BREAKING NEWS

Friday, February 24, 2017

Forest Grove Concours to Celebrate 100-Years of Lincoln in 2017

Image: forestgroveconcours.com


Forest Grove Concours to Celebrate 100-Years of Lincoln 

by Marrs
Below is the first press release from the annual Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance in Forest Grove, Oregon. You may remember the event from our past photo-intensive coverage here, here, and here. This year the event celebrates "100-Years of Lincoln" as well as wood-bodied wagons and the cars from Studebaker (a personal favorite marque of this writer).  Thankfully, the elegant pillarless design of the stand-alone brand "Continental" will also be featured as part of the celebration of this important American manufacturer. Be sure to check out how to enter your own vintage, classic or antique vehicle in this year's event. 
*****************************************
100 Years of Lincoln
Also Celebrating Wood Bodied Station Wagons and Studebaker Automobiles
-Forest Grove, Oregon
Join us in 2017 as we honor 100 Years of the Lincoln Motor Company.  Founded in 1917 by Henry Leland and his son Wilfred, Lincoln automobiles are recognized for personal luxury and innovative design.  The Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance honors Lincoln with special classes spanning from pre-war Lincolns to the Continental of the 1960s.
2017 Special Feature Classes:
  • Lincoln – Classic:  1920-1942
  • Lincoln – Non Classic:  1920-1948
  • Lincoln – 1949-1959
  • Lincoln – 1960-1972
  • Wood-bodied Station Wagons – 1930-1953
  • Studebaker Automobiles






























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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

RedArt & Designo Special Edition SL and SLC Roadsters Announced


RedArt & Designo Special Edition SL and SLC Roadsters Announced
by Marrs


Mercedes-Benz is launching attractive special editions of its SL and SLC roadsters later this year. Customers can choose from the SLC300 RedArt Edition, AMG SLC43 Performance Studio RedArt package and the SL designo Edition on the SL450 and SL550. While the compact SLC special model emphasizes sporty dynamics, the SL is tailored towards exclusivity and fine interior design.

Whether with an entry-level engine or with a top-of-the-line Mercedes-AMG model, the 2018 SLC is available as an SLC300 RedArt Edition or AMG SLC43 with a Performance Studio RedArt package. The designo Edition will be available on both the 2017 SL450 and SL550.


Expressive: Mercedes-Benz SLC300 RedArt Edition
Exciting exterior design and striking attention to detail gives the SLC300 RedArt Edition a particularly sporty look, underscored by Selenite Grey Metallic paint, edition-specific exterior accents in Gloss Red including the front spoiler, intake arches, rear diffuser and side fins.

A harmonious contrast is provided for by the striking edition-specific 18-inch twin 5-spoke wheels in highly polished silver. The performance of the SLC is further enhanced by large, perforated brake discs and red brake calipers with "Mercedes- Benz" lettering at the front.


 The interior impresses with exclusive RedArt stylized interior leather and nappa leather upholstery, contrasted by Silver Pearl nappa leather inserts with red contrasting topstitching and the RedArt Edition logo embroidered on the head rest. Elements in carbon-fiber-look leather on the sport steering wheel, headrest and DYNAMIC SELECT selector lever ensure particularly sporty highlights, as well as the SLC RedArt badging as exterior identification and interior embroidery on headrests and floormats.


 Sporty: Mercedes-AMG SLC43 Performance Studio RedArt
The Mercedes-AMG SLC43 Performance Studio RedArt provides expressive highlights with stylishly placed red elements. The edition-specific exclusive special paint finish in designo® Selenite Grey Magno make the high-performance SLC into quite the eye catcher. Red trim elements on the front spoiler, intake arches, rear diffuser and side fins lend the Roadster an eye-catching look. Striking 18-inch AMG 10-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in high-gloss black with red rim flange as well as red brake calipers with "AMG" lettering dominate the vehicle's side design.

As on the SLC300 RedArt Edition, seats in the AMG SLC43 are designed in black leather with Silver Pearl nappa leather inserts with red contrasting piping, and coordinating red borders on the AMG floor mats match the overall look. Seat heating as well as AIRSCARF neck-level heating for driver and front passenger ensure high levels of comfort in top-down motoring. Edition-specific carbon-fiber- look leather embosses the multifunction sports steering wheel, headrest and DYNAMIC SELECT selector lever.

The 2018 SLC300 RedArt Edition will be a special edition model arriving in the U.S. in summer 2017. The 2018 AMG SLC43 Performance Studio RedArt will be available for ordering as an option package.


 SL designo Edition with even more exclusivity
The legendary Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster gains even more exclusivity with the new designo Edition for 2017. The special model is characterized by stylish elements and high-quality materials on the exterior and interior. A choice between Brilliant Blue Metallic or Cardinal Red Metallic paint, 19-inch front and 20-inch rear AMG 10-spoke forged wheels as well as chrome flics in the front bumper ensure a special exterior look. Badges with the designo Edition logo placed laterally between the chrome accents on the fenders subtly reference the Roadster's special status.


