Rarely in the historic racing arena does such an opportunity such as this come along; an opportunity to invest in one of the longest associations with a world-class event on record: Two mighty Mercedes-Benz historic Touring Cars that are synonymous with the fabled Goodwood Revival meeting.
This is one of two being offered by Coys and is restored and prepared for historic racing under the personal direction of Ricard Miles (of period Downton Tuning fame) at his Tipton Garage concern in 1998, this near-unique historic racer has been invited to all relevant St. Mary’s Trophy races since the Goodwood Revival was created way back in 1998. The owner/driver was partnered in these early Goodwood days with the renowned journalist/racer, Mark Hales and later with a string of celebrities that includes racing legends such as Sir Jack Brabham, Richard Attwood, Brian Redman, Jochen Mass, Derek Day and not least, the irrepressible No:1 fan of Goodwood – comedian/racer Rowan Atkinson.
But the story of this impressive racer is not just about Goodwood – far from it. This gorgeous Mercedes-Benz ‘Fintail’ has competed at the infamous Nurburgring ‘Nordschleife’ Marathon event on no less than three occasions as well as multiple forays to the Silverstone Classic and many HRDC events.
The preparation of this very special racer consisted of a ground-up race-build from a standard RHD Mercedes-Benz W112, marketed as the Mercedes-Benz 300SE that was in production from 1962 to 1967. These cars were similar to the standard Mercedes-Benz 111 ‘Fintail’ versions, but fitted with the fuel-injected M189 big-block six-cylinder engine, power steering, and a higher level of wood and leather trim. Sourced by the owner, a Mercedes-Benz collector and marque expert in his own right, after an exhaustive hunt to find a suitable donor, this 1964 model was stripped down to a bare shell before the meticulous rebuild was undertaken by the famed Tipton Garage.
A fully FIA-compliant roll cage was fitted along with all necessary safety equipment required for International events. The mighty M189 3-litre engine was stripped and rebuilt to precision tolerances, along with the rare manual gearbox, by Stephen Miles at Tipton Garage. Before returning to the family business, Stephen was a development engineer for Janspeed’s Touring Car programme and built Janspeed’s winning BTCC engines.
A limited-slip differential was fitted to aid handling but the factory power-steering was retained as these large cars require huge upper arm strength to steer if not fitted with such assistance! In line with Goodwood’s particular insistence on presentation of saloon cars at Goodwood, the build retained the factory steel wheels, wooden dashboard and full interior with door cards. The attention to detail given to this car ranks it as one of the best presented cars at the Goodwood Revival and has caused the visiting Directors of Mercedes-Benz to enthusiastically praise this car’s impressive appearance.
Over the seventeen consecutive race seasons that this incredible car has been campaigned in the same ownership, it has always been maintained with meticulous expertise by the owners of Tipton Garage. It therefore goes without saying that both mechanically and cosmetically, this scrupulous ongoing maintenance programme has been carried out regardless of cost. Now that the owner and driver of this famous car is finally hanging up his helmet after two busy and most rewarding decades in motorsport, a unique opportunity arises for a new custodian to continue and benefit from such an illustrious record, which will surely serve well in many Goodwood Revivals to come.