Mercedesbenz World's Collected Evolution | Speedhunters

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Mercedes-Benz 540K W24

Mercedes-benz World’s Collected

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Take of almost 75 years’ worth of the most exotic, fastest and generally most drop-… Mercedes that have built, and you have the Mercedes-Benz collection at Brooklands in the UK.

Putting age as as beauty first, I’ll off in true VIP style with the of chic: a 540K Cabriolet C incredibly, 1937. Yes, it has the running boards and wings, but just something about the of the 540K that oozes class.

As with so many Mercs, it’s the shape does it. Until the recent Mercs hadn’t really my head since the 190 era, but the doesn’t so much turn head as try and tear it off. politely, of course.

Maybe the length of the bonnet, which on forever to contain the big inline-eight, but in a where every curve weeks of handmade craftsmanship, the is the antithesis of boxy.

They $14,000 new (about $225,000 so admittedly were frighteningly Owners included Jack of the Warner Brothers film and Clark Gable – the only of people who could afford a car. A huge team of people at the Mercedes factory dedicated to making 540Ks to with whatever options the desired, which makes even more collectable This was absolutely not about production… Think Veyron a suit, especially if you come a Autobahnkurier variant with curvier fenders and cowled-in wheels.

As you can imagine from its looks for the time, it wasn’t about style: the 5.5-litre developed 180hp and featured a supercharger that came from the Silver Arrows Prix programme. A 106mph was complete with howling soundtrack, in utter comfort. 32 Cabriolet Cs were ever and this is one of only three to the UK with right-hand drive. not just exclusive, it’s desirable. Considered the height of driving, a 540K recently at auction for a staggering $11.8 making it one of the most valuable in the world.

The 170S Cabriolet B is from and one of two cars immediately by the atrium This is the drop-top version of a that stretched back to

It’s an important car for Mercedes-Benz: it look more dated the earlier 540K, but it did feature brakes, a rear swing and a handy 75hp from its valve straight-four.

If you don’t this car, then you have no soul. The 300SL simply defines what a sportscar should look and had the performance to match.

I still every time I see one: are simply breathtaking in the flesh, of soft, sculptural curves over raked-forward attitude.

The version of the 300SL had won the 1952 Le 24 Hours at its first attempt a one-two no less), and when the version was released in 1954 the gasped at the car, even they heard (or cared) the cutting edge spaceframe and injection technological innovations

The Roadster had been planned the beginning, particularly in response to from the American market, and of the 160mph super cars built.

The chassis was strengthened and the lowered (the coupé a winch to get in and out of: you can see its racing origins) to for regular swing doors. I’m not a roadster kind of guy, but this… Well. Resistance is

Next to the achingly good of the 300SL Gullwing coupé and its sister, there’s little could (or can) compete: perhaps for their convertible sister, the 190SL. Less with its 1.9-litre four-cylinder, it was awash with the same as the 300: independent front with coil springs, dampers with wishbones at the and low-pivot swing axles coils, dampers and a rollbar at the It’s a list that now still immediately says

The chassis was different from the 300 (it was modified from the W121 and the 190SL was available with a folding roof or removable top. This is a 1956 model, loaned to Mercedes-Benz at Brooklands by a private owner – as is a amount of the collection, in fact.

the cockpit is a suitably luxurious to be, with its sumptuous red leather and switchgear. It’s no surprise the 190SL was the choice of the stars: Hitchcock and Elvis Presley owned 190SLs, which the modern equivalent of £100,000 – I think that’s a bad price for a beautiful car! And you certainly get one for that money now…

How to up from the 190 and 300 was always going to be a task for the next model in the SL but the ‘Pagoda’ Mercs managed that. A very different with modern straight and curved roofline, they’ve one of the most iconic Mercedes is, and deservedly so as the car that brought the star to the masses (relatively

The roof line on the coupé was for a reason: this was one of the first to incorporate crumple zones to the occupants, who also enjoyed steering and servo-assisted brakes.

Two were at M-B World; both The Pagodas all had well over on tap and a top speed of 124mph, perfect for the Californian coastlines or Mediterranean – as so many did.

The 280SL was the big of the line: this is a ’69 model, a 2.8 litre engine, the third of the model (the originals had the second 3.5s). Around of each were built, to just a thousand 190SLs for proof of a growing appetite for

The S Class can be said to originate this, the 1962 300SE cabriolet. Just that bit bigger and more grown up the more bohemian 200 range, the 300 concentrated on comfort rather outright pace. This car was owned by the late legendary Peter Sellers – he bought it and his wife Britt Ekland a matching white 230SL! I’d plump for the latter. In every

The 560SEC from 1988 door guarding duties in World’s atrium with the this is another sledgehammer sleeper, with 300hp on tap its 5.6-litre V8 which made it the powerful Merc in that

Mercedes have always in stupidly powerful cars, but typically been reserved for the or not overtly marketed in the supercar

That all changed in 2003 the SLR, made in conjunction then F1 partners McLaren. The was taken from the marque’s Mille Miglia win in 1955, and in the year of production, 2009, produced 75 Stirling Moss editions.