Exclusive design elements and high-quality materials in the interior
Driver and passenger experience the exceptional character of the SL designo Edition with exclusive design elements and high-quality materials in the interior. Seats and door center panel in Porcelain / Black designo nappa leather with exclusive designo layout, the roof liner in Porcelain designo DINAMICA and designo seat belts in white ensure a particularly exquisite ambience. Further matching appointments include the ambient lighting, the 3-spoke two-tone multifunction sports steering wheel in Black / Porcelain nappa leather, the DYNAMIC SELECT selector lever in Porcelain leather, the designo trim element in Porcelain Piano Lacquer as well as the floor mats with Porcelain designo badges and edging.



Climatized seats, the AIRSCARF neck-level heating for driver and front passenger, the Active Multicontour Seat Package including massage, driving dynamics and PRE-SAFE® positioning function as well as the Driving Assistance Package with Distance Pilot DISTRONIC with Steering Pilot, Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and PRE-SAFE® PLUS also come as standard to enhance comfort.

The designo Edition 2017 SL450 and SL550 will arrive in the U.S. in summer 2017.

At a Glance

Mercedes-Benz SLC300
Mercedes-AMG SLC43
Mercedes-Benz SL450
Mercedes-Benz SL550
Length
162.8"
163.1"
182.3"
182.3"
Width
71.5"
71.3"
73.9"
73.9"
Height
51.3"
51.3"
51.2"
51.2"
Wheelbase
95.7"
95.7"
101.7"
101.7"
Engine
2.0L inline-4 turbo
AMG-enhanced 3.0L V6 biturbo
3.0L V6 biturbo
4.7L V8
Displacement
1,991 cc
2,996 cc
2,996
4,663
Drive Config.
Rear-Wheel Drive
Rear-Wheel Drive
Rear-Wheel Drive
Rear-Wheel Drive

Performance
241 hp @ 5,500
273 lb-ft @ 1,300–
4,000
362 hp @ 5,500–
6,000
384 @ 2,000–4,200
362 hp @ 5,500
369 lb-ft @ 2,000–
4,200
449 hp @ 5,500
516 lb-ft @ 1,800–
3,500

Transmission

9G-TRONIC
AMG-enhanced 9G- TRONIC

9G-TRONIC

9G-TRONIC
0-60 mph (sec)
5.8
4.6
4.9
4.3
Top speed (mph)
155 (electronically limited)
155 (electronically limited)
155 (electronically limited)
155 (electronically limited)
Main Competitors
BMW Z4 sDrive 28i Audi TT / TT Roadster
Porsche 911 Aston Martin Vantage

Mercedes-AMG Announces Special Edition Models







The 50 Years of Driving Performance anniversary is being used by Mercedes-AMG as the ideal occasion on which to add the new AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50 as a further exclusive offering from the AMG GT family. Furthermore, Mercedes-AMG is offering the C63 S Cabriolet Ocean Blue Edition plus C43 Coupe and C43 Cabriolet AMG Performance Studio Packages provide even more variety for customers. All Special Edition models combine extended ranges of equipment with unique design features.

AMG is using three special models to further enhance the 50th anniversary of the exclusive company, reinforcing the standard it has set itself to offer customers maximum individuality and exclusivity. "2016 was the most successful year so far in our company's history. We shall be using this momentum to fill even more customers with enthusiasm for Mercedes-AMG in our anniversary year, 2017. We shall be supported in this by our new Special Edition models, which we are presenting at the Geneva Motor Show. These models offer our customers an even wider choice of individual performance models," explained Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.


Exclusive equipment package: AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50
The new AMG GT C Roadster is, like the new AMG GT C Coupe, available as an exclusively equipped "Edition 50" special edition in a limited quantity of just 500 cars worldwide – with 50 coming to the U.S. This special edition model marks a landmark year for AMG, which was founded in 1967 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017.

At first glance the GT C Roadster "Edition 50" can be recognized by its special paint finish in designo Graphite Grey Magno. Black chrome accents deliver a unique look and are applied to the side skirt trim, front splitter, trim strips in the air intakes of the Panamericana grille, fins on the side air outlets in the front fenders, on the rear diffuser and tailpipe trim elements. The surface of the cross-spoke AMG forged wheels compliments the black chrome elements found on the exterior.
The interior is marked by a contrast between black and silver. This color scheme is followed not only by upholstery in Silver Pearl/Black Exclusive Nappa Leather with Grey diamond-patterned contrasting topstitching, but also by the black AMG Performance steering wheel in DINAMICA microfiber with Grey contrasting topstitching, 12 o'clock mark in Silver Pearl, and "Edition 50" badging.

To emphasize sporty character, the Edition comes as standard with the AMG Interior Night Package, which includes steering wheel spokes, shift paddles and door sill panels finished in black. The interplay between light and dark is further accentuated by silver seat belts and black chrome trim throughout. The head restraint of the AMG Performance seat is embossed with "GT Edition 50."

