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Mercedes-Benz Classic at the Classic Days Schloss Dyck 2016

Image Credit: Daimler AG Media


During the Classic Days Schloss Dyck 2016, Mercedes-Benz will relate a fascinating chapter in the brand's 130-year history: the tradition of open-top automobiles as symbols of luxurious sportiness. The Mercedes-Benz 500 K Special Roadster can be admired in the orangery during the "Jewels in the Park" concours d’é légance. In the drivers' paddock and on the 2.8-kilometre long circuit, Jutta Benz will present the Patent Motor Car and Ellen Lohr and Roland Asch the Mercedes 120 HP racing car of 1906 and the Mercedes-Benz 500 SL rally car (R 107) of 1981. In addition there is a strong presence by the ALL TIME STARS (ATS), with numerous open-top cars: The lineup of models for sale from the Mercedes-Benz Museum is expected to include a Mercedes-Benz 630 supercharged car, a 280 SL "Pagoda" (W 113), a 300 SL (R 107), an SLK 32 AMG (R 170), a smart crossblade and an E 320 Cabriolet (A 124), as well as a model 230 (W 123) Saloon. The Classic Days Schloss Dyck will take place from 5 to 7 August, 2016 near Neuss, at one of the most elegant moated castles in the Lower Rhine region.

Stuttgart. The first automobile ever built may not have been a roadster in the modern sense. But it was definitely the precursor: when Carl Benz registered the patent for his Patent Motor Car in 1886, the Mannheim-based genius was also laying the foundations for a magnificent history of sporty, open-top automobiles from Mercedes-Benz. The Stuttgart brand's journey into the history of this multi-faceted tradition at the Classic Days Schloss Dyck therefore begins with the Benz Patent Motor Car. It can be admired in the drivers' paddock, and will also be taken for demonstration runs by Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador Jutta Benz. In addition, racing drivers Roland Asch and Ellen Lohr will take part in special runs during the "Racing Legends" part. The two Mercedes-Benz brand ambassadors will drive the 110 year-old Mercedes 120 HP racing car and the 500 SL rally car. The racing car was developed by Wilhelm Maybach in 1906. It was the first competition car by Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft to have a six-cylinder engine. 75 years later, Mercedes-Benz prepared the 500 SL rally car from the R 107 series for the 1981 season. It was intended to continue the successes of the SLC Coupés (C 107) in 1978 to 1980, but was never used in competition.

Jewels and stars

Alongside the activities on the circuit, the "Jewels in the Park" exhibition with highlights in the cultural history of the automobile and the topic-related shows are the main events of the Classic Days Schloss Dyck. Among the jewels on display in the orangery is a 500 K Special Roadster of 1934 from the Mercedes-Benz collection. During its production period in the mid-1930s, this extremely elegant and powerful supercharged model was one of the most exclusive of all sports cars.

The stars shine along with the jewels during this classic car festival at Schloss Dyck near Neuss. Because the ALL TIME STARS from Mercedes-Benz Classic ( can be admired in the "Plum tree Meadow" and in the drivers' paddock. Four fascinating classics can be seen in the parklands surrounding the moated castle during the Classic Days: The history of the SL sports cars is represented by a 280 SL (W 113) and a 300 SL (R 107). The 113 series bears the nickname "Pagoda" by virtue of its characteristic, dished hardtop. The 280 SL produced from 1968 to 1971 was the most powerful variant in this model series. The 300 SL was a model in the face lifted generation of the 107 series. The Roadster was in production from 1985 to 1989. Produced from 1975 to 1980, the Mercedes-Benz 230 (W 123) lay exactly between the two sports cars. One of the very recent and completely uncompromising classics in the ATS range is the smart crossblade, which Mercedes-Benz Classic is also showing in the "Plum tree Meadow". This special version of the first smart ForTwo Convertible (450 series) was produced in 2002 as a limited and particularly airy model with no windscreen, roof or conventional doors.

Die Autostadt auf den Classic Days Schloss Dyck 2015 Video Credit Autostadt

ALL TIME STARS in action

On Saturday (6 August) and Sunday (7 August), three further ATS cars will take part in special Mercedes-Benz runs on the 2.8-kilometre long circuit. The star attraction here is the supercharged Model 630 dating from 1929. This car with a supercharged six-cylinder engine has open touring car coachwork, and is part of the ATS Concours Edition. The first generation of compact Mercedes-Benz roadsters with a steel roof is represented by the SLK 32 AMG (R 170) built in 2002 from the Collector’s Edition. And finally the E 320 Cabriolet (A 124) of 1994 represents the elegant, open-top four-seaters in the successful Mercedes-Benz 124 series. The participation of all the for-sale vehicles at the Classic Days Schloss Dyck is contingent upon their not being sold beforehand.

