This Mercedes Trans Am Racer Looks Like A Prototype Black Series

Mercedes is talking up the sports car qualities of its new 2022 SL and trying to convince us the latest model is the kind of driver’s car that made the original 300SL Gullwing such a legend.

The 2022 SL, however, is a diminutive version of the Trans-Am Trans-Am car that Mecum will auction at its Kissimmee sale this January.

The Michelob-sponsored Mercedes Mercedes is immediately identifiable as an SL. However, it turns out that things can get a lot more complex than what they seem. Trans Am racing was established in late 1960s to allow carmakers to produce vehicles similar to those available to the public. This SL race took place in early 1980s using a silhouette formula and tube-frame chassis cars.

So under the R107-look fiberglass panels is a steel spaceframe, and a thundering 4.5-liter V8 de-stroked from 5.0-liters to comply with the series’ capacity limit. It was originally fitted with fuel injection. However, it is now equipped with a pair Holley carbs which sit just above the hoodline. This requires a central scoop.

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You won’t find anything in this interior that is comparable to what you might have found in your Mercedes dealership in the early 1980s. There’s a chunky Personal steering wheel, a handful of gauges, a bucket seat, giant Hurst shifter for the manual ‘box, and that’s about your lot.

Loren S. Lawrence raced the SL in 1982. He shared a grid space with Paul Newman, actor and ace wheelman. Sadly, the SL didn’t attract as much attention as it should have. That was more due to its attractive badge and its speed. The DeAtley Motorsport/Michelob team’s best finish that season was sixth place at Road America, while Pontiac went on to win the series ahead of Chevrolet and Porsche.

But as an interesting piece of Mercedes motorsport history, not to mention one of the meanest SLs ever built, it’s bound to generate some interest when it crosses the block with Mecum in January.

Silodrome – H/T

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Author: Brandon Park