Classic Days Schloss Dyck 2017: Automobile classics by a famous moated castle

July 2017

From 5 to 7 August 2017, Schloss Dyck in the Rhineland with its extensive parks will once again be a major attraction for fans of classic automobiles. This year Mercedes-Benz is enhancing the Classic Days with the models S, SS and SSK in the legendary S-series, and with a 300 SLS. A Benz Patent Motor Car will take visitors back to the year 1886, and therefore to the origins of the automobile. ALL TIME STARS, the trading arm of Mercedes-Benz Classic, will present three red roadsters from different eras and in outstanding condition in the Apple Meadow. Further entertainment will be ensured by the presence of several brand ambassadors: Jutta Benz, Roland Asch, Klaus Ludwig, Jochen Mass, Bernd Mayländer and Karl Wendlinger will be attending the Classic Days Schloss Dyck 2017.

Stuttgart. This year an inimitable sound will be heard during the proceedings of the Classic Days Schloss Dyck: the trumpets of the legendary, supercharged Mercedes-Benz SS and SSK sports cars. Both will take to the circuit as "racing legends" on the estate of this moated castle in the Rhineland. It was with the cars in the S-series that the brand dominated international motorsport in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

This all began in 1927, with the Mercedes-Benz Model S - the "S" standing for "Sport". Its high-performance six-cylinder engine already generated 88 kW (120 hp) without the help of a supercharger. But when the driver floored the accelerator to activate the mechanical supercharger, this sent 132 kW (180 hp) to the rear wheels. 90 years ago, the brand first used the Model S in motor racing for the opening event of the Nürburgring circuit on 19 June 1927 – and achieved a triple victory. Yet sport is one thing, day-to-day motoring another: until 1933, the S, SS and SSK models – which one would nowadays consider to be super-sports cars – were part of the product range with normal on-road registration. To mark the 90th birthday of the model series, Mercedes-Benz Classic is presenting all three variants at the Classic Days Schloss Dyck. For in addition to the two supercharged sports cars on the circuit, an original Model S dating from 1927 can be admired on the immaculate lawn fronting the orangery directly by the castle.

The other end of the performance scale is represented by the Patent Motor Car of Carl Benz, documenting the latter's invention of the automobile in 1886. His great-granddaughter Jutta Benz will drive a Patent Motor Car: developing just 0.55 kW (0.75 hp), it will be on the road in a very different but no less seminal era. Because this three-wheeler by Carl Benz marked the start of the automobile's success story.

From another era altogether is the 300 SLS, with which Mercedes-Benz Classic is celebrating another anniversary. This racing variant of the series-production 300 SL Roadster (W 198) presented in 1957, i.e. 60 years ago, was constructed specifically for Paul O’Shea, who in the same year won the American Sports Car Championship in Category D – for the third time in succession, having driven the 300 SL "Gullwing" (W 198) in the first two years.

Numerous Mercedes-Benz brand ambassadors will also be present at the Classic Days Schloss Dyck, and several autograph sessions are planned. Apart from Jutta Benz they include the racing drivers Roland Asch, Klaus Ludwig, Jochen Mass, Bernd Mayländer and Karl Wendlinger. Mayländer is a permanent fixture in Formula 1. He is the driver of the official Safety Car, which has come from the performance brand Mercedes-AMG for many years now. This company is also celebrating a major anniversary this year: AMG was founded in Affalterbach near Stuttgart 50 years ago.

ALL TIME STARS on the Apple Meadow

The array of ALL TIME STARS vehicles on the Apple Meadow at Schloss Dyck rounds off the presentation by Mercedes-Benz Classic. With no less than three red roadsters, the in-house trading arm is presenting an eye-catching display in a prominent location: The 280 SL "Pagoda" (W 113) has undergone comprehensive restoration by the experts at Mercedes-Benz Classic, and is just as it was in 1968 when it left the plant in Sindelfingen. The 300 SL (R 107) dating from 1986 is in extraordinarily good condition: it has an odometer reading of only 16,550 kilometres. And finally there is the SLK 230 Kompressor produced in 1999: it comes from the first generation of the popular SLK Roadster with Vario roof.

