Apart from an appearance on the 1964 Acropolis where Erich Waxenberger stepped in at the last minute and drove a 220SE to fourth overall. The Mercedes works rally team began on the 1977 London to Sydney Rally and with Erich now team manager at Mercedes GB employing innovative ideas such as radio communications and aerial supervision the four 280SEs finished 1st, 2nd, 6th and 8th overall.
Impressed with this result Mercedes entered the 1978 Safari Rally, but after a positive start three of the cars retired, two from inhaling water at the river crossings, one from a broken sump, leaving the sole car to finish in 6th place.
From there the team went to tackle the 18,000ml Vuelta a la America del Sud at the request of Mercedes Argentina. This time with four 280SEs and four 450SLCs. The results were impressive with seven of the cars finishing and securing the top five places.
1979, saw the 5 litre 450SLC homologated into Group 4 for the World Rally Championship in time for the Safari Rally, with Hannu Mikkola and Bjorn Waldegard finishing 2nd and 5th respectively. Later in the year the team went to the Ivory Coast with four 450SLCs taking the top four places, with Mikkola 1st and Waldegard 2nd.
1980, saw more events entered with a 4th place finish for Waldegard on the Portuguese, 3rd for Vic Peston Jnr on the Safari and DNFs on the Acropolis. By the time of the Argentine Rally the cars were now called 500 SLCs and homologated into Group 2. Mikkola finished 2nd overall, but there was also two DNFs through broken driveshafts. The next event was the New Zealand Rally with Mikkola and Waldegard finishing 3rd and 5th respectively. The swansong for the team was that year’s Ivory Coast Rally where Waldegard took the win and Mikkola retired.
Although plans were being made by Erich Waxenberger for a Group B challenger the Mercedes board decided to cancel the project and withdraw from the rally scene to focus on circuit racing.
Is a faithful replica of the 4.7m rallying behemoth, built using whatever genuine parts the owner could source. Where parts could not be sourced, he had exacting pattern parts created.
Engine : Twin SOHC, 16v, 4970cc, V8, 340bhp
Induction : Naturally Aspirated
Transmission : Rear Wheel Drive, Four Speed Automatic