December 6, 2022


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Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe review by Motor Klassik


The classic auto magazine Motor Klassik has examined the Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe because 2002, which just a handful of days ago grew to become the most expensive vehicle in history, staying sold for a file 135 million euros. Below are the impressions of the Motor Klassik professionals from 20 years back.

Photograph: Motor Klassik/Car motor und Sport 

The story is certainly outstanding. In 2002, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the start of the Mercedes SL, the then editor-in-main of Motor Klassik, Hans-Jörg Götzl, experienced the chance to drive this distinctive auto.

For 50 several years, the mix of the letters SL (sport and light-weight) has been synonymous with extraordinary sporting activities cars. But the most exciting SL design of all has only its title and silhouette in prevalent with its family because it was not the sporting activities edition of the SL but applied the platform and the engine from the W196 racing car or truck.

The tale composed by Hans-Jorg Gotzl in MotorKlassik nearly 20 a long time back is really emotional. It is prepared from the standpoint of a schoolboy returning property at lunchtime and possessing a Mercedes SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe generate previous him.

“It was a Mercedes, Dad, it experienced a star in the radiator grille – and it was silver and exceptionally stunning and extremely loud.” “Maybe an experimental vehicle, a prototype,” Dad would guess. “No, it looked somehow… older.” His grandfather, who has arrive particularly for evening meal, will intervene. “Did the vehicle have an opening in the proper facet of the hood with a wire mesh in front of it?” he’ll question with a twinkle in his eye. “I think so, certainly.” “And did it have  gullwing doorways?”. “Yes. And spoked wheels?” “Also.” “And was it quite loud?” “Oh, yeah.” Then Grandpa will beam with pleasure and say, “Honey, it’s really hard to consider, but you need to have satisfied the Uhlenhaut coupe.”

And the grandfather continue on to clarify: “Rudolf Uhlenhaut was the head of the tests department at Mercedes-Benz. He was born in 1906 as the son of the Deutsche Financial institution director in London. Uhlenhaut was a proficient engineer and he could push pretty much as fast as the ideal racing drivers.” “And he developed this vehicle?” “Two of them, essentially, 1 with a crimson interior and one particular with a blue interior.”

Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut coupe reaches 130 km/h in much less than 7 seconds. Maybe with a smoother, extra controllable clutch it would get up to that speed even faster. And if you maneuver the 5-velocity handbook gearbox rapidly more than enough by way of the outstanding crawl, on the highway you can choose the speedometer needle to just about 300 km/h. But with no earplugs, you’ll go deaf.

Why so severe? The rationalization is very simple. The Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe is practically nothing extra than a coupe overall body mounted over the travel train of the W196 System 1 car or truck, two headlights, flip alerts, and fabric-trimmed seats.

Grandpa explains:
“Before the Next Planet War Mercedes designed extremely prosperous racing cars that feared only opposition from Automobile Union.” “Those ended up the initially Silver Arrows, weren’t they?” the grandson would ask. “Exactly. And following the war, of system, Mercedes preferred to keep on that tradition. So they developed a sporting activities auto 1st – the 300 SL with the popular gullwing doors. That was in 1952, 50 yrs back. But the real purpose was to return to Grand Prix racing in 1954. To accomplish this, they developed a innovative racing auto, the W 196.” “Didn’t Fangio travel it?” asked the junior. “Indeed,” replied the grandfather, who additional that the Mercedes W196 received 9 of the 12 races it competed in and Fangio became environment winner in 1954 and 1955.

The W196 engine consisted of two 4-cylinder blocks with a total displacement of 2.5 litres, had direct injection and desmodromic valve timing indicating the valves have been closed by a cam somewhat than the valve spring. This resolution was needed mainly because of the superior revs which ensured superior valve closure and the significant revs offered a respectable 280 HP.

“And how did the Uhlenhaut coupe was born?” Grandpa clarifies: “From the Components 1 car was derived a product with which Mercedes desired to win the Earth Sports Car or truck Championship in 1955 – and succeeded. Engineers modified the chassis of the W 196 and designed home for a second seat and the motor block was forged from light alloy.

The essential strategy remained the exact same, but the sporting activities motor vehicle, identified as the 300 SLR, now had a 3-litre, 300 HP motor. With this vehicle, Briton Stirling Moss won his 1st race, the Mille Miglia, and set the circuit report that nevertheless stands these days. Rudolf Uhlenhaut commissioned a coupé entire body around this successful racing sporting activities automobile, almost a two-seater System 1, at the time.”

Two examples were being created and the example in the Motor Klassik exam, the one with the crimson upholstery is precisely the one particular that bought at auction. This is also the car that Uhlenhaut drove as a organization auto.

But the driving placement was not comfortable due to the fact you had to stand with your ft more than the cardan shaft with the clutch on the remaining and the brake and accelerator pedal on the suitable. A panel clad in imitation red leather-based separates the a few pedals from each individual other. The 4-spoke steering wheel is positioned far ahead and can only be attained by short men and women with outstretched arms.

In the coupe the mechanical engine noises are infernal. From 5000 rpm, it’s a real inferno. Rudolf Braunschweig, the former editor-in-main of the Swiss Automobil Revue, had the blue-inside coupé at his disposal for exams in 1956, covering various thousand kilometres but with exclusive silencers.

Still, in the metropolis, the line involving driving pleasure and torture is fluid. Coincidentally, there is pretty much no motor vehicle from this period that presents a lot more satisfaction. In addition to the brutal acceleration, the SLR’s lightweight chassis contributes to the driving pleasure, not to point out the brakes, whose result is supported by a pump on the rear axle, depending on pace.

With one particular of the two copies offered to a personal investor it is now substantially a lot less possible to see a Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe even in the Mercedes museum.



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