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Now the competition teams drive colorful trucks to transport the racing cars, some trucks that double as real mobile workshops. There was a time when even the aesthetics of a vehicle that carried championship cars was important, and the Mercedes-Benz Blue Wonder is a clear example.. “Transporter” created with the premise of being fast and elegant, although its function was to transport another car.
In the decade of the 50s of the last century, almost all Grand Prix were held in Europe, and so on In 1954, Mercedes’ competition department ordered express transport to move the race cars from the tracks to the factory and be ready as soon as possible.. An idea that turned out to be excellent because while the other teams were still on the road, Mercedes was already set up. The answer was the Mercedes-Benz M-198, called the Blue Wonder, which entered service a year later.
This unusual transport is built on an elongated tubular frame from the Mercedes-Benz 300 S from the same period.. 6.75 meters long and two meters wide, it was powered by the same 3-liter inline-six direct-injection engine that was installed in the legendary 300 SL Gullwing from 1955, with 192 hp. For its distinctive style, components from other Mercedes-Benz models were used, such as doors, fenders and interior parts, from the Mercedes 180 sedan of the time.
Another star in the circles
Mercedes Blue Wonder achieved, with a racing car on the platform, 170 km/h and its light blue color contrasted with the silver of the racing cars it carried. The interior was as tidy as any other Mercedes, with tartan upholstery and a technological advance that was the beginning of cruise control, a lever on the right side of the driver that was positioned to hold the gas pedal down.
When Mercedes withdrew from the competition at the end of 1955 due to the tragedy that occurred in June at Le Mans, the Blue Wonder ceased to be useful and was used as a show car in the United States, then returned to Europe to Mercedes’ Benz testing department. A surprising decision was finally made to destroy it in 1967. Many years later, Mercedes-Benz decided to restore this unusual vehicle for different activities and, based on existing photos and plans, built three units. The three current replicas differ from the originals as the blue color is now satin, as opposed to the glossy color of the first Blue Wonder.
You can see it in the black and white photo the original Blue Wonder, together with all the trucks of the Mercedes-Benz racing team, in Kristianstad, where the Swedish Formula 1 Grand Prix was held in August 1955.. On its platform it carries the winning vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR (W 196 S). One of three “reborn” Mercedes-Benz M-198 Renntransporters is for sale at German classic maker AutoSL. It shows only 22,779 kilometers on its tag, with an outstanding condition and a price that is communicated only to interested solvent buyers, although if it serves as a reference, the last one sold in the USA in 2013 reached 1.5 million euros.