In 1983 the

Pista di Nardò 2013.

Full speed ahead through the history of the C-Class.

Formula C.

“All aboard”, called the blond gentleman at the wheel with the Finnish accent. The journalist he had just asked on board could barely conceal his excitement. Having the chance to sit in a C 63 AMG Performance Car at the Pista di Nardò, the fastest test track in the world, is something to excite the heart of every car lover. But being driven by world-famous racing driver Mika Häkkinen himself is an experience not even seasoned top journalists can enjoy every day. Unless, of course, as this year, Mercedes-Benz has invited them to a really special birthday party: in Apulia in southern Italy, the long-established manufacturer celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the record drive by the “Baby Benz”.

Mika Häkkinen at the wheel of the latest C 63 AMG Performance Car - as chauffeur.

The compact car broke three world and nine class records in August 1983, thus heralding in a new era in motoring history: the Mercedes-Benz C-Class was born.

Hands-on volunteers.

The event from 14 to 16 November in Salento in southern Italy was far more than just a normal retrospective: here, almost thirty invited journalists were able to view the tradition of the C-Class close up. For example, the original record-breaking car, the Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16, could be admired here. But also the stylish unique Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.6 Cabriolet built in 1990 was represented. And besides the opportunity of being chauffeured by racing great Mika Häkkinen, of course anyone who wanted to take the wheel was allowed to do so: on the Circular Track, the Dynamic Track and the Small Handling Track, the long-established manufacturer invited its guests to drive and be driven.

The DTM touring car too is a proud representative of the C-Class.

Besides a number of successors to the “Baby Benz”, the C 36 AMG was there to be boarded, the first car built in cooperation between Mercedes-Benz and AMG.

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