The program for the Classic Days Schloss Dyck begins on Friday (5 August) at 10 a.m., and at 9 a.m. on the Saturday and Sunday. On the Friday and Saturday the event comes to an end at 6 p.m., and on the Sunday at 5 p.m. Admission is from 9 a.m. on Friday, and from 7 a.m. (participating vehicles) and 7.30 a.m. (access for visitors) on the other two days. The Classic Days Schloss Dyck have been voted the "Event of the Year 2016" by readers of the specialist magazine "Motor Klassik".

The brand ambassadors of Mercedes-Benz Classic at the Classic Days Schloss Dyck 2016

Mercedes-Benz Classic Brand Ambassador Roland Asch during the Historic Trophy 2014 at Nürburgring in June 2014 Image Credit: Daimler AG Media


Roland Asch
Born on 12 October 1950 in Altingen, Germany

Trained originally as a master automotive technician, Roland Asch initially began his motor racing career as a hobby, but soon began to achieve victories like a pro: wins in the German Hill Climb Championship of 1981 and the German Motor Racing Trophy in 1983 were followed by his début in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) in 1985. He finished as runner-up in the 1988 DTM championship, driving the Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16 of the BMK team. In the late 1980s he came first three times in the overall standings in the Porsche 944 Turbo Cup, and in 1991 won the championship title in the Porsche Carrera Cup. Five wins for Mercedes-Benz in the early 1990s head the list of his various good finishes in the DTM. He ended the 1993 season as the runner-up in the DTM for the second time, and moved to Ford in the Super Touring Car Cup in 1995. Roland Asch remains very close to Mercedes-Benz to this day as a brand ambassador.

Jutta Benz
Born on 1 October 1943 in Mannheim

She has a renowned surname: Jutta Benz. In 1886 her great-grandfather Carl Benz invented the world's first automobile as an innovative and all-embracing, and therefore revolutionary design. His wife Bertha Benz, the great-grandmother of Jutta Benz, greatly influenced and assisted the development work. She supported her husband in every respect, and repeatedly contributed strong impulses of her own to bring the automobile to large-scale production maturity. She is famous for her long-distance journey from Mannheim to Pforzheim with the Benz Patent Motor Car in August 1888, which she absolved with their two sons – both as an endurance test and proof that this magnificent invention worked. All this happened around 130 years ago, but the automobile is younger than ever. No wonder that Jutta Benz has tremendous admiration for her great-grandparents, and especially for her great-grandmother as a woman of outstanding attributes for her time: in their day, publicly exhibited creativity and equality were anything but the norm. In this sense Bertha Benz and her husband symbolize the success and development of the automobile and the Mercedes–Benz brand. Jutta Benz is the last bearer of the Benz name who can be directly traced back to Carl and Bertha Benz.


Mercedes-Benz Classic brand ambassador Ellen Lohr at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, 24 June 2016. Image Credit Daimler AG Media


Ellen Lohr
Born on 12 April 1965 in Mönchengladbach, Germany

Ellen Lohr came to motorsport via karting, in which she was active from 1979 to 1983. Her greatest triumphs were her participation in the Junior Karting World Championship, along with a 1st place in the Northwest German Regional Karting Championship. After competing in the German Formula Ford 1600 series (German Champion in 1987) and first races in the DTM (BMW) and the German Formula 3 Championship with VW in 1989/90, she was signed up by the AMG-Mercedes team for the German Touring Car Championship. Ellen Lohr is the first and only woman to date to have achieved a DTM victory, which she won in May 1992 at the motor 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 that time on, Ellen Lohr has continued to be actively involved in numerous other racing series, including the Paris–Dakar Rally since 2005 and again in truck racing since 2012.

The vehicles from Mercedes-Benz Classic at the Classic Days Schloss Dyck 2016

Benz Patent Motor Car, 1886.

