is thus considered to be the first modern car. The new Mercedes-Simplex became a success in the world of motorsport from the very moment of its launch. The Englishman E. T. Stead won the Nice–La Turbie hill climb race ahead of Georges Lemaitre and Wilhelm Werner, both also driving 40 hp models, and was even able to improve on Werner's record from the previous year. The 40 hp cars achieved speeds exceeding 100 km/h in the mile race. Delivered in March 1903, the white example from the Mercedes-Benz Classic collection is one of the oldest-preserved vehicles bearing the Mercedes brand.
Technical data for the 40 hp Mercedes-SimplexProduction period: 1902 to 1910
Cylinders: 4/inline
Displacement: 6785 cc
Output: 29 kW (40 hp) at 1100 rpm
Top speed: 100 km/h
Mercedes-Benz model S (W 06), 1927
The Mercedes-Benz model S dating from 1927 is the first in a series of supercharged sports cars, which were nicknamed "White Elephants" and which dominated motorsport in the late 1920s, achieving world fame. The "S" stands for Sport, which says it all: its first race outing – the opening race on the Nürburgring on 19 June 1927 – resulted in a triple-victory for Mercedes-Benz. The winner was Rudolf Caracciola who went on to become the most successful racing driver of the pre-war period. That year Caracciola won eleven overall victories and class wins. Other triumphs for the brand included the triple-victory at the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring on 17 July 1927 when Otto Merz, Christian Werner and Willy Walb all dominated the race in the Mercedes-Benz model S. Although the racing version of the model S was reserved for works drivers, it was also available as an exclusive road-going sports car which numerous private drivers successfully drove in competition. A total of 146 were built through to 1928. Two models based on the model S (for "Sport) emerged in 1928 – the SS (for "Super Sport") and the SSK, with SSK standing for "Super Sport Kurz" ("Kurz" meaning "short") – followed by the SSKL in 1931, with SSKL standing for "Super Sport Kurz Leicht" ("Kurz Leicht" meaning "short, light").
Technical data for the Mercedes-Benz model S
Production period: 1927 to 1928
Cylinders: 6/inline
Displacement:6789 cc
Output: 88 kW (120 hp), with supercharger 132 kW (180 hp) at 3000 rpm
Top speed: 170 km/h
Mercedes-Benz 540 K Streamliner (W 29), 1938
The Mercedes-Benz 540 K Streamliner marks the pinnacle of the aerodynamically optimised Mercedes-Benz vehicles developed in the 1930s. The production version of the eight-cylinder supercharged car was the Stuttgart-based brand's top sports model from 1936 and epitomised exclusivity, luxury and elegance. Originally designed as a vehicle for competition, the 1938 one-off set standards both in terms of technical features and aesthetics. Mercedes-Benz thus positioned itself at the forefront of a development that, at the time, was occupying the entire automobile industry: the rapid pace of technical change and the growing network of fast roads enabled higher potential cruising speeds and, particularly from the aspect of efficiency, aerodynamics were becoming increasingly important. With its aluminium body's flowing lines and low silhouette, minimal sources of disturbance on its surface and underbody cladding, the Streamliner applied research findings in an exemplary way, giving it a sensationally low drag coefficient (Cd value) of 0.36. In 2014, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the vehicle to the public once more following lavish restoration.
Technical data for the Mercedes-Benz 540 K Streamliner
Production period: 1938
Cylinders: 8/inline
Displacement: 5401 cc
Output: 85 kW (115 hp), with supercharger 132 kW (180 hp) at 3400 rpm
Top speed: 185 km/h
Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR "Uhlenhaut Coupé" (W 196 S), 1955
The enclosed variant of the 300 SLR racing sports car is a special milestone in Mercedes-Benz's exciting motorsport history. The coupé version from 1955 was designed to provide better protection for drivers and co-drivers in the demanding endurance races of the upcoming season. Two examples of this prototype racer were built with gullwing doors. However, they were never used in competition because, after winning the title in 1955, Mercedes-Benz withdrew from Formula One as well as from the World Sportscar Championship. Engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut, head of motor car development at Mercedes-Benz and father of the 300 SL, kept using the coupé as a company car on his travels across Europe. He thus demonstrated the 300 SLR's tremendous suitability for everyday use. This was also confirmed by a high-profile endurance test over 3500 kilometres and the no less spectacular measurement of top speed conducted with the two vehicles by the Swiss "Automobil Revue" journal in 1956. The car became known as the "Uhlenhaut Coupé" and is the dream sports car from the 1950s.
Technical data for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR "Uhlenhaut Coupé"Production period: 1955
Cylinders: 8/inline
Displacement: 2982 cc
Output: 228 kW (310 hp) at 7400 rpm
Top speed: 284 km/h
Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 (W 109), 1969
