Goodwood Festival of Speed 2013: auction of Mercedes-Benz W 196 R one of highlights at world’s “largest motorised garden party”
Juan Manuel Fangio piloted the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow Type W 196 R with chassis number 006/54 to victory at the German and Swiss Grands Prix in 1954. These triumphs were key moments on Fangio’s march towards his first Formula-1 World Championship title with Mercedes-Benz. The W 196 R also marked a triumphant post-war return to Grand Prix racing for Mercedes-Benz in the 1954 season.
During this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, the British auction house Bonhams will be hosting an exclusive auction of this very W 196 R model with chassis number 006/54 on 12 July 2013. “This unique opportunity is sure to hold extraordinary appeal for all those with an interest in historical motorsport”, says Michael Bock, Head of Mercedes-Benz Classic, “as the vehicle was and remains the only original post-war Silver Arrows in private ownership.”
Ahead of the auction, the experts at Mercedes-Benz Classic have carried out extensive checks on the Silver Arrow, which was donated by the then Daimler-Benz AG to the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu (England) in 1973 and sold by the museum to a private collector in 1980. Based on these detailed checks and the full set of documentation compiled by Mercedes-Benz Classic, the brand historians have produced a detailed expert’s report confirming the vehicle’s originality and authenticity. “Our expert’s report means that there are no uncertainties whatsoever about this racing car,” says Michael Bock. “It fully and unequivocally confirms the history and originality of the vehicle.”
The fact that Mercedes-Benz Classic provides such a high level of expertise for collectors and fans of the brand’s historical cars adds to the value of Mercedes-Benz classic vehicles. “High-quality classics bearing the Mercedes star are among the most valuable classic cars of all”, says Michael Bock, “and the auction of this unique vehicle has the potential to achieve an extremely high price – perhaps even the highest price ever paid at auction for a car.”
Great moments at Goodwood with Mercedes-Benz Classic
Mercedes-Benz Classic is reliving the glittering racing successes of the second Silver Arrow era of 1954 and 1955 at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed by staging demonstration drives with a W 196 R from its own collection. Only 10 of the total of 14 models originally built are still in existence: there are six W 196 R models in the Mercedes-Benz Classic collection, plus museum exhibits in Turin, Vienna and Indianapolis. Then there is the model with chassis number 006/54 being auctioned in Goodwood. To tie in with the W 196 R, Mercedes-Benz Classic is also exhibiting an authentic 2001 replica of the “Blue Wonder” racing-car transporter from 1955 and a 300 SLR Coupé originally built for gruelling long-distance races and rally events. Although this “Uhlenhaut-Coupé” never actually raced, it became famous as a test and touring car used by Mercedes-Benz designer Rudolf Uhlenhaut.
Also on show at the legendary festival in the English county of West Sussex is a pre-war Silver Arrow W 154. It was in a Silver Arrow of this type that Rudolf Caracciola won his third European Grand Prix Championship title for Mercedes-Benz in 1938. Heralding from a far more distant era of motor racing is the Benz “Prinz-Heinrich-Wagen” from 1910, which Mercedes-Benz Classic has faithfully restored to ensure maximum authenticity. Finally, a Benz Patent Motor Car is a reminder of the birth of the automobile in 1886.
The dark green “Prinz-Heinrich-Wagen” with white start number 38 is making its public driving debut at the festival following its careful restoration by the Mercedes-Benz Classic experts. Now over 100 years old, the vehicle is a fascinating witness of motor sport innovations from the early 1900s. At that time, the “Prinz-Heinrich” Tour, named after the brother of the German Emperor, was one of Europe’s most prominent races. The German Automobile Club, then known as the “Kaiserlicher Automobil-Club”, staged the race for the first time in 1908, with only four-seater production cars being allowed to participate. Between 1908 and 1910, Benz & Cie. built the “Prinz-Heinrich-Wagen” designed specifically for the race using a number of different engine configurations.
Ten all-new Benz special touring cars were built for the 1910 tour, which was staged between June 2 and 8 and covered a distance of 1945 kilometres from Berlin to Homburg via Braunschweig, Kassel, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Strasbourg, and Metz. Four of them had 5.7-litre engines while the other six had engines with a displacement of 7.3 litres. All the touring cars were equipped with cardan shaft drive and had an aerodynamically optimised body with a characteristic pointed rear. Following extensive restoration of the Benz 80 hp special touring car from the Mercedes-Benz Classic collection by the in-house experts, this authentic and original “Prinz-Heinrich-Wagen” is now celebrating its public return to the race track at Goodwood. It is yet another high point in the life of a vehicle that many automobile historians consider to be the first true sports car.
The many Mercedes-Benz Classic vehicles lining up at the start for demonstration drives on the 1.86 kilometre Goodwood hill-climb course will be one of the highlights of the festival. In keeping with the long and illustrious tradition of Mercedes-Benz Classic, the brand’s racing cars will be piloted by renowned racing drivers on the Goodwood hill-climb course. These prominent brand ambassadors include motor-racing stars such as Lewis Hamilton, Hans Herrmann, Jochen Mass, Stirling Moss, Nico Rosberg, and Jackie Stewart.
20 years of the Goodwood Festival of Speed
The Goodwood Festival of Speed in southern England is celebrating a milestone anniversary in 2013: it is precisely 20 years since Charles Gordon-Lennox, Earl of March and Kinrara, first staged the festival in 1993. Now more than 150,000 visitors flock to the event every year to celebrate the culture of historical motorsport in all of its fascinating facets, including sophisticated super sports cars and Grand Prix models as well as rally vehicles and 3,000 hp (2,205 kW) dragsters. For all this variety, however, the organisers attach great importance to the fact that every vehicle appearing at the festival represents the technology, spirit and style of its respective era and ties in with the festival’s motto for the year.
The cornerstone for today’s Festival of Speed was laid by the grandfather of the keen motor-racing enthusiast and Goodwood host, who normally goes by the title of Lord March: the then Earl of March and 9th Duke of Richmond, Freddie March, was renowned in England as a car designer, engineer, and racing driver. He first staged a private hill-climb race in the park of Goodwood House in 1936. Some 50 years on, his grandson decided to revive this tradition.
Within the space of 20 years, the Goodwood Festival of Speed has become one of the undoubted highlights on the international calendar of automobile culture. Competition vehicles and sports cars from all eras take part in a symphony of motor sport and speed conducted over three days. The latest cars from Formula 1, motor racing’s class of kings, are also always represented here. Alongside the hill-climb race, there has also been a 2.5 kilometre rally course for vehicles of this type since 2007. To open the festival, there will be a presentation of current production cars in the “Moving Motor Show” on 11 July 2013 before the focus switches to sporty vehicles of all types and from all eras on 12 to 14 July 2013.
As well as being an exciting motor-racing event, the Festival of Speed is also an elegant promenade of automobile culture – from the pits, open to all visitors, to vehicle exhibits in the park grounds and new automotive works of art created every year by British sculptor Gerry Judah. There are also vehicle exhibits focussing on specific themes, including “Star Cars”. Further attractions include “Cartier‘ Style Et Luxe’”, the “Cathedral Paddock”, the “Cricket Pitch Display”, the ”Formula 1 Paddock”, and the “Michelin Supercar Paddock”. The gap between historic motor sport and state-of-the-art automotive technology is bridged among other things by the “FoS-TECH” pavilion featuring an exhibition of the latest innovations.
Goodwood Festival of Speed 2013: The Mercedes-Benz Classic vehicles
Benz Patent Motor Car, 1886
The motor car patented by Carl Benz in 1886 was the first ever automobile with internal combustion engine. Benz thought beyond the confines of the carriage and created a new vehicle shape for his four-stroke engine. As a holistic invention, this early automobile was as innovative as the engine itself, accompanied as it was by an electric ignition system, clutch, carburettor, radiator and differential for the two driven wheels. The Patent Motor Car was powered by a horizontal one-cylinder four-stroke engine.