Technical data at a glance

AMG GT C Roadster ‘Edition 50'
Engine
Handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo
Displacement
3,982 cc
Output
550 hp @ 5,750-6,750 rpm
Max. torque
502 lb-ft @ 1,900-5,750 rpm
Drive system
Rear-wheel drive, transaxle: Front engine, transmission at the rear axle, linked via Torque Tube
Transmission
AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed dual-clutch transmission
Acceleration 0-60 mph
3.7 s
Top speed
196 mph (electronically limited)



Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet Ocean Blue Edition
The Ocean Blue Edition for the AMG C63 S Cabriolet is designed for a particularly fashion-conscious and design-oriented target group and is limited to just 150 units worldwide. The new color "Deep Ocean Blue" used for the fabric acoustic soft top is exclusively earmarked for this new special edition model. The exclusive color shade is featured on numerous further details on the car, such as the trim strips on the front and rear bumper, trim elements on the wheel's center caps, contrasting topstitching throughout the Crystal Grey interior plus the analogue clock in an IWC design.
The C63 S Cabrio Ocean Blue edition is painted in designo Cashmere White Magno. The front bumper in an A-wing design, exterior mirror housings, side sill panels plus the spoiler lip are painted in the vehicle color, underlining the elegant character of this special edition AMG model. The AMG forged wheels in a cross-spoke design are of a staggered fitment—19-inches at the front and 20-inches at the rear— and are painted in titanium grey.

Throughout the interior, Crystal Grey nappa leather with lavish diamond quilting and Deep Ocean Blue contrasting topstitching immediately catches the eye, and is combined with AMG Matte Silver Fiber Glass trim and a special edition badge in the center console. The premium interior is further reinforced by the steering wheel with its black rim, featuring a flattened bottom section finished in nappa leather and silver-colored buttons, the same steering wheel found in the AMG S63 Cabriolet.
As standard, the seats in the AMG C63 S Cabriolet Ocean Blue Edition are fitted with AIRSCARF neck-level heating and heated/ventilated seats, ensuring optimum comfort in all weather conditions. Attention to detail is evident in the AMG badges found in the backrests of the front seats and the embossed AMG emblems in the front head restraints.

Technical data at a glance

AMG C63 S Cabriolet ‘Ocean Blue Edition'
Engine
Handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo
Displacement
3,982 cc
Output
503 hp @ 5,500-6,250 rpm
Max. torque
516 lb-ft @ 1,750-4,500 rpm
Drive system
Rear-wheel drive
Transmission
AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT  7-speed
sport transmission
Acceleration 0-60 mph
4.0 s
Top speed
174 mph (electronically limited)


 AMG Performance Studio Package for the Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe and Cabriolet
The AMG Performance Studio Package for the AMG C43 Coupe and Cabriolet boasts numerous black details throughout the interior and the exterior of the car. For the first time, the C43 Cabriolet is available with black exterior details. The diamond radiator grille sports black pins instead of the usual chrome, and the trim strips on the front splitter, on the rear bumper, side skirts, trunk lid spoiler and tailpipe trim elements are all painted black.


 The overall impression is further enhanced by 19-inch multi-spoke light-alloy wheels, which are painted in matte black for the first time and feature high-sheen rim flanges as a striking contrast.
The AMG Performance Studio Package continues in the interior. The rim of the Performance steering wheel, in nappa leather/DINAMICA microfiber, with its flattened bottom section is also black.

Technical data at a glance

AMG C43 Coupe AMG
Performance Studio Package

AMG C43 Coupe AMG
Performance Studio  Package

Engine
AMG-enhanced 3.0L V6 biturbo
AMG-enhanced 3.0L V6 biturbo
Displacement
2,996 cc
2,996 cc
Output
362 hp @ 5,500-6,000 rpm
362 hp @ 5,500-6,000 rpm
Max. torque
384 lb-ft @ 2,000-4,200 rpm
384 lb-ft @ 2,000-4,200 rpm
Drive system
AMG Performance 4MATIC all- wheel drive (31:69 torque split)
AMG Performance 4MATIC all- wheel drive (31:69 torque split)
Transmission
AMG-enhanced 9G-TRONIC 9- speed automatic  transmission
AMG-enhanced 9G-TRONIC 9- speed automatic  transmission
Acceleration 0-60 mph
4.6 s
4.7 s
Top speed
130 mph (electronically limited)
130 mph (electronically limited)

All new special edition models will be available for order this summer from a Mercedes-Benz dealer.

The AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50, AMG C63 S Cabriolet Ocean Blue Edition and AMG Performance Studio Package versions of the AMG C43 Coupe and AMG C43 Cabriolet will make their debuts at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Maybach Surprises with Early V12 SUV

Photos: Vibin P. Vijay for www.fly-wheel.com
Maybach Surprises with Early V12 SUV
by Marrs

The rumored GLS-based SUV from Maybach may still be some time away,  but photos have leaked out of South Africa revealing what is said to be the first SUV to be released under the exclusive marque, the Mercedes Maybach G650 Landaulet. As we know, the new Maybach vehicle range is really more of a hyper-high-end options package than stand alone models, and to that end, the G650 appears based on the "4x4 Squared" model, itself either a beefed up standard G-class, or a slightly reduced 6x6, depending upon how you look at it.  It does come fitted with the 6.0-litre biturbo V12 engine producing 625 BHP of power and mated to 7-speed automatic transmission.