As the new top-of-the-range vehicle in the luxury W 109 model series which had been introduced in 1965, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1968. This premiere became a sensation because the vehicle had not been anticipated in trade circles at all. The 300 SEL 6.3 featured the 6.3-litre V8 engine from the 600 model (W 100). As a powerful luxury saloon, it combines timeless elegance with the handling of a sports car of its time: it accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in 7.4 seconds and has a top speed of over 220 km/h. The standard equipment was lavish for those days and included an air suspension, automatic transmission, power steering, power windows, velour upholstery and central locking. Exterior-wise, the 300 SEL 6.3 can be recognised only by its fatter tyres, halogen twin headlamps and the additional long-range lamps. The 300 SEL 6.3 is a thoroughly presentable and luxurious high-performance saloon and 6526 of them were made through to 1972. This top model comes in at number one in surveys on luxury cars in the USA and has earned the title "greatest sedan in the world".
Technical data for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3Production period: 1968 to 1972
Cylinders: V8
Displacement: 6332 cc
Output: 184 kW (250 hp) at 4000 rpm
Top speed: 220 km/h
Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16 (W 201), 1984
The Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16 appeared in September 1983 as the top sporty model in the compact W 201 model series. Thanks to the four-valve-per-cylinder design its output is  163 kW (185 hp). From the outside the 190 E 2.3-16, which was available in smoke silver and blue black metallic, is most recognisable from its wing spoiler on the boot lid. Even before its premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show, this model with its sixteen-valve engine had demonstrated its performance capability and stability with a record-breaking achievement in August 1983: Three standard 190 E 2.3-16 vehicles set world records in endurance tests at the Nardò testing facility in southern Italy, reaching an average speed of almost 250 km/h over distances of 25,000 kilometres, 25,000 miles and 50,000 kilometres. On 12 May 1984, 20 identical close-to-production 190 E 2.3-16 vehicles lined up at the start of the opening race at the new Nürburgring. Equipped with a roll cage, they were driven competitively on the newly opened track by the best racing drivers of the time. The winner of the race was Ayrton Senna. He was 24 years old at the time and already making a name for himself as the greatest up-and-coming talent in Formula One.
Technical data for the Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16
Production period: 1984 to 1988
Cylinders: 4/inline
Displacement: 2299 cc
Output: 163 kW (185 hp) at 7200 rpm
Top speed: 230 km/h
Mercedes-Benz E 500 Limited (W 124), 1994
By late 1984 Mercedes-Benz was setting standards in aerodynamics with the mid-size Mercedes class: saloons from the ancestral line of today's E-Class have a Cd value of just 0.29. In conjunction with a reduced frontal area and systematic lightweight construction, this optimum value for aerodynamics makes the W 124 a prime example of efficiency in its class. When the model 500 E was unveiled as the new top model in the series back in October 1990, trade circles and the public alike were just as surprised as when the 300 SEL 6.3 made its debut a good 22 years previously. Although exterior-wise the 500 E can only be distinguished from its sister models at second glance, its performance puts it in a different league. This sports saloon is powered by a 235 kW (320 hp) five-litre V8 engine familiar from the 500 SL (R 129) with four valves per cylinder. Featuring a four-speed automatic transmission as standard, the 500 E completes the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds and the top speed is limited to 250 km/h. From June 1993, when the mid-size model series was named the E-Class, the consummate V8 athlete became known as the E 500. In 1994 the special E 500 Limited model appeared with an especially exclusive specification.
Technical data for the Mercedes-Benz E 500 Limited (W 124)Production period: 1994 to 1995
Cylinders: V8
Displacement: 4973 cc
Output: 235 kW (320 hp) at 5600 rpm
Top speed: 250 km/h
Mercedes-Benz C 36 AMG (W 202), 1997
The Mercedes-Benz C 36 AMG is the first vehicle model that Mercedes-Benz developed jointly with AMG Motorenbau- und Entwicklungs-Gesellschaft mbH, an engine production and development company established in 1967. The two companies had signed a contract of cooperation in October 1990 and this resulted in the formation of Mercedes-AMG GmbH in 1998. This top model in the C-Class W 202 model series premiered at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1993. The C 36 AMG is powered by a 3.6-litre six-cylinder engine, which AMG had developed from the proven 3.2-litre version of the M 104, an inline six-cylinder engine with four valves per cylinder. Series production commenced in early 1994. The flagship C-Class was an instant success and became the first high-volume production model in the history of Mercedes-AMG: by March 1997, the 5000th vehicle had been delivered. Six months later in the autumn of 1997, when more than 5200 vehicles had been produced, the C 36 AMG was superseded by the Mercedes-Benz C 43 AMG – the first C-Class with a V8 engine. In June 1996 the C 36 AMG started a tradition that continues to this day when the Affalterbach-based brand provided the official safety car in Formula One for the first time.
Technical data for the Mercedes-Benz C 36 AMG
Production period: 1994 to 1997
Cylinders: 6/inline
Displacement: 3606 cc
Output: 206 kW (280 hp) at 5750 rpm
Top speed: 250 km/h (electronically limited)
Mercedes-Benz CL 55 AMG "F1 Limited Edition" (C 215), 2000
