After a two-year break: Mercedes-Benz Classic takes part in the 1000 Miglia

  • Anniversary drive of the brand at the long-distance classic: 70 years of the SL
  • From June 15th to 18th, 2022, the field of noble classics will set off on the demanding 1,600 kilometers between Brescia and Rome
  • Also at the start in the historic SL: Ellen Lohr and Karl Wendlinger
  • Mercedes-AMG presents the new SL

Stuttgart. Mercedes-Benz places the SL at the center of the 1000 Miglia in 2022. It is celebrating an anniversary there: 70 years ago, the Mille Miglia provided the stage for the premiere of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL racing sports car (W 194), the first of the Stuttgart brand newly developed competition vehicle after the Second World War. This year, Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG are bringing several historical and current SL models to the new edition of the 1000 Miglia.

The new Mercedes-AMG SL (R 232) is the latest update of the icon. With a classic soft top and sporty character, it fits seamlessly into the glamorous history. At the same time, as a 2+2 seater, the luxurious roadster is particularly suitable for everyday use and, for the first time, brings its power to the road with all-wheel drive. The extensive technical equipment includes highlights such as the AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL suspension with active roll stabilization, rear-axle steering, the optionally available AMG ceramic high-performance composite brake system or the standard DIGITAL LIGHT with projection function. In combination with the AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine, the result is a driving experience in a class of its own. As a consistent performance luxury model, Mercedes-AMG developed the SL completely independently in Affalterbach.

The 1000 Miles 2022

From June 15 to 18, 2022, around 400 vehicles will drive 1,600 kilometers through the most beautiful landscapes between Brescia and Rome. Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected along the route to celebrate the automobiles of the period 1927 to 1957 – as only classic cars whose models have proven themselves in the original street races during this era are allowed to take part in the modern 1000 Miglia. In 2022, the rally, now called 1000 Miglia, will be held for the 40th time.

Mercedes-Benz Classic with three 300 SL “Gullwing” models at the start

Mercedes-Benz is once again taking part in this high-class classic event with attractive sports cars. Racing drivers Ellen Lohr and Karl Wendlinger are also behind the wheel, as is Marcus Breitschwerdt, Head of Mercedes-Benz Heritage since January of this year. They all compete in 300 SL “Gullwings” (W 198). “I have already taken part in the 1000 Miglia four times and am very happy that I can now experience this great adventure again in my new role,” says Breitschwerdt. The native of Stuttgart also wants to enter into a close exchange with him
Mercedes-Benz community at the top-class classic car rally. He looks forward to talking to fans of the brand and to input on the further development of the historical core of Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes-Benz has supported the 1000 Miglia for many years. “This special, challenging event and Mercedes-Benz as the oldest automobile manufacturer in the world and Automotive Heritage Partner of the 1000 Miglia complement each other perfectly,” emphasizes Marcus Breitschwerdt. “Mercedes-Benz has what is probably the largest vehicle collection of any automobile manufacturer, a world-renowned museum, Classic Centers in Germany and the USA, an exemplary spare parts supply and an immense number of official brand clubs with a total of 120,000 members worldwide. ”

record for eternity

The history of the Mille Miglia, as it was originally called, is closely linked to Mercedes-Benz. Unforgotten is the victory of Rudolf Caracciola and Wilhelm Sebastian in 1931, who were the first non-Italian team to win the Mille Miglia in a Mercedes-Benz SSKL (W 06 RS) racing car. In 1952, the 300 SL racing sports car (W 194) made its debut at this thousand-mile classic. The vehicle immediately took second and fourth place. John Cooper Fitch and Kurt Gessl won their class at the 1955 Mille Miglia with the production version of the 300 SL (W 198). still inspires many motorsport fans today: The British duo covers the distance in ten hours and seven minutes and 48 seconds. This is an unbroken record with an average speed of almost 160 km/h over the 1,000 miles on an imperfectly sealed route that also includes difficult mountain passes.