ALL TIME STARS opened in 2015. The dealership's stock of Mercedes-Benz Classics ranges from pre-war classics through to youngtimers. Models from the 1960s and 1980s are particularly popular with customers. ALL TIME STARS ensures maximum transparency by thoroughly examining every vehicle on offer based on 160 criteria, supplemented with a Classic Data assessment. The ALL TIME STARS cars are technically at least in condition 2, and are categorised into several editions.

Classic Days Schloss Dyck

The Classic Days Schloss Dyck take place on the first August weekend of each year. Automobile history is presented at close hand with a successful mix which includes a driving circuit with "Racing Legends", the Concours d'Elegance "Jewels in the Park" and numerous other presentations. The extensive programme takes place on the 60-hectare estate around the moated castle near Neuss in the Rhineland. The event has firmly established itself as a special festival for fans of youngtimers and oldtimers alike.

Classic Days Schloss Dyck 2017: Mercedes-Benz Classic vehicles

Benz Patent Motor Car, 1886.

On 29 January 1886, Carl Benz applied for a patent on his "gas-powered vehicle". Patent number DRP 37435 is regarded as the birth certificate of the automobile, and gave its name to the Patent Motor Car. The world's first automobile was an autonomous design in which the engine and chassis formed an organic unit. Benz designed it as a three-wheeler, as he was not convinced by the drawbar steering used for coaches. The resounding achievement of Carl Benz was the persistence with which he turned his vision of a "coach without horses" into reality: he had the idea for a motor vehicle, designed it, built it, patented it, tested it, brought it to market, produced it in large numbers, developed it further and therefore made his invention usable. The Benz Patent Motor Car ushered in a new era in individual mobility.

Technical data: Benz Patent-Motorwagen
Production year: 1886
Cylinders: one-cylinder four-stroke engine with Summer ignition
Displacement: 954 cc
Output: 0.55 kW (0.75 hp) at 400 rpm
Top speed: 16 km/h

Mercedes-Benz Model S (W 06), 1927

The Mercedes-Benz Model S of 1927 was the first in a series of supercharged sports cars that were nicknamed "White Elephants" and which dominated motorsport in the late 1920s, achieving world fame. The "S" stood for Sport, which says it all. Its first race outing – the inaugural race at the Nürburgring on 19 June 1927 – resulted in a triple victory for Mercedes-Benz. The winner was Rudolf Caracciola, who went on to become the most successful racing driver of the pre-war era. Other triumphs for the brand included a triple victory in the German Sports Car Grand Prix at Nürburgring on 17 July 1927, the second major event at the "Ring" in its opening year. The racing version of the Model S was reserved for works drivers. However, it was also available as an exclusive road-going sports car which numerous private drivers successfully drove in competitions – for such "gentleman drivers" it was one of the fastest cars available. A total of 146 units were built up until 1928. Two models based on the Model S (for "Sport") came out in 1928 – the SS ("Super Sport") and the SSK ("Super Sport Kurz" - "Kurz" meaning "short"), with the SSKL ("Super-Sport Kurz Leicht" - "Leicht" meaning "light") being added in 1931.

Technical data of the Mercedes-Benz Model S
Production period: 1927 to 1928
Cylinders: 6/in-line
Displacement: 6789 cc
Output: 88 kW (120 hp), with compressor 132 kW (180 hp) at 3000 rpm
Top speed: 170 km/h

Mercedes-Benz SS (W 06), 1930

Despite its powerful engine, the Mercedes-Benz SS ("Super-Sport") was conceived as a "grand tourer". From its 7.1-litre displacement, the vehicle's six-cylinder in-line engine developed up to 118 kW (160 hp) without a supercharger and up to 147 kW (200 hp) with a supercharger. The SS, in the guise of a 184 kW (250 hp) racer, had its baptism of fire in June 1928, winning the Bühler Höhe hill climb with Rudolf Caracciola at the wheel. Numerous other racing victories were to follow. A total of 111 units of the Mercedes-Benz SS were manufactured between 1928 and 1933.

