Safari “Rallyewagen” – 1979 Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC 5.0

This 1979 Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC 5.0 is one in every of seven automobiles on this sequence, a Mercedes-Benz factory-operated safari rally automotive, and it took the rostrum on the Rallye Bandama Ivory Coast and Marlboro Safari Rally in the course of the interval.

Apparently, the 450 SLC 5.0 can be the primary V8 to win a World Rally Championship (WRC) occasion and win with an computerized transmission.

Fast Information – Mercedes 450 SLC 5.0 “Rallyewagen”

  • The Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC 5.0 was developed particularly for worldwide rally competitors – an uncommon transfer by the German automaker, which considers the automotive to be basically a luxurious coupe quite than a purely sports activities racing automotive.
  • The 450 SLC 5.0 is powered by a brand new 5.0-liter V8 with aluminum blocks and heads to save lots of weight. It was additionally outfitted with aluminum alloy opening panels and wheels.
  • A complete of 19 enterprise automobiles have been made, however solely seven acquired the 450 SLC 5.0 badge – every outfitted with a specifically modified 3-speed computerized transmission designed to face up to the pains of rally competitors.
  • The instance you see right here is among the traditionally most necessary surviving 450 SLC 5.0s, the automotive pushed by Björn Waldegård to third place within the Mercedes 1-2-3-4 end on the 1979 Bandama Rally Côte. D’Ivoire and later Vic Preston Jr. on the wheel of the 1980 Marlboro Safari Rally in Kenya. would take third place.

Panzerwagen Turns into Rallyewagen

Shortly after the launch of the Mercedes-Benz R107 and C107 sequence in 1971, it was nicknamed the “Panzerwagen” after the Panzer IV tank utilized by the Germans in World Warfare II. The nickname was because of the new mannequin’s weight and the way solidly it was constructed – bringing the scales to an insignificant 1,635 kilograms or 3,604 kilos.

Above Video: This German footage from the 1979 Bandama Ivory Coast Rally reveals the automobiles racing, the auto-translation characteristic on YouTube works fairly nicely, and the race begins at 1:13 after the spoken entry.

The R107 was the interior designation of the convertible, and the C107 was the definition of the hardtop coupe, which additionally had a barely longer wheelbase and matching rear seats. Each automobiles have been carefully associated, utilizing front-mounted engines sending energy to the rear wheels and a metal unibody using impartial entrance and rear suspension.

Given the burden and design of the R107/C107 sequence, it appears unlikely that Mercedes initially supposed to compete with them. These have been luxurious private autos and have been profitable at it, and shortly turned a typical sight in metropolis membership parking heaps in the USA and Europe.

Weight and sturdiness depend in opposition to automobiles in nearly all areas of motor racing, excluding long-distance endurance rallies. These occasions tended to reward autos that might be eaten on daily basis as they traversed a whole lot (typically hundreds) of nationwide brutal terrain.

Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC 5.0

Mercedes engineer Dr Erich Waxenberger would head the mission to create the Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC 5.0, the automotive referred to as the “Rallyewagen”. It took an ordinary C107 and added aluminum pop-up panels to assist cut back weight (~125 lb) with out sacrificing the energy of the strong metal physique.

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Image descriptionThe 450 SLC 5.0 can be the primary automotive to win a World Rally Championship (WRC) with an computerized transmission and a V8 engine.

A brand new all-aluminum 5.0-liter V8 codenamed M117 was developed, 88lbs lighter than the iron-block V8 on which it was primarily based, and paired with a modified model of the 3-speed computerized transmission. Safari rally variations of the automotive are outfitted with modified suspension that’s stronger than commonplace with added floor clearance benefit.

Bash plates have been screwed beneath for very apparent causes, spotlights have been positioned on the entrance for higher visibility at evening, and contained in the automotive you will discover harnesses, a roll cage and numerous different additions for rally use in addition to race racing seats.

Due to its 240bhp V8 and total ruggedness, the 450 SLC 5.0 would declare a notable variety of wins and podiums for Mercedes, together with the three,000km Vuelta a La América del Sud the place the automobiles took first place. high 5 locations. They’d a 1-2-3-4 end on the Bandama Ivory Coast Rally (Rally Ivory Coast) in 1979, and an enormous assist staff despatched in from Europe was additionally of nice assist.

Quite a lot of different endurance rallies have been entered and the automobiles have been on the dropping facet – a scenario that shocked many observers who felt that the automobiles would battle to complete an occasion, not to mention sweep the rostrum fully.

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Image descriptionDue to its aluminum block and heads, the M117 V8 engine was 88 lbs lighter than the iron block engine on which it was primarily based. It additionally benefited from bigger exhaust ports and sodium-filled exhaust valves – it produced 240 bhp.

Highway-legal homologation model of Works Racing 450 SLC 5.0 (together with the following 500 SLCs) can be offered in comparatively low numbers, with a complete of two,769 produced. They’re now among the many most collectors of the R107/C107 household.

Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC 5.0 Proven Right here

The automotive you see right here was promoted to third place on the 1979 Rallye Bandama Ivory Coast by Swedish rally legend Björn Waldegård, after which third with Vic Preston Jr behind the wheel on the 1980 Marlboro Safari Rally in Kenya.

It was later offered from the manufacturing facility works staff to a personal proprietor, it was restored within the Nineties. It has since reverted to its Bandama Rally look and has been meticulously maintained.

It’s now accompanied by the unique German title, which signifies that Mercedes-Benz Stuttgart first registered the automotive on September 26, 1979. Chassis #836 is nicely recorded in quite a few books dedicated to Mercedes-Benz automobiles of this period and the corporate’s motorsport historical past.

It should now undergo the public sale block with RM Sotheby’s in Paris on February 1. If you wish to learn extra about it or signal as much as bid You can visit the list here.

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Photographs courtesy of Keno Zache ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

#Safari #Rallyewagen #MercedesBenz #SLC


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