The Classic Mercedes Rally Car That Tackled Some Of The World's Toughest Terrain

In the nearly a hundred and forty years for the reason that Karl Benz first caught a -stroke engine on a metal tricycle and known as it a automobile, the agency bearing its call has had all styles of adventures. Mercedes-Benz has been a going problem for the first-rate a part of a century and a half. In that time, they`ve accomplished pretty much everything: Creating masterclass luxurious withinside the Electric Age, gravel-devouring race platforms, and the occasional literal robotic automobile. Mercedes has accomplished everything.

All that said, whoever first concept of throwing a Mercedes onto a rally song with a roll cage and a prayer merits more credit score for the audacity. Mercedes-Benz remains typically a luxurious automobile brand; engineers have a tendency to choose chauffeuring moneyed clients thru the nightlife of stunning Stuttgart over flinging lunatics sideways thru axle-deep dirt.

Still, the Rallyewagen happened. Starting in 1977, Mercedes spec'd up an SLC coupe to World Rally Championship requirements and launched it into the wild.

A masterpiece withinside the muck

According to Top Gear, Mercedes wasn't precisely having a bet the loan cash on rally success. The agency constructed simply 19 rally-prepared SLCs previous to their racing debut in 1979. At the identical time, they got here dressed to win. In addition to new lighting and upgrades to chassis safety, Mercedes rebuilt the coupe's plant to maximise power-to-weight ratio, turning in an all-aluminum, 5-liter V8 and changing numerous frame panels with the lighter metal.

The remodel paid off. The SLC's leader declare to reputation is an notable 1-2-3-four end on the 1979 Bandama Rally in Cote d'Ivoire. The pinnacle rally crew changed into Björn Waldegård and Hans Thorszelius, the identical duo that took a inventory Porsche 911 to the rostrum in Kenya the preceding year. Clearly, in case your expert remit requires taking a German thoroughbred thru hours of filthy, punishing rally racing, the ones  are the gents to call.

Those 19 SLCs had been the best Mercedes-Benz rally motors in their kind. After their early successes, the Rallyewagens had been retired to apply as education vehicles, then bought into personal hands.

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