 
The  G650 Landaulet was stretched 60mm to allow more space for rear passengers, features a fold away fabric top for the rear section only (in true Landaulet form), includes a privacy partition between passengers and driver, and wholly redesigned and opulent seating surfaces that include branded throw pillows at each station.





















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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Car2Go Car Sharing Firm to Switch to Mercedes-Benz Vehicles


Car2Go Car Sharing Firm to Switch to Mercedes-Benz Vehicles
by Marrs

Daimler-owned car sharing company Car2Go will begin swapping out it's Smart-car fleet for Mercedes-Benz vehicles throughout 2017. The company hopes that by offering larger vehicles with more passenger space, in the form of Mercedes-Benz's 2017 model year CLA and GLA sedans and 5-door crossovers, that they will attract a new stream of customers, especially those with families who would benefit from the extra seats and storage capacity over the Smart fortwo cars currently available to customers.  The new Mercedes fleet will be introduced in cities including Portland, Seattle, Austin, Vancouver, Toronto, and Washington, D.C. before making the move to other locations.

Interestingly, Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver, Canada Car2Go locations have already been testing the popularity of Mercedes-Benz replacements by making a trial run with B-class vehicles. Additionally, Car2Go members will receive discounts on new Mercedes-Benz and Smart vehicles ranging between $500-$4,500 depending on model and dealer. This appears to be as much about getting potential new Mercedes-Benz customers behind the wheel of the new models, as much as it is about expanding the reach and perceived exclusivity of the Car2Go brand, especially when compared to similar car sharing projects backed by Audi and Cadillac.






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Friday, December 2, 2016

Classic Photos from the Mercedes-Benz Archive; Edition #2


Classic Photos from the Mercedes-Benz Archive; Edition #2
By Marrs


We recently unveiled a new series featuring new and old archival images from the official Mercedes-Benz library. Today we feature this highly detailed interior shot of a 300sl coupe featuring beautiful and quite distinctive plaid seats.











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Trump's Limo and Air Force One as Re-imagined by Artists


Trump's Limo and Air Force One as Re-imagined by Artists
By Marrs

Since Election Day, everyone has been talking about Donald Trump's surprise ascension to the highest office in the land, and perhaps the world. Designers, artists and filmmakers have also taken note and are already issuing their own versions of what a future President Trump's motorcade and aircraft might look like.

Of course we already know that Trump will be receiving a brand new "Beast" limo, similar to the one used by President Obama for the last 8-years, but with updated styling to match Cadillac's contemporary design ethos, and most likely a variety of technological and security upgrades to make it even more impenetrable.


Trump's new Presidential Limousine won't be officially unveiled until the Inauguration Day Parade on January 20th, 2017, but spy shots have filtered out into the public domain showing the new armored vehicles being put through it's paces on a test track.


While we can guess the new car will be very similar to the existing limo, other builders, artists and filmmakers have made it known that other options do exist.

Take Dartz for example, the Russian builder of what has to be some of the wildest and most exclusive armored vehicles this side of a Stutz Bear, who supplied this image below of their proposed President Mover. Please note that this is their official graphic, we have not altered it in any way!


 Director Neill Blomkamp also offered us two visions of the President-elect's options for travel. First is the wildly designed and gold-plated (we're sensing a trend here) limousine:


Next, we see a rather impressive piece of graphic work in the re-imagined Air Force One, this time outfitted with more defenses than many island nations. 

 








































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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

2017 Maybach Cabriolet Unleashed at LA Auto Show



2017 Maybach Cabriolet Unleashed at LA Auto Show
By Marrs/MBUSA

The first cabriolet from the Mercedes-Maybach brand is celebrating its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. This limited-production model, limited to 300 examples worldwide and to just 75 units in the U.S., includes high-end appointments in the interior make up part of the vehicle’s special characteristics. In the US market three attractive themes will be available for this exclusive cabriolet: Zircon Red paint with Porcelain / Black interior, Cote d’Azur Blue paint with Porcelain / Saddle Brown interior and designo Diamond White paint with Porcelain / Yacht Blue Interior – plus hand-finished craftsmanship of the leather seats with perforations in a waterfall-style look. The Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet is powered by a 6.0L V12 biturbo engine with an output of 621 hp.

A glimpse into the future of the Mercedes-Maybach brand was provided by the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, which celebrated its European premiere at the Paris Motor Show just a few weeks ago. This is now being followed by the Mercedes- Maybach S650 Cabriolet, a series production model which, with its ultimate open- air exclusivity, embodies modern luxury and represents the design philosophy of Sensual Purity: it is both hot and cool at the same time. Worldwide just 300 examples of this open-top four-seater model will be produced.


