the fastest car transporter in the world

the fastest car transporter in the world

We have written enough about fast cars and crazy performance to the point of having dozens and dozens of articles. But how often in your life do you get to deal with a race car that, among other things, has been the fastest in the world for over half a century and still holds that title today? Today we want to say the history of the Mercedes Renntransporter, but let’s start from the origin of everything. By the 1930s, as far as European motor racing was concerned, the Grands Prix were “owned” by Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union, as most victories were split between the two German giants..

However, the overall success belongs to the Silver Arrows. Race cars such as the W25, W125, W154 and W165 made headlines as some of the most beautiful and competitive Grand Prix cars in history. Of course, much of the attraction was shared between the aerodynamic aluminum cars and their drivers, as legends like Rudolf Caracciola, Hermann Lang and Manfred von Brauchitsch – as well as legendary team manager Alfred Neubauer – were always in the spotlight. Since Daimler-Benz also had the largest racing budget of any of its competitors, those times were also times of fundamental innovation, in any case.

Car transporters’ inventions for racing cars

Among the less memorable innovations, however, we find the introduction of car transporters for racing cars. Department of racing Mercedes-Benz was the first to produce this special type of truck, which was also used as a mobile workshop. “Silver Arrow’s Rapid Deployment Team” – as we like to call them – was made up of custom blue modified Mercedes-Benz trucks designed to ensure fast and reliable delivery from the factory where the racing cars were built to the circuit where they were meant to win the race. Truth be told, most of the vehicles used for this purpose were hard to distinguish from other trucks except for their valuable cargo and perhaps for their unique blue color, but something happened after WWII. After a few years of recession, Germany quickly recovered and so did Mercedes-Benz, which once again started its racing program in impressive fashion, also under the management of Alfred “The Don” Neubauer. Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Hans Herrmann and Karl Kling were the wind under the wings of the new W194 and W196 racing cars, which quickly became legendary as the Silver Arrows..

A Mercedes Renntransporter with a loaded SLR 300 on display at the Mercedes-Benz Museum

Among many other crazy but effective ideas, Alfred Neubauer had a dream of car transporters for fast racing cars to be used instead of the standard Mercedes-Benz modified trucks.. With that in mind he asked building what would become the world’s fastest racing car transporter, a title it still holds today. With a chassis based on the X-shaped tubular frame of the Mercedes-Benz Typ 300, Renntransporter it represented a joint engineering effort between several teams under the supervision of Rudolf Uhlenhaut and a combination of parts from various Mercedes models. The engine and gearbox, for example, were those of the 300 SL “Gullwing”, while most of the internal equipment was borrowed from the Type 180.

The engineering team had to make sure that the car was very fast and reliablewhether it carried a racing car or not, so the application was simple yet important. With the engineering skills of different types of experts and an unlimited budget, the impossible was possible in a very short time.. The result was a good-looking blue car transporter that soon became the talk of the town for all those who paid close attention to the racing scene of the 1950s.

To make room for the racing car that had to be loaded in the back, The tubular frame of the Type 300 was extended, while the straight-six engine with direct injection of the 300 SL was mounted on the front axle., mated to a four-speed manual gearbox. The entire truck weighed three tons without cargo, but its stopping power was thankfully very good hydraulic drum brake system and a pneumatic brake booster with the Bosch logo.

Mercedes Renntransporter: an accident on the track that jeopardized his “career”.

Already in the middle of 1954, the blue truck was used primarily for special tasks, such as get the race car as fast as possible on the track after last minute adjustments or take the damaged car to the garage to reduce the repair time.. Such was the popularity of the Mercedes Renntransporter that it competed with the racing cars it had to transport to the front page of the magazines. At the end of 1955 it was even borrowed to make a trip across America, to be presented at many car shows. The car’s unusually timed work sparked much debate as to what its top speed was, until someone wrote “Top Speed ​​168km/h” on one of the rear bumpers.

Mercedes Renntransporter
Mercedes Renntransporter

Sadly, after the worst car crash in history at the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans, Mercedes-Benz withdrew from motor racing altogether. (temporarily’), and thus the Renntransporter was left idle. Due to its popularity, the original intention was to place it in the old Mercedes-Benz Museum carrying the 300 SLR, but as the weight of the two cars together would exceed the load-carrying capacity of the floor of the building, the idea was rejected.

After a short period of special work to support the testing of prototype vehicles on the road, The world’s fastest racing car carrier was scrapped in December 1967. Since there were no plans to build the car, its existence was forgotten until 1993 when Mercedes-Benz Classics decided to rebuild it based on all the old photos and old information that could be found. Of expert builders it took almost 6000 hours of work and after seven long years the Mercedes Renntransporter was finally rebuilt from scratch.. Where the goal seemed impossible, now the car transporter has found its place The new Mercedes-Benz museumcarry SLR 300 forever.