Top class: Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6.9 made its debut 45 years ago

Press Information
21 April 2020

Top class: Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6.9 made its debut 45 years ago

MB450SEL69.jpg

• The 8-cylinder engine with a displacement of 6.9 litres and 210 kW (286 hp) reaches a top speed of 225 km/h
• Brave introduction in the wake of the oil shock
• Press review: the “world’s best vehicle” and showing “courage” and “optimism about the future”

Stuttgart.
A clear commitment to power 45 years ago: in spring 1975 Mercedes-Benz introduced model series 116’s new, top-of-the-line model, the 450 SEL 6.9. The high-performance saloon was one of the fastest vehicles at the time, as only very few sports cars were able to reach even higher speeds. Nowadays, it’s a sought-after classic. “The 450 SEL 6.9 is a brand icon,” Patrik Gottwick says as the Head of ALL TIME STARS, Mercedes-Benz Classic’s own vehicle retailer. “Model series 116 vehicles have become very sought-after on the market, especially the ones with 6.9-litre M 100 engine. We have noticed a significant increase in demand over the past years and recent auction results show that the value of the 450 SEL 6.9 is on the up. The reasons for this being its levels of refined motoring, everyday qualities as a classic car and the very low production numbers of a mere 7380 vehicles.”

Top-of-the-line model: The model series 116 S-Class was introduced in September 1972. It received a number of awards from the outset. These included the 450 SE’s being named the 1974 “Car of the Year”. Three years later, the top-of-the-line model 450 SEL 6.9 rounded off the model range (which started with the 280 S) at the top end. Its predecessor, the 300 SEL 6.3, generating 184 kW (250 hp), already set a benchmark within the luxury saloon segment.

Engine with a legacy: The technical basis for the eight-cylinder engine with plenty of displacement stems from the legendary Mercedes-Benz 600 (W 100 model series). However, with the same displacement, its cylinder bore had been increased even further, from 103 millimetres to 107 millimetres. This resulted in a displacement of 6,834 cc in the 450 SEL 6.9. The engine generates 210 kW (286 hp) at 4,250 rpm and reaches its maximum torque of 550 newton metres at 3,000 rpm. Such a high torque allows the integration of a very “long” rear-axle ratio (2.65). This cuts the engine speed and thus noise levels. Engineers even kept maintenance costs in mind: the hydraulic valve clearance compensation mechanism makes retrospective adjustment obsolete. Thanks to a newly developed cylinder head gasket, it is no longer necessary to retighten the cylinder heads. Dry sump lubrication paired with an oil quantity increased to twelve litres makes it possible to stretch oil change intervals to 15,000 kilometres. The three-speed automatic transmission basically stems from the 4.5-litre models, but is adapted to the output and increased torque of the “6.9”.

Gas springs: Mercedes-Benz took a completely new approach in terms of the suspension. Following on from the pneumatic suspension in the 300 SEL 6.3, the 450 SEL 6.9 is equipped with a hydropneumatic variant, which includes a level control system. Four spring elements additionally take over shock absorber activities. A pressurised oil system balances out the oil volume within the spring struts. As a result, the vehicle’s ride height remains constant and the full spring travel always remains available. A press release dating back to 1975 described the outstanding handling as “this innovation ideally links excellent handling characteristics and maximum comfort throughout the entire speed range”.

Vehicle data: Its performance values are extremely impressive considering automotive engineering’s state of the art around five decades ago: the vehicle’s top speed is 225 km/h, a value that was even frequently exceeded during tests conducted by the specialist press. The model accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 7.4 seconds. When empty, the “6.9” weighs 1,935 kilograms. In 1975 its DIN consumption value was stated as 16 litres per 100 kilometres at a speed of 110 km/h. Compared with today’s dimensions, the wide-base tyres back in the day were relatively humble at 215/70 VR 14.

Unit figures and price: A total of 7,380 450 SEL 6.9 vehicles were produced in Sindelfingen between 1975 and 1980. Price list no. 16, dated 28 January 1976, states 69,930.00 German marks as the basic price of the model series 116’s top-of-the-line model. By comparison, the entry-level variant of model series 116, the 280 S, was priced at 28,848.90 German marks and the model series W 115 Mercedes-Benz 200 was available for 18,381.60 German marks in 1976.

