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620 kilometres across Austria.

The Silvretta Classic has had a firm place in the annual classic car calendar for two decades. Over a period of three days, fans of classic motorcars enjoy a trip from the green Montafon region to some of Austria’s most beautiful mountains. At the centre of the action: modern classics and vintage cars from Mercedes-Benz Classic.

It’s a bit like Reinhold Messner. The extreme mountaineer from South Tyrol repeatedly claimed that, although there were higher and more dangerous mountains all over the world than the Dolomites and the mountain regions of South Tirol, these were by far the most beautiful. The Silvretta Classic Alpenrallye is similar. It took place this year for the 22nd time and hardly anyone in the field of almost 200 participants would not describe it as one of the most beautiful classic rides in the whole of Europe.

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (W 198) at the 22nd Silvretta Classic Rallye Montafon.

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (W 198) at the 22nd Silvretta Classic Rallye Montafon.

The Mercedes-Benz 300 GD – here as a cabriolet with a short wheelbase – in its natural environment in the Alps.

The Mercedes-Benz 300 GD – here as a cabriolet with a short wheelbase – in its natural environment in the Alps.

Fantastic routes – relaxed atmosphere.

The reasons are obvious: the atmosphere for the Silvretta Classic is more relaxed than ever, Montafon’s cuisine is as impressive as the panoramas on the Alpine crossings and when the weather is as good as it was this year, driving a car on winding mountain roads and through mountain passes could hardly be more pleasant. The range of cars – divided into six classes built between 1929 and 1996 – left nothing to be desired. The variety of cars entered by Mercedes-Benz Classic was correspondingly broad.

The highlight of the brightly coloured field.

But as spectacular as the grey Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing from 1955, as beguiling the 300 SL Roadster from 1957 in silver-red with its charismatic straight six-cylinder engine, the fact remains that the Mercedes-Benz C 111, a purely experimental vehicle from 1970, was the highlight of the brightly coloured field. With its wedge-shaped plastic body with top-hinged doors and the unique design, only twelve of these were hand-built as test vehicles.

Even though blank cheques fluttered into the company at the end of the 1960s, all the vehicles remained in ownership of Mercedes-Benz and the call of numerous interested parties for series production fell on deaf ears. Eleven of the twelve vehicles were powered by a Wankel engine, and the last vehicle was built in 1975 as a turbo diesel test vehicle. Two vehicles, one each from the first and second series, were temporarily equipped with eight-cylinder petrol engines for testing and comparison purposes – including the vehicle used in the Silvretta Classic.

Magnificent unique car against a spectacular mountain panorama – the Mercedes-Benz C 111 during the 22nd Silvretta Classic.

Magnificent unique car against a spectacular mountain panorama – the Mercedes-Benz C 111 during the 22nd Silvretta Classic.

C 111 – unique car in “weissherbst” orange.

Even vintage car experts do not see the Mercedes-Benz C 111 outside very often; the vehicle in the spectacular “weissherbst” paintwork with houndstooth sports seats is normally closely guarded in the secure collection of Mercedes-Benz Classic. From the same era, there was also a Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet from the W 111 series in brilliant metallic blue at the 22nd Silvretta Classic, which thrilled spectators with the exact same V8 engine power pack as the one from the C 111.

The Queen and the King in “EVO II”.

Shift down, steer cleanly into the curve and accelerate again at the apex: this is a well-known routine for Shareen Raudies. The car-savvy influencer (@shareenqueen) has a prominent co-driver who gives her many tips with a cheerful look: Klaus Ludwig. “She’s a great driver,” says the triple DTM champion with the nickname “King Ludwig”, “so I can have a look at the Alpine panorama.”

Super sports car of the early 1990s: Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II.

Super sports car of the early 1990s: Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II.

Ambassador of the brand and of motorsport: Klaus Ludwig, three-time DTM champion – “King Ludwig”. A „Queen“ in the driver’s seat: the influencer Shareen.

Ambassador of the brand and of motorsport: Klaus Ludwig, three-time DTM champion – “King Ludwig”. A “Queen” in the driver’s seat: the influencer Shareen.

The inner and outer values.

Sports seats, five-point seat belt, roll cage: these are some of the visible inner values of the 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II which is driven by Shareen and Klaus on the road. Mercedes-Benz Classic built the high-performance saloon for historic motorsport based on the model of the DTM touring cars of the same name from the early 1990s. An audible intrinsic value is the engine sound with 173 kW (235 PS) – in addition, there is the impressive large rear wing.

