Ahead of a return to the Benz Museum, the 722 SLR gets one last outing
By Matt Bird / Tuesday, December 7, 2021 / Loading comments
There’s arguably no more famous car and driver combination in motorsport history than Stirling Moss and the #722 Mercedes 300 SLR – a W196 S for those who speak Benz. The story has been recounted a thousand times before, but is always worth repeating; the only Englishman (and one of just two non-Italians) ever to win the race also triumphed in the fastest ever time, Moss and navigator Denis Jenkinson completing 992 miles in 10 hours, seven minutes and 48 seconds. It was an average of 98mph, and half an hour ahead of some guy called Fangio in second. It remains one of the most remarkable motorsport victories in history.
To pay tribute to the great man and a great achievement, Mercedes has produced a video called ‘The Last Blast’. With the SLR due to return to its permanent home in the Benz Museum, a plan was devised for the car to drive somewhere it had never been as a valedictory salute. That place was London, and specifically to Stirling Moss’s house, taking in a few sights along the way. With the help of a Hollywood-grade film crew, a helicopter, special permits, eight coppers on bikes and a sleepy Sunday morning, the straight-eight SLR could embark on what may well be its last drive on public roads.
Obviously, it’s brilliant. Because most cars would look good cruising past the RAC, the Ritz, Trafalgar Square and the Houses of Parliament as the sun comes up, leave alone one of the most beautiful racers ever made. Keep a look out for the Gullwing, too, as that was Moss’s very own. The one he drove to and from (!) that Mille Miglia win.
So, yeah, this is three and a half minutes very well spent, a fine tribute to an unforgettable moment in motorsport history. In fact, Mercedes puts its better than we can: “This is Mercedes-Benz Classic’s tribute and thanks to Sir Stirling Moss who dedicated decades of service to the brand. And also to his family, for the unwavering support they showed him, and for their personal involvement in this very special film project.” Enjoy the vid.
Watch behind the scenes here.
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