Equipment: Comfort features, such as an air conditioning system, heat-insulating glass, a heated rear window, central locking, cruise control, power windows, a headlight cleaning system, velour upholstery as well as inertia-reel seat belts both at the front and rear formed part of the standard equipment on board the 450 SEL 6.9. It goes without saying that optional extras were also available, for instance an electric sunroof (987.90 German marks) and the highly exclusive Becker AT 160 S car phone (13,542 German marks).

Tradition: In 1972 Mercedes-Benz introduced the new S-Class with the 280 S, 280 SE and 350 SE models. “S- Class”: This designation was used for the first time. With it, the Stuttgart-based brand dominated the top-level and luxury categories and the vehicle became a synonym for luxury, comfort and safety. Vehicles by Mercedes-Benz and its original brands have dominated this segment since the dawn of the 20th century.

Positioning: Right from the outset there were plans to expand the range towards the top by models with 4.5- and 6.9-litre engines. The 450 SE and 450 SEL models were launched on the market in spring 1973, the 280 SEL and 350 SEL models with a wheelbase that had been extended by 100 millimetres to provide more legroom for passengers in the rear were added to the range in 1974. At the presentation of the “6.9” in Le Hohwald in France in May 1975, Professor Hans Scherenberg, Member of the Board of Management of what was then Daimler-Benz AG and Head of the Overall Development and Research department said: “As the S- Class’s top-of-the-line model and successor of the 300 SEL 6.3 with air suspension, the 450 SEL 6.9 has the potential to live up to the demands of our most spoilt contemporaries.”

Oil shock: In autumn 1973, West Germany was made aware of its dependence on oil-producing states on the Arabian peninsula for the very first time. OPEC member states limited crude oil production and the price of petrol and diesel soared. This had consequences: for instance, on 25 November 1973 as well as on the following three Sundays leading up to Christmas, a national driving ban was enforced in Germany. However, even during the critical phase for the automotive industry in 1973/74 – when incoming orders were stagnant or even in decline – Mercedes-Benz was able to increase sales figures. However, the market launch of the 450 SEL 6.9 was postponed by a few months.

Praise from critics: Swiss “Automobil Revue” commented on Mercedes-Benz’s brave step to introduce this powerful saloon as follows: “It is gratifying that, just at this time, a car has appeared that offers the very highest driving enjoyment for the aficionado – and at any speed. The 6.9 is not only testimony to the optimism for the future expressed by its creators, but also of their courage to stand by their convictions.” British “Motor” magazine remarked the following: “There is only one word to sum it all up: fabulous!” And “auto motor und sport” headed up edition 21/1975 with a simple “The world’s best car” and captioned: “The 450 SEL 6.9 sets new benchmarks in the automotive top class.”

Contacts:
Frank Mühling, +49 176 3095 1412, frank.muehling@daimler.com
Ralph Wagenknecht, +49 160 865 8077, ralph.wagenknecht@daimler.com
Julia Höfel, +49 151 5861 0215, julia.hoefel@daimler.com

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Mercedes-Benz Classic Club Management – Editor’s Newsletter 2020

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Vettoer in a Benz 2020

Stories of the G: G-Class special exhibition at the Mercedes-Benz Museum

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is at home all around the world – on every terrain, on and off-road. This year, the popular, classic cross-country vehicle is celebrating its 40th birthday, and the Mercedes-Benz Museum is hosting an extensive
“G-Schichten” (G stories) special exhibition. It will be open from 18 October 2019 and, with eleven vehicles and countless further exhibits, tells colourful stories of the brand’s oldest serving model series.

Stuttgart. Since its world premiere in 1979 the Mercedes-Benz G-Class has written countless stories over the course of 40 years with an unparalleled career. No wonder: right from the start it was aimed at a variety of different user groups. It is also at home all over the world and on any terrain: it surmounts obstacles in rough terrain effortlessly and glides gracefully along the world’s shopping streets. That is what makes the G-Class so unique – and an icon of the brand. It goes without saying that Mercedes-Benz has always kept the G at the cutting edge of technology.