The 1000 miglia today

Today, the 1000 Miglia is no longer held as a race, but as a regularity race with numerous special stages – and still demands full concentration from the teams. On many sections of the route, some classics reach their performance limits. Roadside fans are fascinated to witness a race that, without the extremes of the past, has retained its exclusivity for the present. 2022 the first section runs from Brescia via Sirmione on Lake Garda and Ferrara to Cervia-Milano Marittima on Wednesday 15 June 2022. On 16 June 2022 the stage will take place from Cervia-Milano Marittima via San Marino and Norcia to Rome. On the third day, June 17, 2022, the route will lead from Rome to Parma via Siena and Viareggio. On June 18, 2022, the road book will take the teams back to Brescia via Monza and Bergamo.

Three 300 SL Coupé models: The vehicles from Mercedes-Benz Classic at the 1000 Miglia 2022

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupé (W 198)

In February 1954, the 300 SL (W 198) production sports car celebrated its world premiere at the International Motor Sport Show in New York. The coupe was called “Gullwing” or “Papillon” (butterfly) because of its distinctive roof doors, which were reminiscent of seagull wings. However, they were not an aesthetic end in themselves, but actually technically necessary. Because the tubular roll cage was so high at the sills that conventional door designs were simply not possible. The high-performance sports car is based on the legendary 300 SL racing sports car (W 194) from the 1952 season. The further developed W 198 was the world’s first production car with a four-stroke engine and direct petrol injection. With an engine power of 158kW (215 hp) – a good 25 percent more than the carburettor racing version from 1952 – and a top speed of up to 250 km/h, the W 198 is one of the best production sports cars of its time. It was therefore also predestined for sporting use. A legendary triumph is the triple class victory of the 300 SL “Gullwing” at the Mille Miglia 1955. John Cooper Fitch and his co-driver Kurt Gessl with the starting number 417, which represented their starting time at 4.17 a.m., took fifth place in the overall ranking and led the way The field of production sports cars with engines over 1.3 liters displacement ahead of two other “gullwings”. A total of 1,400 300 SL Coupés were built from 1954 to 1957, 29 of them with aluminum bodies.

Technical data – Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupé (W 198)
Cylinders: 6/row
Displacement: 2,996 cc
Output: 158 kW (215 hp) at 5,800 rpm
Top speed: up to 250 km/h

Mercedes-Benz Classic brand ambassador at the 1000 Miglia 2022

Ellen Lohr
Date of Birth: April 12, 1965
Mercedes-Benz band ambassador Ellen Lohr came to motorsport via karting, in which she was active from 1979 to 1983. Her greatest successes were participation in the Junior Kart World Championship and winning first place in the Northwest German Kart Championship. After engagements in the German Formula Ford 1600 Series (German Champion 1987) and her first races in the DTM (BMW) and the German Formula 3 Championship with VW in 1989/90, she was hired by the AMG-Mercedes team for the German Touring Car Championship. Ellen Lohr is the first and so far only woman to win a DTM race, which she achieved in May 1992 at the Hockenheim racing festival in an AMG Mercedes 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II. She joined the Mercedes-Zakspeed team for the 1995 season and drove for the AMG-Mercedes Persson MS team in 1996. In 1997 she took part in the European Truck Racing Championship at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz racing truck. After that, Lohr remained active in numerous other racing series.

Karl Wendlinger
Date of Birth: December 20, 1968
From 1990 to 1991, the Austrian belonged to the Mercedes-Benz Junior Team alongside Michael Schumacher and Heinz-Harald Frentzen and competed with great success for the Sauber-Mercedes team in the sports car world championship. In 1994 he also drove for the Sauber-Mercedes Formula 1 team together with Heinz-Harald Frentzen. His promising career was interrupted by a serious accident at the 1994 Monte Carlo Grand Prix. Karl Wendlinger started his motorsport career at the age of 14 in karting. In 1989 he won the German Formula 3 Championship ahead of Frentzen and Schumacher. His main track successes include winning the 1999 FIA GT Championship, first place at the Le Mans 24 Hours in the GTS class, also in 1999, overall victory at the 2000 Daytona 24 Hours and the second place at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring in 2003. From 2004 to 2011 Karl Wendlinger drove for various teams in the FIA ​​GT Championship. Since then he has passed on his extensive knowledge as an instructor in Mercedes-AMG driver training courses and is active as a brand ambassador.

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