3. MERCEDES-BENZ 300SLR

Motor Sport News - - Le Mans Preview: Retro -

BEST RE­SULT: With­drawn (1955) It’s one of the great Le Mans ques­tions: would Mercedes have beaten Jaguar in 1955 had the team not with­drawn af­ter the sport’s worst ac­ci­dent? But it should not be hard to an­swer.

D-type ace Mike Hawthorn had bat­tled Juan Manuel Fan­gio’s 300SLR early on, be­fore Stir­ling Moss – quicker than Fan­gio in sportscars – took over the Merc. Hawthorn’s co-driver Ivor Bueb was a good sportscar driver, but he was not in the Moss-fan­gio league and the #19 Mercedes was com­fort­ably in the lead when the call from HQ came.

Any doubts over the 300SLR’S re­li­a­bil­ity should be quashed by its suc­cesses in the pun­ish­ing Mille Miglia and Targa Flo­rio road-rac­ing clas­sics. It was a ro­bust, rapid all-rounder, though it is fair to say it also had the two best driv­ers in the world in the shape of Moss and Fan­gio.

“We could have eas­ily won,” Moss as­serts to­day. “We were well ahead and I can’t re­mem­ber a 300SLR break­ing, cer­tainly not with me.”

Mercedes was not go­ing to lose this one.

Fan­gio/moss Mercedes led the 1955 en­duro un­til the team de­cided to with­draw

Stars: Moss and Fan­gio (r) Num­ber 20 had huge ac­ci­dent

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