Stuttgart, 15. October 2012 – The racing season 60 years ago was a complete success for Mercedes-Benz. In Bern, Le Mans and Nurburgring, the 300 SL racing cars (W 194) proved their athletic conventionality with double, triple and quadruple worship. At the end of the season, they showed their dominance on one of the most hardest long-haul races in the world, the 3. Carrera Panamericana in Mexico. With a double victory on the 3000 kilometer race, from 19. to 25. November 1952 took the season decided. Legendar to this day: the bird accident of the winning team.
The adventure starts in the Alps
In September 1952, the 300 SL on the Grobglockner in Easter Realty is prepared for the Hohenlage in Mexico, because the then convincing carburettors provide the correct mixture yes Hohenabhende. The coordination of gas factories is necessary because the route in Sudamerika over wide stages is around the 2000 meters above normal zero, the highest point of the race at Pass Puerto Aires even at 3196 meters. A special difficulty in the carburetor tuning are always high levels to 200 to 300 meters on individual parts. At the same time, the engineers for the approximately 3100 kilometer race in Mexico increase the performance of 162 to 180 hp. At the beginning of October, an extensive expedition fleet on ocean farmers to Veracruz in Mexico. In addition to the three Mercedes-Benz 300 SL for the racing insert from another 300 SL and a whole series of escort vehicles.
Birdwild: After wild drain behind bars
The first of eight stages, which leads over 530 kilometers from Tuxtla to Oaxaca, starts on 19. November 1952. Thanks to low-trial start numbers follow Hermann Lang, Karl Kling and John Fitch in a short distance. During this stage, the famous accident occurs with the 300 SL of the team Kling / Klenk: With more than 200 km / h, a rough bird penetrates the windshield and meets passenger Hans Klenk at the head. The short-term unconsciousness of his copilot encounters Karl Kling through violent shakes. The Klenk once again asks him despite the bleeding place wound to continue the stage. At the destination, the two, despite the interaction as a third, get the vehicle in addition to a new windshield four vertical metal stands as additional protection. The original vehicle is exhibited in the Mercedes-Benz Museum today.
Probably the most important success for the brand in the 50s
After eight exhausting stages Kling / Klenk reach the 25. November 1952 in a journey time of 18 hours, 51 minutes and 19 seconds the destination in Ciudad Juarez. As a two-placed riding long / grupp only 35 minutes after the winners about the finish line. With the SL double victory at the 3. Carrera Panamericana succeeds Mercedes-Benz the most important success for the brand in the 1950s.