We have welcomed a lot of the ‘fastest’ from throughout the ages at the Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard, and this is one of them. The Mercedes Uhlenhaut 300 SLR is a low, long, beautiful coupe, and looks like the German cousin of Bond’s DB5.
Video: The Mercedes Uhlenhaut was the fastest car in the world
And it’s about as valuable, too, with the road-legal 300 SLR racer one of just two that were ever built. The pair were originally among the nine 1955 W196 chassis – one of which Sir Stirling Moss was driving when he won the 1955 British International Tourist Trophy and that year’s Mille Miglia – before they were converted into SLR/SL hybrids. Thus, Mercedes had created the ‘fastest closed roof vehicle of its time’, with a maximum speed approaching 290km/h (180mph).
Originally intended to race in the Carrera Panamericana, they never saw track action as the event was cancelled due to safety concerns following the 1955 Le Mans disaster. When Mercedes withdrew from competitive motorsport at the end of the year, one went on to become the company car of its designer, the manufacturer’s motorsport chief Rudolf Uhlenhaut.
Watch and enjoy the iconic car slink and purr its way up the Goodwood hillclimb back in 2013.
Welcome to Goodwood Elevenses, a mid-morning helping of motoring-related amusement to help break up your day. Watch the last video: Watching a Focus WRC being hooned never gets old