Technical data of the Mercedes-Benz SS (standard-production version)
Production period: 1928 to 1933
Cylinders: 6/in-line
Displacement: 7065 cc
Output: 118 kW (160 hp), with supercharger 147 kW (200 hp)
Top speed: 185 km/h

Mercedes-Benz SSK (W 06), 1928

Of the six-cylinder supercharged, high-performance sports cars in the Mercedes-Benz S-Series, the SSK (W 06) was the most exclusive and fascinating model. The model designation of this supercharged car with a 7.1-litre six-cylinder engine stood for Super-Sport-Kurz (Super Sport Short) and featured a shorter wheelbase alongside its particular sportiness. Following numerous victories achieved by the Model S as the first model in the series, the succeeding SS and SSK models continued the success story: In the summer of 1928, works racing driver Rudolf Caracciola won the Gabelbach Race on the first attempt as well as the races at Schauinsland and Mont Ventoux with the brand-new SSK. In 1930 he won the European hill racing championship driving an SSK. In that same year, the supercharged sports car also took part in the Mille Miglia for the first time. Rudolf Caracciola and Christian Werner were the winners in the class up to eight litres, and took sixth place in the overall ranking with a driving time of 17 hours and 20 minutes. With reduced weight and another power increase to 220 kW (300 hp), the 1931 version also known as the SSKL (Super-Sport-Short-Light) achieved a spectacular success in the Mille Miglia: In April 1931, Rudolf Caracciola was the first non-Italian to win this demanding road race from Brescia to Rome and back - in a new record time of 16 hours and 10 minutes.

Technical data of the Mercedes-Benz SSK (standard production version)
Production period: 1928 to 1932
Cylinders: 6/in-line
Displacement: 7065 cc
Output: 125 kW (170 hp), with supercharger 165 kW (225 hp)
Top speed: 192 km/h

Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS (W 198), 1957

Two examples of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS, a special version of the 300 SL Roadster presented in 1957, were built for the American sports car championship in the same year, owing to the fact that the production version of the brand-new model was not yet allowed to enter the 1957 season in the "Standard production" category. In order to maximise its chances in the only remaining alternative motor racing category, D, every trick in the book was applied to slim down a standard Roadster to an SLS weighing just 970 kilograms. The engine output was also increased to 173 kW (235 PS). It was in the SLS that Paul O’Shea won the Category D of the American sports car championship by a significant margin over the competition – he had already previously taken the title in 1955 and 1956 with the 300 SL "Gullwing".

Technical Data of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS (W 198)
Year: 1957
Cylinders: 6/in-line
Displacement: 2996 cc
Output: 173 kW (235 hp)
Top speed: 260 km/h

Classic Days Schloss Dyck 2017: the ALL TIME STARS vehicles

Mercedes-Benz 280 SL (W 113), 1968

The W 113-series "Pagoda SL", which was given this name by enthusiasts because of its pagoda-shaped hardtop, replaced two other models at once in 1963: the 300 SL Roadster (W 198) as a powerful series production sports car and the 190 SL (W 121), which was intended more for sporty, comfortable touring. The "Pagoda" combined the qualities of the two preceding models, and was very popular with a demanding customer base that wanted to see the performance and serene power delivery of a sports car together with the comfort of a luxurious touring car. The most highly developed variant, the 280 SL launched in 1968, had a displacement of 2.8 litres and developed an output that was 15 kW (20 hp) higher than that of the preceding 230 SL and 250 SL models. Thanks to greater flexibility, this above all made the six-cylinder in-line model more refined. Hence the 280 SL model in the "Pagoda" line-up was almost as popular with buyers as the 230 SL and 250 SL combined, the latter of which was only built for about a year.

