Hans Herrmann at the wheel of the Mercedes 300 SLR with starting number 704 at the Classic Insight “1955 success stories,” 23 April 2015 in Italy.

New book from Mercedes-Benz Classic: “Milestones of Motorsports – the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR”

An icon of the 1955 motor sport season

1955 was the golden year of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. It enjoyed an unprecedentedly successful run, comprising one-two or even one-two-three wins. These outstanding triumphs assured Mercedes-Benz of the 1955 Worls Sports Car Championship title. Mercedes-Benz Classic is now presenting a new book on the legendary racing sports car, its races and the people behind it. The text has been penned by well-known motor car author Günter Engelen on the basis of meticulous research in the archives. This unique, exclusive monograph is available in a limited and numbered edition and represents the first volume of the new series “Milestones of Motorsport.”

“Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. Milestones of Motorsport, Volume 1” 2015.

“Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. Milestones of Motorsport, Volume 1” 2015.

“The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR is one of our supreme racing car icons,” says Michael Bock, head of Mercedes-Benz Classic and the Customer Center. “I admire this perfect motor sport machine – as well as all the people who built and drove the vehicle in the 1950s. Günter Engelen shares this admiration, and we could not have found a better author for the book.”

Mille Miglia (Brescia/Italy), 1 May 1955. The subsequent race winners Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson pictured before the race in their Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR.

Mille Miglia (Brescia/Italy), 1 May 1955. The subsequent race winners Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson pictured before the race in their Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR.

Born in 1938, in his capacity as an motor car journalist, Günter Engelen has been concerned with the history of the motor car, and Mercedes-Benz in particular, since 1985. Whatever topic he tackles, he always researches the subject matter in hand with an unerring attention to detail that lends the stories he relates a vivid authenticity and brings history to life.

Le Mans, 1955: Juan Manuel Fangio (start number 19) at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR racing sports car.

Le Mans, 1955: Juan Manuel Fangio (start number 19) at the wheel of a 300 SLR racing sports car.

For the new standard work “Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR” Engelen dug deep into the Mercedes-Benz Classic Archive, compiling documents and information to create a book that has the makings of an icon in its own right. The Ostfildern-based Hatje Cantz Verlag publishing company is presenting the book in fittingly exclusive style, including a slipcase. It is being published in a German and an English edition, each limited to 999 numbered copies at a price of 199 euros.

300 SLR (W 196 S) from 1955

300 SLR (W 196 S) from 1955

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR was one of the stars of 1955. In addition to the Formula 1 World Championship and the European Touring Cars Masters, this year also saw the vehicle win the World Sports Car Championship, demonstrating Mercedes-Benz’s unprecedented and unchallenged dominance of international motor racing. 60 years ago, Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio, the most successful drivers of their era, achieved impressive wins at the wheel of the 300 SLR in the world’s most demanding road races, bestowing on this superlative racing sports car a special renown which it has maintained to this day.

Juan Manuel Fangio (start number 658) in a Mercedes-Benz Model 300 SLR racing sports car just before the start of the 1955 Mille Miglia

Juan Manuel Fangio (start number 658) in a Mercedes-Benz Model 300 SLR racing sports car just before the start of the 1955 Mille Miglia

As Volume 1 of the new book series “Milestones of Motorsport,” the book documents the technical development of the 300 SLR, which was allocated the internal designation W 196 S, as well as all the vehicle’s racing assignments and – for the first time ever – the biography of each individual vehicle. It also describes the technical developments for the following 1956 season, in which Mercedes-Benz did not compete, having withdrawn from motor sport. Photographs and illustrations, some of which have never been published before, high-quality graphic design, and a lavish presentation make the book a collector’s item.

Sir Stirling Moss at the wheel of the 300 SLR with starting number 722 at the Classic Insight “1955 success stories,” 23 April 2015 in Italy.

Sir Stirling Moss at the wheel of the 300 SLR with starting number 722 at the Classic Insight “1955 success stories,” 23 April 2015 in Italy.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. Milestones of Motorsport, Volume 1. Edited by Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Classic, text by Günter Engelen. Published by Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern, May 2015; hardcover, 256 pages, 288 photographs and illustrations, in slipcase, numbered and limited to 999 copies in German and English respectively. 199 euros. ISBN: 978-3-7757-4000-5 (German), 978-3-7757-4001-2 (English). Available at the Mercedes-Benz Museum shop and from bookshops.

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