In the early morning hours of May 1st, 1955, Sir Stirling Moss and his co-driver Denis Jenkinson were at the starting line of the famous Mile Miglia. The 1,000-mile rally across Italy followed a route from Brescia to Rome and back again. Their Mercedes 300 SL launched into history at 7:22 AM, and they crossed the finish line at 10 hours, 7 minutes. The record set by Sir Moss still stands, because it would require a car of incredible power.
In the late 90’s, the tuning wizards at AMG were making big power from Mercedes-Benz production engines. It was also back when McLaren was able to finish a Formula1 race under its own power. McLaren cars used Mercedes engines, so the partnership evolved into a street legal supercar. Before AMG was fully absorbed into Mercedes, they supplied the engine and 5-speed automatic to McLaren’s factory in England. It was there that it was joined to a carbon fiber masterpiece to become the SLR. In 2003, the supercharged 5.5 liter V8 was rated at 557 horsepower and 531 lb-ft of torque.
By digging into the engine’s internals and turning up the boost, AMG was able to make 640 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque. To put that increased power to the ground, forged 19″ wheels and 15″ carbon ceramic brakes were bolted to a stiffer shock/spring setup. A new aerodynamics package was needed to keep the car from taking flight, and when they were done the 2006 Mercedes-McLaren SLR 722 was almost a new car. Considering all the changes made to handle the new power, nobody expected a roadster version. Only 150 examples of the SLR Roadster 722 S were built. Only 24 cars were built for the US, and this one is heading to Mecum’s Monterey auction. With only 1,950 miles since new, it is factory fresh and ready for a new home. All fluids were flushed and both batteries were replaced in November. We’re getting ready for Monterey Car Week, so stay with us for complete coverage of the events.