The Mercedes-Maybach S650 is based on the open-top S-Class and has adopted the latter’s classic aesthetic proportions, among other features, with highlights which include the dynamic silhouette with coupe-like soft top and the sidewall dropping line which slopes down towards the rear. Exclusive Mercedes-Maybach features include a new front bumper with upgraded lower section and also numerous chrome highlights to visibly enhance the overall exclusivity of this cabriolet. The Maybach emblem is elegantly featured on the vehicle’s fender. Other special elements on the exterior include high-quality 20-inch Maybach forged wheels in a powerful design and a bichromatic finish. Upon opening the doors, the Maybach logo is projected onto the floor by means of entrance lighting.


Interior theme: “Everything flows”
In the interior, the fully leather-trimmed Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet brings some of the visionary ideas of the Concept S-Class Coupe show car (IAA 2013) to series production. These include dynamic “flowing lines” found in the seats. This waterfall-like seat upholstery layout is achieved with the aid of progressive perforations. An eye for detail is also demonstrated in the outer diamond quilting on the seat side bolsters.


The unique trim elements are commissioned individually for each vehicle based on the selected color and grain. In addition to trim on the instrument panel and door paneling, the Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet exclusively boasts a trim element on top of the convertible top compartment with inlaid Maybach logo. Two of the three Maybach Cabriolet configurations feature “flowing lines” trim. In combination with the other trim elements, a unique yacht ambience is created – inspired by the Mercedes-Benz Style “Arrow 460-Granturismo” yacht.

The flowing lines are generated by a combination of precision machining and traditional craftsmanship. As part of this, a substrate beneath the fine wood veneer of the trim element is exposed in a special process using a fine milling. The individually milled lines follow the shape of the trim, thus creating a three- dimensional effect.


Mercedes-Maybach logos are located on the front side of the seats (embroidered), on the back of the head restraints (embossed) and also inlaid in the stowage cover of the center console. Other details include deep-pile floor mats, chrome-plated “1 of 300” lettering on the cup holder, and the steering wheel which features Maybach lettering on the lower bezel.


Three themes for ultimate exclusivity
In the US market, the Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet will be available in three exclusive configurations:
  • Zircon Red exterior paint with a Porcelain / Black interior, Piano Lacquer Flowing Lines trim and a black soft top
  • Cote d’Azur Blue exterior paint with a Porcelain / Saddle Brown interior, Magnolia Nut Brown trim and a beige soft top
  • designo Diamond White exterior paint with a Porcelain / Yacht Blue interior, Magnolia Nut Brown Flowing Lines trim and a dark blue soft top

Elegant items of luggage: color-coordinated to match the interior variant
The Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet is equipped as standard with an exclusive travel luggage set from MAYBACH – ICONS OF LUXURY. “THE AFFINITY” set comprises two large travel bags as well as two lifestyle bags made of original vehicle leather. In terms of form and color – which are coordinated with the interior variant selected by the customer – the bag set is tailored to match the Cabriolet. The bags can be securely attached to each other with straps to enable optimum use of the space in the trunk. Polished and chrome-plated “1 of 300” lettering serves to highlight the level of exclusivity.


Just like the vehicles from Mercedes-Maybach, the elegant items of luggage from the license partner MAYBACH – ICONS OF LUXURY GmbH meet high standards in terms of design, materials and manufacturing.


Supplied as standard: exclusive fabric cover and certificate
Each Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet includes a car cover made of high-quality fabric that matches the soft top color, with diamond quilting and an embroidered Maybach emblem.
In addition, each Mercedes-Maybach Cabriolet is delivered with a special welcome pack. This comprises a key ring made of the same nappa leather used in the vehicle’s interior, with a Maybach emblem and “1 of 300” lettering, as well as a certificate signed by Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.


The powertrain: a fitting biturbo V12
The luxury cabriolet’s superior drive system relies on the 6.0L V12 biturbo engine with an output of 621 hp. Power is transferred to the rear axle courtesy of the Mercedes-developed 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission, while an AIRMATIC suspension with steplessly variable damping control ensures a special, comfortable driving sensation.

Technical data at a glance:
Mercedes-Maybach S650
Number of cylinders/arrangement 12/V
Displacement (cc) 5,980
Rated output (hp) 621 @ 4,800-5,400
Rated torque (lb-ft) 738 @ 2,300-4,300
Top speed (mph) 155


Mercedes-Maybach: innovative strength fused with exclusivity
Mercedes-Maybach stands for the ultimate in exclusivity and individuality for status-oriented customers. The current vehicles include the Mercedes-Maybach S550 4MATIC, which launched the summer of 2016 and the S600, which launched in the summer of 2015, which blend the innovative strength of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class with the exclusivity of Maybach.






















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Friday, November 11, 2016

Classic Photos from the Mercedes-Benz Archive; Edition #1


Classic Photos from the Mercedes-Benz Archive; Edition #1
By Marrs

We are unveiling a new series today, featuring archival images, new and old, from the official Mercedes-Benz library. Today we feature an image from the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance depicting a trio of 1914 Grand Prix race cars that competed together in Lyon, France one hundred years earlier, in 1914.

