The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

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Greg in Oz
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The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by Greg in Oz » Tue 01 Mar, 2011 12:13 am

Also posted at viewtopic.php?f=13&t=12301 with different replies and additional posts

Back in 2005, I researched and wrote an article for the NSW Mercedes-Benz Club's magazine about the SLCs entered in rally competition from 1977 to 1980. I subsequently posted the article on the now defunct MBC NSW forum where it received something like 13,000 hits. It has also been lifted in part and in full and posted at numerous websites around the world.

Having just posted about meeting Andrew Cowan, one of the drivers of the factory SLC rally cars at viewtopic.php?f=45&t=12300 , I considered I should post my original article about the rally cars on OzBenz.

The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars - researched by Greg Yates - 2005

From the mid 1950s to the mid 1960s Mercedes-Benz cars were seen in rally competition, initially as the legendary 300SL, then the 220SE, the 230SL and finally the 300SE. A period of around twelve years then elapsed before Mercedes-Benz cars were again seen in rallies.

In 1977 a crew comprising Andrew Cowan, Colin Malkin and Mike Broad were victorious in a W123 series 280E in the 18,000km London to Sydney Rally and a similar 280E of Fowkes and O'Gorman came in second. The following year the 280E of Zasada and Krupa finished sixth in the African Safari Rally.

Daimler-Benz realised that their cars had the necessary durability for rallies and that with more power they could achieve further success. While other manufacturers were rallying small to medium sized cars, Daimler-Benz decided that following their experiences with the 280E, the coupe version of their 107 series was the car to use. The "SL" in SLC was supposed to stand for "sports-light" but this was not an accurate description of the long and heavy SLC coupe, at the time the flagship of the Mercedes-Benz range aimed at the upper end of the luxury market. With V8 engines it was however a fast tourer. The fixed roof of the SLC added to the body rigidity of the SL and the superb handling, together with the comfort of the long wheelbase coupe, meant that crews would suffer the minimum of fatigue over long rallies.

The 107 series had been released in 1971 with the 200 horsepower (147kW) 3.5-litre M116 V8 initially as the 350SL 2-seat roadster and then as the 350SLC 5-seat coupe. Subsequently the 225hp (165kW) 4.5-litre M117 V8 was added to the range in the 450SL and 450SLC with the 185hp (136kW) 2.8-litre twin-cam M110 six-cylinder from the 280E added later still. In 1978 a new all-alloy 240 horsepower (177kW) V8 engine of 5,025cc was developed specifically for the rally version of the SLC. Previously all 107 models used engines with alloy cylinder heads on cast iron cylinder blocks. Together with a lightweight aluminium bonnet and boot lid, the new engine also assisted in reducing the substantial weight of the big coupe and the resulting car became known as the 450SLC-5.0. Despite the light alloy block, the 5-litre engine retained the M117 designation and the remainder of the rally version of the 450SLC-5.0 differed little from the standard 450SLC, including the 3-speed torque converter automatic transmission.

The month-long 30,000km 1978 Vuelta America del Sud (Tour of South America) was chosen as the debut event for the SLC as a rally car. A 450SLC crewed by Andrew Cowan and Colin Malkin won the rally with second place going to Zasada and Zembruski also in an SLC, third to Fowkes and Kaiser in a 280E and fourth to Makinen and Todt in the remaining SLC. Only about one third of all the entered cars survived the gruelling rally, however all four SLC and three of the four 280E Mercedes entered completed the event.

For 1979 the 450SLC-5.0 was homologated as a Group 4 rally car with power being increased to around 300hp (220kW) and further weight reductions resulted from stripped-out interiors. Three-speed automatic transmission was retained as it was considered the only Daimler-Benz unit capable of withstanding the torque of the V8. Massive factory support under the leadership of Eric Waxenberger backed the effort behind several entries in the 1979 World Rally Championship. Three each 450SLCs and 280Es were entered in the African Safari Rally and SLCs driven by Bjorn Waldegard and Hannu Mikkola led for much of the event. Mikkola and Hertz finished a close second with Cowan and Syer in a 280E in fourth and Waldegard sixth. Greater success was achieved with a clean sweep of the 5,500km Bandama (Ivory Coast) Rally with four 450SLC-5.0s driven by Mikkola, Waldegard, Cowan and Preston taking positions 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively.

Following the 1978 and 1979 successes, an even greater effort went into the 1980 season. The Portugal Rally resulted in a best of only fourth place for Waldegard and Thorszelius and it was becoming obvious the big SLC was not so suited to the shorter and tighter European rallies. In the 5,300km Safari Rally where success was expected, rear suspension failures saw a best of third place to Vic Preston Junior in a 450SLC-5.0 using the newly introduced four-speed automatic transmission. In the Acropolis Rally the power of the 5 litre SLCs resulted in shredded tyres on the rocky roads with the highest placing again going to Preston this time down in fourteenth place.

For the Rally of Argentina engine output increased to 340hp (250kW) despite a slight reduction in displacement to 4,975cc. The cars became known as a 500SLC and were now homologated as Group 2. Mikkola and Hertz managed second place however two other 500SLCs suffered broken drive shafts. In the Rally of New Zealand Mikkola finished third and Waldegard fifth. In the same event Cowan suffered rear brake problems. Following a call over the radio, a helicopter was soon seen flying with an entire replacement rear axle assembly slung underneath, such was the level of factory support. The final event contested for 1980 was the Ivory Coast Rally better suited to the big fast SLC. The rate of attrition across all entrants was huge including Cowan who crashed. A total of just eleven cars finished with first to Bjorn Waldegard, second to Jorge Recalde and fifth to Vic Preston, all in 500SLCs.

Not entering every event for the 1980 season resulted in Mercedes finishing fourth overall in the championship. Mercedes recruited winning driver Walter Rohl who had been driving for Fiat in preparation for the following year. With the realisation that the SLC was just too big for the European rallies, plans were to use the similar but shorter 500SL for 1981. This was never to eventuate and the 1980 champion was left without a drive for 1981. Daimler-Benz again had a break from motor sport for a few years until the introduction of the W201 series 190E 2.3-16 destined for circuit racing, but that is another story.

The 350 and 450SLC (like the 350 and 450SL) had been discontinued in 1980 with the introduction of the 380 and 500SLC. The 280, 380 and 500SLC were discontinued in 1981 with the introduction of the 126 series 380 and 500SEC coupes. A total of 62,888 SLCs had been manufactured over a ten year period of which just 1,636 were the 450SLC-5.0 and 1,133 were the 500SLC. Both these models are sought by collectors today. Unfortunately they were not sold in Australia. The SLC remains the only fixed roof Mercedes-Benz coupe based on a roadster rather than a sedan. Even today, an SLC in good mechanical condition still gives a mix of good performance, superb handling, comfort and safety, making it is easy to realise why they were a successful rally car. Following the discontinuation of the SLC, the 107 series continued initially as the 280, 380 and 500SL and then finally as the 300, 420, 500 and 560SL until 1989. This eighteen-year run makes the 107 series the longest running series produced by Daimler-Benz.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by Giles » Tue 01 Mar, 2011 12:27 am

Sensational Greg, your passion is due respect. Keep up the good work.
Regards,
Giles
1981 500SLC (Colour Black) Keeper car Lola
1975 280CE Signal Red Long term Project Ginger
1999 W163 ML430 MB Search & Rescue Vehicle Mary-Lou
1987 W126 420SEL Melb based long hauler Erwin

http://www.kudoscc.com.au

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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by AndrewsSL/SEL » Tue 01 Mar, 2011 6:15 pm

Thanks for the time and effort compiling and writing this article Greg. It makes me want a copy of the SLC rally car rather than the AMG track car.

Cheers
Andrew

86 Diamond Blue 420SEL [That is being parted out and stripped for spares]
87 Red 190E 2.6 [Cossie Bodykit, R129SL 4pots/rotors, Bilstein/H&R suspension=GOKART]
87 White 300SL R107 Roadster [Which has sadly become a bit of a garage queen]
89 Nautical Blue 420SEL [The new Limo thats now the wife and sons daily driver with hot old Lorinser LO rims]
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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by Greg in Oz » Tue 01 Mar, 2011 10:15 pm

Thanks Giles and Andrew. I'm pleased you enjoyed reading it.

I found some more photos too.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by Greg in Oz » Tue 01 Mar, 2011 10:37 pm

Here are some photos supplied by "Oz coz" from his visit to the MB Museum and Classic Centre in Germany. They feature Zasada's SLC which finished 2nd (behind Cowan) in the 1978 Rally of South America, Mikkola's 1979 Ivory Coast winning 450SLC 5.0, and Waldegaard' 1980 Ivory Coast winning 500SLC, the last SLC ever rallied by the factory backed team. This 500SLC is displayed (along with Cowan's London to Sydney winning 280E) in the museum.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by Giles » Tue 01 Mar, 2011 10:58 pm

So many great pictures, this one for me is a stand out. For a DYI guy I can relate to it.
on the job.jpg
Regards,

Giles
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1981 500SLC (Colour Black) Keeper car Lola
1975 280CE Signal Red Long term Project Ginger
1999 W163 ML430 MB Search & Rescue Vehicle Mary-Lou
1987 W126 420SEL Melb based long hauler Erwin

http://www.kudoscc.com.au

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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by Greg in Oz » Wed 02 Mar, 2011 8:01 am

AndrewsSL/SEL wrote:Thanks for the time and effort compiling and writing this article Greg. It makes me want a copy of the SLC rally car rather than the AMG track car.

Cheers
For a some more inspiration, I can highly recommend "The Evolution of Rallying - 50 Years Sideways" by Helmut Deimel (see http://www.dukevideo.com/Cars/DVD/Rally ... g-DVD.aspx ). This must have DVD for any rally enthusiast shows great footage going right back to the early days of rallying and includes finnies, pagodas and SLCs being rallied. It has good commentary accompanied by a great soundtrack.

I found a couple of clips on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1aSu6yvBWs and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76SasCz2-KA although you really need to watch the whole film from the beginning to get the whole atmosphere of it. I can watch it over and over again and it gives some idea of just how tough the conditions were in those days particularly in the marathon events.
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Greg in Oz
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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by Greg in Oz » Mon 13 Jun, 2011 4:35 pm

Greg in Oz wrote:...I found a couple of clips on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1aSu6yvBWs and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76SasCz2-KA although you really need to watch the whole film from the beginning to get the whole atmosphere of it. I can watch it over and over again and it gives some idea of just how tough the conditions were in those days particularly in the marathon events.
Whilst searching for these video clips for discussion in another topic, I noticed they have been removed from YouTube. There is a replacement currently available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w75ag2nhQnM&NR=1
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by AMG » Mon 13 Jun, 2011 6:11 pm

regarding the other post about the rear assembly...
in this vid you can see easily.
The Heli was flying in a subframe assembly with the 350 swingarms - you can also see the one being dragged out
Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Classic 4sp auto Ardennes Green "Oswald"
2012 E63 AMG Speedshift MCT Diamantweiß "Klaus"
Previous:
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"

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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by TargaSL » Mon 23 Jan, 2012 8:48 pm

that certainly is great research

Have the silver arrows guys seen your post?

Even tough i don't run the authentic drivetrain i still carry the flag in Tassy for the 3 star tradition

We have entered the Tassy Tarmac Rally series with the first round at the end of Feb, we will be inthe club car section (not factory) and with the practice i got this year hope to put it up the front somewhere

here is my latest Merc collection
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1980 W107 - Der Panzervagen
2003 R230 - Glamour
2011 W164 - AMG Diesel

Escape the Nanny State
Race a Classic

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Greg in Oz
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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by Greg in Oz » Mon 23 Jan, 2012 11:43 pm

Thanks for the compliment! I don't know whether or not the Silver Arrows guys have seen my article, but I suspect the SLC Racing guys have as part of the text on their website appears to be word for word with my article. I don't know how long their site has had this text but I'm fairly sure it hasn't been up on the web for as long as my article (which I first posted online soon after writing it for a Mercedes club magazine back in 2005). I'm not complaining and I'm actually flattered that others would want to quote my article. The way I see it, anything we post online is easy pickings for anyone who chooses to use the material. In fact, at one time a large chunk of my article appeared on Wikipedia and certainly wasn't posted there by me. Anyway, it's all good as far as I'm concerned if it raises the awareness of the 107's motorsport history.

I see your fleet all wear the favoured MB competition colours. I certainly envy you being able to compete on those great roads in Tassie. Keep flying the 107 flag in motorsport and good luck! I'm looking forward to another year of classic rallies in my 500SLC although there is a bit of a wait before our club's calendar gets going. Oh well, it gives me time to do a few little jobs on the car.
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by TargaSL » Tue 24 Jan, 2012 9:26 pm

Indeed whilst there are still guys like us that fly the flag for the classics young kiddies can see what life was like befero the nanny state constipated everyones lives

hope to get some more good media to upload
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1980 W107 - Der Panzervagen
2003 R230 - Glamour
2011 W164 - AMG Diesel

Escape the Nanny State
Race a Classic

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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by Mercmad » Sat 25 Feb, 2012 11:42 am

JoeB wrote:regarding the other post about the rear assembly...
in this vid you can see easily.
The Heli was flying in a subframe assembly with the 350 swingarms - you can also see the one being dragged out
Was that the one in new Zealand? i saw it dropped ...literally..from the helicopter :shaking: . We were agog at theses cars being rallied. Afterall it was only the seriously well heeled who bought them in NZ in those days.

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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by Greg in Oz » Sat 25 Feb, 2012 9:53 pm

Mercmad wrote:
JoeB wrote:regarding the other post about the rear assembly...
in this vid you can see easily.
The Heli was flying in a subframe assembly with the 350 swingarms - you can also see the one being dragged out
Was that the one in new Zealand? i saw it dropped ...literally..from the helicopter :shaking: . We were agog at theses cars being rallied. Afterall it was only the seriously well heeled who bought them in NZ in those days.
Yes, it was for Andrew Cowan's 500SLC in the 1980 Rally of New Zealand. From the 8th paragraph of my article in the first post in this topic:
"In the Rally of New Zealand Mikkola finished third and Waldegard fifth. In the same event Cowan suffered rear brake problems. Following a call over the radio, a helicopter was soon seen flying with an entire replacement rear axle assembly slung underneath, such was the level of factory support."
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by Mercmad » Sat 25 Feb, 2012 10:08 pm

They actually Did drop it. It fell from the helicopter ..... From a great height.

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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by Greg in Oz » Sat 25 Feb, 2012 10:23 pm

Good job no one was standing where it landed! From memory that trashed that one and they had to bring another.

Wish I had more time to chat with Andrew Cowan when I met him last year (see viewtopic.php?f=45&t=12300&p=79621 ). He has some great stories to tell including rallying in the SLCs. He commented that one of his favourite events was the that 30,000km South American rally in the SLC.
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by Mercmad » Mon 27 Feb, 2012 9:10 pm


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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by Greg in Oz » Tue 28 Feb, 2012 1:11 am

I hadn't seen that site before. Lots of interesting stuff there although maybe better not to take too much notice of many of the the results (plenty of did not qualify, DNS and DNF).
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Greg in Oz
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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by Greg in Oz » Tue 28 Feb, 2012 12:51 pm

New discussion in this topic had me revisiting the great video and soundtrack in the "Evolution of Rallying" documentary featuring the 5 litre SLCs at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w75ag2nhQnM&NR=1

For the enthusiasts of the older Mercs here, you should be able to recognise some cars (including 300SL and 300SE) in other parts of this documentary at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=en ... a_i-W_XsYg and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqO0rssj ... re=related

You can hunt around on YouTube for all the parts but for the full enjoyment I can highly recommend buying the "Evolution of Rallying" DVD. It is a worthy addition to any motorsport enthusiast's video collection.
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Astron Boy
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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by Astron Boy » Wed 07 Mar, 2012 1:33 pm

For some unknown reasons, on all forums I post, I barely scroll outside a set section.
What a shame I have only just read this.
Excellent post!
The amount of detail and information makes this one enjoyably long post that I kept reading.
I can well see why It was posted on so many other sites with the wealth of knowledge behind it.

The pictures indeed are also fantastic, how I'd love to have been a part of some of this in real life in the day!

Top work.
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Garnet Red with AMG extras.

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Greg in Oz
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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by Greg in Oz » Thu 08 Mar, 2012 12:34 am

Thanks for positive feedback! There's lots of great reading on OZBENZ, the internet generally and decades of books covering these cars we enjoy. Just so hard to find enough time to read even a small percentage of it all.

Before researching and writing this article I had long known of the SLC being used in motorsport. It was only after gaining greater knowledge of the 5 litre homologation cars that I became really interested in them. You can imagine my excitement when the opportunity presented itself to purchase one at auction, something that I thought would only ever be a dream. For me, not much could top this other than being able to own one of the actual SLCs that were rallied by MB themselves (oh, and other dreams such as owning a 190E 2.5-16 Evo or EvoII).
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Greg in Oz
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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by Greg in Oz » Fri 08 May, 2015 7:01 pm

In the similar topic on the W107 board, "Mercmad" (Ron) found a great video of the 1979 Bandama Ivory Coast Rally at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbEqyDJPHvs where each of the top four places were a 450SLC 5.0

The 1980 Bandama Ivory Coast Rally which saw a 500SLC finish in 1st, 2nd and 5th places can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoRtg4ojGjA
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by CraigB » Fri 08 May, 2015 8:51 pm

just reading back over this, is there a clear indication where the extra 100hp or so came from to get the 340? Without digging it up I recall the RWHP on my AMG suggested the flywheel HP was getting towards that 300 mark and that fitted the plus 50hp option on the 240 standard. To my knowledge that came primarily from headwork, cams and blueprinting. I imagine capacity would be limited to that 5l. And while you can feel my car really pushes it out in the higher revs, overall it is fairly tame, so not too hard to imagine you could get another 50 out of some bigger ports, more cam overlap to get more explosive mixture in there, but usually that will limit its lower down power, well with carbies it does because your velocity gets down to pull the fuel in. Anyway, just thinking out loud here. Did Andrew give any indication on power delivery from the 340hp cars?
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Greg in Oz
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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by Greg in Oz » Fri 08 May, 2015 11:14 pm

Craig,

That is a question I have also often asked. I have have never been able to get a definitive answer and there is even some uncertainty as to the accuracy of those power figures. I have seen MB themselves state power output figures lower than those numbers. MB also seem to be somewhat secretive regarding modifications to the cars they rallied, possibly because only limited mods were allowed and they didn't want to be accused of competing with cars that differed substantially from the homologation road cars they were selling to the public. Having seen some detailed photos of the surviving competition cars, I can see numerous changes to what was available in the cars sold to the public so it doesn't take too much imagination to assume there would have been plenty of less visible mods.

Some years ago there was a very knowledgeable 5 litre SLC enthusiast living in the USA who had a lot of detailed information about every aspect of the 107026 including the factory rally cars. Unfortunately, he died well before his time so that information source was lost. Prior to his death he did however give me some information and I have also been able to pick up snippets of information elsewhere.

Apart from the standard equipment available to the public in the 107026 cars sold to the public, I believe the competition cars had higher compression ratios, air filter with additional snorkel, free flowing exhausts of larger diameter with only a straight-through rear muffler (no front muffler), different camshafts and possibly larger ports. They also had larger diameter pulleys to allow engine driven accessories (power steering etc) to run at moderate speeds when the engine was operating consistently at higher speeds which would result in higher net power output (remember, MB quote net power output which is power available at the flywheel with engine driving all accessories).

I know that when I had my 500SLC on a chassis dyno, power output at the rear wheels suggested the engine was easily delivering its stated new power output, not bad considering a car over 30 years of age that has travelled a large distance in that time. It also did not undergo any tuning or preparation prior to the dyno run. Either, the passage of time has not been detrimental to engine output, or the output when new was somewhat understated.
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by Mercmad » Thu 14 May, 2015 9:19 pm

AMG sold engine kits in the early 80's which were basically a pair of cams and mechanical tappets from 3.5/4.5's.The rocker arms were lightened and polished so they could handle higher revs . I think heads were part of the package and would have had a port job. They worked great .AMG made their early reputation with Head mods on M130's etc . Given the mateship between Waxl and the AMG guys I suspect the rally cars featured a bit of surreptitious engine work.
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Re: The 5 litre SLC Rally Cars

Post by John Green » Thu 10 Mar, 2016 1:15 pm

Inaugural OZBENZ national meet this September, all welcome to attend. https://ozbenz.net/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=25165

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