This legendary Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC Rally car has a remarkable journey from historic victories to its upcoming auction.

The Birth of a Rally Icon

Mercedes-Benz shocked the rallying world in 1977 with the unveiling of the 450 SLC, designed specifically to homologate the 450 SL for the 1978 World Rally Championship. This groundbreaking vehicle featured a new all-aluminum 5.0-liter V-8 engine and a host of modifications aimed at turning it into a formidable rally competitor.

A Triumph on the Rally Stage

Chassis 836, completed on September 26, 1979, became a pivotal part of Mercedes-Benz’s rally efforts. Piloted by Björn Waldegård and Hans Thorszelius, it secured a historic second-place finish in the 1979 Bandama Rally Côte D’Ivoire, contributing to Mercedes-Benz’s landmark 1-2-3-4 finish. Notably, it was the first rally car to win with a V-8 engine and an automatic transmission.

Evolution on the Track

Following its success in the Bandama Rally, chassis 836 continued to make waves in the rallying world. It participated in the 1980 Marlboro Safari Rally in Kenya, where it achieved an impressive third-place finish. Later, it served as a training car in Argentina before being sold to Belgian race team owner Serge Beankens, known as Serge Power, in 1982.

From Rallying to Endurance Racing

Under the ownership of Serge Power, the car underwent modifications for endurance racing, including the replacement of its aluminum engine with a more reliable steel variant. It competed in prestigious events like the 24 Hours of Spa, demonstrating its versatility and durability on the track.

A Return to Glory

In 1984, the car was sold to Dr. Peter Lorenz, who restored it to its original 1979 Bandama Rally specification, complete with its iconic livery. Since then, it has been meticulously maintained and documented, earning recognition in numerous publications and even featuring in Tazio Magazine.

Auction and Legacy

Now, this historic rally car is set to be auctioned at RM Sotheby’s Monaco Auction, offering enthusiasts and collectors a rare opportunity to own a piece of rallying history. With its impressive track record and well-documented provenance, chassis 836 represents not just a car, but a symbol of endurance, innovation, and the golden age of rallying.

Preserving a Racing Legend

The 1979 Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC 5.0 Rallyewagen is about as cool as it comes in the world of Mercedes motorsports. Its journey from the rally stage to endurance racing showcases the enduring legacy of a true racing icon, ensuring its place in the annals of motorsport history for generations to come.

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