The 280 SL displayed by ALL TIME STARS at the 2017 Classic Days Schloss Dyck underwent a comprehensive works restoration in the workshops of Mercedes-Benz Classic. The vehicle is in as-new condition – as it was when it left the Sindelfingen plant in 1968.

Technical data of the Mercedes-Benz 280 SL (W 113)
Production period: 1968 to 1971
Cylinders: 6/in-line
Displacement: 2778 cc
Output: 125 kW (170 hp)
Top speed: 200 km/h

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (R 107), 1986

The R 107 SL model series hit the roads in spring 1971. Apart from elegance and quality, these cars exuded safety, as the crash behaviour of the open two-seater was well ahead of its time. In technical terms, for example, there is a carefully defined crumple zone on the body and bodyshell structure, a highly stable A-pillar and interior equipment that has been systematically designed in accordance with safety criteria. During a production period spanning 18 years, which was not planned but ultimately proved very successful, this SL featured a whole range of six and eight-cylinder engines. The model designations are equally diverse. Production of model series R 107 ended in August 1989, after more than 18 years. As such this SL model series set an internal company record which is unlikely to be surpassed: With the exception of the G-Class off-road vehicles, there has never in the entire history of the brand been another passenger car series which has been in production over such a long time period. In total 237,287 convertible vehicles were produced in Sindelfingen, a figure which impressively demonstrates the popularity of the R 107 model series. 62,888 examples of the Coupé (C 107) were produced in parallel between 1971 and 1981.

Just 16,550 kilometres – this is the odometer reading of the 300 SL from the Concours Edition displayed by ALL TIME STARS at Schloss Dyck. It was produced in 1986. The vehicle impresses with its outstanding overall condition and classic colour combination of red paintwork and cream-coloured leather in the interior.

Technical data of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (R 107)
Production period: 1985 to 1989
Cylinders: 6/in-line
Displacement: 2962 cc
Output: 138 kW (188 hp) at 5700 rpm
Top speed: 203 km/h

Mercedes-Benz SLK 230 Kompressor (R 170), 1999

Mercedes-Benz introduced the SLK (R 170) model series in 1996. It enhanced the family of Mercedes-Benz sports cars with a compact roadster. One of its impressive features was the Vario roof, which converted the SLK into a weatherproof coupé or an open-top roadster within a short time. The sophisticated kinematics of the electrohydraulics are a work of art: when opening, the two-section steel roof first swings upwards. At the same time the parcel shelf is lowered below the boot lid, which pivots upwards and to the rear to provide space in the boot for the roof. The roof folds together and glides into place, the boot closes and the parcel shelf is returned to its former position. The entire procedure takes 25 seconds, and it was a trailblazing concept: the SLK established the Vario roof throughout the industry. With this and numerous other day-to-day qualities, it soon captured the hearts of many male and female customers.

The SLK 230 Kompressor at the Classic Days Schloss Dyck dates from 1999. The colour combination – red paintwork and black leather interior – is classic but rarely found in an SLK. In view of its well cared-for, original condition, ALL TIME STARS has assigned the car to the Collectors Edition. It is accident-free and has not been repainted.

Classic Days Schloss Dyck 2017: Mercedes-Benz Classic Brand Ambassadors

Jutta Benz
Born on 1 October 1943 in Mannheim, Germany

She has a renowned surname: Jutta Benz. In 1886 her great-grandfather Carl Benz invented the world's first automobile as an innovative, all-embracing and therefore revolutionary design. His wife Bertha Benz, the great-grandmother of Jutta Benz, greatly influenced and assisted the development work. She supported her husband in every respect, and repeatedly contributed strong impulses of her own to bring the automobile to large-scale production maturity. She is famous for her long-distance journey from Mannheim to Pforzheim with the Benz Patent Motor Car in August 1888, which she completed with their two sons – both as an endurance test and as proof that this magnificent invention worked. All this happened around 130 years ago, but the automobile is younger than ever. No wonder that Jutta Benz has tremendous admiration for her great-grandparents, and especially for her great-grandmother as a woman of outstanding attributes for her time: in their day, publicly exhibited creativity and equality were anything but the norm. In this sense Bertha Benz and her husband symbolise the success and development of the automobile and the Mercedes–Benz brand. Jutta Benz is the last bearer of the Benz name who can be directly traced back to Carl and Bertha Benz.

