Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sofiero Classic 2011 - Part 1 - 125 years of Mercedes Benz

We find out about this nice event couple of days before. Different city, even different country, but not so far from Copenhagen. Located in the area around a small castle, Sofiero, a bit outside Helsingborg, it looked to be an interesting event, with a lot of cars and motorbikes, having Mercedes and Harley-Davidson as main actors. The reason: 125 years from the first car, Bertha's Benz invention. Lots of cars, lots of people, rain showers and hail from time to time, but overall the enthusiasm of seing beautiful cars, old cars, sports cars, motorbikes. There was something for everybody, no meter if you are there for a speedster or a classic car. A few words about the location: Sofiero Castle was one of the Swedish royal family's country mansions and was built in 1865.

Coming back to the cars, first of all you could notice the oldest car in the world, the ancient Bertha & Karl Benz Patent-Motorwagen . It was sitting in the middle of a space stuffed with older and newer Mercedes cars. The old "chariot" like engine based vehicle was produced actually in 1885 but got the patent in 1886. It is a three-wheeled automobile with an engine in the rear. Wheels are made out of steel having rubber tires. The engine was about 100kg and was able to produce about ½ kW at 250 rpm. The maximum speed was 16 km/h. Bertha Benz proved that the car is functional and can be an useful invention for the humanity, by driving it from Mannheim through Heidelberg, and Wiesloch, to her hometown of Pforzheim. She was both a driver and mechanic, being forced to fix some problems that occured during this trip. She did it without the knowledge of her husband, being accompanied by her two sons. The return trip summed up a total of 194 Km.

Mercedes 170S was produced in Germany between 1949-1955 and is considered as the first serious saloon Mercedes model. There were about 50000 produced in total and had an important role in establishing Mercedes as a leading car brand in the Europe after Second World War. Its top speed was 116Km/h and the model had hydraulic breaks.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG , designed in house by AMG in 2009, is a luxury automobile planned to replace Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. This car is quite famous being safety car in Formula 1 season 2010-2011 and appearing on the cover of a racing game (Gran Turismo 5). It will participate in FIA GT Championship this year after being tested in the German version of the competition. The price is quite high, being sold for a bit more than €175,000. The doors are normally swinging upwards, need to be manually closed and can be fully detached in case of a roll-over.

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