The “G-Schichten” (G stories) special exhibition at Mercedes-Benz Museum tells the full story of the G. It will be open from 18 October 2019 and is planned to run until 19 April 2020. The protagonists of the exhibition: vehicles from 1979 to the present day. Amongst them is the “flying” 240 GD dating back to 1979, the protagonist of a press photo, showing the G as it jumps over a sand dune. Or the “Popemobile” of 1980, the faithful reconstruction of the winning car of the 1983 “Paris–Dakar” and the last cabriolet from 2013: the stories are just as varied as the vehicle itself.
The outstanding off-road capabilities are shown by a G on a gradient of 100 percent. Visitors can clamber up a correspondingly steep ramp in order to get a feel for the performance of the cross-country vehicle. The technology of the G-Class is represented by a cutaway model of a transfer case and a rear axle with differential locks, for example.
The vehicles of the special exhibition and their “G-Schichten” (G stories)

240 GD, 1979
Grand appearance: the G-model celebrates its world premiere with four engines, three body variants and two wheelbases. Mercedes-Benz presented the cross-country vehicle in February 1979. This agave-green 240 GD, as an open-top car with a short wheelbase, played an important role in this. It can be seen on a press image in which it is jumping weightlessly over a dune. The photograph was published for the debut of the G-model and continues to fascinate to this day.

230 G “Popemobile”, 1980
The “Popemobile” is perhaps the most famous Mercedes-Benz G-Class. It was made in 1980 for John Paul II in order to protect the Pope from wind and rain on his visit to Germany. After the assassination attempt in 1981 the superstructure received bullet-proof glazing. Following this, the special version based on the Mercedes-Benz cross-country vehicle accompanied the Holy Father on many trips.

230 G cabriolet of the Tramin voluntary fire service, 1982
Right from their start in February 1979 the Mercedes-Benz G-models were aimed at a broad customer base. Many aid organisations also chose the cross-country vehicle, such as the Tramin voluntary fire service in South Tyrol. The open-top model has been in use there as a command vehicle since 1982 and has also been proving its worth on impassable terrain.

300 GD for Franz Josef Strauß, 1982
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is also ideal as a hunting vehicle: the former Bavarian minister-president Franz Josef Strauß recognised the benefits of the vehicle and drove this 300 GD for many years. It has special accessories such as electrically adjustable seats, an electrically powered sunroof and air conditioning. In a newspaper report Strauß praised the directional stability, the precise power steering, the all-wheel drive and the five-speed gearbox.

280 GE “Paris–Dakar”, 1983 (faithful reconstruction)
Sporting successes inspire the image of the robust Mercedes-Benz cross-country vehicle. For example, this 280 GE won overall victory at the legendary Paris-Dakar Rally with Jacky Ickx and Claude Brasseur on 20 January 1983. The body was optimised in a wind tunnel and also made lighter than in the large-scale production thanks to several aluminium parts. A performance-enhanced six-cylinder engine is performing its magic under the bonnet.

Puch 280 GE, 1986
Home brand: the G-Class has been built in Graz by Steyr-Daimler-Puch (today: Magna Steyr) for 40 years. The site goes back to Puchwerke founded by Johann Puch in 1899. It is therefore apt that around a tenth of all Gs were sold under the brand name Puch from 1979 to 1999. The key areas are Austria, Switzerland and Eastern Europe.

300 GD “Otto”, 1988
Globetrotter: 26 years, 215 countries, almost 900,000 kilometres – these are the impressive career stats of “Otto”. This is what Gunther and Christine Holtorf dubbed their 300 GD, with which they travelled all around the world from 1989 to 2014. Around a third of their routes were off-road. The world tour means the standard cross-country vehicle now has its own entry in the Guinness Book of World Records. It has been a part of the Mercedes-Benz Museum collection since 2014.

G 63 AMG “half and half”, 2013
The G-Class doesn’t do things by half measures: it performs just as excellently in the extreme off-road as it does on asphalt. This applies to technology, design and equipment – with the G-Class you are always perfectly prepared. This G 63 AMG shows both sides: on the right, the fascinating axial flexibility of the chassis when off-road, and on the left, the sophisticated driving comfort on the road.

