Tag Archives: SLS

D Modified – Mercedes Benz 300 SLS Replica

After 2 successful seasons winning two SCCA Class D Production (DP) championships the Mercedes Benz supplied team of George D Tilp and driver Paul O’Shea were hoping to make it a threepeat even though they were planning on swapping from the 300 SL Gullwing to the new for ’57 300 SL Roadster model.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLS, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

However the SCCA would not mandate running the 300SL Roadster in the DP class in 1957 on the grounds that insufficient numbers of the Roadster had been built.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLS, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

To get around this problem the Mercedes Benz Rennabteilung built two special lightweight SLS Roadsters for George Tilp to run in the SCCA class D modified for Paul O’Shea.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLS, Dario Franchitti, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

Despite sending George Tilp two cars, two Mercedes Benz race mechanics, Erwin Strupp and Karl Bunz with a container load of spares, the plan was to run only one car to give the operation the semblance of a privateer effort, however after Paul crashed one car at Thompson Connecticut and turned up six days later with an apparently completely repaired car at Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin the cat was out of the bag that George Tilp had two cars at his disposal for Paul.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLS, Dario Franchitti, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

Paul went on to threepeat his and Mercedes Benz third SCCA class championship and the two SLS Roadsters were returned to the Mercedes Benz factory where they were scrapped, allegedly over fears the lightweight bodies would deteriorate.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLS, Dario Franchitti, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

Subsequently numerous SLS variations have appeared most notably Chuck Porter built and raced one very successfully, where the second S stood for scrap, from a burned out Gullwing that closely resembled the 1955 300 SLR’s, several roadsters have also been converted to Tilp / O’Shea SLS replica’s more recently using 300 SL Roadster donor cars, including one by Kienle Automobiltechnik, in Heimerdingen, Germany.

Today’s featured replica seen at Goodwood Festival of Speed with Indy Legend Dario Franchitti at the wheel, was converted to SLS spec by Mercedes Benz who used one of their former test 300 SL Roadsters as a starting point.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for information on his Uncle George Tilp’s racing team.

Thanks for joining me on this “D Modified” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a triumph of presence over elegance. Don’t for get to come back now !


Oh Lord ! – Mercedes Benz World

As one of many birthday treats a couple of weeks ago I re visited Brooklands and before I got there I found time to pop into Mercedes Benz World which came highly recommended by an old school buddy Dave whom I met there for a cuppa and a catch up in the Mercedes Benz World Café.

Benz Patent Motor Car, Mercedes Benz World

I got there a little earlier than Dave and my curiosity got the better of me the moment I walked through the door. Above a Mercedes Benz Patent Motor Car of the type that Bertha Benz took for a 110 mile spin with her sons without her husband Karl, who invented the machine even knowing about it !

Mercedes Benz 220a, Mercedes Benz World

Among the more unusual exhibits was this Mercedes Benz 220a which is one of 17 that has been restored and transformed into an unuseable work of art by the painter Hiro Yamagata.

Mercedes Benz 190 SLR, Mercedes Benz World

Mercedes Benz officially withdrew from racing at the end of 1955 though it has since emerged that Mercedes Benz were involved in supporting the efforts of GALPOT contributor Geoffrey Horton’s uncle George Tilp and on my visit to Mercedes Benz World I was surprised to learn that Mercedes Benz also supported Hong Kong’s Mercedes Benz agent efforts to win the 1956 Macau GP. (British) Army Sergeant Doug Steane winning the race in the works prepared 121 mph 190 SLR of which just two are known to have been built in 1956.

Mercedes Benz CLK GTR Roadster, Mercedes Benz World

Back in December I related in a Ferrari Friday blog the story of the Sultan of Brunei and his six Ferrari 456 GT Venice cars purchased for a cool $7 million seems that around the same time the good Sultan purchased two Mercedes Benz CLK GTR’s one of the 20 Coupés in Silver the other one of six Roadster’s in blue both easily identified because they are the only two CLK GTR cars fitted with Right Hand Drive, making the car in the foyer unique of it’s type. The Sultan will have paid a minimum of $3 million in 1999 for the two CLK GTR’s when he sold them at auction ten years later he only got just short of $1.8 back for the pair.

View Suspended II, Mercedes Benz World

Mercedes Benz World has a surprising amount of art on display qualifying as the wildest in my humble opinion is View Suspended II by Dutch artist Paul Veroude which features 3200 components which nominally go to making a Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team car suspended from the ceiling, although the parts do swing in the wind they are held reasonably securely in place by steel wires which took ten people a week to hang.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, Mercedes Benz World

It would be difficult to end this little over view of Mercedes Benz World with anything other than a range topper, unfortunately the Maybach’s in the service center were all privately owned so I hope you enjoy dribbling with me onto your keyboard while taking in the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG which went on in the United States last year for ‘less than $200,000’, so it should be well within the reach of your average jackpot winning lottery winner.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Oh Lord !’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !