Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 Red Pig
With this version of a Mercedes-based racing car, the successful series of the company AMG for sporty and race-ready Mercedes versions began!
What is the "Mercedes-Benz red pig"?
In the 1970s, the AMG tuning company, founded in 1967 and named after its founders Hans Werner Aufrecht, Erhard Melcher and Aufrecht‘s place of birth in Großaspach, was not yet a subsidiary and luxury forge of Daimler AG. In 1970 (at that time still in Großaspach) the decision was made to build a victorious racing touring car, the very first in AMG history, based on the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3, which would later go down in history as the „Red Sow“. . In addition to various chassis improvements and conversions to the body and interior, the engine was modified, the displacement increased to 6.8 liters and the power was 428 hp. Instead of the standard four-speed automatic, a five-speed manual transmission was used.
The race premiere took place at the 24-hour race in Spa-Francorchamps, where the „Red Pig“ caused a lot of attention in this long-distance race and sensationally achieved a group win and 2nd place overall with the then unknown drivers Clemens Schickentanz and Hans Heyer ranking against strong competitors.
But the racing career was short-lived, and a few weeks later the car slipped off the track in Hockenheim and was badly damaged. Driver Helmut Kelleners returned to the pits on foot. He showed AMG Boss Aufrecht the ignition key and said dryly: „Here it is your key, but you don‘t need it anymore“. Werner Aufrecht was shocked that Helmut Kelleners never drove for AMG again.
After the successful reconstruction, the AMG 6.8 was used again in the 24 hours on the Nürburgring and then sold to the French armaments company Matra, where it was used for a few more years for military test arrangements in the development of aircraft tires. The car later fell into oblivion and was probably scrapped in the early 1990s.
The 300 SEL 6.8 AMG is the metamorphosis of one of the most spectacular racing touring cars of the 1970s and undoubtedly went down as an important milestone in the history of the Swabian company.
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