Technical data for Benz Patent Motor Car
Build year: 1886
Cylinders: One-cylinder four-stroke engine with buzzer ignition system
Displacement: 954 cc
Output: 0.75 hp (0.55 kW) at 400 rpm
Top speed: 16 km/h
Benz “Prinz-Heinrich-Wagen”, 1910
The Benz “Prinz-Heinrich-Wagen” on show at Goodwood is one of only two vehicles in the world that have survived in their original form since their first race more than 100 years ago. At the time ten of the Benz racing touring cars were newly designed specifically for the 1910 Prince Heinrich Tour. The car from the Mercedes-Benz Classic collection reached the finishing line of the 1910 Prince Heinrich Tour in 11th place, and then in the same year it also took part in the Tsar Nicholas Tour. The car still has the modified engine which the racing car was fitted with for this race in Russia. This dark green Benz special touring car with race number 38, recently restored to its original condition by Mercedes-Benz Classic, is considered to be the first true sports car by many automobile historians.
Technical data for Benz “Prinz-Heinrich-Wagen”
Build year: 1910
Displacement: 5,715 cc
Output: 80 hp (59 kW)
Top speed: 126 km/h
Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix racing car W 154, 1938
1938 heralded the arrival of a new formula for Grand Prix races, based on displacement rather than the car’s maximum weight as the key technical factor: naturally aspirated engines were allowed a maximum displacement of 4.5 litres, supercharged engines a maximum of 3 litres. New weight limits between 400 and 850 kilos were also specified. For this formula, Mercedes-Benz developed the new W 154 racing car with a mechanically supercharged V12 engine. The design of the chassis and suspension was based on the concept of the previous year’s car – the highly successful W 125. The Mercedes-Benz W 154 won the three races that proved decisive in determining the outcome of the European Championship: the Grands Prix in France (Manfred von Brauchitsch), Germany (Richard Seaman) and Switzerland (Rudolf Caracciola). In the overall classification for the 1938 championship, Caracciola took the title ahead of his team-mates von Brauchitsch, Lang, and Seaman.
Technical data for Mercedes-Benz W 154
Build year: 1938
Cylinders: V12, with two single-stage superchargers
Displacement: 2,962 cc
Output: 453 hp (333 kW) at 8,000 rpm
Top speed: around 300 km/h
Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix racing car W 196 R, 1954
In 1954, Mercedes-Benz returned to Grand Prix racing with an all-new racing car. The W 196 R met all the requirements for the new Grand Prix formula specified by the CSI (Commission Sportive Internationale): a displacement of 750 cubic centimetres with a supercharger or 2,500 cubic centimetres without a supercharger. Any fuel composition was allowed. The first model built was a streamlined version because the opening race in Reims allowed very high speeds. This was followed by the variant with uncovered wheels. For the second season in 1955, this classic Grand Prix car was then also available with shorter wheelbase lengths. The spaceframe of the W 196 R was light and robust while the chassis with torsion-bar suspension and a new single-joint swing axle at the rear and the huge turbo-cooled duplex drum brakes that were initially housed inside centrally were unconventionally good. For the drive system, the engineers chose an eight-cylinder in-line engine with direct injection and desmodromic valve control. Juan Manuel Fangio and Karl Kling drove the W 196 R to first and second place at the opening race of the 1954 season in France. Fangio went on to take the world title twice with the W 196 R – in 1954 and 1955.