G 500 Cabriolet Final Edition 200, 2013
Open-top final: convertible versions have been a part of the G-Class since its premiere 40 years ago. However, production of the G-Class Cabriolet with a short wheelbase ended in 2014. The coveted “Final Edition 200” came out in 2013 and was made up of 200 type G 500 vehicles with black paint and sand-coloured soft top.

G 65 AMG Final Edition, 2017
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class and AMG: this is an ideal pairing as the sales success of the powerful cross-country vehicles shows. The G 65 AMG with a twelve-cylinder engine and 1,000 Newton metres of torque is legendary. To mark the end of production there was an exclusively equipped “Final Edition”. Both outside and in: everything of the highest quality. Go off-road in it? Not an option for most buyers. But it is good to know that it wouldn’t be a problem!

G 500 “300,000th”, 2017
Blue rarity: this G 500 is a unique specimen. In July 2017 it was precisely the 300,000th G to roll off the production line in Graz since 1979. The paint (designo mauritius blue metallic) and the equipment (black leather seats with white seams) was decided on by G-Class fans all around the world in a social media vote.

Contacts:
Friederike Valet, +49 151 5862 2944, friederike.valet@daimler.com
Julia Höfel, +49 151 5861 0215, julia.hoefel@daimler.com

Mercedes-Benz Classic Club Management – Editor’s Newsletter 2019

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From status-conscious luxury saloon to popular young classic

A pioneer of modern design and a technology trendsetter with airbags, optimised aerodynamics and deliberate weight reduction: this is what the 126 series Mercedes-Benz S-Class stood for, presented  40 years ago in September 1979 at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt am Main. Today,   the luxury saloons and coupés of this series, built from 1981 onwards, are popular young classics of the brand. One selected vehicle is currently available at ALL TIME STARS, the Mercedes-Benz Classic car dealership.

Press Information

19 September 2019

Premiere In September 1979, Mercedes-Benz unveiled its new generation of luxury-class saloons at the IAA in Frankfurt – the S-Class (model series 126). The range initially comprised seven models; there was a choice of four engines (from the 2.8-litre six-cylinder carburettor engine with 115 kW/156 hp to the 5.0-litre V8 light- alloy engine with petrol injection and 176 kW/240 hp) and two body variants – in addition to the normal version, there was a long-wheelbase version, as had been offered for the past two generations of luxury saloons. At 140 millimetres, the increase in wheelbase was more pronounced than before (3,075 millimetres instead of 2,935 millimetres) and, as usual, solely improved the rear legroom and the access width of the rear doors.

 

 

Young at heart When it first appeared, the 126 series S-Class was initially felt by some to be prosaic and inornate. However, within a short time, the design was recognised as being groundbreaking. This also gave the series a boost and helped it achieve its present status as a timeless, popular young classic. Currently on offer at ALL TIME STARS is a 280 SE from 1982 with exceptionally low mileage: it only has about 36,000 kilometres on the clock. In keeping with this, its overall condition is outstanding – ALL TIME STARS is offering it in its Collectors Edition (https://www.mercedes-benz.com/de/ats_vehicle/mercedes-benz-w-126-280-se/). The equipment is generously extensive, right down to the brown leather seats. This S-Class was mainly in use on the Portuguese island of Madeira. The vehicle comes complete with the on-board folder containing the service record and owner’s manual as well as the full tool kit. Before it is handed over, the 280 SE will be given a full technical check, new certification and an exhaust emission test – as well as a twelve-month ALL TIME STARS warranty.

 

Timeless elegance So to speak, the characteristic design features of the new S-Class can be found below the waistline. For the first time, a Mercedes-Benz passenger car did not have conventional bumpers, but generously dimensioned, plastic-coated bumpers that had been seamlessly integrated into the front and rear aprons. A visual link between the front and rear aprons was provided by wide plastic side protection panels located between the wheel arches at bumper level.

Engines The two eight-cylinder engines used in the predecessor series 116 were replaced by two re- engineered units with increased displacement and light alloy crankcases. The 5.0-litre engine, which replaced the 4.5-litre grey cast iron engine, had already made its début in the 450 SLC 5.0 (C 107), while the 3.8-litre light-alloy engine was developed from the 3.5-litre V8 with the grey cast iron block. Combining greater output with lower weight, the new V8 engines offered much improved performance and better fuel economy. The carburettor and injection versions of the 2.8-litre six-cylinder engines remained unchanged in the series. A diesel version of the 126 series was once again available for export to the US. Like its predecessor, the 300 SD turbodiesel offered a turbocharged 3.0-litre five-cylinder engine, but its output was increased by 7.4 kW (10 hp) to 92 kW (125 hp).

