The finest in automotive classics on a decorated lawn directly off the Atlantic coast: welcome to the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in Florida. This year marks the event’s 24th anniversary (7 to 10 March 2019). At the Concours Field, two vintage Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” (W 198) models with successive chassis numbers will have their own exhibition area. The vehicle bearing number 43 will be presented in “barn find” condition, while vehicle number 44 has been completely restored by Mercedes-Benz Classic. Other highlights of the brand on display on Amelia Island include the Vision EQ Silver Arrow showcar and replicas of the 300 SEL 6.8 racing touring car and 280 GE “Paris-Dakar”.
Stuttgart. Successive chassis numbers of the “sports car of the century”: this is nothing short of dramatic for international automotive collectors. And Mercedes-Benz Classic makes this dream come true for all visitors of the 24th Amelia Island Concours d’E legance. Two vintage models of the 300 SL “Gullwing” (W 198) with successive chassis numbers will be on display in a separate exhibition area of the Concours Field at this exquisite automotive classic event. These twins of the Mercedes-Benz super sports car from the 1950s present themselves rather differently, however:
Chassis number 43
Chassis number 43: the coupé is in “barn find” condition as found by Mercedes-Benz Classic in a garage at the end of 2018. It was originally shipped to Miami in 1954 and was only registered for ten years. The vehicle is completely original. The body, for example, the glass components, the grey leather interior, the drivetrain, the wheels — even the “Englebert Competition” tyres are all as you would have found them on the car decades ago.
- The only modification was to the body finish. Originally painted mid blue, the coupé was at some point sanded down and primed. What most likely happened was that the vehicle was taken out of service in the mid-1960s to be repainted and had been prepped, but never actually repainted.
- Chassis number 44: Mercedes-Benz Classic in Irvine, California completely restored this 300 SL “Gullwing” model. During this time, the car was restored to the exact condition of a vintage 300 SL Coupé built in 1954. Included among the special features are handcrafted components such as the Mercedes-Benz star, the exhaust manifold, the “gooseneck” gearshift lever and a valve cover with magnesium paint. Chassis number 43 still has the same basic design and layout as its twin, however.
Mercedes-Benz Vision EQ Silver Arrow and powerful four-door models
Another highlight at this year’s Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQ Silver Arrow,
which will be parked directly at the entrance to the event grounds. Presented last year, the showcar is a tribute to the successful record-breaking W 125 model from 1937. Designed as an electric vehicle, the silent Silver Arrow has 550 kW or 750 hp. The Vision EQ Silver Arrow also quite literally drives into the automotive future boasting its myriad of other features, such as those found on the interior.
The “Star Lounge” combines two very inspired four-door models: in addition to the current Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door coupé
(combined fuel consumption: 11.3-9.1 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 257-209 g/km*), a Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG will also be showcased. The replica of the racing touring car from 1971, which won a complete surprise class victory and second place in the overall classification in its very first competition at the 24 Hours of Spa (Belgium), is something of an ancestor to the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door coupé. Another vehicle developed independently by Mercedes-AMG, it combines unique design, high comfort levels and class-leading sports car technology with an athletic, four-door fastback layout. As a result, it offers more space and greater practicality.
“Jacky Ickx Honoree” in 2019
This year, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will be honouring racing and rally driver Jacky Ickx with numerous vehicles on exhibition. One of these is the faithful replica of the Mercedes-Benz 280 GE that the motorsport legend used to win the 1983 Paris-Dakar long-distance rally together with his co-driver Claude Brasseur.
The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is one of the most glamorous events for classic automobiles and has a lot to offer. Each year, the finest cars from all over the world are parked on a well-groomed lawn directly off the Atlantic coast and judged in different categories by a team of jurors. A “Best of Show” award is one of the most prestigious available. This year, there will be a separate classification for the Mercedes-Benz 500 K and 540 K (W 29). These outstanding models from the 1930s are among the most sought-after collectors’ vehicles ever.
The global copyright remains the property of Daimler AG.