The victorious Mercedes-Benz 300 SL of 1952 leaves the Mercedes-Benz Museum for Mexico

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Photography by: Mercedes Benz USA
The winning team Karl Kling and Hans Klenk
The winning team Karl Kling and Hans Klenk Source Mercedes Benz USA
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1952 Mercedes Carrera Panamericana Racing Team The winning team Karl Kling and Hans Klenk Mercedes 300 SL finished the last race of 1952 Karl Kling won the third Carrera Panamericana 1952 Winners Karl Kling and Hans Klenk The winning team of Karl Kling and Hans Klenk
One of the toughest races in the world The winning team of Karl Kling and Hans Klenk After the unpleasant encounter with a vulture 1952 Carrera Panamericana winner back on the track Mercedes 300 SL winner back on the track 300 SL 1952 Carrera Panamericana back on the track
Mercedes Benz 300 SL in Action Mercedes Benz 300 SL Front Close Up

The original winning car from the 3rd Carrera Panamericana Mexico in November 1952 is to return to the scene of its great triumph. The 300 SL racing sport car (W 194) will temporarily be removed from the “Races and Records” display at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, in order to join the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and set off once again along a part of the original route through Central America.

The 3rd Carrera Panamericana was one of the top international races of the 1952 season. The double victory achieved by Mercedes-Benz there ranks as one of the brand’s most spectacular successes. Karl Kling and co-driver Hans Klenk won the race, a long-distance event covering 3111 kilometres, against strong international competition at an average speed of 165.011 km/h. Second to cross the finishing line, also driving a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, were Hermann Lang and co-driver Erwin Grupp.

Kling’s collision with a vulture at 250 km/h, which left his car with a smashed windscreen and Hans Klenk with head injuries, went into the annals of racing history. In addition to replacing the screen, the mechanics also immediately fitted eight thin vertical metal bars to protect vehicle and driver in the event of a similar collision – still the vehicle’s most distinguishing feature.

 

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