Recently the Mercedes-Benz publicity people sent out a number of photos of some of their museum cars that were taken out of the museum for a good run. These cars are spectacular and Mercedes-Benz are great at reaching into their history to do things right. If I can use Gottlieb Daimler’s famous statement; “The best or nothing at all”, when Mercedes-Benz brought these cars out they put some of them in the hands of Lewis Hamilton and Sir Stirling Moss. These fellows would certainly rank among the best. And Mercedes-Benz took the Grand Prix cars to the Monza race track which is also among the best for these cars.
Lewis Hamilton And Sir Stirling Moss At Monza
I thought that it was very appropriate that Sir Stirling showed up in the racing garb that he was familiar with and was appropriate for the car.
Sir Stirling Moss Looks Very Racy!
While these cars look very different, they are both the same car – the Mercedes-Benz W196 Grand Prix race car. The standard W196 car is shown below on the right being driven by Lewis Hamilton. On certain higher speed tracks, Mercedes-Benz added a streamline body to the standard W196 race car to increase the top speed capability of the car. This is car on the left being driven by Sir Stirling Moss.
The Streamlined And Standard Versions Of The W196 Grand Prix Car
The high banked portion of the Monza track is not used, as far as I know, in competitive racing these days, but it looks like a great place to take a car out for a run.
The W196s On The High Banks Of The Old Monza Track
The older, mostly unused part of the Monza track is not maintained to high standards. The photo below shows that this can be a challenge for the drivers.
Moss Looks “Inch-Perfect” Avoiding The Deteriorated Part Of The Track
The picture below shows that Mercedes-Benz gave them wide latitude to “burn the carbon out” of these cars.
Hamilton Looks Like He Is Pushing The W196
Not only did Mercedes-Benz bring out the W196 cars, they also brought out the factory high-speed transporter that was used in the day to get the cars to the race tracks from the factory in time for the race. Several years ago I posted a story on this website about the Mercedes-Benz transporters.
Streamlined And Normal Mercedes-Benz W196 Race Cars And A Mercedes-Benz Race Transporter
Not only did Mercedes-Benz take some of their Grand prix cars out of the Museum, they also took out some of their Mille Miglia cars as well. Three of these cars are shown below.
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SLR Mille Miglia Race Cars
The picture below shows a variety of significant Mercedes-Benz cars. In the foreground, Car 658, is the car the Juan Manuel Fangio drove to a second place finish in the 1955 Mille Miglia.
Merecedes Cars And The Italian Countryside
I was pleased to see that Mercedes-Benz also paid homage to American’s John Fitch’s drive in the 1955 Mille Miglia by bringing out his GT Class winning black 300SL coupe. This car is shown below.
John Fitch’s 1955 GT Class Winning Mercedes 300SL Coupe
John Fitch not only won the GT Class in the 1955 Mille Miglia, he finished 5th Overall with a time that would have placed him second Overall (only three minutes out of first) in 1954 and a time that would have won Overall in 1956. Given the near stock condition of this car, John Fitch did an excellent job of driving this car.
Mercedes-Benz Legendary Driver Hans Hermann In Fitch’s Car
A Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix driver from the 1950s, Hans Hermann, came out to check out the Mercedes-Benz cars.
If you ever get a chance, be sure to visit the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. And be sure to give yourself lots a time to look around.