Today, we’re somewhat attuned to the idea of Mercedes-Benz making wildly-styled sports cars. But back in 1970, when the automaker put together the wildly unconventional C111 concept, it was a crazy departure for the slightly stuffy sedan maker. And a teenage Jay Leno always dreamed of driving one on loan from the Mercedes Classics Center.
First unveiled in 1969, the C111 concept featured an in-vogue wedge shape and gullwing doors. This is an original 1970 model put together as an experiment by Mercedes. It was originally designed with a three-rotor Wankel engine; later variants had four-rotor engines, an evolutionary dead-end that Mercedes stopped pursuing during the oil crisis.
Today, of the thirteen C111s Mercedes produced across two generations, this is the only running, driving example—now powered by a 3.5-liter V8. Leno gets the full history about Mercedes’ original plans for the C111 project, but the real highlight is driving in this vintage concept.
The GRC sets off fireworks on a wet night in Las Vegas Next Post:
The Hoonigan and Nissan “Black Friday 360 Experience”