2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR MCLaren 722 GT 

2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR MCLaren 722 GT

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DOROTHEUM Sommerauktion im Fahrzeug und Technik Zentrum Wien / Summer Sale at Fahrzeug und Technik Zentrum Wien
Klassische Fahrzeuge und Motorräder / Classic motorcars and motorcycles
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Lot 72 V
2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR MCLaren 722 GT

Reference Number 622562

as of 8/14/2020

Dealer
 

Lot 72

 Contact  Location
 Phone    City  Vösendorf
 Fax    State  Niederösterreich
 Mobile    Country  Austria Austria
Overview
Car 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR MCLaren 722 GT
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Known History

One of only twelve SLR 722 GTs actually built

Developed and constructed by Ray Mallock Limited

Shipped to the Croatian Mercedes-Benz distributor Euroline

Two-time winner at Spa-Francorchamps

A thoroughbred sports racing car

 

In January 1999, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mercedes-Benz surprised everyone with a concept car named Vision SLR. This was how the ‘Silver Arrows’ of the twenty-first century were to look like, and therefore the car had been given the awe-inspiring name of that very ancestor thanks to whom Mercedes had beaten its rivals in all disciplines almost fifty years earlier. The W 196 had dominated both Formula One circuits and the World Sportscar Championships, winning world champion titles in both, but towards the end of the year 1955 its career had come to an end since Mercedes wished to concentrate on series production, and the horrible memories of the disastrous crash of Le Mans were still fresh.

 

But the Vision SLR was more than a mere design study intended to cause a quick sensation. An open version followed at the IAA in Frankfurt, where first figures were thrown into the bargain: the car would be fitted with a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine able to generate a power output of 565 PS and 720 N-m of torque. Both the press and the public were greatly taken with the car, and Mercedes seriously promised to produce the new SLR in series.

 

Although AMG could have been resorted to as in-house premium forge to realise such follies, it was to supply merely the engine and gearing. For the rest, the manufacturer turned to England, home to McLaren, its Formula One partner with whom they had won the world championship twice only recently.

 

Whereas AMG had gone the extra mile compared to the concept car in terms of engine displacement and performance, construction practically started afresh in England. The engine went back to its place behind the front axle and was now installed exactly one meter behind the front bumper. This meant that the firewall had to be adjusted accordingly. The entire car body consisted of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic, with only the engine mount made of aluminium. The SLR featured active aerodynamics, thanks to an automatically adjustable rear spoiler that could, however, also be handled manually by the driver. The car had a completely flattened underbody and a rear diffusor for improved downforce. Due to this, there was no room left for the exhaust pipes, so that the fumes were made to exit at the side rockers.

 

Powerful carbon-ceramic brakes based on a kind of brake-by-wire system ensured that the SLR would come to a halt. These brake discs were fade-resistant up to 1,200 degrees Celsius, and in wet conditions callipers would automatically skim the surface of the discs.

 

For the engine, AMG reached into its bag of tricks and conjured up a fabulous all-aluminium 90-degree V8 with three valves per cylinder that was lubricated via a dry sump system. Given an engine displacement of 5,439 cc, it was possible to generate a maximum output of 626 PS and a maximum torque of 780 N-m with a compression ratio of 8.8:1. Two intercoolers prevented the compressor from overheating.

 

Visually, the finalised version of the SLR had only been retouched marginally compared to the study. Four years after the concept car, the finished Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren was presented to the public on 17 November 2003. First tests that had been carried out immediately outshone the entire field of competitors. The sprint to 100 km/h took less than three and a half seconds, and the end of the line was only reached beyond 300 km/h.

 

From the very outset it had been planned to limit the SLR to an edition of 3,500 units. That Mercedes would not have to worry about this was ensured by the price to be paid for a new car, which was more than 450,000 euros.

 

In 2006, Mercedes-Benz and McLaren came up with something even better. To commemorate the victory of Stirling Moss at the Mille Miglia in 1955, they unveiled the SLR 722 edition. The number, which may have appeared peculiar at first sight, referred to the start time and starting number at the legendary original race of the W 196. More than 300 components of the SLR had been overhauled, primarily in order to reduce weight and improve performance. While the former was lowered by 44 kilos, the latter increased by 25 PS and 40 N-m. A minor side effect was that the price had increased as well, namely by 20,000 euros. To compensate for this, a convertible roadster was finally offered as well from 2007 onwards, which, of course, also came within the SLR 722 edition. Both 722 models were limited to the most extreme degree, i.e. 150 coupés and 150 roadsters.

