Mercedes-Benz 300SLR


Karl Ludvigsen

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Introduction by Karl Ludvigsen. When Mercedes-Benz returned to motor racing in the 1950s it did so with an aggressive attack across the board. It planned to launch both its Grand Prix cars and its new sports-racing cars in 1954, but delays with the latter meant that the sports-racers didn’t appear until 1955. When they did, the results were sensational. The magnificent 300SLR took Stirling Moss to a record-shattering victory in the Mille Miglia and (with Peter Collins) in the grueling Targa Florio. Other victories took Mercedes-Benz to the World Manufacturers’ Championship that year.

Tragedy struck as well: a 300SLR went into the crowd at Le Mans, resulting in 82 deaths and many injuries. With unique and rarely seen images, Karl Ludvigsen presents the dramatic story of these racers with their tubular space frames, inboard brakes and fuel-injected desmodromic-valved eight-cylinder engines. Featured also are secret tests at Hockenheim, the never-raced coupe version of the 300SLR and the new design that was being prepared for 1956 – a season that these cars never experienced.