Better efficiency Throughout the development of the new series, methods of reducing energy consumption while increasing driving comfort and safety were at the forefront. The use of weight-reducing materials and optimised aerodynamics helped the new S-Class achieve a ten per cent reduction in fuel consumption compared with its predecessors.

Less drag From the 1970s onwards, during the first major oil crisis, the issue of aerodynamics gained considerably in importance. The 126 series was the first Mercedes-Benz production vehicle to be consistently developed and designed with aerodynamics in mind. The result was that, with a cd   rating of 0.36 at the end of the 1970s, it already occupied a leading position in its segment by international standards. In the predecessor series 116, the cd   rating had been 0.41.

Restraint systems In 1981, the driver airbag celebrated its world premiere in the 126 series. Initially, it had been available as an optional extra and offered considerably better protection against injury in the event of a frontal collision in conjunction with the safety belt. From the same year, Mercedes-Benz also offered the seatbelt pretensioner for the front passenger as an optional extra. This system effectively reduced the slack in the seat belt so that it held the person more firmly in the seat in the event of an impending collision. In 1988, the series also saw the world premiere of the passenger airbag when the model was upgraded.

Crash safety The bodyshell was designed to reflect the latest safety research findings. Thanks to new design principles, the passenger cell was able to withstand an offset crash undamaged – at a collision speed of 55 km/h – although it weighed less than in the 116 series. The 126-series saloons were the world’s first production vehicles to meet the criteria for asymmetric frontal collisions.

Details for improved safety There were numerous other safety features. For example, there was the electrically adjustable steering column (optional from 1985), the automatic limited-slip differential for the six-cylinder models and acceleration skid control for the V8 models (all optional features from 1985).

Facelift Four years after the launch of the energy-saving concept, an extensive model facelift was carried out, so that in September 1985 and again at the IAA in Frankfurt, Mercedes-Benz presented a completely revised model range of the 126 series. Its visual appearance was discreetly revised, primarily with regard to the bumpers and side protection panels, but also the wheels, which were upgraded from 14 to 15 inches. This also included an improved safety aspect, as larger brake discs could now be accommodated as a result. The focus, however, was on restructuring the engine options, in the course of which the S-Class was given two newly designed six-cylinder engines, which had débuted in the mid-size 124 series nine months earlier. A new addition to the range was a 4.2-litre V8 engine, which had been created by boring out the 3.8-litre engine. The 5.0-litre engine was also modified and was now equipped with an electronic ignition system and the Bosch “KE-Jetronic” electronically controlled mechanical fuel injection system which helped it generate an output of 180 kW (245 hp). The diesel export model was replaced by the new 300 SDL with 110 kW (150 hp).

Emission control In the course of model facelifts, a controlled emission control system with a three-way catalytic converter was available on request for all variants of the revised model range with the exception of the 5.6-litre models’ ECE versions. The standard version was supplied as a catalyst retrofit version, in which the vehicle was delivered without a catalytic converter and lambda sensor, but with the multifunctional mix preparation and ignition system. Retrofitting a controlled catalytic converter to a retrofit vehicle could be carried out easily at any time. This arrangement gave the customer the greatest possible flexibility in determining the time of conversion – bearing in mind that, in the 1980s, this was a considerable advantage as the supply of unleaded fuel was not yet guaranteed everywhere. From September 1986, the controlled catalytic converter became standard equipment in all Mercedes-Benz passenger car models with internal combustion petrol engines; retrofit vehicles continued to be available on request until August 1989, at a corresponding price discount.

Engine with 5.6-litre engine capacity The most spectacular innovation in the engine range was a 5.6-litre eight-cylinder engine developed from the 5.0-litre V8 by extending the stroke, which generated an output of 200 kW (272 hp). On request, there was even a version with higher compression which allowed for 221 kW (300 hp) but was not available with a controlled emission control system. Even without a catalytic converter, this “ECE version” met the exhaust emission limits set by the European Economic Commission (ECE). At their release the 560 SEL equipped with this engine variant and the coupé 560 SEC were the most powerful Mercedes-Benz production passenger cars built up to that time.

