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Mercedes-Benz the winner in six categories of the “Motor Klassik Award” 2014

1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing s/n 198.040.6500299 - Sold $1,897,500

1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing s/n 198.040.6500299 - Sold $1,897,500

1964 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster  s/n - Sold $2,007,500

1964 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster s/n - Sold $2,007,500


Stuttgart, 26 March, 2014

Mercedes-Benz is the winner in no less than six categories of the Motor Klassik Award: In 2014, the readers of the classic vehicle magazine “Motor Klassik” voted the supercharged SSK sports car, the 300 SL “Gullwing” Coupé (W 198), the W 25 (1934) and W 196 R (1954) racing cars, and the G-Class as winners. In another category, Mercedes-Benz genuine parts were voted a “Best Brand”. This outstanding success reflects the great and many-faceted appeal of the brand with the three-pointed star. For it is not only in the categories for historic production cars that Mercedes-Benz models prevailed, but also amongst the racing cars, the auction cars and the current models – the classics of the future.

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Each year the readers of the well-known classic vehicle magazine “Motor Klassik” decide which historic and current vehicles will receive the Motor Klassik Award in a total of 19 categories. In the case of vintage cars and recent classics, the award is presented in six categories, following the same production year based classification system used in classic car rallies. There are also special awards in the categories of Racing Cars, Best Brand, Event of the Year, Personality of the Year, and Auction Cars. The Motor Klassik Award also keeps its finger on the pulse, and its eyes on the future, with the nine categories in which readers assess current models for their potential as future classics.

Winners from every era

The five vehicle victories for Mercedes-Benz in the Motor Klassik Award 2014 go to motor cars from different eras and with different concepts. The aspect of sportiness clearly emerges as a prominent and common theme: it is not only the two Silver Arrows, the W 25 and W 196 R, that dominated the international racing scene in their time. The supercharged Mercedes-Benz SSK sports car and the series-production 300 SL sports car (W 198) also achieved outstanding motor racing successes for Mercedes-Benz in their eras. And finally the G-Class, which took first place as a classic of the future in the Off-roader category, likewise exhibits a sporting genealogy with its rally victories. This five-fold victory in the Motor Klassik Award 2014 underlines the outstanding heritage of magical moments in 120 years of motor sport at Mercedes-Benz.

The first golden motor racing era of the Mercedes-Benz brand created in 1926, with the merger between Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft and Benz & Cie., is embodied by the Mercedes-Benz SSK (Super-Sport-Kurz). This supercharged six-cylinder sports car is a particularly exclusive and fascinating variant in the legendary S-series. Driving the 165 kW (225 hp) supercharged SSK, whose wheelbase was shortened to 2,950 millimetres specifically for hill climb races, Rudolf Caracciola won the Gabelbach Race on 29 July 1928 plus a number of other major events. In 1930 and 1931, he won the European Hillclimbing Championship at the wheel of the SSK.

As in the previous two years, the winner in the “Classics 1947-1961” category was the famous Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W 198). This series-production sports car derived from the W 194 racing sports car gave birth to the still enduring legend of the SL-Class. As soon as the first examples came into customer hands, the “Gullwing” model produced from 1954 was regarded as an absolute dream car – and as a classic with an extraordinary aura and excellent value appreciation, it has remained just that to the present day. Only 1,400 examples of the Coupé were produced from 1954 to 1957, when it was replaced by the no less fascinating 300 SL Roadster (W 198). In its category, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL shares the Motor Klassik Award 2014 with the BMW 507 – this year the two vehicles received the same number of votes.

Motor sport icons and value-appreciation champions from Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupé, the 190 SL, and the 300 SL Roadster presented in 1957 as the successor to the “Gullwing” Coupé are among the most valuable historic vehicles worldwide. This is also confirmed by the Mercedes-Benz Classic Index (MBCI) of Historic Automobile Group International (HAGI), which shows all three models in top place. Accordingly these classic SL models are particularly popular historic vehicles as a capital investment.

In summer 2013, during the Bonhams auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, a record-breaking auction price equating to 31.6 million US dollars was however achieved by a Mercedes-Benz W 196 R racing car, marking the peak of the international classic car market. This Silver Arrow built in 1954 is the original car in which Juan Manuel Fangio won the German and Swiss Grand Prix races in 1954. The readers of Motor Klassik voted this racing car the winner in the Auction Cars category of the Motor Klassik Awards 2014. A Silver Arrow also found favour with the knowledgeable readers in the Racing Cars category: the W 25, the Mercedes-Benz racing car that founded the tradition of the Silver Arrows in the first place in 1934. It was in this car that Rudolf Caracciola became European Champion in 1935.

A classic in its own lifetime

For the second time the G-Class was voted the winner as a future classic in the Off-roader category. This off-road vehicle has been in production at Mercedes-Benz since 1979, with careful and systematic further developments. The current generation of this off-road model series has the very latest drive technology and exclusive interior appointments, and at the same time the G-Class retains its typical design features, highly appreciated robustness and outstanding off-road capabilities.

“Best Brand”: Mercedes-Benz genuine parts

Mercedes-Benz Classic also safeguards and reinforces the active passion for classic motor ars with a first-class parts supply system. At present, the parts catalogue contains almost 40,000 model series specific replacement parts, plus around 15,000 common parts. The readers of “Motor Klassik” duly honoured this extraordinary commitment to good service: they voted Mercedes-Benz genuine parts as a “Best Brand”. These genuine parts are available via all Mercedes-Benz own-retail outlets, authorised dealers, and the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center – many of them even within 24 hours.