Mercedes-Benz Celebrates More Than 100 Years of Super Sports Cars

Eight Iconic Mercedes-Benz Autos at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Showcase a Tradition of Supercar Leadership

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif.  (Profitable.com)  Mercedes-Benz celebrates its super sports car heritage with eight iconic vehicles on display at the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance weekend including a privately owned 1902 Simplex that is being driven 1,500 miles to Pebble Beach and a 300SLR “Uhlenhaut Coupe” from the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.  From August 12-15, 2010, the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge also showcases the entire line of E-Class vehicles, a Sony Gran Turismo 5 gaming sled, and Maybach display in addition to SLS AMG test drives and a selection of Mercedes-Benz Classic Center vehicles that are available for purchase.

Eight Super Sports Cars Span 108 Years of Mercedes-Benz History

Starting with a 1902 Mercedes Simplex, the lineup of super sports cars includes a 1929 SSK; 1952 W194 300SL; 1955 W196 300SLR “Uhlenhaut Coupe;” 1956 W198 300SL; 1970 C111-II; 2011 SLS AMG; and the 2011 SLS AMG GT3 that is expected to hit race circuits later this year.

The Mercedes Simplex, first launched in 1902, quickly became the leading high-performance vehicle of its day, competing and winning numerous hill climbs and road races.  With three horsepower ranges – 20, 28, and 40 – the Simplex was enjoyed in competition and leisure.  The 1902 on display at the Star Lounge is fitted with a 28 horsepower engine and is the oldest known Simplex on the road today.

Built from 1928 to 1932, the Mercedes-Benz SSK, short for Super Sport Kurz, was loud and fast.  Known as the “White Elephant” for its brute force, the SSK had a commanding presence and dominated road races due to its shorter wheelbase, Roots blower, and large displacement 300 horsepower motor, which boasted an impressive top speed of 120 miles per hour.

The 1952 W194 300SL, built in just nine months, marked the debut of the SL moniker, meaning “Sport” and “Light.”  While many chassis components were derived from a sedan model, its rigid tubular spaceframe forced developers to create its iconic ‘gullwing’ doors.

The 1955 300SLR “Uhlenhaut Coupe,” named after Mercedes-Benz chief engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, was a closed roof version of the famous 300SLR racecar, designed to provide the most comfort for demanding long-distance races. Only two Uhlenhaut Coupes were ever built as it debuted the same year that Mercedes-Benz discontinued its racing program.

The 1956 W198 300SL is the standard production version of the 1952 W194 racecar.  Inspired by the race car’s unique styling and impressive performance, the 300SL ‘Gullwing’ coupe was brought to market through the efforts of USA-based Mercedes-Benz distributor Max Hoffman who guaranteed an order of 500 units.  Built from 1954 to 1957, only 1400 300SL ‘Gullwing’ coupes were produced and today are one of the most sought after collectible vehicles.

Over a period of ten years from 1969-1979, Mercedes-Benz developed multiple C111 concept and experimental vehicles representing the future of Mercedes-Benz sports cars – where comfort, luxury and performance were not mutually exclusive.  The C111 vehicles were a technological tour-de-force and claimed nine speed records.  Several technical and safety innovations made their debut on the C111s ranging from ABS, advanced front suspension later integrated into the S-Class, and turbo diesel engines.

The tradition of developing super-sport cars throughout Mercedes-Benz history and setting new standards along the way continues with the 2011 SLS AMG, the first supercar produced entirely by AMG.  The SLS AMG is a modern super sports car with exceptional comfort and timeless style with all of the luxury and safety features expected in a Mercedes-Benz.  Its aluminum space-frame body, front-mid engine and rear-mounted transaxle provides a low center of gravity and race-car-like handling.  The carbon-fiber driveshaft is mated to a 563-horsepower AMG V8 engine capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds.  The performance is combined with luxury designo styled interior, full COMAND system and iconic gullwing doors, ushering in a new era of supercar leadership.

Displayed alongside the US spec street version will be the 2011 SLS AMG GT3 racing version, which has been conceived as a customer sport vehicle for participation in race series based on FIA GT3 regulations.  Meticulous lightweight construction and optimized chassis, brakes and aerodynamics, deliver uncompromising dynamics.

Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge

Positioned on the third fairway at Pebble Beach, the elegant Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge, a grand display distinguished by its transparent front entrance, provides a striking view of the Pebble Beach course and offers an interactive luxury experience for all ages.  For those who want to continue driving a classic, the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center will have five elegant examples for purchase including: a fire engine red 1955 300SL Gullwing, a graphite grey 1956 300Sc Cabriolet with a dove grey interior, a strawberry red 1957 300SL roadster, a dark green 1966 230SL, and a moss green 1958 180D.

The Star Lounge is open to the public from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM Thursday, August 12th through Sunday, August 15th.

About Mercedes-Benz USA

Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz and Maybach products in the United States.  MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse line-up in the luxury segment with 12 model lines ranging from the sporty C-Class to the flagship S-Class sedans and CL coupes.

MBUSA is also responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans in the US. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at www.mbusa.com and www.mbsprinterusa.com.

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About the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

First conducted in 1950, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® (www.pebblebeachconcours.net) has grown to be the world’s premier celebration of the automobile.  The most beautiful and rare cars are invited to appear on the famed 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links®, and connoisseurs of art and style flock to see these masterpieces.  Charitable donations raised by Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® now total over $13 million.  Related events include Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance™ presented by Rolex, Pebble Beach RetroAuto™, and Pebble Beach® Auctions presented by Gooding & Company.  Pebble Beach®, Pebble Beach Golf Links®, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance™, and Pebble Beach RetroAuto™ are trademarks, service marks and trade dress of Pebble Beach Company.  All rights reserved.