The CL 55 AMG appeared in late 1999 as a particularly sporty variant of the coupé model series that had been introduced earlier that year – the C 215, a predecessor of today's S-Class Coupé. In the summer of 2000 the CL 55 AMG "F1 Limited Edition" made its debut and was produced as an exclusive small series of 55 examples. The limited special edition was the first road-going car in the world to be equipped with a particularly effective ceramic braking system. During emergency braking from top speed, the internally ventilated brake discs made of fibre-reinforced ceramics deliver a braking output of around 1471 kW (2000 hp). The advantages of this technology, which was completely new for standard production cars at the time, included an extremely high thermal resistance and the reduced weight of the brake discs, which were 60 percent lighter than conventional steel discs. The noticeable reduction in unsprung masses benefit the driver of this special model in terms of both the handling dynamics and driving enjoyment. With the CL 55 AMG "F1 Limited Edition" and its ceramic brakes, Mercedes-Benz once again underlined its leading role in introducing future-oriented technologies in automotive engineering.
Technical data for the Mercedes-Benz CL 55 AMG "F1 Limited Edition"
Production period: 2000 to 2001
Cylinders: V8
Displacement: 5439 cc
Output: 265 kW (360 hp) at 5500 rpm
Top speed: 250 km/h (electronically limited)
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Black Series (C 197), 2013
The SLS AMG Coupé with gullwing doors was the first production sports car to be developed independently by Mercedes-AMG. Following its presentation at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, this spectacular super sports car came onto the market in 2010. Since 2011, the SLS AMG GT 3 derived from the production vehicle has been used in customer racing as an FIA-homologated racing car. This racing version inspired the engineers to develop the SLS AMG Coupé Black Series. Presented as a high-end variant in early 2013, this special model had been further optimised in terms of vehicle dynamics and lightweight construction in accordance with AMG's lightweight performance strategy: with its DIN kerb weight of 1550 kilograms and engine output uprated to 464 kW (631 hp), the SLS AMG Black Series achieves a power to weight ratio of 2.45 kg/hp. It also comes with the AMG RIDE CONTROL Performance suspension, an AMG high-performance ceramic composite braking system and weight-optimised forged AMG light-alloy wheels with newly developed sports tyres. To reduce the centre of gravity, the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission is positioned 10 millimetres lower down. The vehicle completes the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds.
Technical data for the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Black Series
Production period: 2013 to 2014
Cylinders: V8
Displacement: 6208 cc
Output: 464 kW (631 hp) at 7400 rpm
Top speed: 315 km/h
Techno Classica 2017: the ALL TIME STARS cars
The vehicles put on show by ALL TIME STARS are subject to change at short notice.
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (W 198 II, 1957)
The 300 SL Roadster premiered at the Geneva Motor Show between 14 and 24 March 1957. It replaced the successful 300 SL "Gullwing" coupé, which had been in production since 1954. In the North American market especially, customers had pressed for a convertible version of the 300 SL. From a technical point of view, numerous details on the roadster differ from the coupé. In particular, the engineers needed to modify the tubular spaceframe of the 300 SL Gullwing. It was reconstructed at the sides of the body so that there was room to install conventional doors whilst retaining the body's torsional stiffness. Changes were also made at the rear of the frame. This created space to install the single-joint swing axle with compensating springs, as well as for a practical boot. Lastly, in the tradition of the luxurious Mercedes-Benz 300 Sc, the roadster was intended to fulfil the role of a sporty touring car much more effectively than the coupé. From 1961 the W 198 II was also fitted with Dunlop disc brakes. Apart from the omitted roof, various details of the roadster's design also differ from that of the coupé: The open-top sports car has vertical lamp units at the front. These contain the headlamps, fog lamps and indicators under the same lens. In the years to come, this element would shape the appearance of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. A soft top was necessary to the construction. This was easy to operate and at the time was the fastest soft top to open and close by hand. Eighteen months after the market launch of the W 198 II, a hardtop which had been planned from the outset became available. Initially the engineers adopted the engine from the W 198 without changing it. This three-litre six-cylinder M 198 I inline engine featuring petrol injection and an output of 158 kW (215 hp) has a grey cast-iron block. It was replaced in 1962 by the 300 SE's (W 112) aluminium cylinder block, which was 44 kilograms lighter. A total of 1858 examples of the 300 SL Roadster were built through to 1963.
The 300 SL Roadster being presented at Techno Classica by ALL TIME STARS dates from 1957. It has been factory-restored by the experts at Mercedes-Benz Classic.
Technical data for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (W 198 II)
Production period: 1957 to 1963
Cylinders: 6/inline
Displacement: 2996 cc
Output: 158 kW (215 hp) at 5800 rpm
