Date registered: Jun 2012
Vehicle: 1980 280CE, 2001 C240
Location: Family is all german, live in southern USA...
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Excited New Member with a lot of Mercedes history in family!
My name is Ray (René actually!) and I am new to the board. Everytime I searched anything Mercedes related it always came to this site, so why not join?
My brother and I currently only have one Mercedes each (he's got Dad's 1980 280CE and I've got a 2001 C240), but we have had numerous others and still keep our eyes open constantly for any more! My father passed the love for the brand onto my brother Ralph and then onto me. We have had all sorts of W123's from the 70's and 80's, a 64 220 Fintail, and right now we are trying to obtain one that we are clueless on the actual model...but it's old!
Besides Mercedes, we love Porsche, older VW's, some BMW's, and of course many other Euro (and American!) cars. I've just been getting into the older group B Rally cars like the Audis, Renaults, Lancias, etc. I remember Dad taking us to see rally races deep in the German hills and woods in the 70's.
Our family is all german, my Dad moving to the States in the 50's and my Mom coming back with him by 1959. It is from this time period that we are searching for some clues as to my Dad's racing past. Before my Mom came over, my Dad spent a small amount of time working in Mexico before he moved to NYC where his dad lived. His dad was a big-shot with Eastman-Kodak back then and had some high-class friends. My dad ended up racing in the Carrera Panamericana in 1952 and 1953. He drove a car that he described as a 300SL Roadster provided to him by a big New York Mercedes dealer at the time (friends with his Dad from NYC and Germany). He vividly remembers the Kling/Klenk vulture incident from the first year. He also raced in Daytona in either '52 or '53 (or '54?) and he recalls the Americans didn't like him because he drove a '42 (not sure exactly of the year) five-window couple painted British Racing Green and numbered 13! If anyone finds anything out, his name back then was Hans-Peter Ransenberg, Peter Ransenberg, or simply Peter Ranson. His dad from NYC was named Hugo.
ANYWAY, I am looking for any info about this period of his racing. I found an old email of his trying to write someone named Tom Burnside (a racing book author) and telling him that unfortunately in the Carerra races he got a DNF.
His racing days were over in the 50's as well (he had a rather bad accident and his legs gave him problems the rest of his life) and he joined the US Army and stayed in the service for 27 years. After retirement from the Army, he took a job in Saudi Arabia for many years after. He and my mother were married for over 50 years and we lost him last year on April 1st, 2011. He was a card carrying member of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America and went to the Southern Chapter functions as often as he could (and driving the 280CE decked out in 1980 Monte Carlo Rally gear!). We even renewed his membership for us but kept it under his name!
So sorry for the lengthy history, my brother and I are still waving the flag and look forward to learning all we can from the site!