Seven SLS AMG GT3s will start the 24 Hours of Spa on July 30th. But only one will be done up to resemble the Röte Sau (“Red Sow”), the 6.8-liter 300SEL that put a small operation from Burgstall an der Murr on the map back in 1971. Later on, the company responsible for the car moved to Affalterbach, built a lunatic sedan called the Hammer out of an unsuspecting E-class, and were eventually absorbed as Mercedes-Benz’s performance arm.
In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Röte Sau’s class-winning finish at Spa (which also was second overall), Black Falcon Racing is entering a tribute-liveried Gullwing driven by Thomas Jäger, Stéphane Lémeret, and Kenneth Heyer. The latter pilot is the son of Hans Heyer, who, along with Clemens Schickentanz, piloted that 300SEL, which basically amounted to a Teutonic Winston Grand National car 40 years ago. Although there was a substantial difference between the AMG-prepared Benz and Richard Petty’s Road Runner of the era: The Mercedes competed with most of its interior intact. It also retained a version of the road car’s air suspension. Take that, Bill France!
All those years on, the overall appearance of the Neue Sau more resembles a Gullwing run through a PlayStation than a 6.3 that’s been sent off to Holman-Moody. Still, the red paint is there, and the car wears the number 35 on the side. It’s a stretch to say—as Daimler PR does—that the retro scheme “almost gives the two AMG racing cars the appearance of twins,” but we applaud the homage nonetheless. After all, one fronts upon the Sau at one’s own peril.Tags: Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 |