Some 60 years after its motorsport premiere, the Mercedes‑Benz 300 SL racing car is all set to be the star of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in spring 2012: on 11 March, Mercedes-Benz, sponsor of the high-calibre event in Florida since it was first staged in 1996, is showcasing the 300 SL (model series W 194) which won the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1952. The car, owned by the McCaw family, will form the centrepiece of an extensive collection of Mercedes-Benz racing and production cars being exhibited on the 18th fairway of the Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach.
Alongside the W 194 is the new Mercedes-Benz SL (model series R 231) – the latest addition to the extraordinary family of Mercedes-Benz SL sports cars.
As well as bringing exclusive motor-racing history to the well-tended fairway, the winning car at Le Mans in 1952 is a reminder that the Mercedes-Benz SL has some of its historic roots in the United States. After all, it was down to the efforts of the American importer Maximilian E. Hoffman that Mercedes-Benz transformed the 300 SL racing car into a production sports car (W 198). In this sense, the W 194 is the cornerstone of the “60 years of the SL” anniversary that is being celebrated in 2012.
The programme for the 17th Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance gets underway on 10 March 2012 with the “Mercedes-Benz Gala Dinner” in the Talbot Ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island. The Concours d’Elegance itself is being staged on 11 March, from 9.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m., on the 10th and 18th fairways at the Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach. The Automotive Fine Arts Society’s (AFAS) “Show Field” is open at the same time.
Amelia Island is one of the great classic-car meets
As well as being a major sponsor, Mercedes-Benz has delivered one highlight after another in the shape of some truly outstanding automobiles. In 2011, for example, Mercedes-Benz Classic brought to Amelia Island the 600 Pullman Landaulet, which was built as an exclusive one-off model for the Pope in 1965.
Not only are Mercedes-Benz vehicles some of the most revered at the show, they are also among the most successful. A 540 K Special Roadster model from 1937 won the “Best in Show” title in both 1997 and 2010.