It may be more than 100 years old, but this racer was ready for the challenge
Mercedes-Benz and racing driver Ben Collings brought a treat to the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed: a Mercedes-Benz grand prix racer from 1908.
The time capsule of a car offers a pretty extraordinary look at motorsport in the early 20th century, and it offered Goodwood attendees a rare chance to see and hear an early grand prix racer. Making all of the noise is a whopping 17.3-liter four-cylinder generating around 150 horsepower. The massive powerplant is enough to take the car up to 109 mph.
Mercedes’ grand prix car actually pre-dates the Daimler and Benz merger, meaning the car is actually a Daimler. Some of the state-of-the-art pieces of equipment include dual-chain drive, artillery wheels made from high-strength wood and two seats.
Why two seats for an early race car? The co-driver’s main job was to pump fuel to the engine. Also, the chain spins at 90 mph while the driver shifts outside of the car, which is downright scary when you really think about it.
Collings made it look easy as he sprinted up the hill and handled the 17.3-liter beast with poise and even caught a few power slides along the way. He clocked a 78.84-second time with an average speed of 55.5 mph.
Not too shabby for a 110-year-old race car.