Top speed: up to 250 km/h
Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet (W 111), 1971
Even when still in production, the luxury "Tailfin" convertibles presented in 1961 had a strong following with their timeless, classic appearance. This is why they remained in the Mercedes-Benz product range although most of the saloons in the W 111 series were replaced by a newly designed model generation in August 1965. With the exception of the omitted roof and the necessary body reinforcements, the exclusive convertibles correspond to the W 111 coupés in every detail. In the same year the model 220 Sb was joined by the 300 SE Cabriolet with additional trim and the technology of the model 300 SE (W 112). The 250 SE followed in 1965, the 280 SE in 1968. In September 1969 the Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet appeared as a considerably more powerful version. This was powered by a completely newly developed 3.5-litre V8 engine delivering  147 kW (200 hp), which excelled with its smooth running characteristics. The ten-year production period of the "Tailfin" convertibles came to an end in summer 1971. A total of 1232 examples of the 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet were produced between 1969 and 1971.
The vehicle being presented at Techno Classica by ALL TIME STARS with its authentic patina was built in 1971. The paint finish in moss green metallic makes an attractive contrast to the appointments in beige leather. Prior to delivery ALL TIME STARS will put the 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet through another comprehensive service and new test by the German Technical Inspection Authority. The buyer will also receive a Mercedes-Benz Classic Car Warranty for the vehicle.
Technical data for the Mercedes-Benz 230 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
Production period: 1969 to 1971
Cylinders: V8
Displacement: 3499 cc
Output: 147 kW (200 hp) at 5800 rpm
Top speed: 205 km/h
Mercedes-Benz 230.6 (W 114), 1975
With the saloon unveiled in early 1968, more than 1.8 million were built, making this Mercedes-Benz's first million-selling vehicle. Initially the four-cylinder model 200, 220, 200 D and 220 D (W 115) were available, plus the six-cylinder model 230 and 250 (W 114). The addition "/8" in the model designation referenced 1968, the year of release, and was used in-house to differentiate it from the preceding models. It led to the popular nickname "Strich-Acht" in German ("slash eight"). For the first time, a stylish coupé version was also available. The very successful two-door model provided a foretaste of the future variety in the Mercedes-Benz executive segment. By 1972, the model 280 and 280 E were rounding out the series at the top end. In 1974 the first five-cylinder diesel engine celebrated its world premiere in a production passenger car: in the 240 D 3.0. It was also the first five-cylinder unit in any car, demonstrating a performance capability of 80 hp (59 kW).
First registered in Sweden in February 1975, this Mercedes-Benz 230.6 is part of the ALL TIME STARS Collectors Edition. The model designation included the number 6 from the autumn of 1973 in reference to its six-cylinder engine and this distinguishes the 230.6 from the four-cylinder 230.4 model. With its signal red paint finish and black fabric interior equipment, this vehicle has just one previous owner. In excellent condition, the saloon also has extensive original equipment such as the seat belts in the rear and lined wheel arches. The original brochure for this additional equipment is included with the vehicle.
Technical data for the Mercedes-Benz 230.6 (W 114)
Production period: 1973 to 1976
Cylinders: 6/inline
Displacement: 2296 cc
Output: 88 kW (120 hp) at 5400 rpm
Top speed: 175 km/h
Mercedes-Benz 230 E (W 123), 1982
With a hitherto unheard of selection of models available from January 1976, the new-generation mid-range model series from Mercedes-Benz proved a huge hit with customers and strong demand meant that many initially had to wait up to a year for their car. The first year alone saw the introduction of the 200, 230, 250, 280 and 280 E models plus the 200 D, 220 D, 240 D and 300 D. The saloon was followed in 1977 by the coupé, a long-wheelbase saloon and, for the first time, an estate. The five-door model came out in September 1977 and set standards for the estate as a family-oriented lifestyle and leisure car. Called the "T-Modell" in German, the T stands for "tourism and transport" and emphasises the dual role of this flexible vehicle from the executive segment. Mercedes-Benz introduced a car with a turbocharged diesel engine in Germany for the first time in 1980 in the estate version. In 1980 Mercedes-Benz made the anti-lock braking system ABS available for the first time in this vehicle class in model series 123 and from 1982 the driver airbag. The model series took the success story of the brand's mid-range models to new sales records: around 2.7 million vehicles were built, almost 2.4 million of them saloons and around 200,000 estates.
With 20,300 kilometres on the clock the 230 E being shown by ALL TIME STARS at Techno Classica is available to buy from the original owner. Painted cypress green and with interior equipment in beige fabric, this vehicle is part of the Collectors Edition. It has an automatic transmission and was first registered in 1982. A new certificate from the German Technical Inspection Authority has already been obtained.
Technical data for the Mercedes-Benz 230 E (W 123)
Production period: 1980 to 1985