On 29 January 1886, Carl Benz applied for a patent on his "gas-powered vehicle". Patent number DRP 37435 is regarded as the birth certificate of the automobile, and gave its name to the Patent Motor Car. The world's first automobile was an autonomous design in which the engine and chassis formed an organic unit. Benz designed it as a three-wheeler, as he was not convinced by the drawbar steering used for coaches. The resounding achievement of Carl Benz was the persistence with which he turned his vision of a "coach without horses" into reality: he had the idea for a motor vehicle, designed it, built it, patented it, tested it, brought it to market, produced it in large numbers, developed it further and therefore made his invention usable. The Benz Patent Motor Car ushered in a new era in individual mobility.

Technical data of the Benz Patent Motor Car

Year of manufacture:1886
Cylinders: 1 (horizontal)
Displacement: 954 cc Output: 0.55 kW (0.75 hp) at 400 rpm
Top speed: 16 km/h

Mercedes 120 HP six-cylinder racing car, 1906. The vehicle was designed by Wilhelm Maybach. Image Credit: Daimler AG Media

Mercedes 120 hp six-cylinder racing car, 1906

This first Mercedes racing car was developed by Wilhelm Maybach for the 1906 season. The extremely innovative six-cylinder in-line engine features individual steel cylinders mounted onto the light-alloy crankcase, an overhead camshaft, overhead valves and a double high-voltage spark-plug ignition system. The design served as a model for top-performance engines for decades to come. The engine is not the only notable feature of the six-cylinder model. The longitudinal members of the frame are elbowed over the front axle, the leaf springs mounted in a flatter position and the radiator set lower, making this innovative Grand Prix vehicle appear extraordinarily low. It was, however, never used for racing, since the overhead camshaft and the allegedly "newfangled" spark-plug ignition failed to meet with the approval of the management and supervisory boards of DMG (Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft). Maybach, celebrated by the motoring media as the "king among designers", left the company in 1907. As a consequence, the company continued to use four-cylinder engines in the ensuing years.

Technical data of the Mercedes 120 hp six-cylinder racing car

Year of manufacture: 1906
Cylinders: 6/in-line
Displacement: 11,084 cc
Output: 88 kW (120 hp) at: 1500 rpm
Top speed: 150 km/h

Mercedes-Benz 500 K Special Roadster (W 29)

In the mid-1930s, alongside the prestigious Model 770 "Grand Mercedes", the 500 K was the sporty and elegant top model in the Mercedes-Benz passenger car range. Its performance was regarded as sensational at the time, but it also offered an unprecedented level of refinement. It could be driven around at slow speeds without problems, but when required it unleashed a liveliness of spirit that was breathtaking. Slightly stronger pressure on the accelerator pedal increased the output by 60 percent: because this engaged the supercharger clutch, and the twin Roots blower forced air at 0.3 bar into the twin carburetors to release another 60 hp (44 kW). Buyers of the 500 K were able to choose between no less than nine body versions. With its particularly sporty appearance, the luxurious Special Roadster, of which only 29 were built, is regarded as the most exquisite of all the variants.

Technical data of the Mercedes-Benz 500 K Special Roadster (W 29)

Year of manufacture: 1934
Cylinders: 8/in-line
Displacement: 4982 cc
Output: 74 kW (100 hp), 118 kW (160 hp) with supercharger at 3400 rpm
Top speed: 160 km/h

Mercedes-Benz 500 SL Rally (R 107), 1981

During the course of its rally activities with the SLC Coupés of the 107 series from 1978 to 1980, Mercedes-Benz also envisaged entering the shorter and more agile Roadster. Four vehicles were prepared for the 1981 season. The top-class driver Walter Röhrl was recruited for rally events and carried out extensive test drives. The rally 500 SL was configured for fast acceleration with a lower top speed. To transfer the power of the upgraded 235 kW (320 hp) V8 engine to the road, the drive axle was given a locking differential with an 80 percent locking effect, which led to spectacular drift angles. The M 117 engine is particularly known for its great reliability and long operating life. Another impressive attribute is the weight reduction from 1586 kilograms to 1350 kilograms, an essential measure for motorsport, despite the safety cage of tubular aluminum, auxiliary headlamps and the other rally equipment. As a further noticeable feature, there is an upright parking brake lever which makes it easier to "line-up" the car ahead of bends. The car was never used for racing, however, as Mercedes-Benz discontinued its rally activities before the season began.

Technical data of the Mercedes-Benz 500 SL (R 107), standard version

Production period: 1980-1989
Cylinders: V8
Displacement: 4973 cc
Output: 177 kW (240 hp) at 5000 rpm (from 1980 to September 1981)
Top speed: 225 km/h (from 1980 to September 1981)


... notes from STP