Monday, March 23, 2015

Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR (W 196 S) racing sports car, 1955

Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR (W 196 S) racing sports car, 1955
With the 300 SLR (W 196 S), Mercedes-Benz won the World Sportscar Championship in 1955. The vehicle is basically a type W 196 R Formula 1 racing car with a two-seater sports car body. The main technical difference is to be found in the engine: the racing sports car, not being bound by the Formula 1 regulations limiting the engine’s displacement, was powered by a three-litre version of the eight-cylinder in-line engine and featured cylinder blocks made not from steel, but from light-alloy. In addition, the 300 SLR ran on regular premium-grade petrol, as opposed to special methanol-based racing fuel. Its output of 228 kW (310 hp) and its durability and reliability made the 300 SLR far superior to its competitors of 1955 – a fact it went on to prove with its double victories at the Mille Miglia, in the Eifel race, the Swedish Grand Prix and the Targa Florio (Sicily). At the 1955 Mille Miglia, Stirling Moss and his co-driver Denis Jenkinson (starting number 722) came in first with an average speed, unequalled to this day, of 157.65 km/h. The track record of this sports car remains unique: the W 196 S won every single race the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR entered and finished.

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