 

Those who had thought that this was impossible to top were put right in autumn 2007. There had been rumours even earlier that Mercedes would probably venture into the GT1 class with a car based on the SLR. Indeed, what followed was the presentation of a thoroughbred racing version of the SLR, its full name being Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 GT. However, the intention had not been to compete in World Sportscar Championships but to offer well-to-do gentlemen drivers a toy for their personal and exclusive playgrounds. The SLR Trophy was announced for 2008 as a series of races in which car owners would be given the opportunity to go wild next to former racing drivers as their teammates.

 

21 units of the SLR 722 GT were to be built so as to comply with FIA regulations. In order for it to become a genuine racing car, the SLR was entrusted to Ray Mallock and his company RML, as they were able to look back on an experience of many years in motor sports and racing car construction.

 

When RML had finished with the 722 GT, practically nothing was left that reminded one of the series-produced SLR. The bodywork had been widened, with the rear featuring an enormous racing wing to propel the car. The undercarriage had been redeveloped completely, with brakes now conforming to FIA standards. Inside, the roll cage, Recaro racing bucket, and Formula-One-like steering wheel, as well as the impressive dashboard at the centre console, revealed at a glance that the 722 GT could only have been built with a single purpose in mind.

 

An additional 30 PS had been extracted from the engine, whose performance had now climbed to 680 PS, with a maximum torque of 868 N-m. The car still had an AMG five-speed automatic gearbox, to be controlled via paddle shifters on the steering wheel. What literally carried most weight was that the 722 GT had lost as many as 398 kilos compared to the 722 serial versions.

 

Those who wished to participate in the races and, more important, were able to afford it, could either have their new or second-hand SLRs rebuilt by Ray Mallock or else order a fully finished 722 GT from his company. RML was also to professionally attend to customers during the races. Depending on what the company had to start from, remodelling cost 600,000 euros or more, which had to be added to the original vehicle. The circle of customers thus turned out to be overly limited.

 

Although a complete programme for the SLR Trophy had been drawn up for 2008, only twelve buyers could be found for the 722 GT. The race series did take place nevertheless, but only during the first season. Then the FIA exercised its veto, as numbers were extremely modest – in this way, the SLR Trophy went down in the annals of history quite soon.

 

The most prominent figures with whom the owners shared their cockpits included, among others, Jean Alesi, Klaus Ludwig, Jochen Mass, and Christina Surer.

 

This proved a debacle for Mercedes, for they saw themselves forced to grudgingly take back some of the 722 GTs that had already been delivered. It is said that several heads subsequently rolled at Untertürkheim. Once more, rumour had it that the SLR 722 was to take part in the GT1 World Championship after all. Rumour it remained. Quite the contrary was true, as that same year Mercedes proclaimed the end of their SLR production.

 

The present SLR 722 GT is No. 9 out of the twelve cars that were actually built. It was delivered to Mercedes general distributor Euroline d.o.o. in Croatia and its CEO, Braco Radovanovic. This is why it is the only 722 GT that had been given a tricolour paint coat by RML in the colours of the Croatian flag. The chequered patterns, on the other hand, have only been glued on.

 

At Euroline, Radovanovic had successfully run a truck racing team over several years. At the debut of the SLR Trophy at the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, however, he sat behind the steering wheel himself, coming in third in the second race.

 

In the ranking lists of the only season, the 722 GT No. 9 only appears at one additional track, but at the very top. This SLR managed to win both races at Spa-Francorchamps. However, it was not Radovanovic who had been at the wheel then, but Niko Pulić, principal driver of the Euroline racing team.

 

After the season had ended, No. 9 was one of those SLRs that had to be taken back by Mercedes. It was purchased by a German collector in Stuttgart, who bought as many as three 722 GTs at the same time, the present example being one of them. This SLR changed hands one more time, ending up with its present consignor, who coveted the beast with great devotion, just as it should be. This is why this SLR is still in mint condition. Their careers may have been brief, but the SLR GT cars continue to be absolutely impressive racing cars that have long become collectibles, since only twelve of them exist.

 

Chassis WDD1993761M000214

RML No. P116-009

Documents: seller’s invoice (fully taxable agent’s sale)

Spare parts: uncoated front spoiler and engine bonnet plus a set of slick wheel rims

 

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