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Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Roadster


The first 300 SLR example built, this car was used for test and development runs only. It was run at Monza, the Nürburgring and also saw action during the first reconnaissance run for the Mille Miglia. Retired from active service, chassis 00001 was loaned to The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn at the end of the 1950s. In 2001, the first SLR returned to Stuttgart. Still in very original but non-running condition, it made a very rare public appearance at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed, where all but one of the surviving SLRs were lined up together.


Originally used as one of the two test and development vehicles, chassis 00002 was brought out for the Tourist Trophy and Targa Florio. On both occasions, the car was not raced but served as the team's spare car and practiced by the likes of Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio. Retained by Mercedes-Benz, it has been meticulously restored by the company's Classic department ahead of the SLR's 60th anniversary celebrations in 2015. It was restored to the livery used by Hans Herrmann in the 1955 Mille Miglia on the car that was later destroyed at Le Mans.

The third 300 SLR was built for Juan Manuel Fangio and first tested at Hockenheim at the end of April. A few weeks later the Argentinean single handedly drove chassis 0003/55 to second in the Mille Miglia behind Moss and Jenkinson. Fangio went on the win a non-championship race at the Nurburgring and the Swedish Grand Prix. He was also leading the 24 Hours of Le Mans in this car with Moss, when the Mercedes-Benz team retired from the race. Following its contemporary career, it has since been on permanent loan to the Deutsches Museum in Munich.


Chassis 00004/55 is by far the most successful and famous 300 SLR constructed. It was used by Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson to take the legendary win in the 1955 Mille Miglia. Moss subsequently drove the car to victory in the Tourist Trophy and Targa Florio with John Fitch and Peter Collins as co-drivers respectively. It was retained by the factory and has since been regularly demonstrated. Chassis 00004/55 is seen here during the 2005 Monterey Historic Races and Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance at two of its final public outings. On the 50th anniversary, Moss drove talk-show host and prominent car-collector Jay Leno around Laguna Seca. When the new Mercedes-Benz museum was opened, there was talk of the car being retired from public use but it has since been regularly shown and displayed at events all around the world.


The third of four new 300 SLRs built by Mercedes-Benz for the start of the 1955 season, this chassis was first used for testing at Hockenheim before making competition debut at the Mille Miglia. Karl Kling drove the car solo but retired after completing 900 km. Towards the end of the season, it was used by Juan-Manuel Fangio and Kling in the Tourist Trophy and the Targa Florio, finishing second behind a sister car on both occasions. Following its contemporary racing career, it was reportedly presented to former team-manager Alfred Neubauer along with two pre-War Grand Prix cars as a retirement gift. Neubauer then donated the cars to the Schlumpf Collection and to this day they can be admired in the Musée National de l'Automobile. According to Mercedes-Benz, the company strictly speaking still owns the car but has lost control over it as they did with chassis 3.

The fourth and final new car built for the 1955 Mille Miglia, chassis 6 was allocated to Hans Herrmann, who unfortunately did not make it to the finish due to an accident. Karl Kling later placed the car fourth at the Nürburgring before it was entered at Le Mans for Pierre Levegh and John Fitch. Sadly, the car was involved in Levegh's tragic accident and completely destroyed.


This is the ninth (chassis 00009/55 was never completed) and final 300 SLR built in 1955. It was never used in contemporary events and served mainly to test new components for the upcoming season. Following the termination of the Mercedes-Benz competition program, chassis 00010 was retired to the company museum. Today, it is configured like chassis 00003/55, which is now on permanent display in the Deutsches Museum, when it was single handedly driven to second in the 1955 Mille Miglia by Juan Manuel Fangio. After Mercedes-Benz decided to use the Mille Miglia winning car more sparingly, chassis 10 has been shown regularly all around the world.

Ref: Frank Mallory's database and https://mercedes-benz-publicarchive.com