Mercedes Chose This 1986 190E Touring Car To Mark 125 Years Of Motorsport
Mercedes-Benz has been at the forefront of the development of the automobile since its very inception, not least because it had a pivotal role to play in its very existence. It has also been heavily involved in motorsport through the ages, and 2019 marks 125 years since it supplied the engines for the winning cars in the world’s first ‘horseless carriage’ race, from Paris to Rouen in 1894.
Since that historic occasion, Mercedes-Benz has supported and been involved in just about every form of motorsport including wins in world circuit racing championships, rallies, time trials and setting numerous land speed records. To celebrate this milestone, Mercedes put on a stunning display of racing cars, both past and present, at the 2019 Motorclassica in Melbourne, Australia. The star of the line-up was undoubtedly the recently restored Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 Group A touring car, one of a pair to have raced at Bathurst in the 1986 James Hardie 1000.
Car number 41 was originally entered for the Australian Andrew Miedecke and former Formula One world champion, New Zealander Denny Hulme, but it was raced on the day by Hulme and Olympic downhill skiing gold medallist, Austrian Franz Klammer, while Miedecke raced in the second 190E after a pre-race driver swap.
Both cars went on to be raced in the Mount Panorama classic as well as the Australian 2.0-liter Super Touring Championship (after being converted to comply with the regulations) and eventually ended up being sold to the US. Still a pair, both race cars finally returned to Australia in 2012 and the example you see here was bought back by Miedecke.
“I really bought the car back because I had fond memories,” says Miedecke. “Bathurst 1986 was my first ever touring car race, and my first drive at Bathurst having raced only single-seaters. It was an opportunity for me to meet Denny Hulme and we became good friends. It was dynamite across the top of the mountain and down through The Esses, and quite good fun. It would eat anything else under brakes into the corners, and it was noticeably more stable. It was terrific.”
It shared the stand with a number of modern-day AMG models too, like the new Mercedes-AMG GT4 race car and its road-going equivalent, the Mercedes-AMG GT R Coupe. This recently updated model made its Australian debut at the show along with the Mercedes-AMG A 35 4Matic hatchback, the new entry-point into the AMG performance range.
With such a long and distinguished period of motorsport involvement under its belt, it will be fascinating to see what Mercedes-Benz and the AMG performance division develop over the next 125 years.
Images courtesy of Mercedes-Benz