Cylinders: 4/inline
Displacement: 2299 cc
Output: 100 kW (136 hp) at 5100 rpm
Top speed: 175 km/h
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (R 107), 1987
The SL model series R 107 rolled onto the roads in early 1971, initially as the model 350 SL (147 kW/200 hp). In autumn 1971 there followed – for the USA only – the model 350 SL 4.5, which was then available from 1973 for all markets supplied as the model 450 SL (165 kW/225 hp). For the first time in the history of the SL series there were eight-cylinder engines under the bonnet. The corresponding coupé models of the SLC series (model series C 107) were built in parallel and until the autumn of 1981. In addition to elegance and quality, the vehicles also exude safety. The crash performance of this convertible two-seater car was way ahead of its time. In technical terms, for example, there is a carefully defined crumple zone on the body and bodyshell structure, a highly stable A-pillar and interior equipment that has been systematically designed in accordance with safety criteria. During a production period spanning 18 years, which was not planned but ultimately proved very successful, this SL featured a whole range of six and eight-cylinder engines. The model designations are equally diverse. For example, the model 280 SL was added to the model line-up in July 1974. As a result there were three SL engines to choose from. Today that is by no means unusual, but at the time this was a novelty in the history of this model class. Over the course of time all engines were modified with slight changes made to performance figures and also to comply more effectively with the emissions limit values which had been tightened in most European countries. The 380 SL and 500 SL followed subsequently (both 1980) as well as – after the facelift – the 300 SL, 420 SL and 560 SL. Production of model series R 107 ended in August 1989, over 18 years after it had first begun with the model 350 L. As such this SL model series set an internal company record which is unlikely to be surpassed: in the entire history of the brand, there has never been another passenger car series, apart from the G-Class off-road vehicles, which has been produced over such a long time period. In total 237,287 convertible vehicles were produced in Sindelfingen, a figure which impressively demonstrates the popularity of the R 107 model series.
The ALL TIME STARS vehicle on show at Techno Classica dates from 1987. Painted silver, this SL sports car has interior appointments in blue man-made leather and a five-speed transmission. The 300 SL is part of the ALL TIME STARS Collectors Edition.
Technical data for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (R 107)Production period: 1985 to 1989
Cylinders: 6/inline
Displacement: 2962 cc
Output: 138 kW (188 hp) at 5700 rpm
Top speed: 203 km/h
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (R 129), 1994
At the Geneva Motor Show in 1989 Mercedes-Benz presented the SL from the R 129 model series. Initially there were the 300 SL (140 kW/190 hp), 300 SL-24 (170 kW/231 hp) and 500 SL (240 kW/326 hp) models. The confidently stylish, straightforward lines of the slightly wedge-shaped body, the flared wheel arches, the split front spoiler, a very steeply raked windscreen, the skilfully modelled rear and alloy wheels as standard made for an exceptionally harmonious overall effect. With this vehicle the brand hit the bull's eye: production capacity was soon fully utilised with waiting lists stretching out for several years. This car was a benchmark in terms of safety. The results of stringent Mercedes-Benz crash tests in a frontal and rear impact were sensational for a convertible vehicle. The automatic roll bar, which is controlled by sensors and deploys within 0.3 seconds if there is a threat of a rollover, is an integral part of the safety concept along with integrated seats which can cope with much more stress loading in the event of a crash that the potential forces involved. The suspension is tuned to meet the demands of a touring sports car and enables fast, precise driving combined with a high level of comfort. In autumn 1992 another model appeared in the form of the 600 SL with a twelve-cylinder engine outputting 290 kW(394 hp). The first facelift in the autumn of 1995 resulted in a slightly modified body design, more extensive standard equipment and more polished technical details. A second facelift in 1998 involved some subtle stylistic retouching for an even more dynamic look, but more importantly a change to the engine line-up with new V6 engines taking the place of the previous inline engines, as well as a new V8 unit. Production of the R 129 model series ceased in the summer of 2001 after twelve years and a total of 204,940 examples. Although the total quantity means that it was not quite as successful as the preceding R 107 series at 237,287 vehicles, in terms of average annual production it vastly outstrips it by approximately 16,500 units.
At Techno Classica, ALL TIME STARS are showing a 300 SL from the Collectors Edition. First registered in 1991, the vehicle is painted in almandine red metallic and has black leather appointments. The roadster has two previous owners and a total of 39,200 kilometres on the clock. On request, the buyer can obtain a Mercedes-Benz Classic Car Warranty for the vehicle.
Technical data for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (R 129)Production period: 1989 to 1993
Cylinders: 6/inline
Displacement: 2960 cc
Output: 140 kW (190 hp) at 5700 rpm
Top speed: 228 km/h