From the 2014 press release;
"Another theme of this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is the French Grand Prix of 1914.  On July 4, 1914, Mercedes-Benz celebrated an epic one-two-three victory near Lyon.  The three remaining examples of this legendary race car will be reunited in a specially created judging class, including the winning vehicle from 1914.  The Grand Prix cars come from the collections of George Wingard, the Collier Collection and the Mercedes-Benz Classic."

-Author, Marrs



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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Stutz Made Their Own ‘Beast” Limo Decades Before President Obama’s


The Beast, President Obama's Limousine. (Photo: Major Dale Green, U.S. National Guard)
Stutz Made Their Own ‘Beast” Limo Decades Before President Obama’s
By Marrs

We’ve all seen the tall, black limousine that ferries President Obama between the White House and his various appearances, many of which seem adorably focused on picking up surprise carry-out orders from DC-area burger joints, but if you pay close attention you will notice the true size of the vehicle nicknamed “The Beast.” 

Notice the limo's height compared to the agent holding the door. (Photo: Master Sgt. Kendra Owenby, U.S. National Guard)

It’s tremendous proportions are most obvious in photos that show Secret Service agents holding the door or walking alongside the limo, which is rumored to be based on a Chevrolet Kodiak/GMC Topkick heavy duty truck chassis and drivetrain. The limo’s roof towers over the heads of many of those agents, and the bank vault thick doors are clearly evident whenever POTUS enters or egresses.

Chevrolet Kodiak.  (Photo: Dana60Cummins)

But did you know there was another truck-based limousine that also exclusively serving members of the world’s ruling class? Yes you say? Stop lying. No you say? Read on…

The Chevy Suburban of the 1980’s was big, brash and undeniably American in virtually every way, so much so in fact, that up-armored versions could be seen in the motorcade of President Ronald Reagan and in the driveway of Rambo himself, 80’s icon Sylvester Stallone. While armoring standard commercial vehicles in the era was yet to become the mega-industry it is today, one company saw a niche for their reworked version of the standard American SUV.

Stutz, the company best known for creating America’s first sports car with the Bearcat of 1912, went out of business in 1935 but was resurrected in 1968 as Stutz Motor Car of America and set to work creating custom, high-dollar cars with novel, neo-classical designs. Despite corporate offices in the United States, fabrication actually took place in Cavallermaggiore, Italy outside of Turin. It was stated that the region was chosen for it's link to history, an area who’s craftsmen once supplied the soldiers of medieval Italy with their armor.






 Stutz Bear on the streets of Saudi Arabia. (Photo: Abdulrahman Rammal)
 Once you understand that their very first paying customer was Elvis Presley, you can begin to imagine the degree of customization, personalization, and ostentation available with these cars. Costing more than any of their contemporaries (the Royale limo would run you $285,000 in 1984!) Stutz quickly became the favored marque of Saudi Royals. Having cornered the lucrative market for open-air limos that could arguably best the Mercedes Grand 600 Pullman limo in terms of flash, presence, and cost, Stutz took the next logical step and began building armored staff cars to accompany the Royale limousines in motorcades and processions.

This new offering was called the Defender, and later Gazelle, and was not much more than an armored Chevy Suburban with a roof panel that could slide back on rails to reveal a pop-up 50-calibre machine gun. The Gazelle was far from the lean and graceful animal it's name implied, but it served it's purpose and became popular enough that 46 future versions were built, each featuring a full convertible roof, a functional trunk lid added over the former storage area in the rear, a combination roll bar/grab handle across the passenger compartment, and fitted with a large chrome grille in the style of their sedans and limos. Renamed the Bear, these were built exclusively for the Saudi and Moroccan Royal families. Stutz evolved the concept further still into a true “sedan” that retained the trunk concept and was essentially a Bear with a roof.

 Stutz Bear on the streets of Saudi Arabia. (Photo: Abdulrahman Rammal)

Pictured is a Stutz Bear that was spotted in 2008 in Saudi Arabia. It appears to be a decommissioned Royal Guard vehicle as the stepboards have been removed and the overall condition appears in need of a serious detail job. Does any of that make this any less desirable to lovers of “the stranger the better” type vehicles like myself? Nope, not even a little bit. I’d proudly drive this thing every day just for the stares, endless questions about it's origins, and uniqueness of it all.


 Stutz Bear on the streets of Saudi Arabia. (Photo: Abdulrahman Rammal)












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Friday, June 24, 2016

Mercedes-AMG GT R: Full Press Release and Photos



Mercedes-AMG GT R: Full Press Release and Photos
By Marrs

You asked for more industry "behind the scenes" articles so we're gonna' keep tossing press releases and photos your way. Today we feature the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT-R. Enjoy!


The new Mercedes-AMG GT R
Developed in the "Green Hell"


June 24, 2016 -Affalterbach. 

