At the 12th Hamburg-Berlin-Klassik Rally and in the big “125 Years of Motorsport” anniversary year, Mercedes-Benz Classic looks back on the sportiness in the genes of the brand. Two SL sports cars of the W 113 and R 129 model series will be starting. Mercedes-Benz Classic is a premium partner of the rally once again in 2019. This year, a total of around 180 classics built up to 1999 will be driving from Berlin to Hamburg in three stages.
Stuttgart. Rally successes are amongst the highlights of “125 Years of Motorsport” at Mercedes-Benz. Brand ambassador Ellen Lohr will make this clear when she starts the 12th Hamburg-Berlin-Klassik Rally in a red Mercedes-Benz 230 SL “Pagoda” (W 113): Eugen Böhringer and Klaus Kaiser won the Spa–Sofia–Liège Rally in 1963 in such a vehicle. One big difference: back then, the total distance was 5,500 kilometres – at the atmospheric North German classic rally from the Spree to the Alster this year, it is 750 kilometres.
To date Ellen Lohr is the only woman to have won a DTM race: she won with the AMG-Mercedes 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II DTM touring car (W 201) in what was then the German Touring Car Championship on 24 May 1992 in the first race of the racing festival at the Hockenheimring. The successful race and rally driver starts again and again at automotive classic events for Mercedes-Benz Classic with sporty vehicles from the company collection.
The tradition of sportiness in the genes of the brand is also made clear at the rally by a 300 SL (R 129), apt on the anniversary year. The model series with innovations such as the automatic fold-out roll bar, integral seats and the ADS adaptive damping system had its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show precisely 30 years ago. With this, the technology vehicle is taking the step from attractive young vintage car to forward-looking classic in 2019. The 300 SL of the 129 model series is the final Mercedes-Benz roadster with this legendary model designation, which goes back to the 300 SL (W 194) racing sports car from 1952.
ALL TIME STARS, the vehicle trading platform of Mercedes-Benz Classic with a showroom in the Mercedes-Benz Museum, starts the Hamburg-Berlin-Klassik Rally with a dark blue Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet (W 111). The exclusive vehicle was delivered to Munich in 1971, later belonging to a Mercedes-Benz collection, and is now a part of the current portfolio of ALL TIME STARS. An ALL TIME STARS team from Japan will be starting with it. The first representation was opened in the Shinagawa district of Tokyo in 2017.
Good partnership for automotive classics
Mercedes-Benz Classic maintains a good partnership with the Hamburg-Berlin-Klassik Rally, which is organised by specialist magazine “Auto Bild Klassik”. 2019 will mark the second time that the brand from Stuttgart is a premium partner of the regularity rally for classic vehicles built up to 1999.
The twelfth edition of the rally takes place from 29 to 31 August 2019 and is divided into three stages from Berlin to the Mecklenburg Lake Plateau and Wolfsburg and then on to Hamburg. The first vehicle starts on Thursday (29 August 2019) at 1 pm in Berlin’s Olympiastadion. The 199-kilometre route includes the Liebenberg castle and estate as well as Rheinsberg. The stage goal is Göhren-Lebbin.
On Friday (30 August 2019), a 290-kilometre stage awaits, which leads in a south-westerly direction past Parchim, through Dömitz and over the Elbe Valley towards Wolfsburg. The third section begins on Saturday (31 August 2019) in a northerly direction and ends after 255 kilometres at the BallinStadt Emigration Museum in Hamburg, which is the destination of this year’s rally.
The brand ambassador of Mercedes-Benz Classic at the 2019 Hamburg-Berlin-Klassik Rally
Born 12 April 1965 in Mönchengladbach, Germany
Ellen Lohr came to motorsport from karting, in which she was active from 1979 to 1983. Her greatest successes were participating in the Junior Kart World Championship and claiming a first-place title in the North-West German Kart Championship. After competing in the German Formula Ford 1600 series (German Champion in 1987) and initial races in the DTM (BMW) and the German Formula 3 Championship with Volkswagen in 1989/90, she was signed up by the AMG-Mercedes team for the German Touring Car Championship. Ellen Lohr was the first and – to this day – only woman to clinch a DTM victory: on 24 May 1992, she was victorious in the first race at the racing festival in Hockenheim at the wheel of an AMG-Mercedes 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II. For the 1995 season, she moved to the Mercedes-Zakspeed team, and in 1996 drove for the AMG-Mercedes Persson MS team. In 1997, she competed in the European Truck Racing Championship at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz racing truck. From then on, Ellen Lohr continued to be actively involved in numerous other racing series, including the Paris–Dakar Rally (as of 2005) and once again in truck racing (as of 2012). In 2019, Ellen Lohr will compete in the Nascar Whelen Euro Series.
The Mercedes-Benz Classic vehicles at the 2019 Hamburg-Berlin-Klassik Rally
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL rally vehicle (W 113, 1963)
In March 1963, Mercedes-Benz introduced the 230 SL (W 113) sports car at the Geneva Motor Show. The new SL, with its clear and unmistakable lines, simultaneously replaced the 190 SL and the 300 SL Roadster. The body derived from the “Fintail” saloon (W 111) with a rigid passenger compartment and crumple zone made the 230 SL the first sports car with this life-saving innovation. Owing to its concave hardtop reminiscent of Far-Eastern temples, the 230 SL was dubbed the “Pagoda”, a nickname also applied to the subsequent, outwardly identical 250 SL and 280 SL models. The 230 SL offers more comfort than its predecessors and yet it is a real sports car: in the brand new model, the reigning European rally champions Eugen Böhringer and his co-driver Klaus Kaiser won the strenuous Spa–Sofia–Liège long-distance rally at the end of August 1963. They covered the 5,500 kilometres in around 90 hours and crossed the finishing line with just eight minutes of penalty time.
Technical data for the Mercedes-Benz 230 SL (W 113, series production)
In use: 1963 to 1964
Displacement: 2,306 cc
Output: 110 kW (150 hp)
Top speed: 200 km/h
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (R 129, 1992)
The Mercedes-Benz SL from the R 129 model series was premiered at the Geneva Motor Show in 1989. The development of the new SL had already begun in the 1970s. It set high standards in terms of the passive safety of an open vehicle. The most important innovations included the automatic roll-over bar, developed by Mercedes-Benz, and the electrically adjustable integral seats with three-point seat belts including seat belt retractor and seat belt tensioner. For the start of the new roadster, there were initially two types with three-litre, six-cylinder in-line engines (the 300 SL with 140 kW/190 hp and the 300 SL-24 four-valve version with 170 kW/231 hp) as well as the 500 SL with a five-litre V8 engine (240 kW/326 hp). In as early as 1986, the company approved the development of the later top model – the 600 SL with a V12 engine – which was introduced in 1992. The R 129 combines the values of sportiness and comfort. It impresses with a high technical level and the modern design of its light, wedge-shaped body with clear lines and surfaces. This makes it a highly sought-after SL and young classic to this day. The 300 SL was built from 1989 until 1993 – it was the last Mercedes-Benz vehicle with this legendary model designation. It goes back to the 300 SL racing sports car (W 194) from 1952, from which the 1954 300 SL “Gullwing” and 1957 300 SL Roadster (both W 198) were derived.
Technical data for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (R 129)
Production period: 1989 to 1993
Displacement: 2,960 cc
Output: 140 kW (190 hp) at 5,700 rpm
Top speed: 228 km/h