Production success By 1991, a total of 818,036 of these saloons had left the production halls in Sindelfingen within the twelve-year production period. From 1981 to 1991, 74,060 SEC coupés (C 126) were also built.
This made the 126 series the most successful luxury class series in the company’s history.

Contacts:

Frank Mühling, +49 176 3095 1412, frank.muehling@daimler.com
Ralph Wagenknecht, +49 160 865 8077, ralph.wagenknecht@daimler.com
Julia Höfel, +49 151 5861 0215, julia.hoefel@daimler.com

90th birthday of the Silver Arrow knight

British racing driver Stirling Moss became a star of the Mercedes-Benz racing department in 1955. He celebrated outstanding victories with the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR racing sports car (W 196 S) and was Formula 1 runner-up world champion with the W 196 R. His successes are highlights of 125 years of Mercedes-Benz motorsport history. On 17 September 2019, the motorsport racer, who was knighted in 2000, will be 90 years old.

Press Information

17 September 2019

“In 1955, with triumphs such as his overall victory in the Mille Miglia and winning the British Grand Prix, Sir Stirling Moss wrote motorsport history for Mercedes-Benz. He has been closely associated with our brand ever since. We would like to congratulate this outstanding racing driver on his 90th birthday,” affirms Christian Boucke, head of Mercedes-Benz Classic.

On 1 May 1955, Stirling Moss wrote motorsport history: in the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR racing sports car, the then 25-year-old British driver won the legendary Mille Miglia in the best time ever achieved there. He completed the race that began on 30 April from Brescia to Rome and back on an extremely challenging 1,000-mile route together with co-driver Denis Jenkinson at an average speed of 157.65 km/h.

Another great moment is Moss’ victory with Formula 1 racing car Mercedes-Benz W 196 R at the British Grand Prix in Aintree on 16 July 1955 ahead of his team colleague Juan Manuel Fangio. It was the first victory ever for a British racing driver at this Grand Prix.

Championships

The foundations for the career of this British driver were already laid at primary-school age: inspired by the motorsport successes of his mother Aileen and father Alfred, the youngster dreamt of becoming a professional racing driver. With special permission, he already had his driving licence at the age of 15.

In 1948, Stirling Moss bought a Cooper 500 racing car. With it, he took part in 15 Formula 3 races, winning 12 of them. This was the start of an international career. In 1949, the young racing driver became a part of the British H.W.M. works team in Formula 2 and won the English Formula 2 championship title in 1949 and 1950. In 1950, Moss also won the Tourist Trophy in a Jaguar XK 120, beating the works racing car of the manufacturer. A year later, he headed the Jaguar team.

Professionalisation

Moss not only had clear goals regarding his sporting successes, but he was also very decisive when it came to the professionalisation of his career. As a result, he was one of the first professional drivers of this era to hire a manager who dealt with engagements and fees. How important this decision was became clear in 1953, when manager Ken Gregory approached Mercedes-Benz racing manager Alfred Neubauer: would the brand from Stuttgart like to hire Moss for the re-entry of Mercedes-Benz into the Grand Prix sport?

In the 1954 season, however, Moss still raced in Formula 1 in his own Maserati 250 F as the private team “Equipe Moss” (later “Stirling Moss Limited”). His gripping duel with Silver Arrow chief driver Juan Manuel Fangio at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza was one of the moments that left a great impression: Moss was in pole position until just twelve rounds from the finish, when he was hopelessly thrown back into the pack by a technical defect. Winner Fangio paid great respect to the Brit and called him the actual winner of the race.

Silver Arrows

By 1954, Neubauer had been convinced of the great talent of the British racing driver. He invited him for a test drive and hired him for the 1955 season as a works driver of the Mercedes-Benz racing department. Moss was to complete 17 races with the successful W 196 R Formula 1 racing car as well as the new 300 SLR racing sports car (W 196 S).

