what was MB using for road racing in the 70s - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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what was MB using for road racing in the 70s

ive been hunting the net with much failure trying to see what MB was sponsoring and building for road racing thru the 70s , not hill climbs but actual full on road racing like lemans, imsa, scca

im talking about the "full body" race "production modified" cars not the GTP or formula
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 03:29 PM
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ive been hunting the net with much failure trying to see what MB was sponsoring and building for road racing thru the 70s , not hill climbs but actual full on road racing like lemans, imsa, scca

im talking about the "full body" race "production modified" cars not the GTP or formula
I don't think there was any Daimler Benz (Mercedes) sponsored road racing in the 70's. There was international rally engagement.
If I remember correctly, first with the W111 sedan, W108/9 6.3 Liter, and W116 6.9, and R107 450DLC. A R107 500SLC with higher compression engine and aluminum hood, trunk lip and doors came in the late 70's. AMG participated in track endurance racing in the 24 hrs of Le Mans, the Nürburgring with W108/9 300SE souped up to 6.8 L (called red pig), and W116 brought to 7.3 L, and likely others long before Daimler-Benz AG acquired AMG in 1999. For the 70's, search google or images with AMG racing.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/b...s-of-all-time/
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 12:55 PM
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Trans Am SL

You might find some info about the Michlob Trans Am MB 450SL that Loren St. Laurence fielded in 1980. Not much success, but an interesting approach.

https://images.app.goo.gl/jNKyMByEJWH8KWd88

Take a look.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 10:23 AM
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... AMG participated in track endurance racing in the 24 hrs of Le Mans, the Nürburgring with W108/9 300SE souped up to 6.8 L (called red pig) ...
The picture in post 2 was taken at “Raidillon“ in Spa-Francorchamps during the 24 hours race in 1971 … the race that put “AMG“ on the map.

As a young teenager I spent the whole weekend at that race. During the Friday training and also during large parts of the race I stayed in the pit-lane. AMG was a practically unknown new team when they came to that race. But with their mighty Mercedes they became the star of that race already before it started on Saturday afternoon. And their drivers Hans Heyer and Clemens Schickentanz finishing second was quite a sensation.

I still remember them being worried about the tire consumption of their heavy 6.8 liter 300 SEL after training on Friday. During the race the AMG pit was the busiest of all due to the many tire changes. I remember Hans-Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher changing tires together with the mechanics.

The attached picture shows the start of that race with Dieter Glemser (Capri RS 2600) leading, then the Belgian Ivo Grauls (Camaro Z28) and Hans Heyer in third position.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 02:55 AM
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Btw, in 4th position in the picture in post 4 is John Fitzpatrick in his Werks-Escord. In 6th position is Niki Lauda. He drove an Alpina BMW 2800 CS (together with Gerard Larrousse). In the Escord behind Niki Lauda is Trevor Taylor. In 9th position (on the “Eau Rouge” bridge, next to and a little behind the Steinmetz Commodore) is Helmut Kelleners with his Schnitzer BMW 2800 CS. In 12th position is Jochen Mass with his Werks-Capri RS 2600.

The “24 Heurs de Francorchamps” were always an anual highlight for motorsport fans here in the Tri-state-area of B-NL-D in the 60’s & 70’s.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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that is a most glorious shot with that huge camaro being surrounded by relitively small cars

its a shame the red pig seems to be the only real car used thru the 70s
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 08:27 PM
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My fathers friend Harry had an unusual W116 6.9. Harry's hobby were horses, he had a one time several hundred (no kidding). Through his hobby, he became friendly with other German equestrian enthusiasts with, including a certain Hans Werner Aufrecht, one of the AMG founders, and his wife.
Apparently AMG had a dozen or so 5 speed manual boxes sourced from ZF they used and to be used in the W116 6.9 or increased volume (7.3 Liter?) engined cars for long distance racing, like the 1,000 Km race on the Nürburgring etc.
That's how Harry came to have one of those 5-speed manual gear boxes in his 6.9.
I just had my drivers license and was the designated driver when the 2 went out and had some drinks.
It felt like the car could have pulled not only a locomotive, but a whole train.
Cheers

There is an old article about a German Banker with a R107SLC AMG7.3 with 5 speed manual, who had hired professional racer Hans Joachim Stuck to drive him fastest from point A to B.
https://www.benzworld.org/forums/r-c...ml#post4905227
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 07:26 AM
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Here is a photo of Hans Werner Aufrecht and two mechanics standing in the pit lane in Spa-Francorchamps during that 24 hours race in 1971 showing the spectators on the opposite grand stand to memorize the "AMG" logo.

1972 was the last racing season for that 6.8 liter 300 SEL. AMG sold it to a French arms manufacturer who used it for aircraft tire tests. Finally it was scraped. So, unfortunately, the original car does not exist anymore.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 03:59 PM
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Apropos 5-speed. At the time, I didn't think much about, but much later I wondered whether the boxes were just beefed up trannys otherwise used by Iso and DeTomaso, Italian build and designed cars with big American engines. My father had a Iso Rivolta designed by Bertone (i think) with such a tranny.
Those Italian cars with US muscle were beautiful, but unfortunately had an Magneti Marelli electrical system, a neck on neck competitor of Lucas, Britain's King of Darkness.
There was also the Italian (Frua) designed Monteverdi from Switzerland. I don't know about their electrical system, but not too long ago there was a perfectly restored blue metallic one outside my neighborhoods Trader Joe's market.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 09:34 AM
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To come back to the OP‘s initial question about MB‘s road racing activities with "full body" race "production modified" cars thru the 70‘s … there were actually none. Also the 300 SEL that AMG used in the early 70‘s was not really a competitive car for road racing. It had a literally huge advantage … a 6.8 liter engine. Even on the old super fast 9 miles long Spa-Francorchamps race track it was only about 4 seconds faster than John Fitzpatricks Ford Escort, although its engine was about 4 times bigger than the Escort‘s engine. And it was almost 5 seconds slower than the CS BMW‘s whose engines were less than half as big as the MB engine. … But nevertheless, for the spectators it was the star of the race.

The W109 was (like all other MB‘s in the 60‘s, 70‘s and 80‘s) never meant for road racing. After the Le Mans catastrophe in 1955 (the biggest ever in motorsport) Mercedes stayed away from motorsport for more than 3 decades.

Here is another pic showing the AMG 300 SEL at “Eau Rouge“ during that 24H race in '71.
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