Technical data for Mercedes-Benz W 196 R
Build year: 1954
Displacement: 2,497 cc
Output: Streamline 1954: 256 hp (188 kW) at 8,500 rpm,
Monoposto 1955: 290 hp (213 kW) at 8,500 rpm
Top speed: around 300 km/h
Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Coupé (Uhlenhaut Coupé), 1955
For the 1955 racing season, Mercedes-Benz was actually planning to build the 300 SLR racing car as a coupé only. However, the drivers opted for a roadster, primarily because of the expected noise levels in the cockpit. Nevertheless, two coupés were also produced in 1955 under the guidance of Rudolf Uhlenhaut. In terms of their design, these 300 SLR gull-wing models had close ties with the 300 SL sports cars. The intention was to race them in the Carrera Panamericana; however, the long-distance race in South America was not staged in 1955. This meant that the coupés were only used for training – in Sweden, Northern Ireland, and Sicily, for example. Later one of the two coupés was set aside as a testing and touring car registered for on-road use for Rudolf Uhlenhaut. As the “Uhlenhaut-Coupé”, this car became almost as famous as the 300 SLR used on the race track.
Technical data for Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Coupé
Build year: 1955
Displacement: 2,982 cc
Output: 310 hp (228 kW) at 7,400 rpm
Top speed: 284 km/h
Mercedes-Benz “Blue Wonder” racing-car transporter, 1955
As well as its Silver Arrows, the Mercedes-Benz racing team had another vehicle that caused a sensation within its ranks in 1955: a super-fast racing-car transporter that was built as an one-off based on a 300 S model from 1954 onwards. In 1955, it provided high-speed transport between the race track and the factory, for example if a racing car required last-minute changes or if one of the Silver Arrows was involved in an accident and needed to be repaired as quickly as possible in time for the next race. The blue high-speed transporter blazed a trail across Europe with its silver load on board. This extremely fast commercial vehicle with sports car genes was christened “Blue Wonder”. The chassis of the Mercedes-Benz 300 S was supplemented by a forward-positioned cab with sleek lines comprising many parts taken from the 180 model. From the cab to the fully clad rear end, the racing-car transporter appeared to have been cast from a single mould. The usual separation between the cab and the load area was scarcely visible. The fast car transporter was powered by the three-litre six-cylinder engine with direct injection that also featured in the 300 SL sports car. At the end of its active service, the original transporter was used for road tests before being scrapped in 1967. In 2001, after seven years of rebuilding work, Mercedes-Benz Classic unveiled an authentic reconstruction of the racing-car transporter.
Technical data for the Mercedes-Benz racing-car transporter
Build year: 1954
Displacement: 2,996 cc
Output: 192 hp (141 kW)
Top speed: 165 km/h
Goodwood Festival of Speed 2013: Driver portraits
Born on 7 January 1985 in Stevenage, England
Lewis Hamilton has been a Formula-1 driver since 2007. The 2008 World Champion joined the Mercedes AMG Petronas Silver Arrow works team in 2013. He is however already very familiar with Mercedes-Benz racing technology, having driven cars with Mercedes-Benz engines throughout his entire Formula-1 career, which began at McLaren-Mercedes in 2006. The Brit started his motor sport career in karting when eight years old, and in 1998 he joined the McLaren Driver Development Programme. His first professional outing was in British Formula Renault in 2001, and he also took part in Formula 3 and Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup races. In 2004, Hamilton made a permanent move to Formula 3, before switching to GP2, a Formula-1 feeder series, in 2006.
Born on 23 February 1928 in Stuttgart, Germany
After Herrmann’s debut in motor sport, Mercedes-Benz race chief Alfred Neubauer signed the 25-year-old to the Daimler-Benz AG works team for the 1954 season. At the Swiss Grand Prix on 22 August 1954, Herrmann finished third – a result he repeated at the Avus race on 19 September 1954 (where Mercedes-Benz occupied the top three places) in the W 196 R streamlined racing car. During the course of the 1955 season, Herrmann participated in eight sports car races and ten Formula-1 races. At the Monaco Grand Prix, he stepped in for Karl Kling and suffered serious injuries in an accident. Despite making a full recovery, he didn’t return to Mercedes-Benz as the company withdrew from motorsport in October 1955, signalling an end to Herrmann’s active involvement with Mercedes-Benz. In the following years, he took part in further racing and sports car competitions. After racing in Formula 2 and Formula 1, he ended his career in 1970 by winning the 24 Hours at Le Mans in a Porsche. Herrmann continues to drive for Mercedes-Benz at historical events.