The carbon-fibre chassis was making it the one of the most rigid top cars ever, and the spartan of the Stirling Moss chopped off the weight, allowing that V8 even more savage – all the way to 217mph.

That meant if you did see a Stirling Moss, this was the view you’d see.

The CLK GTR was a car Mercedes-AMG didn’t really to make, but thank god they They’d raced the epic CLK GTR in FIA GT and at Le in ’97 and ’98, battling the Porsches and F1s, but hadn’t really got to making the required number of homologation specials.

But that’s sort of what had done for decades: create the first, then fudge the 25 were demanded, and only one car had sort of been made in 1997, but by 2006 – perhaps to in the good books with the FIA – finally did complete the production run

The grille came from a CLK, everything back that was straight from the of carbon and it featured horsepower that you need a Le Mans’ of drivers’ fingers and toes to

Just to show off, actually built 26 – 20 coupés and six They were ridiculously with virtually no concessions to but like other road-going before, like the rare and 917 and 962 street cars, despite the most expensive road car up to that time, they all sold straight away. this roadster was bought by the Of Brunei, who must have had a supply of hats and sun cream with a fine tolerance of

Moving from race-inspired to plain racing, the Sauber C9 was at the peak of a series that was considered the zenith of sportscar Group C.

This is surely one of the purposeful, pure racing ever made.

Clean and the Sauber-Mercedes Group C cars picked up where the Silver had left off, by smashing the

This is chassis #5, which won the Sportscar Championship and Le Mans in It also holds the record for the speed ever recorded an officially timed race. F1? Glorified go-karts.

The C9 could an obscene 253mph down the straight on the way to Mulsanne: its 5 litre V8 put out 800hp in qualifying trim a heavily developed (and version of the SL500 block.

Mercedes-Benz 540K W24

Even better, I’ve been watching the car’s Gareth Evans, pedal his C11 to by six seconds at Barcelona. “My other car is a Mercedes Group C car”. a lucky guy!

Mercedes-Benz racing collection continues a set of five Formula One cars, one of is in need of some serious

‘View Suspended II: An Artwork’ is the of artist Paul Veroude, who was for the installation’s original incarnation as a at the London Motor Show in

The other F1 cars were with the caveat that of they’re the usual mix of spares and chassis. So, with that in I’ll let you play ‘spot the car’; here’s what the say. First up is Nico MGP W01 from 2010, the car they upon purchasing Brawn.

the actual provenance of the car, it be a very cool thing to be here.

A Force India from 2009 highlights the customer engine programme and one of the successful years for the Force team.

As interesting as the cars are the wheels: you can see the evolution of these techno hubs as they are compared to the far simpler, well, wheels of previous eras.

You do if the McLarens might be sidelined rather than later, the companies recent falling out of


This car represents the MP4/22 2007, driven by Lewis (MP4/20 underneath, some said?).

It was the final year of the external aero shaping, so the bodywork is a riot of interwoven curves and channels.

Wheel-wise? quite chunky, but still a lot of to deal with. From a practical point of view, think that the big Mercedes would actually be a distraction trying to fiddle with dials at close to 200mph…

The oldest car there was Mika MP4/14 from 1999, the year he took the championship for The aero looks positively compared to the MP4/22: all the edges hard and simplistic, like the F3000. Which I’m sure except me really cares

And as for the wheel, a puny five and four dials? Child’s

Finally, something definitely up, but perhaps with a lot more relevance: the F200.

Concept might often be out-there of exactly what a company  produce, but except for a couple of major) things, the F200 from 1996 seems to provided a test bed for a number of that made their way production Mercs, like airbags, swivelling gullwing variable bi-xenon headlights and the panoramic roof.

As you’ll notice from the interior, appears to be a major piece of kit Silly Mercedes! You forgot the wheel and pedals!

The F200 a set of fighterjet-style sticks instead to steering, brakes and throttle, and utilised a set of video cameras and instead of mirrors. We’re not there yet, on the former at

As a final look at Mercedes-Benz and as a nice segue into our Theme, I’ll next be the AMG collection. Prepare for big horsepower

Jonathan Moore

jonathan@dev.speedhunters.com

Mercedes-Benz 540K W24
Mercedes-Benz 540K W24
Mercedes-Benz 540K W24
Mercedes-Benz 540K W24
Mercedes-Benz 540K W24

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