London to Sydney 1977 - Mercedes 280E

Niks

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During my trip to the Mercedes Benz Musuem in Stuttgart, I came across a particular 280E (33) which caught my attention. I had no clue about the history of this car, or why it was even there and passed it off as "another on display". Couple of days ago during a random search on the internet about driving London to Beijing, I came across this car and its history... All I could think was wow!

I thought it would be nice to share it with you all.

Here is the car well preserved in MB Museum...






And its history...

















Then there is also this video as well about the Mercedes cars which had taken part in this rally...

London-Sydney 77 - Photo Gallery - Last additions/Mercedes publicity film

If you want to check out more information about this rally.. go these websites..

http://www.1977londontosydney.com

http://www.londonsydney77.com

There are some really amazing stories about this rally, how it all took place, the planning of it and everything else!

Enjoy!

PS - this 280E was the car that won the Rally!
 

Charles Morgan

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I have the book of the race. Second, in a works supported but not official MB 280E was Tony Fowkes, whose body shop I use (and recommend) in Park Royal. It is an extraordinary tale.
 
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Niks

Niks

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Its one of my dreams to compete in something like this!
 
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Niks

Niks

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It was a fantastic trip! The weather was fantastic, the people were great, the food was smashing and the cars were amazing. I loved Stuttgart, hopefully will go back again soon. Its inspired more roadtrips now.
 

golden1245

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beautiffful! and then the audi quattro came along...
 

sl300 ireland

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Its one of my dreams to compete in something like this!
I would do it it in a diesel though,how much realisticly are we talking
good 124/123 300D JUST FOR THE RETRO TOUCH and it would be reliable and easier to maintain
get it fully prepared, boot full of filters,toolbox,visa card, passports were off
You only live once, 50/50 whens the next race :thumb:
then when i get old I will have the story to tell of the day when i drove to Oz
 

Pontoneer

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I expect that was Andrew Cowan's car?

I remember the rally from the time- it was well covered both in'The Gazette' and 'In Aller Welt' with a lot of info about the modifications and logistics of the event .

I also guess that might be Eugen Bohringer's 300SE Fintail just behind the 280 in one of the photos ? Otherwise one of the other successful Fintail rally cars .

MB competed successfully in lots of rallies and road races in the 1950's and 1960's after they dropped out of GP racing - it was a good way of demonstrating the ruggedness and reliability of the cars ; they tended to win not because they were faster than the competition but because they didn't break down .

Apart from the well known Mille Miglia , they also competed in Monte Carlo , East African Safari Rally , Carrera Panamericana and many others with a range OD models from Ponton 180D's , 219's like the one I own , Fintails , Pagodas , Gullwing 300SL's and 300SLR's , R107's and C107's ( besides the W123 280E used in the London-Sydney , I seem to recall Andrew Cowan campaigning a 450SLC on one of the long rallies , maybe Paris - Peking back around then ) .

MB have an extensive rally history which few even know about and which harks back to the great road races of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries which they entered for publicity and to prove the reliability of models like the Mercedes 60 and Mercedes 90 models .
 

pete007

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What more could you ask, those names driving that car, fantastic.
I notice the seats are better than mine, amongst other things !!
 

neilz

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I would do it it in a diesel though,how much realisticly are we talking
good 124/123 300D JUST FOR THE RETRO TOUCH and it would be reliable and easier to maintain
get it fully prepared, boot full of filters,toolbox,visa card, passports were off
You only live once, 50/50 whens the next race :thumb:
then when i get old I will have the story to tell of the day when i drove to Oz
As this thread has just been bumped anyway...

I'm a lot less ambitious but I still want to get a W123 (but a 300D) and drive it through Europe, maybe even through Russia, just to see a large chunk of the world but on land instead from thousands of feet above andin a vehicle I know I can trust. How many modern petrol cars would look that good (yes, I know it's been slightly restored but still...) after such a drive?
 

Sp!ke

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Interesting little bit of feedback on this..

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I was responsible for Rank sponsoring Andrew Cowan's car in the 1977 rally thru Jonathan Ashman of Mercedes UK. I was at the start and the finish and the car in the MB museum is indeed Cowan's car and nice to see it in good condition
 

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