Forgotten Mercedes R107 500SL Rally

24 Мар 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Mercedes w 107 interior

The forgotten Mercedes R107 Rally car

by Bernd

Everybody, who is a bit with the Mercedes SL rally knows that Daimler-Benz had just two street-going SL cars for races: the 300SL W198 and the W113. And that was it. Well…was it What happened to the Mercedes SL? Yes, it was used as a rally but then…it wasn’t.

Ok, before I you completely, let me tell you the story of the forgotten SL rally car. At the end of the Daimler-Benz participated under the of Erich Waxenberger at various rally championship events. The car used in 1978, 1979 in 4 was the 450SLC 5.0 C107. In 1980 the car was updated with black extensions and used for the group 2 events as 500SLC in Argentina, New and the African Ivory Coast rally.

Four 450 SCL 5.0 being at a rally in 1979

Erich (right) with rally-driver Waldegaard at the 27. International Rallye 26.- 29. May 1980.

Erich Waxenberger today the Mercedes R107 500SL

The car had initially 305 hp and although this was upgraded to 329 hp, the big coupe was too heavy and too for such kind of activities. A alternative was needed. In comes for the world rally series the R107 500SL. Waxenberger had the car with an aluminum roll-over and replaced some of the metal panels with thinner normally used in sedans. The was not welded, but bolted on with screws. All glass area the windshield was replaced with material. The windshield could not be as it was bonded to the frame and needed for the overall stiffness. Much of the was changed too, the driver’s plastic seat weighted 4kg (8,8 lbs). At the end the new Mercedes rally car was with 1,350 kg lbs) some 236 kg (520 lighter than the 500SLC.

On the and in some publications one can read the SL had 340 hp, even 380 hp, but documents from do not support this. But as a novelty it had a automatic gear box that be shifted manually. Most of the just 3 rd and 4 th gear was needed. As top speeds were not of such an the car was fitted with a shorter drive ratio of 1:4,08. resulted in an acceleration from 0 to 100 of 5,9 seconds and a top speed of 220 km/h mph).

S-L 500 seems to be the only surviving

Four cars were and the only thing that was now was an experienced driver to handle the which was first used at the Bandama rally as test So it came quite handy Bavarian Walter Röhrl had won with co-driver Christian for Fiat on a 131 Abarth the 1980 Equipped with a ten-year he started to test the car for its potential to win the world rally championship for Compared with the Abarth the Mercedes R107 500SL was it was noisier and with its limited-slip (80% locking rate) and a parking brake with an lever it could excite with spectacular drift Those drifts were as the big V8 engine made the car fairly heavy. The driver had to swing the car before entering a curve, it would have continued straight, no matter in what the front wheels pointed. engineers knew of this of course and had already drawn how to switch the car to a mid-engine lay-out.

Walter Röhrl testing the car at the end of in Southern France

Mercedes w 107 interior

At the end of 1980, executive board members to know from Walter whether there was any chance Mercedes might not win the upcoming Monte Carlo. Röhrl, a bit on the cautious side when it to predictions, replied that a chance was always there. this was not, what the wanted to hear. In a surprising to everyone involved, they in a board meeting in December to cancel the entire project. the reigning world champion his co-driver Geistendörfer and their colleague Ari Vatanen were out of a What a nice Christmas

As abrupt as it might seem, honest answer might not been the only reason for the to cancel the rally project. It was that Daimler-Benz had a budget for a rally (using the SLC and the 280E that other car manufacturers had for the rally season. In those Mercedes cars were at a very healthy pace customers complaining about waiting lists. There was no to throw a big amount of cash on an that was not guaranteeing the company a class finish.

Although it was the end of the R107 500SL rallying the official Daimler-Benz flag, it was not the end of the car The running stock and most of the parts was given to the German organization “Scuderia Kassel”, is actually the rally branch of the owned sales center in the Kassel.


Scuderia Kassel entered one car registration KS (for Kassel) –CC 250 in and 1983 with Austrian Sepp Haider in various rally events and managed to 2 nd place overall in the “Deutschland-Rally” in After that two or three of the were sold to a German man, named Albert One was taken back by Daimler-Benz. It have been around that those two cars up at the Rally Paris-Dakar, driven by Pfuhl and Jochen Mass. I am not whether they survived ordeal.

The first official presentation of the last remaining Rally after 30 years is for the “Schloss Dyck Classic from August 3-5, So in case you happen to like car and at the same time happen to be in early next month, sure to visit Schloss one of the most important water in Germany.

(All pictures in this blog are courtesy of Daimler AG)

If you to read much more the Mercedes R107 SL and other models, all offer next to the of is covered in my books and e-books and can be from my website . They next to the cars’ history of color pictures, most of have never been in a book before. I am sure you enjoy.

Mercedes r107 rally
Mercedes r107 rally
Mercedes r107 rally
Driving the r107 500sl
Driving the r107 500sl

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