Moss made his Formula 1 debut for the Silver Arrows on 16 January 1955 at the Argentinian Grand Prix, where he was able to clinch 4th place in the heat of Buenos Aires together with Hans Herrmann and Karl Kling. The highlight of the season was his victory at the British Grand Prix. At two further Formula 1 races (the Belgian Grand Prix on 5 June 1955 and the Dutch Grand Prix on 19 June 1955), each time Moss came in second behind Fangio. He ended the season as runner-up in the driver standings.

Sports car racing

Stirling Moss was his most successful in 1955 in sports car racing with the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR racing sports car developed solely for this season. The vehicle had its exceptionally successful premiere at the Mille Miglia. With it, the British racing driver also won the Tourist Trophy in Dundrod (Northern Ireland) and the Targa Florio in Sicily. This allowed him to secure for the brand from Stuttgart – alongside the win of the Formula 1 world championship by Juan Manuel Fangio – victory in the 1955 sports car world championship. At the height of its success, Mercedes-Benz withdrew from racing at the end of the season.

Stirling Moss continued his career on other racing teams. He raced in racing cars by Maserati, Vanwall, Cooper, Porsche, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lotus and B.R.M, amongst others, and again and again proved himself to be a world class driver. Moss attained many victories and excellent finishes in Formula 1 (runner-up in 1956 to 1958, third place in the drivers’ world championship in 1959 to 1961) and in sports car races. After a serious injury at the “100 Miles of Goodwood” on 30 April 1962, Moss ended his active career at the age of 33.

Contemporary witness

Stirling Moss continued to stay closely connected to motorsport as an author and a racing expert. In particular, he was involved for many years as a Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador at automotive classic events. The contemporary witness of one of the most glorious eras of motorsport under the star took part in the Mille Miglia and the Goodwood Festival of Speed, amongst other events, in 2015. At both events, Mercedes-Benz looked back on the successes of 1955, 60 years earlier.

In his home country of Great Britain, Moss was known as “Mr Motor Racing” and “the epitome of speed” during his active career. For his services, Queen Elizabeth II honoured him with “The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” (OBE) in 1959. In 2000, Moss was raised to Knight Bachelor, making his title since then Sir Stirling.

Contacts:
Frank Mühling, +49 (0) 176 3095 1412, frank.muehling@daimler.com
Ralph Wagenknecht, +49 (0) 160 865 8077, ralph.wagenknecht@daimler.com

Mille Miglia 1955 in Italy from 30 April to 1 May 1955: Stirling Moss won the legendary road race with his co-driver Denis Jenkinson in a Mercedes-Benz racing sports car 300 SLR (W 196 S) in the best ever time achieved.

Mille Miglia 1955 in Italy from 30 April to 1 May 1955: Stirling Moss won the legendary road race with his co-driver Denis Jenkinson in a Mercedes-Benz racing sports car 300 SLR (W 196 S) in the best ever time achieved.

Mercedes-Benz racing driver Sir Stirling Moss. Picture from 1955 at the edge of test drives with the Mercedes-Benz racing sports car 300 SLR (W 196 S) at the Hockenheimring. The vehicles were then brought to Italy for training on the route of the Mille Miglia

British Grand Prix in Aintree on 16 July 1955: Stirling Moss won the race in a Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 racing car W 196 R. It was the first victory for a British racing driver at this Grand Prix.

Mille Miglia 1955 in Italy from 30 April to 1 May 1955: Stirling Moss won the legendary road race with his co-driver Denis Jenkinson in a Mercedes-Benz racing sports car 300 SLR (W 196 S) in the best ever time achieved.

Mercedes-Benz Classic Club Management – Editor’s Newsletter 2018

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BENZ LENS ANNUAL 2017

At the 2018 Gala evening, it was my pleasure to announce another highlight in the history of the Club, and the history of the Benz Lens – and that is the 1st Benz Lens Annual of 2017.  
I thank Stephen Kaalsen for doing a sterling job, and for making the Benz Lens Annual 2017 the highly anticipated, quality publication that it is. 
I do hope you will enjoy it just as much as I have – and that you will cherish it as much as I do.

            

Stephen Kaalsen receiving 1st copy from President,                   Stephen Kaalsen handing over 1st copies to past Presidents: 
Waldo Scribante                                                                           Steve Rademeyer, Dirk van der Westhuizen and Graham van Heerden

The Benz Lens Annual 2017 is available to all members through their regional chairman!