Born on 30 September 1946 in Dorfen, Germany
Jochen Mass began his chequered career in motor sport in 1968 by racing touring cars for Alfa Romeo and was then a works driver for Ford between 1970 and 1975. During this period, he won the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps in 1972. He also made his debut in Formula 2 (in 1973) and started 105 Formula 1 Grands Prix (1973/74 with Surtees; 1975 to 1977 with McLaren; 1978 with ATS; 1979/80 with Arrows; 1982 with March). After winning the German Sports Car Masters title in 1985 and racing as a works driver for Porsche until 1987, he joined the Sauber-Mercedes team as a works driver, where he raced in Group C up until 1991. In the new Silver Arrow, the Sauber-Mercedes C 9, Jochen Mass won the 24 Hours at Le Mans in 1989 with team-mates Manuel Reuter and Stanley Dickens. He finished runner-up in the World Championship in the same year. Three years later, in 1992, Mass moved into DTM team management. Jochen Mass still regularly appears for Mercedes-Benz at historical events.
Sir Stirling Moss
Born on 17 September 1929 in London, England
Stirling Moss is recognised as an exceptional talent by his racing colleagues. It’s as if he were born to race cars as they have been part of his life since early childhood - thanks to his parents who were motor sport enthusiasts and also active in the sport themselves. He won his first race when he was 19 and was driving in Formula 1 just a few years later. He joined the Mercedes-Benz team in 1955, taking part in all the important events. He won the 1955 Mille Miglia race driving a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR (W 196 S) in a record time of 10:7:48 hours – a mark which would never be beaten. He also triumphed in the Targa Florio race and was victorious in the English Grand Prix at Aintree. It was his first Formula 1 victory, and his only one in a Silver Arrow because Mercedes-Benz withdrew from motor sport at the end of that season. Moss continued to enjoy success in subsequent years, missing the World Championship title by a hair’s breadth on several occasions. A serious accident forced him to retire from motorsport in 1962. He still has close ties with Mercedes-Benz and regularly appears for the brand at Classic events. His name is also representative of motor racing’s move towards more professionalism: at the beginning of the 1950s he was the first driver to have his own manager.
Born on 27 June 1985 in Wiesbaden, Germany
The son of former Formula 1 World Champion (1982) Keke Rosberg, Nico had his first taste of motor sport in karting when aged just six. Rosberg achieved numerous successes in karting, including a runner-up spot in the European Formula A Championship in 2000. He started in Formula BMW in 2002 and the Formula 3 Euro Series in 2003 before switching to the GP2 Series in 2005. Rosberg then joined the Williams Formula 1 team in 2006. When Mercedes-Benz returned to Formula 1 with its own Grand Prix team in 2010, Nico Rosberg was signed up as a driver along with Michael Schumacher.
Sir Jackie Stewart
Born on 11 June 1939 in Milton, Scotland
The racing career of three-time Formula 1 World Champion John Young “Jackie” Stewart began in 1964 and was a great success right from the start. Just one year later he was driving in Formula 1. His first major triumph came in 1969 when he won the Formula 1 World Championship for the Matra International team. He won the title for the second time in 1971 and a third time in 1973, driving for the Elf Tyrrell team in both years. Stewart held the record for the most Formula 1 victories (27 races) for 14 years until it was broken by Alain Prost in 1987. He also achieved success in the cockpit in numerous other racing series before calling time on his active career in 1973. Given the many fatal accidents that occurred during his heyday, it is hardly surprising that Jackie Stewart started campaigning for more safety in motor sport at an early stage. In 1996, he formed the Stewart Grand Prix team with his son Paul Stewart. The team was involved in Formula 1 from 1997 to 1999. At the end of 1999, the team was taken over by Ford and in the 2000 season raced under the name Jaguar Racing before being renamed Red Bull Racing in 2005. Jackie Stewart received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his achievements in 1971.
Credits: Daimler AG
Copyright © 2013, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.