From the world's most demanding racetrack directly onto the road: Never before has Mercedes-AMG packed so much motorsport technology into a production vehicle than into the new AMG GT R. The front-mid-engine concept with a transaxle, V8 Biturbo engine rated at 577 hp, extensively modified suspension, new aerodynamics and intelligent lightweight construction laid the foundation for an especially dynamic driving experience. Even from afar, the exclusive "AMG green hell magno" special paintwork leaves no doubt as to the sports car's origin, having spent most of its development time in the "Green Hell" of the Nurburgring racetrack. Wider front and rear fenders allow an increased track width for optimum grip and even higher cornering speeds. A new front fascia with active elements, a large rear aerofoil and a new rear fascia with double diffuser enhance aerodynamic efficiency and help ensure optimum grip. The lightweight forged wheels equipped with cup tires as standard are likewise designed for maximum driving dynamics. The same applies to other new features such as active rear-wheel steering, nine-way adjustable traction control system and adjustable coil-over suspension with additional electronic control. Further, the new AMG Panamericana grille emphasizes the unique standing of the AMG GT R. Its characteristic form with vertical fins celebrated its world premiere on the Mercedes-AMG GT3 customer-sport racing car and now, for the first time, appears on an AMG production vehicle.

Click below to see the rest of the press release and photos: 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Portland, Oregon Calendar of Automotive Events for Summer/Fall 2016


Photo by Hugh Holland
Portland, Oregon Calendar of Automotive Events for Summer/Fall 2016
By Marrs

Cars & Coffee
Weekly, 2016
Weekly gathering of elite and unique vehicles at the World of Speed Museum just south of Portland in Wilsonville, OR. Some weeks have a featured marque or other theme.

Beaches Cruise-In
Wednesdays, June-September, 2016
Weekly event held on Wednesday nights June through September at Portland International Raceway (PIR), features up to 1,000 (!!!) cars on show, live music, and drag races later in the day.

Portland Vintage Racing Festival (previously: Portland Historic Races)
July 8-10, 2016
One of the finest motoring events in the Oregon, this show has over 200 vintage race cars competing on the track in various classes, with hundreds of show cars on display, and many more automotive gems to be spotted in the parking lot. The event features a weekend full of vintage racing, Car Corrals from various area clubs, an art contest, food, kids area, vendors, parade of show cars, Land-Rover off road experience, and a slalom course that anyone may participate in.

Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance
July 17th, 2016
The top-shelf experience for anyone with a passion for automobiles in the Pacific Northwest. Whether your interest is purely mechanical, or lies in the appreciation of the slender lines of a bygone era, families can enjoy a day spent among the cool shaded lawn of Pacific University while communing with old and new friends alike, all who share your passion for elegant motorcars. A vineyard tour is available to previous day, Saturday, July 16th.

Monte Shelton Northwest Classic Rally
July 28-31, 2016
An extended weekend rally/road tour for pre-1981 vehicles roaming the beautiful Oregon countryside in this beloved regional event, sponsored by the Alfa Romeo club. The rally website says, "Each year the Northwest Classic Rally visits a wonderful resort where we end Friday’s and Saturday’s rallying and touring with social activities including optional car washing, general tire-kicking and banquet dinners, and we conclude the event on Sunday morning with the Awards Brunch."

Rose Cup Races
July 29-31, 2016
Oldest race event West of the Mississippi and one of the first major track events at PIR. Part of the city's Rose Festival events, and held at a public park (yup, PIR is a city park!), this always signals the start of the hardcore summer racing season. Rose Cup Races on Facebook.

Columbia River Concours d'Elegance
August 7, 2016  EVENT CANCELLED
The official website states, "The Trust and Concours Committee have been unable to secure enough support in the community to underwrite the cost of producing the event." We have never had success in receiving a reply to our requests for information & press kits for previous year's events, and thus, have been unable to assist in the promotion of this event or cover it for publication.

Adult Soapbox Derby
August (Date to be determined)
An annual event that features homebuilt, and incredibly creative, soapbox racers of all types and themes that compete in a series of heats to crown one team the Adult Soapbox Champions of Portland! Mt. Tabor is the setting for this event that feels like the city's biggest neighborhood BBQ with camaraderie and good times for attendees, food, beer and some souvenirs available for purchase.

All British Field Meet (ABFM) and SOVREN Races
September 2-4
If you like a Triumph Stag as much as a dark ale, or a Bentley 3.5 litre gets your knickers in a tizzy, then this is the show for you. 800+ British cars gather at PIR for what has to be the most laid back and utterly enjoyable show of the season. Wind down the summer with racing, cars on display, food and all around good times. The featured marque this Labor Day Weekend is Land Rover.







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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Italian Mercedes-Benz: Part 1




The Italian Mercedes-Benz: Part 1
By Dennis Adler

As the saying goes, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” This Italian Mercedes-Benz- bodied 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300b Coupe has always been the object of mixed opinions, it’s styling far more contemporary than any other luxury car that Mercedes-Benz offered in 1955.

