Tag Archives: Eger

When 6 Is 9 – Mercedes Benz 300 SLR no.10

At 07:04 on the 1st of May 1955 Hans Hermann and Hermann Eger set off from the start ramp of for the Mille Miglia however unlike team mates Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio the two Germans never made it to the finish crashing out before reaching Bologna while in second place over 5 mins behind Moss and Jenkinson but well ahead of Fangio who was running on only 7 of his 8 cylinders.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLR Coupé, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The car Hans crashed on the Mille Miglia was chassis #no.6 and it’s next appearance was at Le Mans where Pierre Levegh and John Fitch were to drive the car and two hours into the race Pierre’s Mercedes 300 SLR clipped an errant Austin Healey and was launched into the air which set in motion the greatest disaster in motor racing history as 84 people and were killed as parts of the Mercedes scythed through the spectators and the magnesium bodied car went up in flames, Pierre to was killed as he was thrown out of the car.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLR Coupé, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The car seen in these photographs bearing the #704 start number carried by chassis no.6 on the Mille Miglia is the last of the nine 300 SLR’s to be built, and is said to incorporate improvements in anticipation of the 1956 season which Mercedes Benz cancelled in the fall out of the disaster at Le Mans.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLR Coupé, Hans Hermann, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Logic tells us the chassis number should be #no.9 but for reasons that even Mercedes Benz are not sure of the car actually carries the chassis #no.10, quite simply there never was a chassis #no.9.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLR Coupé, Hans Hermann, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Hans Hermann is seen at the wheel of #no.10 at Goodwood Festival of Speed, where the Mercedes Benz blurb indicated that #no.10 has also carried the #658 Juan started the 1955 Mille Miglia with on occasion.

Thanks for joining me in this “When 6 is 9” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the ultimate Simca Rallye 2. Don’t forget to come back now !


All Time Greatest One-Two – Mercedes Benz 300 SLR # no.3

Due to strained financial circumstances at the Mercedes Benz factory Rudolf Caracciola and Wilhelm Sebastian had only a privately entered Mercedes Benz SSKL with Mercedes approval at there disposal when they became the first foreign team in the first foreign car to win the 1931 Mille Miglia and the first to ever do so at an average speed of over 100 km per hour.

When Mercedes Benz returned to the event in 1955 they left nothing to chance sending a team of 60 technicians based at their event headquarters with spares and sufficient for their four 300 SLR entries.

Mercedes Benz 300SLR, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Team manager Alfred Neubauer insisted each of the drivers were to drive the 1000 mile course a minimum of five times in preparation for the event, Karl Kling is believed to have driven at least 30,000 miles in his preparations.

Following the death of his co driver Daniel Urrutia in 1948 while competing in Peru Juan Manuel Fangio never drove in a competitive event with a co driver again, and so Juan made his own preparations for the 1955 Mille Miglia driving a FIAT 1100.

Mercedes Benz 300SLR, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Before the first six hours of the race had been completed both Karl Kling driving solo and the Hans Herrmann / Hermann Eger crewed 300SLR’s had crashed out of the race.

However Stirling Moss aided by directions from 1949 World Champion Motor Cylce side car passenger Denis Jenkinson, who had meticulously made course notes on 15 feet of paper all carefully rolled into a device devised for bomber command during WW2 came home winners covering the 1,000 miles 6 hours faster than Caricciola in just over 10 hours at a record average speed just short of 100 mph, having covered the stretch from Cremona to Brescia at just under 124 mph.

Mercedes Benz 300SLR, Stirling Moss, Goodwood Revival,

In second place 31m 45 seconds behind the winning #722 came Juan in today’s featured #658 chassis # no.3 despite the fact his eight cylinder 3 litre / 183 cui engine was only firing on 7 cylinders to complete in my humble opinion one of the all time greatest 1-2 finishes in all of sports car racing.

28 days after finishing the Mille Miglia Juan stepped back in to # no.3 to drive it to victory in the Eifelrennen at the Nürburgring.

Mercedes Benz 300SLR, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

In August 1955 having wrapped up his third World Formula One championship due to the cancellation of several Grand Prix in the wake of the 1955 Le Mans disaster Juan drove # no.3 for a third time to with the Swedish Grand Prix run for sports cars.

Wolfgang von Trips, André Simon and Karl Kling all drove this car in the Tourist Trophy in September 1955 run at Dundrod to complete a 1-2-3 victory behind the sister cars driven by Stirling sharing with John Fitch and the second placed car driven by Juan and Karl.

Finally in October 1955 Juan and Karl teamed up again this time to drive # no.3 in the Targa Florio to finish second behind the sister 300SLR driven by Moss and Peter Collins.

Stirling Moss is seen in the photograph above demonstrating #658 at the Goodwood Revival a couple of years ago and the connecting rod seen above was a gift from Mercedes Benz to Denis Jenkinson and comes from the Mille Miglia winning #722.

Thanks for joining me on this “All Time Greatest One-Two” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me for Mazda Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !