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The Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition-A Forgotten Exclusive Supercar
In this article, we will talk about one of my favorite cars of all time, a vehicle that marked my childhood and one that I was fortunate enough to get a ride on when I was only ten years old. I am talking about the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, but not the normal one. It's the SLR McLaren Stirling Moss diamond I am referring to.

The Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition Story: A Forgotten Exclusive Supercar

The Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition-A Forgotten Exclusive SupercarThe Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition-A Forgotten Exclusive SupercarThe Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition-A Forgotten Exclusive SupercarThe Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition-A Forgotten Exclusive SupercarThe Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition-A Forgotten Exclusive SupercarThe Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition-A Forgotten Exclusive SupercarThe Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition-A Forgotten Exclusive SupercarThe Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition-A Forgotten Exclusive SupercarThe Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition-A Forgotten Exclusive SupercarThe Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition-A Forgotten Exclusive SupercarThe Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition-A Forgotten Exclusive SupercarThe Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition-A Forgotten Exclusive SupercarThe Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition-A Forgotten Exclusive SupercarThe Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition-A Forgotten Exclusive SupercarThe Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition-A Forgotten Exclusive SupercarThe Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition-A Forgotten Exclusive SupercarThe Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition-A Forgotten Exclusive Supercar
The car was built specially to honor the legendary vehicle that won Mille Miglia in 1955 and to celebrate one of the best drivers in F1 history, even if he never won a championship, Stirling Moss. Let's start by talking about this man, who was arguably the biggest rival of the legendary five-time F1 world champion Juan Manuel Fangio.

If it weren't for the Argentinian superstar, Moss would have at least two titles on his own. From 1955 to 1958, he finished second in the final championship, losing three times to Fangio and once to his compatriot Mike Hawthorn, the first-ever British world champion. Besides his 16 wins in F1, Sir Stirling Moss took part in numerous motorsport events like rallies, endurance racing, and many others.

In 1955, Sir Stirling took part in the Mille Miglia event, a 1,000-mile race held on the public roads of Italy. As a fun fact, each number painted on the car was related to the drivers' allocated start time. For example, Moss's winning car had the number 722 because he started the event at 7:22 AM local time. And if 722 sounds familiar, yep, that is why the special edition SLR McLaren 722 is called that.

A total of 534 cars started in the Mille Miglia event across 12 categories based on the power unit size, ranging from 750cc to over 2.0-litre. The smaller displacement and slower vehicles started first late in the night, while the more complex and professional cars started some hours later, in the morning.

The Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition\-A Forgotten Exclusive Supercar
Stirling Moss and his navigator Denis Jenkinson completed the 992-mile (1,596 km) distance in a little over ten hours with an average speed of 99 mph (158 kph). They absolutely dominated the competition, winning by 32 minutes over P2, who was Juan Manuel Fangio. At the same time, there were a lot of F1 drivers (and future ones) drivers on the grid. We are talking here about people like Wolfgang Von Trips, Jo Bonnier, Maria Teresa de Filippis, Luigi Musso, Peter Collins, Karl Kling, Hans Hermann, Eugenio Castellotti, and Piero Taruffi.

Besides Stirling's incredible driving skills, the car he was driving inspired the SLR Stirling Moss special edition. I am talking about the 300 SLR model, known as the W 196 S. A vehicle that dominated the 1955 World Sportscar Championship and the one that stopped Mercedes' participation in F1 for 55 years.

Well, it wasn't necessarily the German manufacturer's fault for the 1955 Le Mans disaster. AS a reminder of what happened then, Jaguar driver Mike Hawthorn pulled to the right side of the track in front of Lance Macklin and started braking for his stop at the pits. As a result, Lance swerved out from behind the Jaguar into the way of Levegh, who was passing on the left in his 300 SLR. Levegh hitted Macklin at high speed, overriding Macklin's car and launching his own car through the air.

The vehicle jumped over a protective barrier at 125 mph (200 kph) and made two impacts within the spectator area. The second impact caused the racing car to disintegrate, throwing him onto the track, where he was instantly killed. Large pieces of debris, like the engine block, suspension parts, and hood, were sent flying at high speed into the packed spectator area in front of the grandstand. After that, the rear of his vehicle landed on the berm and exploded into flames.

The Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition\-A Forgotten Exclusive Supercar
Even to this day, this was the most horrific incident in motorsport history, with 84 people losing their lives. Of course, there was a massive debate over blame for the disaster, but nobody was accused of anything. In the end, everyone criticized the layout of the 30-year-old circuit, which had not been designed or upgraded for cars as fast as those involved in the incident.

Back to our star car now. SLR comes from Sport Leicht Rennsport, which translates as sport light racing. The W 196 S was inspired a lot by the W 196 R with a different power unit that displaced three liters. When Mercedes-Benz canceled its racing program after the Le Mans disaster, the project was kept. Mercedes's design chief, the architect of the 300 SLR racer, modified those and made one of them his personal vehicle. Capable of approaching 180 mph (290 kph), the Uhnelhaut Coupe was one of the fastest road cars during that era. As a fun fact, an Unlenhaut Coupe became the most expensive car after being sold at auction for $142 million.

The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Stirling Moss was launched in 2009 when the production of the original SLR stopped. Only 75 were created, so it is one of the most exclusive vehicles you can buy. With a design that said "roof and windshield? Never heard of 'em," the Stirling Moss sure turned heads at the 2009 North America International Auto Show.

Performance was Stirling Moss's first superpower. Propelled by a 5.4-liter AMG V8 engine, it could go from 0 to 62 mph (100 kph) in 3.5 seconds, leaving most roadsters in the dust. With 641 horsepower (650 PS) and a top speed of 217 mph (350 kph), it was a thrill ride that a rollercoaster could only rival.

The Story of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss Edition\-A Forgotten Exclusive Supercar
The design was the second superpower. The long hood, curvy character lines, and scissor doors were like a superhero's suit, while the lightweight carbon fiber body made it 440 pounds (200 kg) lighter than its peers. The lack of windows and windshields gave it a sleek, arrow-like body profile that screamed, "I'm here to save the day...in style."

The interior, designed by Dutch designer Sarkis Benliyan, was limited to the "bare essentials" but made of high-quality materials like carbon fiber. The two-tonneau covers with locked doors made it look like a sculpture, and the lack of windows and windshields made it feel like a race car.

Not everyone could own a Stirling Moss. It was a millionaire's dream car with a starting price of $860,000 and only available to loyal SLR customers. And unfortunately, you couldn't even register it in the U.S. But, as with all supercars, the Stirling Moss's value only went up with time. While a used SLR once sold for around $130,000, the Stirling Moss never suffered such depreciation. Now, it's highly unlikely to find one for anything south of $500,000.

The SLR Stirling Moss is a rare, historic work of art that is ultimately worth whatever a buyer is willing to pay for it. And, just like a superhero, it will forever be remembered as a legend in the land of speed and luxury.

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