Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Blue Wonder

The Silver Arrows of Mercedes-Benz were beautiful, glorious and hugely successful racing cars - but their majesty didn't fade as the evening of race day drew in... the Blue Wonder ensured that the journey to and from the track was equally filled with excitement and intrigue.

Commissioned by Alfred Neubauer, the Blue Wonder was, if you can believe it, basically a 300SL that was enlarged to become a car transporter. The chassis was a lengthened and strengthened version of that found in the 300SL, the engine was identical and even the nose was unmistakeably SL-ish.
Used throughout the 1955 season, it was subsequently shipped to the USA to serve as an exhibition piece, followed by a decade or so of service for M-B test drives before being scrapped. A few more decades passed, and Mercedes-Benz decided to rebuild the Blue Wonder based on old photographs; it exists today as an evocative piece of German motorsport history, harking back to an era when the characters of the team bosses vied for attention with those of the drivers, and opulent excess underpinned the very ethos of Grand Prix racing.

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