For Mercedes-Benz Classic, the year 2012 is all about “60 years of the SL” – even at the Techno Classica trade fair in Essen.

Eight of the coveted sports cars from different eras will grace the exhibition hall in Essen from the 21 to 25 March 2012. The exhibit will cover a broad range of vehicles, from the 300 SL (W 194) racing car built in 1952 to the newest member of the SL family: the R 231 SL.

“This year marks the 24th anniversary of the Techno Classica, one of the highlights in the Classic calendar,” says Michael Bock, head of Mercedes-Benz Classic. “We would like to invite all fair visitors to join us in celebrating the anniversary of the SL-Class.”

In the 4,500 square metre exhibition area occupied by Mercedes-Benz Classic in Hall 1 of the Messe Essen, the Mercedes-Benz brand will bring to life the fascination associated with all aspects of its unique history. This time the prized SL models from the Mercedes-Benz Classic collection will take centre stage.

Mercedes-Benz Classic will present its complete line-up at the Essen trade fair. For example, a variety of commercial vehicle model series will be on display. No matter whether a classic or a young classic car, all Mercedes-Benz vehicles have a place in the multifaceted history of the automobile. Not only Mercedes-Benz Classic, but also some of our long-term partners will equally be exhibiting their offerings at the Techno Classica. Authorised Mercedes-Benz dealers Leseberg Automobile (Hamburg), Rosier Classic Center (Oldenburg) and Autohaus Weicker (Kelkheim) will present their specialist expertise in classic vehicles, both in the workshop and in the form of vehicle sales.

A true icon in Mercedes-Benz history will be presented at the Techno Classica: the oldest SL still in existence. The first 300 SL (W 194), the premier vehicle from 1952, no longer exists. It was always under factory ownership and was scrapped in the 1950s. But the second vehicle built, with chassis number 194 010 00002/52, is still around and has been under factory ownership ever since its manufacture. The “/2” stamped on various parts serves as proof of its authenticity. During the extensive restoration by Mercedes-Benz Classic, all parts of the fully dismantled vehicle were inspected. Some parts were restored to as close to the original condition and highest level of quality possible. “One clear requirement was to maintain the original condition and patina of the sports car. Now the 300 SL shines like new – yet still proudly displays traces of its exciting life story,” says Michael Bock.

The vehicle also exemplifies the overall preoccupation of Mercedes-Benz Classic in maintaining authenticity. During restoration of the 300 SL, every effort was made to keep and recondition as many of the original parts as possible. This is often more complex than reproducing them, but it is necessary when it comes to maintaining the historical condition and thus authenticity. And even if reproduction of a part is necessary, then it must always meet the original specifications. The Classic division of the original manufacturer has access to extensive technical documentation and, in such case, can apply the original methods and materials used. Thus the vehicle once again conforms to the original standard.

The appearances by Mercedes-Benz clubs at Techno Classica in 2012 will once again clearly demonstrate the connection with historic vehicles from Mercedes-Benz. The presentations by the clubs will be integrated in the overall exhibition of Mercedes-Benz Classic. This year, all 17 of the German Mercedes-Benz clubs officially recognised by Mercedes-Benz will present themselves and their various activities.

The Techno Classica in Essen is the world’s largest trade fair for classic vehicles. It will be held from 22 to 25 March (preview on 21 March). Founded in 1988, the event has become the leading international trade fair for vintage vehicles and young classics. Alongside passenger cars, the show also features racing cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles. This year, over 1200 exhibitors from some 30 countries will be present in Essen; the organisers expect around 180,000 visitors from more than 40 countries.

Source: Daimler AG