Dubai, United Arab Emirates
507 km (315 mi)
McLaren Mercedes Stirling Moss October 30 2019 Photos: Jed Leicester 07967 091226 Jed Leicester ©2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
-One of only 75 examples built
-The rarest and final version of the Mercedes-Benz/McLaren SLR
-Inspired by Sir Stirling Moss’s 1955 Mille Miglia–winning 300 SLR
-One owner, and just over 500 km from new
-The most radical Mercedes-Benz roadster since the CLK GTR
The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Stirling Moss was unveiled at the 2009 North American International Auto Show, a lightweight speedster variant of the SLR as potent in performance as it is arresting in appearance. Just 75 examples were built, offered exclusively to existing SLR owners as a modern homage to the exquisite 300 SLR that Stirling Moss campaigned to victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia.
A total of 661 cars were entered in the 1955 Mille Miglia, with Stirling Moss and co-driver Denis Jenkinson facing fierce competition from Ferrari and their Italian drivers familiar with the route. To compensate for their lack of local road knowledge, Jenkinson spent months making a scroll with notes to guide them safely through the race, enabling Moss to carry incredible speed through corners. Moss and Jenkinson ended up smashing all records, winning the grueling race in just over 10 hours with an average speed of 160 km/h, over 30 minutes faster than Juan Manuel Fangio in second place. Moss’s win in the 300 SLR has since become one of the most legendary victories in motorsport history. If it were ever to be offered for sale, the Mille Miglia–winning 300 SLR would likely become the most valuable car on earth.
In the spirit of the 300 SLR, nearly all the creature comforts of the SLR Stirling Moss were sacrificed in the pursuit of performance, aesthetics, and extreme driver (and passenger) enjoyment. This even included the windscreen and roof, which not only adds to the visual drama, but also ramps up the intensity of the driving experience tenfold. Indeed, when Car magazine road-tested the car in 2009, they likened the experience of full-throttle acceleration to ‘standing on the wingtip of a 747’ and cited the 0–100 km/h time of 3.5 seconds and top speed of 354 km/h achievable only by those ‘whose neck muscles can bear it’. This level of performance is accomplished by utilising the same 641 bhp, 5.5-litre supercharged AMG V-8 that powers the SLR 722 Edition and pairing it with 200 kg of weight savings, achieved by adoption of the speedster style as well as the extensive use of carbon fibre for the bodywork and underside and new aerodynamic package. The Mercedes-Benz and McLaren racing partnership ended in 2014, so a road car partnership between the two iconic brands will likely never happen again.
This SLR Stirling Moss was completed in 2009 and was delivered to its first and only owner, a Mercedes-Benz enthusiast in Germany. Since then it has covered just over 500 km and remains in virtually new condition. As a homage to the 300 SLR, this SLR Stirling Moss is fittingly finished in metallic silver with a red leather interior. A few months after delivery, this SLR was used for a Hermes PaketShop commercial filmed in Barcelona with two-time F1 world champion Mika Hakkinen at the wheel.
It has only been used seldomly over the years, and today the car is in virtually new condition. Included with the sale are the two tonneau covers, goggles, and other factory accessories. Serviced and maintained despite its limited mileage, this is one of the finest examples of the SLR Stirling Moss available. Acquisition opportunities of cars like the SLR Stirling Moss are rare, and the visceral driving experience it offers is unique. Many distinguished collectors have purchased examples of the Stirling Moss, a testament to its unique place in automotive history. Equally stunning as a stationary piece of art as it is enthralling as a hypercar, it would make a wonderful addition to even the finest collections or, indeed, the ultimate weekend toy. With the SLR Stirling Moss being the grand finale of the Mercedes-Benz–McLaren partnership, its current and future desirability cannot be ignored.