Fascinating sports car icon and media darling, a rolling laboratory for the development of the Wankel rotary engine, as well as for testing new technologies and, not least, the car’s legendary record of This and much more is the Mercedes-Benz C 111. Its second stage of development of the C 111-II with the 257 kW (350 HP) Four-disc version of the rotary-piston engine M 950 F (four times 602 cubic centimeter of chamber volume) this year celebrates a milestone birthday.
Presented the super sports car 50 years ago at the age of 40. Geneva motor show from the 12. to 22. March 1970. The 1.120 mm flat new Gullwing with 2.620 mm wheelbase version has a body made of glass-fiber-reinforced plastic (GRP), which is bolted to the frame-floor unit made of sheet steel. Its maximum speed is up to 300 km/h. A magnet for the public he is today: A Mercedes-Benz C 111-II in the characteristic painting “white autumn” is in the Mercedes experience-Benz Museum in the exhibition area “fascination technology”.
Further development of the C 111
The C 111-II on the Basis of the in the autumn of 1969 presented the C 111. Technically, it is characterized in particular by the Four-rotor Wankel engine, a real sports motor. Design development under the guidance of Bruno Sacco, and Josef Gallitzendörfer begins in the summer of 1969. Among other things, the driver’s view is improved compared to the predecessor, with the changes in fenders, roof and rear lid. The aerodynamics were also optimized: the wind tunnel measurements compared to the C 111 eight percent reduction in air resistance. The interior of the C 111-II impresses with its modern Aesthetics. Its everyday practicality is underlined in the dream car, for example, by the fact that it offers space for one large and two small suitcases of the Mercedes-Benz suitcase set.
Dream Car of the 70s
The C 111 was from the start a Highlight. Thus, the Plan of the management Board of the former Daimler-Benz AG: This decides on the 20. In may 1969, the C 111 car as a “dream” of 11. to 21. September 1969 to be presented at the International automobile exhibition (IAA) in Frankfurt am Main. After the sensational debut of the C 111 has appeared on numerous other fairs and exhibitions: the Automobil-Salon in Paris, the London Motor Show (October 1969), the Turin Salon (October / November 1969), the Jochen Rindt Show in Vienna (November 1969) and Essen (December 1969), the auto Salon in Brussels (January 1970) and the Chicago Auto Show (February 1970). In Geneva, the further-developed Version of the C 111-II to Premiere in March 1970.
Blank checks up to half a Million DM
Cash-rich sports car fans are willing to pay high sums of money for a C 111. Already in London in 1969, a car which offers mobile lovers up to half a Million DM. In the following months of blank checks to meet even in Stuttgart. However, the brand stresses that the experimental vehicle is not for sale. At the very beginning of his career, the later C 111 (the Mercedes-Benz under the internal designation C 101 carries), but for a completely different target group, determines: in 1963, you think about a Wankel engine in a “small, inexpensive sports car” to be placed below the “pagoda”SL (W 113). At the end of 1968, this orientation is concretized in the “small sporty car” without a distinct comfort, the is also suitable for rally racing, and “younger people” appeal.
Driving experience in Geneva
In Geneva, the C 111-II is experience 50 years ago, not only as an exhibition Highlight, but also in travel. Because of the second series, Mercedes-Benz brings two of the five planned experimental vehicles using the automobile salon. The attempt with the internal number 31 in the first C 111-II, and in the framework of the press screening on 10 cars. and 11. To experience March 1970 at the Circuit de Monthoux, Geneva for demonstration rides.
Already digital on the Computer
The C 111 not only has his Form in the future. He is also the world’s first automobile to be designed from scratch on the Computer. The engineers use the procedure ESEM (elasto-statics-Element-method), a Mercedes-Benz has developed a variant of the Finite element method (FEM). The digital technology allows even the calculation of dynamic loads. At Mercedes-Benz it is estimated that around four months of development time can be saved. The in-house documentary film, “The car that came out of the Computer” introduces the Innovation.
V8 instead of a rotary
In December 1970 is to be installed in a C 111-II in place of the Wankel rotary engine, a Mercedes-Benz 3.5-Liter V8 reciprocating engine. This vehicle from Mercedes-Benz Classic makes the C 111 today also dynamic, experienced, and mobile classic provides for events of the car again and again for enthusiasm. A different individual piece of the company’s vehicle collection is a C 111-II from the year 1975: the floor-to-group consists of a Sandwich of two only a few millimeters thick, glass-fiber reinforced resin shells, which are welded with a polyurethane foam core composite waste.
Butter and Ski
The C 111-II compared to its predecessor, some of the comfortable Details. In particular, Rudolf is Uhlenhaut, head of Mercedes-Benz passenger car development. In addition to the regular trunk, for example, the placement of a piece of baggage belts on the rear lid with clamping, as well as the skitrans port provided. Uhlenhaut is the C 111-II, a practical “Butter test” to undergo: It is tested during a sporting journey, whether a packet of Butter in the trunk – melts, in spite of its insulation against the heat of the combustion drive.
Take a stand: “white autumn” painting
Today, the C 111-II is like its predecessor in the public consciousness, of course, is the orange metallic color “white-connected to autumn”. First of all, the end of the 1960s, however, it is a painting in the “vermilion” and decorated with a racing stripe idea. 1969: the C 111 first appears in a white special-effect paint, and in fluorescent orange. Up to the Premiere of the C 111-II in Geneva, 50 years ago, the painting “but the fall of white” as the typical color.
The development of the Wankel-engine super sports car will continue to run after the C 111-II, and its counterpart with plastic bottom group at Mercedes-Benz. However, the star of the experimental vehicles emits more light. Because it is the Basis of the highly successful record vehicles C 111-II D (1976), the C 111-III (1977) and the C 111-IV (1979) arise.
Fresh From The Press: “Mercedes-Benz C 111” Book
New insights into the development of the dream sports car and a record-hunter in the book “Mercedes-Benz C 111”, which will appear shortly in the engine book publishing house Stuttgart offers. The elaborately researched Band with comprehensive detail information and photos from the archives of Daimler AG, including many previously unreleased motifs that documented for the first time, the complete development history of this fascinating vehicle.
Source: Daimler AG
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