In 1954 the Mercedes Benz Rennabteilng returned to Grand Prix racing and equiped themselves with a special transporter that was capable of 105 mph.
Most racing car transporters at the time were woefully underpowered and would have struggled to reach 60 mph.
This is a recreation of the original Schnell Tranporter fitted with the correct type 200 hp 3 litre / 183 cui straight six motor as found in the 300 SL Gullwing Coupés.
Mounting the cab ahead of the motor meant the frontal area of the vehicle was reduced, which aided top speed.
Some of the features of the under chassis design would not look out of place on a 21st century Le Mans Prototype (LMP) racing car.
I have not seen any contemporary evidence showing that Mercedes Benz advertised the original vehicles top speed on the rear wings / fenders.
Sitting on the back of the Rennwagen Schnell Transporter at this years Goodwood Festival of Speed was a Gullwing Mercedes Benz, but this is not a regular 300 SL Gullwing.
Beneath the 300 SL Gullwing bodywork sits a 1955 300 SLR Roadster chassis complete with competition spec 3 litre fuel injected 8 cylinder motor in place of usual 300 SL six cylinder motor.
Known as the Uhlenhaut Coupé this was a vehicle devised by Rudolf Uhlenhaut as a 1956 racing prototype. However after Mercedes Benz withdrew from racing activities in Europe at the end of 1955 one of the two Uhlenhaut Coupés was fitted with a silencer the size of a suit case in order not to breach the peace and used by Rudolf as his daily driver.
Thanks for joining me on this “Quick Transport and Transporter” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a classic DeSoto. Don’t forget to come back now !