This blog will expand on themes and topics first mentioned in my book, "The Automobile and American Life." I hope to comment on recent developments in the automobile industry, reviews of my readings on the history of the automobile, drafts of my new work, contributions from friends, descriptions of the museums and car shows I attend and anything else relevant to those interested in automobiles and auto history. Copyright 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 , 2016, 2017, by the author.
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.
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)
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