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My FAVORITE SPORTS CAR: THE MERCEDES 300 SL ROADSTER, INTRODUCED 60 YEARS AGO


In spring 2017 the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster (R 190) is launched on the market. It is continuing a strong tradition of open-top high-performance sports cars bearing the star. One highlight in this history was the premiere 60 years ago of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (W 198) at the Geneva Motor Show from 14 to 24 March 1957. The open-top sports car superseded the successful "gull-wing" 300 SL Coupé, which was built from 1954. The North American market in particular provided considerable impetus for an open-top version of the 300 SL. In technical terms the roadster differed from the coupé in numerous details, the latter being derived from the successful 300 SL racing car. Today the 300 SL Roadster is one of the most coveted and valuable classics the Mercedes-Benz brand has.
Stuttgart. Readers of the North American "Colliers Magazine" were the first to hear about the new Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster 60 years ago. For the Stuttgart brand gave top photographer David Douglas Duncan the opportunity to showcase a pre-series roadster for the October issue of the magazine in 1956. It was a media coup, and a well considered one. Because in the United States demand for an open-top variant of the 300 SL was very high. The market was an important one for the segment of luxurious sports cars: since 1954 Mercedes-Benz had already exported a large proportion of its coupés to North America, a good 800 of a total of 1400 vehicles built. Duncan, who had himself driven a 300 SL "gull-wing" for years, shot the roadster from the W 198 model series on the Stelvio Pass and also at the main Mercedes-Benz factory in Sindelfingen for the photo spread. The final series version was then unveiled by Mercedes-Benz in March 1957 at the Geneva Motor Show. By 1963 a total of 1858 units of the roadster were built, and from 1958 it was also available with a hardtop.
The publication "Motor Revue" wrote of the new sports car: "Where the engine and driving characteristics are concerned the 300 SL Roadster is a masterstroke." The magazine characterised the sports car as "a touring vehicle for two people, featuring superior performance and roadholding". It was not just the specialist press that was impressed by the open-top version of the "gull-wing" coupé. Media such as the weekly newspaper "Die Zeit" reported on the premiere of the "300 SL Roadster from Mercedes-Benz with no end of noteworthy improvements" (issue dated 21 March 1957).
Roadster tradition from motor racing
In 1952, the Stuttgart brand's first motorsport season since the end of the Second World War, the SL drove home some brilliant successes. This is why the series version, the 300 SL "gull-wing" (W 198) was derived from it, and presented by Mercedes-Benz in February 1954 in New York at the International Motor Sports Show together with the prototype of the 190 SL (W 121).
It soon became clear that the market was also very interested in an open-top version of the high-performance sports car. So on 20 February 1954 the Head of Body Testing in Sindelfingen, Karl Wilfert, demanded the development of a 300 SL Roadster as a sample car. Friedrich Geiger, the first Head of the Design Department in Sindelfingen, back then referred to as Stylistics, presented the first drafts on 5 May 1954. Later Geiger then also developed the matching hardtop, which took on the silhouette of the coupé.
Green light for the roadster
On 2 June 1954 the Board of Management gave the green light for building two test cars and one presentation car. In November 1954 series production of the vehicle was put back for the time being. On 26 July 1955 the Board then made its decision: "The decision has been taken to build the 300 SL Roadster with an attachable coupé roof and where necessary to take on extra staff for this", is how the Board meeting's minutes recorded it.
Developing the coupé into the roadster was associated with some technical modifications. In particular the engineers had to change the space frame. Due to its high design on the flanks this had once called for the characteristic gull-wing doors of the coupé. The frame was now lavishly redesigned on both sides in order to make classic doors possible without any change in the high torsional stiffness. Modifications were also made at the rear of the frame. On the one hand this created space to install the single-joint swing axle with compensating springs, on the other hand for a practical boot. Lastly, in the tradition of the luxurious Mercedes-Benz 300 S, the roadster was intended to fulfil the role of a sporty touring car much more effectively than the coupé. The changes led to an increase in the vehicle weight of around 120 kilograms.
The roadster's handling was impressive. A test report by Mercedes-Benz engineer Erich Waxenberger stated: "The 300 SL Roadster with a single-joint rear axle and compensating springs boasts much better roadholding with sports springs and dampers than the 300 SL Coupé with a twin-joint rear axle. The strong tendency to oversteer has been changed to slight understeering, so this vehicle can safely be driven to its limits within a short space of time. According to Mr [Rudolf] Uhlenhaut and Mr [Karl] Kling the 300 SL Roadster lies somewhere between the Grand Prix racing cars and the 300 SLR where roadholding is concerned." There could hardly have been a better report for the sports car from the fathers of the Silver Arrows. In March 1961 the chassis was further improved with the introduction of disc brakes on all four wheels.
Initially the engineers adopted the engine from the coupé without changing it. The three-litre six-cylinder M 198 in-line engine featuring petrol injection and an output of  158 kW (215 hp) had a grey-cast-iron block. It was replaced in spring 1962 by a 44 kilogram lighter aluminium cylinder block.
Apart from the omitted roof, various details of the roadster's design also differed from that of the coupé: the open-top sports car has vertical lamp units at the front. These contain the headlamps, fog lamps and indicators under the same lens. In the years that followed, this element would shape the appearance of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. A soft top, developed by Friedrich Geiger, was necessary due to the construction. It was easy to operate and at the time was the fastest soft top to open and close by hand. After opening it was concealed beneath a sheet metal cover. Eighteen months after the market launch of the roadster, a hardtop which had been planned from the outset became available.
Sportiness in the genes
The tradition of the sporty Mercedes-Benz SL started in 1952 with the 300 SL racing car (W 194) was systematically continued by the 300 SL Roadster: two vehicles known as the 300 SLS were created for the 1957 season on the basis of the open-top sports car, for entering the North American Sports Car Championship. The specially produced models were 337 kilograms lighter respectively than the series version and had an uprated engine with 173 kW (235 hp). Paul O’S hea, who had already won the championship in category D with the "gull-wing" in 1955 and 1956, took the title for the third time in succession with the 300 SLS. In the early 1960s Eberhard Mahle and Gunther Philipp entered sports car races in 300 SL Roadsters.
The series version, which was available in various transmission configurations, also demonstrated sporty performance. In November 1958 a 300 SL Roadster with the longest available ratio of i=3.25 achieved an average speed of 242.5 km/h on the Munich-Ingolstadt motorway with a racing windshield and covered co-driver's seat. The time was measured by the Main Sports Department of the German automobile club the ADAC. On 8 February 1963 the last of 1858 300 SL Roadsters built left the assembly line in the Sindelfingen plant. Today the 300 SL Roadster is one of the most sought-after and valuable Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Cars which are kept in top condition and are above all original achieve market prices significantly north of a million euros. This market situation reflects the popularity and at the same time the rarity of the 300 SL Roadster. Nevertheless, ALL TIME STARS, the Mercedes-Benz Museum's marketplace, does have outstanding specimens to offer from time to time. An alternative is factory restoration of an existing 300 SL Roadster by Mercedes-Benz Classic: exactly in accordance with the original specification – it does not get any better than that.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Briggs Cunningham and the Beginnings of the Sports Car Craze in the US

