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  • “Urban outlaw” Magnus Walker in the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL at the Silvretta Classic Rally Montafon 2018.
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    “You could bow down before the 300 SL.”

    Interview with: Magnus Walker at the Silvretta Classic Rally Montafon 2018.

One man. One car. One rally.

What a celebration for “urban outlaw” Magnus Walker at the Silvretta Classic Rally Montafon 2018: his first drive in a rally – in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” of all cars! And it was his 51st birthday!

Magnus, the Silvretta Classic Rally Montafon 2018 is now behind you. What excited you about it?

To put it in a nutshell: the scenery, the car, and the people. And we had every weather apart from snow, which was kind of fun. The heavy rain made for several heart-stopping moments. I was driving really slowly, I mean I didn’t want to throw this great car off the road. At the same time, I got to know the 300 SL “Gullwing” during the very first miles. Then the rain stopped and the sun broke through the haze, bathing the alpine landscape in a dramatic light beneath the blue sky. What great views!


“Urban outlaw” Magnus Walker in the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL at the Silvretta Classic Rally Montafon 2018.
“Urban outlaw” Magnus Walker in the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL at the Silvretta Classic Rally Montafon 2018.

Extraordinary moments.

Any other surprises?

Oh yes, there was this cow. We thrust out of the haze into a bend, and there was this Austrian cow stood happily on the tarmac, ringing its bell. But I already had the “Gullwing” under control, so I shifted down and rounded the animal quite easily.

And the people?

By this I mean the other participants above all. It was great to listen to their personal stories and find out what cars they drive in such a rally. It’s the people that provide the extraordinary moments at events like these. Without them cars are just objects that don’t get driven. Spending the days among all these people devoted to their car culture was an extraordinary experience. I am super happy that my partner Hannah Elliott and I were able to experience all this with Mercedes-Benz Classic and the 300 SL “Gullwing”.


“An awesome icon.”

What made you want to participate?

I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to drive a “Gullwing” in this scenery. The car is an awesome icon. If your hear the word Porsche, you think of the 911. With Ford it’s the Mustang. Mercedes-Benz has several icons, and the 300 SL is right up there with the best. It’s one of the cars whose photo you hang on the wall.

And what did this super sports car from the 1950s drive like in the rally?

Totally fantastic. I was a bit nervous because many people had told me that the 300 SL “Gullwing” was not easy to drive. I know different now: it’s agile, the handling is predictable, the steering is precise, and the visibility is great. The engine is smooth and silky, offers plenty of torque, and is responsive. Given these characteristics, I could even imagine using the car on a day-to-day basis. It’s a thrillingly good drive. The 300 SL does not disappoint on any front.


“Urban outlaw” Magnus Walker in the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL at the Silvretta Classic Rally Montafon 2018.
“Urban outlaw” Magnus Walker in the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL at the Silvretta Classic Rally Montafon 2018.

“Really, a super car.”

It’s also good that your cowboy hat fits inside.

Oh yes. That was a big worry: that there wouldn’t be enough space for it. But there’s plenty of headroom, so I kept the cowboy hat on. Really, a super car. In any case, I was absolutely astonished by how comfortable the “Gullwing” is. It doesn’t tire you out, and even long stages are no problem at all. You can really go into raptures about this car with all its attributes. You could bow down before it.

How would you have configured a “Gullwing” if you could have ordered one in 1954?

Exactly like the one I drove in the rally. All in black, with no bumpers. Plus the enhanced, uprated racing engine with a displacement of 3.2 litres and the “sharp” camshaft. It only really gets going after 3500 rpm, but then it revs almost into nirvana. This character fits the 300 SL perfectly for people like me.


“Smiles per miles all the time.”

What does the future hold for you and the 300 SL “Gullwing”?

Only time will tell. I would certainly jump into this extraordinary sports car again immediately at the next opportunity. I just like things that challenge you but are fun at the same time. Driving a 300 SL definitely belongs in this category. Smiles per miles all the time. I had so many unbelievably memorable moments with the car at the Silvretta Classic Rally Montafon.


Searching for memorable moments in cars seems to be part of your approach to life, right?

Oh yes, definitely. But it can be any car model at all. I am known as the car-mad bearded guy with the tattoos, and in some circles as the Porsche guy, but I always say: It doesn’t matter what you drive, just drive off and enjoy it.


“Urban outlaw” Magnus Walker in the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL at the Silvretta Classic Rally Montafon 2018.

Several cars in the Silvretta Classic Rally.

Mercedes-Benz Classic entered several cars in the Silvretta Classic Rally Montafon 2018. In addition to Magnus Walker in the 300 SL “Gullwing” (model series W 198), two racing drivers and brand ambassadors took part in the rally on the alpine roads: Jochen Mass in a Mercedes-Benz SSK (W 06) and Karl Wendlinger in the motorsport version of the 190 SL (W 121). Also taking part were a 230 SL (W 113) in the style of Eugen Böhringer’s rally car from the early 1960s, a 500 SLC Coupé (C 107), and an E 60 AMG (W 124). ALL TIME STARS car trading from Mercedes-Benz Classic sent two further vehicles: a 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet (W 11) and a 230 GE (W 460).


Impressions.