Mercedes-Benz Classic will celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Mille Miglia with a total of ten vehicles. The classics represent various eras in the involvement of Mercedes-Benz in the road race from Brescia to Rome and back held since 1927. The 2017 Mille Miglia will take place from 18-21 May over four stages.
Mercedes-Benz has been involved in the Mille Miglia since 1930, so virtually since the first event. Back then factory driver Rudolf Caracciola with his co-driver Christian Werner entered in a Mercedes-Benz SSK and promptly finished in 6th place. One year later Caracciola won the Mille Miglia in 1931 as the first non-Italian driver with his co-pilot Wilhelm Sebastian in a Mercedes-Benz SSKL. It’s this triumph in the era of the supercharged racing touring cars that is being remembered at the Mille Miglia 2017 with the participation of a Mercedes-Benz SSK from Mercedes-Benz Classic.
The Mille Miglia in 1952 was the scene of the first redeveloped competition vehicle from Mercedes-Benz after the Second World War, the 300 SL racing car (W 194). In 2017 it is precisely this vehicle with the chassis number 5 that Mercedes-Benz Classic is sending to the starting line in Brescia, the very model in which Caracciola and Peter Kurrle (starting number 613) finished in 4th place. Their team colleagues Karl Kling and Hans Klenk drove the new 300 SL racing car and finished in 2nd place. At the Mille Miglia 2017 the vehicle will be driven by Mercedes-Benz Motorsport boss Toto Wolff and Aldo Costa, Engineering Director of the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team.
With no less than six 300 SL ‘Gullwing’ (W 198) models, Mercedes-Benz is celebrating the success of its racing team at the Mille Miglia of 1955 when Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson drove the 300 SLR racing car (W 196 S) to overall victory. And with the standard 300 SL ‘Gullwing’, Mercedes-Benz also dominated the Gran Turismo class over 1300 cc displacement in this racing season.
The year 1956 will be recalled with two further vehicles from Mercedes-Benz Classic in the peleton of this year’s Mille Miglia: in a Mercedes-Benz 220 a (W 180) Christian Boucke, Head of Mercedes-Benz Classic, will be at the wheel together with Bernd Mayländer, regular driver of the Safety Car in the Formula 1 World Championship. In 1956 Erwin Bauer and Erwin Grupp won in their class driving a vehicle of this model. What’s more, the racing version of the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Roadster (W 121) is taking part in the regularity run on the trail of the road race. Last year a car of this model took part in the modern Mille Miglia for the first time. This has been made possible due to findings from 2015 that proved a 190 SL took part in the 1956 road race.
[Source: Mercedes-Benz Classic]