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  Home > Teams > Past WRC teams > Mercedes Benz
Would you believe
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Would you believe that a Mercedes Benz car has been used in rallies? The answers is an affirmative because just about every manufacturer's cars have been rallied by privateers.

Would you believe that Mercedes Benz has been run in WRC rallies by a team instead of a privateer? Well, this one is a bit more difficult to believe but why not, for example importers are known to enter rallies just for publicity.

Would you believe that Mercedes Benz has had a works WRC team with a proper programme? Oh? Really? That must have been early 1970's and not very successful, right?

Would you believe that Mercedes Benz has actually won a WRC event? If you had to read that twice in disbelief, I can assure you that it has happened. Here is story of when and how.

Team Daimler Benz AG
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It is perfectly understandable to show skepticism towards thought of combining Mercedes Benz and rallying. But after the war Europe was a different place from what it is now and so was rallying. First of all, racing was a more of a novelty because there simply weren't such circuits as there are today. Secondly, back then rallies were not such sprint events but emphasis was more on endurance which suited Mercedes and their powerful but big cars rather well. So it was that MB - which today is solely known for it's racing efforts - was quite actively involved on rallying.

But since juwra.com only focuses on WRC years and we have a feature on Mercedes Benz, it must mean that they continued past 1973. Team had left the international rallying in 1965 but made a comeback in 1977, initially only to long-distance rallies but eventually decided to enter 280E to 1978 Safari. That experience re-ignited interest to rallying at Mercedes Benz and from 1979 they were back big time.

The car they chose, the 450SLC, is detailed in another page and all that's to be said of that choice here is "oh, well". That's not only a sigh and a shrug but also it refers to doing well, as car was able to win twice. One can speculate on why they chose that car but perhaps certain arrogance and thinking that money and power could buy them happiness played part.

Team indeed had vast resources in terms of money and equipment, allowing it to sign legends like Hannu Mikkola and Bjorn Waldegard to drive their luxury car. But as per old adage, there are things that money can't buy and despite their resources were envy to others, performance and results were not. For 1981 they acquired both Ari Vatanen and Walter Rohrl but just days after the signing, programme was abruptly abandoned which left both drivers out of job. Mercedes left as quickly as they had appeared and did not come back.

Mercedes Benz
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