Roland Asch
Born on 12 October 1950 in Altingen, Germany

Trained originally as a master automotive technician, Roland Asch initially began his motor racing career as a hobby, but soon began to post victories like a professional: wins in the German Hill Climb Championship of 1981 and the German Motor Racing Trophy in 1983 were followed by his debut in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) in 1985. In 1988, he finished DTM runner-up driving his own Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16. In the late 1980s he came first three times in the overall ratings in the Porsche 944 Turbo Cup, and in 1991 won the championship title in the Porsche Carrera Cup. Five wins for Mercedes-Benz in the early 1990s head the list of his various good finishes in the DTM. In 1993, he finished runner-up in the DTM for the second time, and moved to Ford in the Super Touring Car Cup in 1995. As a brand ambassador, Roland Asch has close ties to the Mercedes-Benz brand to this day and can regularly be seen behind the wheel of important racing cars from the Mercedes-Benz Classic collection during events.

Klaus Ludwig
Born on 5 October 1949 in Bonn, Germany

Honoured with the title of "King Ludwig" by his fans, the outstanding racing driver and three-times DTM Champion Klaus Ludwig began his motor racing career in the early 1970s with slalom races, orientation rallies and touring car races. His first major successes included the German Motor Racing Championship (DRM) title in 1979 and 1981, and victories in the 24-hour race at Le Mans in 1979, 1984 and 1985. Ludwig came to the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) in 1985, where he initially competed for Ford and won his first title in 1988. In 1989 he moved to the AMG-Mercedes team, with which he won two championship titles (1992 and 1994, runner-up in 1991) and a total of 19 race victories in the years up to 1994. In 1995 and 1996 he competed in the ITC (International Touring Car Championship) for Opel Team Rosberg. He subsequently returned to AMG-Mercedes, winning the driver and team trophy in the International FIA GT Championship together with Ricardo Zonta in 1998. Thereafter, he officially retired from motor sport, but competed once again in the new German Touring Car Masters (DTM) in 2000, ending the season and his motor racing career with a third-place finish in the overall rating in a Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM.

Jochen Mass
Born on 30 September 1946 in Dorfen near Starnberg, Germany

Jochen Mass, originally a trained seaman, began his varied career in motorsport in 1968 in touring car races for Alfa-Romeo and as a works driver for Ford from 1970 to 1975. During this period, he won the 24-Hour Race at Spa-Francorchamps in 1972. At the same time, he also took part in Formula 2 racing (1973) and competed in 105 Formula 1 Grands Prix (1973/74 with Surtees; 1975 to 1977 with McLaren; 1978 with ATS; 1979/80 with Arrows; 1982 with March). In 1984, Mass drove a Mercedes-Benz 500 SLC (C 107) in the Paris–Dakar Rally. After winning the German Sports Car Championship in 1985 and a stint as a works driver with Porsche until 1987, he joined the Sauber-Mercedes team as a works driver in 1988. He competed in Group C for the same team until 1991. In the new Silver Arrow, the Sauber-Mercedes C 9, Jochen Mass triumphed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1989 in the same team as Manuel Reuter and Stanley Dickens, going on to finish runner-up in the world championship in the same year. Three years later, Mass joined the team management of the DTM. Sir Stirling Moss once described him as a "soul mate", and as "a driver with an enormous feeling for racing cars and a great deal of expertise who is familiar with the racing history of every era". It is therefore not by chance that Jochen Mass can nowadays be seen at the wheel for Mercedes-Benz at historical events. From the W 125 Silver Arrow to the Mercedes-Benz SSK – Jochen Mass knows and drives them all.