The 300s were DBAG’s luxury flagships in the Eisenhower years, With flowing fenders and dignified Sindelfingen coachwork influenced by pre-war tradition. This Pininfarina bodied 300b, built in 1955, forecast the look that Mercedes-Benz adopted when the 220S Coupe was introduced for 1957.
The styling of this 300b Pininfarina Coupe has been interpreted as a blend of several cars of the period, particularly the Bentley Continental, in profile, and the Facel Vega, from the rear. Pininfarina also bodied a few other 300S models but not as attractively as this one.

Company History
The Carrozzeria Pininfarina, one of Italy’s oldest and most admired design houses, was established by Batista Pinin Farina in 1930. From humble beginnings the firm specialized in design and construction of prototype and limited editions. In Iess than a decade Pinin Farina became one of the most respected coach builders in Europe. By 1939 the factory was producing one car daily and employed more than 500 workers.


A few years ago, Sergio Pininfarina, who succeeded his father as head of the firm in 1966, recalled that Pininfarina became famous because its prototypes were exhibited at all important motor shows throughout Europe. “This brought us private commissions to duplicate the prototype designs. My father believed that a car produced in a certain quantity was better than a one-off example.”
Sergio Pininfarina, (the family surname was Farina, and “Pinin” the father’s nickname. The business was Pinin Farina until 1961, when both family and company name were changed to Pininfarina), told us that prototype production was his father’s greatest ambition. “In a one-off car, you can reach a higher degree of finish,” he says, adding that building duplicates allowed the company to put its designs into the hands of many influential people.

In the 1950’s we began working with all the automobile manufacturers, not only in Italy but in Europe with Peugeot, in England with British Leyland, and with several Japanese firms.” Pininfarina noted that his father was the first Italian to design an American-built car, the Nash Ambassador. “The success of that car in America had a great effect in Italy, because here a success in a foreign country is highly regarded. We had these successes with many foreign automakers. We estimate that there are more than 25 million automobiles today with the Pininfarina name.” The number of Pininfarina-bodied Mercedes-Benz cars is considerably lower. Only three were designed and built in 1955 and 1956, each with a distinctively different body.

Styling Stages
This 300 was “dressed-up” in four stages, as documented by photographs before it was sold in 1956. Stage one, as the car was originally shown, used virtually no chrome trim except in the mandatory places like the radiator shell, bumpers, wheel and window trim.Even the headlamp bezels were painted. In stage two the bezels were all chrome, the only noted change.Stage three saw the addition of well-placed lower side molding, flat chrome bands around the front of the fenders, and extended chrome fairings on the auxiliary lamps. In its fourth stage, the car was displayed in Europe, and in this final version it appears today, with wheel well moldings and another belt molding to facilitate two-toning the hood and deck. This molding also bridges the gap in height between the bottom edge of the hood and the bottom of the pre-existing belt molding, occurring via a “hop-up” at the trailing corner of the hood.


Records indicate that it was not until Sindelfingen received and approved Pininfarina’s drawings that an automobile was delivered. Whether a complete car or just a running chassis was sent to Pininfarina is unclear. During an extensive restoration of this car, workers discovered a body identification tag with an assigned number under the left front kick panel (upholstery) on a structure manufactured by Sindelfingen. The tag number, 186.010 450005, indicated a 1954 300b sedan. DBAG records show that the car was sold to F.A. Saporiti, the Mercedes-Benz dealer in Milan, on January 17th, 1955, and shipped by rail to Turin. Saporiti then delivered it to Pininfarina for the new body. The November 1955 issue of Road & Track carries a photograph of this car on page 34 under the heading “New…From Italy.” The car was also pictured in international publications including Industria Automobilistica Italiana, 1957, and Automobil Revue, published in June 1955.

Rejuvenation
In 1956 the car underwent several exterior changes, mostly additional chrome moldings and a more defined two-tone paint scheme. After the European shows, it was sold and did not resurface until mid 1972, when opera singer Roland Dutro in Wiesbaden, Germany, wrote Pininfarina requesting body crests to put on the car following an accident. Two years later it was sold and found its way to America. Present owner Fred Kriz, Los Angeles Section, purchased it after it was discovered in the San Joaquin Valley as “an old clunker.” In August 1992 a lengthy restoration was completed by Scott Restorations, and the car was subsequently invited to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it was judged best in class.


The distinctive styling is best viewed in profile. The sleek fender line draws your eye back to the modest kick-up forward of the C-pillar and the triple chrome molding accenting the greenhouse. Minor features include small trafficator turn signal lamps at the base of the C-pillars and two rear window wipers.

Whether or not you find this singular Coupe attractive, it is significant, providing a look back at the end of an era when the three-pointed star could be found atop the grille of a coachbuilt car.

Thanks to Stephan Cobos and David Grant of Scott Restorations for assistance with this article. As well as letters from Pininfarina, references from Mercedes-Benz, and notes from Bob Doehlar, these sources were used: Pininfarina, Architect of Cars by Michael Frostick, The Mercedes-Benz Since 1945, Vol. 1 by James Taylor, Road & Track, November 1955, and Mercedes-Benz Personenwagen by Werner Oswald.


Photographs by Dennis Adler

First published at, and used by kind permission of, scottgrundfor.com





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