The one that resides at the Stuttgart Museum is a remake built on the basis of photos and technical information handed down from memory. Yet this vehicle really did exist, as original as it was fast, contributing to the epic run of Mercedes-Benz in motorsport during the 1950s.
1954. The Blue Wonder is a racing vehicle disguised as a pick-up truck intended to transport Mercedes-Benz racing cars to and from the circuits
Its name is Mercedes-Benz Renntransporter, nicknamed “Blue Wonder” and it was part of the great project conceived by Rudolf Uhlenhaut, the creator of the famous Mercedes racing cars, including the W194, the 300 SL and 300 SLR in addition to the World Championship-winning 196 single-seaters.
The W196 World Champion with Juan Manuel Fangio leaving for the next F1 Grand Prix
Why was such a curious vehicle, built with parts of the W188 300S luxury sports tourer, and equipped with the engine of the 300SL with over 200 horsepower, capable of speeds close to 200 hours and an extreme, forward-mounted cantilevered cabin, so important for the triumphant success of Mercedes at the races?
Up to the Targa Florio, in Sicily, to transport the Mercedes 300 SLR that will win the race
Simply because it conveyed the determination of the German manufacturer to win at everything. If racing cars were to arrive first, then the vehicle that transported them to the tracks also had to be very fast and win against all the others built for the same purpose.
Built on the chassis of the road-going Mercedes 300S, the cabin of the Blue Wonder was completely cantilevered for best weight distribution
This beautiful story, unfortunately, ended abruptly after the tragedy of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1955. The overwhelmingly dominant Mercedes-Benz decided to leave racing following the accident of its driver, Jean Pierre Levegh that caused over eighty deaths during the 24 hours.
The engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut, architect and creator of the great Mercedes project of the 50s, personally requested the curious Blue Wonder
There was no longer any reason for the Blue Wonder to exist and it was sadly demolished. With great will and passion, it was rebuilt towards the end of the 90s and is now on display at the Stuttgart Museum. It matters very little that it is a replica. What matters is the wonderful memory it evokes of an entire era.
Not only the engine of the 300 SL to drive the Blue Wonder. Even the cabin has the same look and feel
There is, however, a difficult question yet to answer: why was it deep blue when the racing cars were all painted in the traditional silver colour? Perhaps in memory of the logo from another glorious moment in the history of Mercedes-Benz, those in the mid-1920s when the star and its outline were blue? Write to us if you know!
Great curiosity and interest, not only for the 300 SLR race car, but also for its curious race transporter
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