Legend has it that in 1971, the organization took a destroyed Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 and converted it into a race motor vehicle, an crazy idea, considering that the dictator-favorite vehicle was designed to offer a higher amount of luxurious and consolation.
Weighing virtually two tons, it was manufacturing facility equipped with a 247 hp (184 kW) 6.3-liter M100 V8, generating it just one of the fastest generation 4-doors at that time. AMG engineers took this powerful unit and enlarged its displacement to 6.8-liters, and amplified its output to no less than 422 hp (315 kW).
Most of the work on the engine was carried out by co-founder Erhard Melcher. He extra modified high-precision camshafts and reinforced rocker arms, lighter connecting rods, new Mahle pistons, more substantial intake valves, redesigned combustion chambers, polished ingestion and exhaust ducts, a new ingestion manifold with two throttle bodies, a racing exhaust technique, and an further oil cooler.
The suspension was also modified with the help of the specialists at Bilstein, the company that supplied Mercedes-Benz with the first equipment for its generation types because 1957. The race automobile was equipped with a stiffer air suspension process with supporting standard shocks on the modified rear axle, larger sized wishbones, and a heavy-duty differential.
For the exterior, anything deemed avoidable was stripped down, the wheel arches have been enlarged to make place for the extensive 15-inch magnesium wheels, even though the traditional metal doors have been replaced by aluminum variants. These modifications decreased the car’s excess weight from 1,830 to 1,635 kg (4,034 to 3,604 lbs).
In July 1971, the race car was taken to Belgium for the 24 Hours of Spa, a person of the most demanding stamina races on the continent. Fans and fellow race motorists could not cease laughing when they observed this massive red sedan that seemed out of spot between the competitiveness, which provided the Alfa Romeo GTA, Ford Capri RS, BMW 2800 CS, or Chevrolet Camaro.
But laughter quickly turned into astonishment for the 80,000 furthermore crowd when the ‘red pig’ co-driven by Hans Heyer and Clemens Schickentanz crossed the end line second, behind the is effective Capri of Dieter Glemser and Alex Soler-Roig, just after 308 exhausting laps.
This astounding result also intended victory in its class and an right away rise to stardom for AMG, a identify that was all more than German information in the following weeks.
Regretably, the story of this iconic automobile does not have a content ending. Thanks to a number of alterations in regulations, the motor vehicle was unable to compete in significant-profile races, and AMG ended up providing it to French company Matra, which applied it as a test motor vehicle for superior-pace screening of aircraft tires.
The primary #35 auto that competed at Spa is regarded lost right now given that it’s unclear what transpired to it immediately after its screening vocation. Some trustworthy replicas had been produced in excess of the decades, a single of which was designed in 2006 by Mercedes-AMG faithfully subsequent the authentic drawings.
Fifty several years just after its incredible overall performance, the spirit of the 300 SEL 6.8 lives on through every modern day AMG design. The 3 letters have given that grow to be synonymous with higher-general performance perfection and motorsport excellence.