Bernd Mayländer
Born on 29 May 1971 in Waiblingen, Germany

Bernd Mayländer makes regular appearances in Formula One at the front of the field. That is because the racing driver, born in Waiblingen in 1971, has since 2000 been the official driver of the Mercedes-Benz Formula One safety car – currently a Mercedes-AMG GT S (C 190). Mayländer began racing in 1990, first taking part in the Porsche Club Sport, Porsche Carrera Cup (overall victory in 1994) and Porsche Super Cup, as well as in long-distance races. Driving for the Persson Motorsport team, from 1995 he participated initially in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) and the International Touring Car Championship (ITC), and from 1997 he drove an AMG-Mercedes CLK-GTR in the FIA GT Championship. In 1997, together with Klaus Ludwig and Bernd Schneider, he won the race in Spielberg in an AMG-Mercedes CLK-GTR. In 2000 he was victorious in the 24 Hours Nürburgring at the wheel of a Porsche 996 GT3. Bernd Mayländer contested his final DTM season in 2004 as a member of the Rosberg team driving a Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Karl Wendlinger
Born on 20 December 1968 in Kufstein, Austria

Karl Wendlinger's motorsport career began in karting at the age of 14. In 1989, he won the German Formula 3 Championship. In 1990 and 1991, the Austrian was a member of the Mercedes Junior Team, along with Michael Schumacher and Heinz-Harald Frentzen, and competed in the sports car world championship. In 1991, Wendlinger switched to Formula One and, from 1994, he drove for the Sauber-Mercedes team together with Heinz-Harald Frentzen. This was followed by outings in DTM, Formula 3000 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. His main racing successes included winning the FIA GT Championship (1999), first place in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GTS Class (in the same year), overall victory in the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2000 and a second place in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring (2003). From 2004 to 2011, Karl Wendlinger competed for various teams in the FIA GT Championship. With Jetalliance Racing, he finished runner-up in 2007. Since 2012, Karl Wendlinger has been a Mercedes-AMG brand ambassador and instructor at the AMG Driving Academy.

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  • D1535
    Le Mans Classic, 6 to 8 July 2012. Mercedes-Benz Classic celebrates „60 years of SL“ and the legendary double victory of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL racing car (W 194, 1952) 60 years ago in Le Mans (14/15 June 1952). Klaus Ludwig.
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    Mercedes-Benz S produced in 1927. Photo taken at the 2017 Nürburgring Classic.
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    Karl Wendlinger, former racing driver and now a Mercedes-AMG brand ambassador and instructor at the AMG Driving Academy. Taken at the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
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    Mercedes-Benz S produced in 1927. Photo taken at the 2017 Nürburgring Classic.
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    Jochen Mass, former racing driver and now a Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador. Photo taken at the 2017 Nürburgring Classic.
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    Roland Asch, former racing driver and now a Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador. Photo taken at the 2017 Nürburgring Classic.
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    Mercedes-Benz SS produced in 1930. Photo taken at the 2017 Nürburgring Classic.
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    Mercedes-Benz SS produced in 1930. Photo taken at the 2017 Nürburgring Classic.
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    Mercedes-Benz S produced in 1927. Photo taken at the 2017 Nürburgring Classic.
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    Bernd Mayländer at the 2017 Mille Miglia. Mayländer is the driver of the official Formula 1 Safety Car.
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    Jutta Benz, great grand-daughter of Carl and Bertha Benz. Photo taken in 2014 at the Classic Days Schloss Dyck.
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    Benz Patent Motor Car, true replica of the first car built in 1886. At the wheel: Jutta Benz, great grand-daughter of Carl and Bertha Benz. Photo taken in 2014 at the Classic Days Schloss Dyck.
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    Mercedes-Benz SSK, produced in 1928. Photo taken at the 2017 Mille Miglia.
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    Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS, replica of the racing sports car with which Paul O’Shea won the American sports car championship in category D in 1957 – for the third time in succession, in the two previous years with a 300 SL "Gullwing" (W 198). Photo taken in 2014 at the Classic Days Schloss Dyck.Roland Asch at the wheel.