The Mercedes-Benz W111 “Heckflosse” would develop into a remarkably profitable rally automotive largely because of its indestructible design. It would win the 1960 Rallye Monte-Carlo, the 1961 Algiers-Cape City Trans-African Rally, and the 1961 Rally of the 1000 Lakes.
The automotive you see right here was pulled off a showroom ground and modified for rally. It was handed over to Rauno Aaltonen and his co-driver Väinö Nurmimaa who proceeded to win the 1961 Rally of the 1000 Lakes with it, beating the 59 different entrants and ending 5 minutes forward of the closest competitor.
Quick Info – The Mercedes-Benz W111 Heckflosse
- The Mercedes-Benz W111 was launched in 1959 and bought in numerous iterations till 1971 together with each 4 door sedan and two door coupe variants.
- The W111 sequence was ruggedly constructed, the automotive used the well-known Mercedes-Benz construct high quality of the period, and importantly it launched entrance and rear crumple zones for security – a uncommon function in 1959.
- With its cumbersome design and hefty curb weight nobody anticipated the W111 sedan to develop into a profitable rally automotive, however its toughness and stable construct high quality gave it an edge – it will go on to win plenty of main worldwide rallies within the early Nineteen Sixties.
- The automotive you see right here was transformed into rally specification proper off the dealership ground, it was then pushed to a win within the 1961 Rally of the 1000 Lakes by Rauno Aaltonen earlier than later changing into a part of the gathering within the Mobilia Rally Museum in Kangasala.
The Mercedes-Benz W111
Within the years after WWII Mercedes launched the Mercedes-Benz W186 four-door luxurious sedan and the altogether extra unique (and costly) Mercedes-Benz W188 two-door luxurious sports activities tourer. Two years later in 1953 the Mercedes-Benz W120 was unveiled, maybe higher recognized now as the primary of the “Pontons.”
For the uninitiated, the Mercedes-Benz Pontons have been a sequence of vehicles constructed from 1953 to 1963, the title Ponton interprets as Pontoon, and it was nickname utilized to the vehicles resulting from their slab sided nearly pontoon-like styling. Mercedes didn’t use the nickname in any respect in-period.
The Pontons, starting with the 1953 W120 are exceedingly essential vehicles within the historical past of Mercedes as they have been the primary to make use of monocoque, unit development our bodies. Gross sales of those autos made up 80% of the corporate’s manufacturing from 1953 to 1959 after they have been largely changed with the brand new W111 “Heckflosse” (or “Fin Tail”) fashions.
The W111 featured styling that might set the tone for Mercedes nicely into the Seventies, with double stacked headlights framing that basic chrome Mercedes grille. The 4 door saloon was designed by Friedrich Geiger, the identical man who had designed the pre-WWII 500K and 540K sports activities vehicles in addition to the post-WWII Mercedes 300SL Gullwing.
Coupe variations of the W111 could be styled by Paul Bracq, and it will be Bracq who designed the Mercedes-Benz W113, higher recognized at this time merely because the “Pagoda.”
The luxurious W111 four-door saloon was luxuriously appointed, it was launched with a 2.2 liter straight-six M127 engine producing 95 bhp in 220b, the best trim, with 110 bhp within the 220Sb trim degree and 120 bhp within the prime of the road 220SEb trim degree. A variety of considerably bigger engines could be provided later within the manufacturing run.
The W111 vehicles have been nicknamed “Heckflosse” for his or her outstanding rear tail fins, a nod to the wildly fashionable physique model that had taken the US by storm within the Nineteen Fifties – one in every of Mercedes most essential export markets.
Over the course of the 1959 to 1971 manufacturing run over 370,000 examples of the W111 mannequin household could be in-built each four-door saloon and two-door coupe type. It might be this sequence of Mercedes that might assist set up the corporate’s repute, and make it a serious participant on this planet’s luxurious vehicle sector.
The Mercedes-Benz 220SE Proven Right here
The Mercedes-Benz 220 SE you see here’s a automotive that was by no means initially supposed to develop into a motorsport legend. It was constructed by Mercedes and shipped out to a supplier to be bought, solely that supplier occurred to be the daddy of proficient Finnish rally driver Rauno Aaltonen.
Aaltonen had began out racing speedboats earlier than switching to bikes and changing into the primary Fin to win a Grand Prix motorbike racing competitors. In 1960 he drove a Mercedes-Benz 220SE to a promising seventh place end within the well-known Rally of the 1000 Lakes in Finland and a yr later in 1961 he hoped to enhance on his end result.
Sadly, the official works rally automotive by no means materialized however Aaltonen’s Dad had an appropriate 220SE on the lot. It was rapidly transformed to rally specification with the addition of a light-weight rear bench seat, stiffer springs back and front, a entrance bumper sourced from a Kaiser, and a set of eight 15 inch metal wheels from the Mercedes-Benz manufacturing facility.
With co-driver Väinö Nurmimaa by his facet Aaltonen would win the 1961 working of the Jyväskylän Suurajot – or Rally of the 1000 Lakes – and ceaselessly pen his title into the annals of Mercedes-Benz motorsport historical past.
The automotive would later be transformed again to street specification and bought to a buyer, presumably with their information of its former racing success, and a few years later it will find yourself within the Mobilia Rally Museum in Kangasala as soon as once more fitted with the rally specification equipment.
The automotive is now resulting from roll throughout the public sale block with RM Sotheby’s on the twenty sixth of November, should you’d prefer to learn extra about it or register to bid you possibly can go to the itemizing right here.
Photographs courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
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