The source for this post is Roger Butterfield, "Crazy Over Sports Cars," Saturday Evening Post, 226 (November 7, 1953), 34-66.

Between 1949 and 1953 Briggs Cunningham spent over a million dollars in an attempt to win at Le Mans. Described as a "lean and speed-hungry man," Cunningham was a car collector owning such vehicles as a 1911 Underslung, Hispano Suizas, Pierce Arrows, Mercers, Duesenbergs, Buggatis, Alfa Romeos and Rolls Royces. More modern vehicles included Cadillacs, a Lincoln, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Willys Jeep, Mercedes, aston Martin, Porsche, M.G. O.S.C.A., and a  Bentley.

Cunningham was originally from old money Cincinnati (pork processing), but by the 1950s his home base was West Palm Beach, Florida during the winter, and Long Island the other half of the year. His interest in automobiles went back to his youth, and in 1929 he dropped out of Yale after two years. He followed a lifestyle of golfing, sailing, and travel, buying a Alfa Romeo after marrying the daughter of a New York industrialist, Lucie Bedford, and going to England

His interest in auto racing was in part the result of a friendship with the Collier Brothers, Miles and Sam. The Colliers sustained interest in sports car road racing in the US during the Interwar years, inviting devotees to a track at their home in Tarrytown, New York There dedicated amateurs tried new gadgets and and a variety of modified cars.

Interest in sports cars -- light, simple agile and small -- was a reaction to American cars of the 1930s and 1940s -- vehicles that were increasingly build like a home. Detroit iron became comfortable, with soft springing, heaters , radios, and plush interiors. The sports car of the post-War era -- typified by the M.G. T-C and T-D was anything like their American counterparts -- crude, made with plenty of wood, drafty, with side curtains instead of roll-up windows, noisy, and underpowered. After WWII and prior to 1954 some 140,000 foreign cars were imported into the US.

