Mercedes-Benz (W-196 and 300 SLR)


About the W-196 and it’s brother the 300 SLR a vast body of knowledge exists in many fine books and articles.

When writing the desmobook my friend Francisco and I visited the museum-library and documentation center. After an appointment was made, we were helped by documentalists and librarians to get the wanted information from about 200 documentfiles that exists about the W-196 alone. We went home with photocopies of unique factory documents on the desmo-engine. Original B & W pics were send later. I was lucky also to receive an original copy of Manfred Lorscheidt’s (1921-1985) dissertation on the desmodromics of this engine. Letter Daimler-Benz.

From the W 196 R(ace) ten cars still exist (one of them completely wrecked). From the W196 S(port) / 300 SLR 8 cars still exist (10 were made, but one of them not completely finished and the other completely wrecked in the Le Mans accident). This means that 17 cars with the famous desmo-engine are saved and preserved as museum artefacts for many next generations.



300slr2 300SLR-coupecpic

Top of page: Picture of myself in the Museo Automobile in Torino near one of the few left W(agen)-196 = Nr. 8 (1993) and 19 years later (2012) I was pushing the same car into the festival tent for the Desmo-show in Budrio (Bologna Italy).

Source picture: Private collection H. Cloosterman

Pic of the copied M(otor)-196 desmo system the Scarab-Reventlow testrig (see Scarab page for other pic of the same test-rig).

Source picture: Private collection H. Cloosterman. This pic was send to me by Griffith Borgeson (1918 – 1997)(see pic of stamp on the back).

Pictures of the 300 SLR are factory pics from the “Archiv der Daimler-Benz AG, Stuttgart Untertürkheim”. Two pics of the 300 SLR based on the W-196. The engine capacity was enlarged from 2500cc to 3000cc. All 300 SLR race cars were open top, none had gullwing doors. For test purposes, two road legal SLR were built with gullwing doors. A total of only ten 300 SLR’s were built (incl. the two gullwing coupes) of which eight survive.

Source : Mercedes-Benz W 196 : Der letzte Silberpfeil by Michael Riedner; Motorbuch Verlag, 1986.

Patentdrawing : DE 1044508

Model printed in metal (valve closed)

Model printed in metal (valve opened)

[Classification = Group 5]
Patent Daimler-Benz