A Sport Plus mode on wheels.

“The chassis delivers the road surface completely unfiltered,” says Shareen, “and after two days the back knows that, too. But the driving pleasure outweighs that.” The influencer, who is also a student of automotive engineering, has a direct means of comparison: she drives a Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.0 of the same series in everyday life. “This is the comfort mode on wheels. The ‘EVO II’, on the other hand, is the Sport Plus mode. Nowadays, both can be realized in one and the same vehicle and switched over at the push of a button.”

Hinged doors as a functional design element: Shareen „Queen“ in front of the C 111.

Hinged doors as a functional design element: Shareen “Queen” in front of the C 111.

After 620 kilometres in warm summer weather, the arrival at the finishing line in Gaschurn.

After 620 kilometres in warm summer weather, the arrival at the finishing line in Gaschurn.

Everyone enjoyed just being there.

And where else other than the Silvretta Classic could one celebrate one’s 40th birthday in more befitting surroundings, as in the case of a restored Mercedes-Benz 300 GD Cabriolet short wheel-base, 460 series. While, in the early years, the 300 GD was the most frequently built model of the W series, the SWB cabriolet version is an absolute rarity.

The vistas that the participants were able to enjoy from their historic cars were spectacular on all three days. Silvretta high alpine road, Bielerhöhe, Lech, Bregenz Forest, Arlberg Pass, Flexen Pass and Furkajoch all left impressions with these fans of classic cars as they passed by in their historic vehicles at leisurely speeds for a total of 620 kilometres and up to the 2,000-metre mark. The numerous special stages with pneumatic switches or light barriers were taken more seriously by some than by others – but everyone enjoyed just being there: the route, cuisine, views and weather. The ride was relaxed at temperatures of 25 to 30 degrees and bright sunshine for all; at least as long as the cars behaved.

High-altitude euphoria overtakes the classics.

The Silvretta Montafon region has a lot to offer even without classic cars. Nature from its most breathtaking side, impressive rivers, countless ranges of hills and spectacular panoramas. The whole experience becomes that much more memorable if you can enjoy the region in a classic car. At a gentle pace from the tranquil Partenen up to the Bielerhöhe with its countless hairpin bends and on to the winter sports resorts of Kappl and Ischgl or through the unique landscapes of the Bregenzer Forest – punctuated again and again by special stages that force one to tear one’s eyes away from the mountain panorama and gaze at the mechanical stopwatches so that the stages can be correctly registered.

While the drivers and experienced co-drivers in models such as the Mercedes-Benz C 111 or the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing with the legendary starting number 417 from 1955 were being barbecued by high outside temperatures and engine heat, in the open sister model, Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, one could enjoy the feel of the wind blowing through one’s hair in the same way as one could at the wheel of the open luxury model, the 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet, which, at the beginning of the 1970s, was only affordable for the rich and famous. A three-day dream – in the Montafon region. And most of them are already looking forward to the 23rd event in July next year. Those who do not want to wait until the next Silvretta Classic in the Montafon can buy dream cars like the Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet as new from ALL TIME STARS – and many other classics as well.

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert CO₂-Emissionen kombiniert Stromverbrauch im kombinierten Testzyklus

Product may vary after press date on 30.07.2019.

1 Die angegebenen Werte wurden nach dem vorgeschriebenen Messverfahren ermittelt. Es handelt sich um die „NEFZ-CO₂-Werte“ i. S. v. Art. 2 Nr. 1 Durchführungsverordnung (EU) 2017/1153. Die Kraftstoffverbrauchswerte wurden auf Basis dieser Werte errechnet. Der Stromverbrauch wurde auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

4 Angaben zu Kraftstoffverbrauch, Stromverbrauch und CO₂-Emissionen sind vorläufig und wurden vom Technischen Dienst für das Zertifizierungsverfahren nach Maßgabe des WLTP-Prüfverfahrens ermittelt und in NEFZ-Werte korreliert. Eine EG-Typgenehmigung und Konformitätsbescheinigung mit amtlichen Werten liegen noch nicht vor. Abweichungen zwischen den Angaben und den amtlichen Werten sind möglich.

6 Stromverbrauch und Reichweite wurden auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Stromverbrauch und Reichweite sind abhängig von der Fahrzeugkonfiguration. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.