The London Concours has announced it will display the greatest ever Mercedes motorcars from the 28th – 30th of June at the Honourable Artillery Company in London. The special collection will feature iconic examples from the company that invented the automobile.
One of the stand out cars that will be featured over the two days will be a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, considered by many to be the most beautiful car in the world.
The 300 SL, which was codenamed W198, made its debut in February 1954 at the International Motor Sports Show in New York. With a streamlined body, cloaking an innovative lightweight spaceframe, the new Coupe was unlike anything seen before and caused a sensation.
It’s 215 bhp straight-six engine, which was the first to feature direct fuel injection, gave the Gullwing a top speed of 155mph, which was quite remarkable in the mid-1950s. A similarly stunning roadster version followed in 1957 and in all 3,258 cars were built by the time production ceased in 1963.
A stunning SL Pagoda will also be gracing the lawns of the The Honourable Artillery Company in June. Launched in 1963, Mercedes-Benz’s drop top of the 60s and early 70s has also gone down in history as one of the most revered automotive designs, combining timeless style and elegance.
The SL was offered with a series of inline-six-cylinder engines, ranging in size from 2.3 to 2.8-litres, giving sprightly performance. Often specified with both a soft top and removeable hard-top, the ‘W113’ was a favourite of the great and good; owners in period included Juan Manuel Fangio, John Lennon and Sophia Loren.
The London Concours will also feature the modern iteration of Mercedes-Benz sporting Coupes that payed homage to the legendary 300SL: the SLS Coupe. Launched in 2009, the SLS was a modern interpretation of the iconic Gullwing. It was a the high-performance two-seater Coupe with a long bonnet and of course, those dramatic doors. The SLS also acted as a direct successor to the SLR McLaren, and featured a snarling, naturally aspirated, 563 bhp 6.2-litre V8 which propelled it to a top speed of 196 mph. The SLS evolved over its production run, culminating in the savage, bewinged ‘Black Series’ cars. All variants of this stunning GT car are now sought-after modern classics.
Guests attending the show will also be able to revel in the details of one of the rarest modern Mercedes-Benz: the CLK DTM Coupe. Launched in 2004 to celebrate the marque’s victory in the 2003 German Touring Car championship with Bernd Schneider at the wheel, the DTM looked outlandish, with its vented body work and dramatically flared arches. Performance lived up to the wild looks, with a 582 bhp 5.4-litre supercharged V8, propelling it from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and on to a (limited) top speed of 199 mph. With only 100 examples produced, the CLK DTM remains one of Mercedes-Benz’s rarest and most sought-after performance models.
Another landmark Mercedes-Benz on display will be the most luxurious limousines ever created: the stately Mercedes-Benz 600 LWB Pullman. A technological tour de force, this limo set new standards for both performance and opulence when it was launched to the world in 1963. The Grosser featured a silken 6.3-litre V8, affording it suitably imperious performance. The 600 LWB was a favourite of heads of state and celebrities alike, with a diverse list of owners ranging from Sadam Hussein to David Bowie. With only 428 LWB examples built, this summer’s event will present a rare opportunity to pore over the details of this titanic automotive icon.
Commenting on the special Mercedes-Benz collection, Andrew Evans, London Concours Director, said: “We are extremely excited to reveal that this summer’s ever popular ‘Great Marques’ class will celebrate the seminal automotive brand – Mercedes-Benz.”
“Long associated with style and luxury, qualities central to our event, we will assemble the rarest and most alluring examples from this wonderful, storied manufacturer – all in an immaculate setting in the heart of the City of London. Guests to the Honourable Artillery Company will be treated to an astonishing array of cars, as well as delectable food and drink options, and a carefully curated line-up of designer brands and boutiques, at the summer’s ultimate automotive garden party.”
More details on the as yet unannounced display classes that will be headlining the London Concours will be announced in the coming weeks and months here on Take to the Road.