One major event that stimulated sports car racing and ownership in the US was the annual Watkins Glen Grand Prix which began in 1948. Initially a road race that included going through the Village of Watkins Glen, NY, it began as a 6.6 mile course with 16 right-angle turns, several abrupt switches from dirt to concrete and a series of uphill and downhill grades. The popularity of the event was simply explosive between 1948 with tis 10,000 spectators and 1952, when over100,000 watched the race. Because of an accident that took the life of a young boy, the race was held on a loser track beginning in 1953.






Another major stimulus to the growth of the sports car hobby was Briggs Cunningham' assault on  the 24 hour race at Le Mans. It captivated the attention of Americans who no longer were satisfied with playing 2nd fiddle to the Europeans in almost anything! Cunningham's first attempt took place in 1950, when he entered a modified Cadillac that French fans named Le Monstre. That bizarre-looking car finished 11th, and the next year Cunningham took to France his Chrysler V-8 Fire-power engine roadsters. In 1952 Cunningham entered his CR-4s, 600 pounds lighter than the 1951 models. Victory would elude the Cunninghams, but what endured was a powerful sports car movement in the US that lasted for two generations, then last now growing old and gray.

Le Monstre


Cunningham C-3


More on this topic later!




Monday, March 20, 2017

The MGA Twin Cam: Sports Car Of The Year (1955-1956)





My first car was a black with red interior 1959 MGA. I got it my senior year jun High school, 1966.  The above film stresses the Twin-Cam variant, a car that I understand was difficult to tune and had other maintenance issues. I paid $600 for that first car, and sold it for almost that much. It was a Western New York Car, meaning it by the time I got it, it was filled with Bondo.  It never failed me, despite all the writing about Lucas electrics.  The mystery for me back then was the SU carburetors and how to tune them. I still have the Unisyn I bought to tune the car. It had wire wheels and knock off hubs, and when the top was down it introduced me to the sheer exhilaration of driving.





I wonder now what attracted me to British cars and the MG in particular? No one in my family had British cars. My older cousins didn't think much of imports at all.  I do remember walking by the sports car dealership on Delaware Avenue in North Buffalo, Mark Motors, and being struck by a light Blue MGA that was for sale for $1300.  There and to be something that made a powerful impression on my 17 year-old mind that said to me "you didn't know about this shape before, but now you must have it."






Sunday, March 19, 2017

Jaguar Factory Tour - 1961





This is a fascinating video illustrating Jaguar production techniques at the top of their game -- late 1950s and early 1960s.  Not a hand-made car by any measure, but plenty of skilled labor is still involved.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Betsy De Vos and her Connection to the Automobile Industry

Edgar Dale Prince

Betsy DeVos



Thanks to Ed Garten for this material.  IN SUM, THE AMERICAN MADE COUNTLESS FORTUNES DURING HTE 20TH CENTURY.  THAT IS WHY WE CANNOT LOSE  OUR COMPETITIVE EDGE AS WE COMPETE WITH OTHER MANUFACTURERS FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE!

Love her or hate her, Donald Trump's new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has a strong family connection to the automobile industry.  DeVos' father, Edgar Prince of Holland, Michigan, made his fortune manufacturing auto parts.  But perhaps his greatest innovation was one that women can't do without today:  Prince invented the lighted sun visor mirror.  How often have we seen, at red light stops, women drivers pulling down their sun visors, looking into the lighted mirror, and then quickly putting on make-up?  And then there is the occasional male driver, adjusting his tie in the lighted mirror or making sure he doesn't have a five-o'clock shadow before going into the office.  What would we do without Edgar Prince to light up our faces?

Edgar Dale Prince was born on May 3, 1931 in Holland, Michigan, the son of Edith (De Weert) and Peter Prince and died in 1995 at the young age of 63. His father was a local businessman who died of a stroke when Edgar was 11. His parents belonged to the Reformed Church in America and traced their ancestry back to the Netherlands. He graduated from the University of Michigan, where he received a bachelor of science degree in engineering.
Prince started his career at a company manufacturing die cast machines in Holland, Michigan. He quit in order to start his own manufacturing business with the help of two co-workers. The venture proved very successful and was a leading manufacturer of die-cast machines in Michigan by the 1970s. The Prince Corporation also operated a successful diversification into auto parts by developing sun visors and other interior systems for car manufacturers. After a long period of sustained growth, it employed thousands in the early 1990s at its many plants.
Ownership in the business made Prince one of the wealthiest men in Michigan.  Prince collapsed in an elevator and died in 1995.  Throughout his career he had congenital heart disease. His company was sold the following year for $1.35 billion and is now a unit of Johnson Controls.


A Mazda Sun Visor