That Mercedes-Benz has created its most daring and transgressive supercar in history in honor of Stirling Moss is a clear indicator that, although the British driver never obtained the prized title of Formula 1 World Champion, he is considered as one of the greats of sports car racing. Now, on the occasion of the death of the pilot who bears his name at 90 years of age, we remember what the very special Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss was like.
It was at the 2009 Detroit Motor Show that Mercedes-Benz presented the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss to the public. A decade was ahead of the current trend in which manufacturers such as Ferrari with the Monza SP1 and Monza SP2, McLaren with the Elva or Aston Martin with the V12 Speedster (inspired by the way by the DBR1 that Moss also piloted in his time) Barchetta style models to the delight of pure and special car lovers.
That car took as its mechanical base that of the Mercedes SLR McLaren, but evoked in every detail of its design the 300 SLR with which the star’s brand achieved victory in the Mille Miglia, in the race of Eifel, the Targa Florio or the Tourist Trophy.
Among all those victories, that of Stirling Moss, in the Mille Miglia setting a record that still remains unbeaten with 10 hours, seven minutes and 48 seconds, was the one that led Mercedes to put its name to one of its most special cars.
All open, like the 300 SLR
The main attribute of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss was its fully open body, lacking a front windshield or protective roof. They only had two pieces to completely close it, which could be placed on the cockpit and driving position and when they were not necessary, they could be stored in the trunk.
They also had no glass in the doors, which had vertical opening as in the SLR Coupé and Roadster.
All the panels that shape your body are made of carbon fiber to minimize the weight of the whole. They were designed thinking that this car could reach 350 km / h top speed.
Thanks to the spectacular 5.4 V8 turbo engine that delivered 650 hp at 6,500 RPM and 820 Nm of torque at 4,000 RPM, the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss could accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h in less than 3.5 seconds. Logically, these features required aerodynamics to play an important role in keeping it well attached to the ground.
It had the same airbrake system as the normal SLR adapted to the shapes of its spectacular bodywork. He got up when the pilot stepped on the brake at more than 120 km / h to stabilize the rear.
As a curiosity, in the SLR McLaren Stirling Moss the driver could manually activate the brake booster from a control located in the passenger compartment in order to provide more support to the rear of the car.
The rear diffuser, which is much larger than those of SLRs, also played a leading role. Seen in person, it looks like a longer car than it really is.
Less is more
Inside everything was reduced to the minimum expression, as is logical, following the principle of ‘less is more’. There is no radio, there are no buttons beyond those purely necessary to drive it, and only a simple climate control system allows heating or cooling of the passenger compartment in necessary situations.
Seat adjustments are manual precisely to avoid mounting electric motors that would increase weight. The central panel is made of carbon fiber, while the steering wheel was already multifunction and had the sides lined in Alcantara.
All carry a plate with the signature of Stirling Moss next to the selector selector of the automatic transmission, which was the AMG SPEEDSHIFT of only five speeds with automatic and manual modes through the fixed paddles on the steering wheel.
The occupants of its two seats had a rollover protection system consisting of two individual arches that are located behind the head of each of them and sets the style for the back of the car.
Each car was delivered with two helmets and two sets of protective glasses. The SLR McLaren Stirling Moss was the lightest of all SLRs, weighing 1,551 kg, thus being around 200 kilos lighter than the rest of the SLR models.
75 units only for owners of other SLRs
The McLaren Stirling Moss SLRs were produced in a limited edition of 75 units, each numbered only available to customers who previously purchased an SLR.
They were manufactured from June to December 2009, just after the Mercedes SLR McLaren Roadster was discontinued in May 2009.
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