Rare Rides: The Elusive 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Stirling Moss

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
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rare rides the elusive 2010 mercedes benz slr mclaren stirling moss

You may remember when Mercedes-Benz worked with McLaren to develop the SLR McLaren in the early 2000s. The supercar birthed from those creative loins trumped most everything else on the market upon its debut. As expected, it was very rare and very expensive. But did you know there was a further development of the car that was even rarer, and off-limits to all but a select few?

Presenting the SLR Stirling Moss.

Toward the end of standard SLR production, the German-British team behind project SLR dreamed up a swan song. Their inspiration was the Mercedes 300 SLR racing driver Stirling Moss drove in the 1955 Mille Miglia. A stunning victory for man and machine, that original SLR took on Ferrari and won the race by an incredible 30 minutes. Fittingly, the tribute car needed to be very special.

Mercedes hired two new designers to change the exterior and interior of the SLR into the Stirling Moss. The exterior was reimagined as a speedster (sans roof and windshield) for the sake of racing looks and lightness. The interior was redesigned as well, distancing it from the standard car while adding some vintage racing touches.

Changes underneath included carbon fiber construction, which meant a weight decrease of 441 pounds over the standard car. Power also increased: the supercharged 5.4-liter SLR AMG engine was massaged from 617 to 651 horsepower. That immense power, combined with lighter weight, meant 62 miles per hour arrived in just three seconds, and the speedster traveled on to a top speed of 217.

Introduced at NAIAS in 2009, production began in June that year — a month after the standard SLR’s discontinuation. The plan was for 75 of these special cars, and all were completed efficiently and on time by December 2009. Meanwhile, offers went out to prospective buyers who were hand-selected by Mercedes for the special opportunity. Requirements were two-fold: A bank account to cover the $1 million-plus cost of the car, and current ownership of a standard SLR McLaren.

The cars were of course snapped up immediately by collectors. With just over 300 miles on the odometer of today’s example, it sold at auction in Abu Dhabi last November. Estimated sale price was between $2.5 and $2.75 million. A small price to pay for such precision-crafted exclusivity.

[Images: seller]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Writing things for TTAC since late 2016 from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can find me on Twitter @CoreyLewis86, and I also contribute at Forbes Wheels.

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  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Feb 13, 2020

    The third picture (rear view) made me think of the 2010MY Saturn Sky. https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/saturn/sky/2009/photos-exterior/rear-view But of course the 2010MY Saturn Sky was much more exclusive - only *8* vehicles produced (and none in silver or white, so we used a 2009 picture). Many people find it hard to believe that a vehicle which sells for over $1 million can be unprofitable for the OEM. But low low volume can kill a business case. (See the original Bugatti Veyron.) http://carsalesbase.com/european-car-sales-data/bugatti/

  • RHD RHD on Feb 14, 2020

    It's a beautiful car, and very well executed. Automakers should learn from the styling - cars don't have to be hideous. On the other hand, this isn't really driveable for long, with practically no windshield. That fantastic leather-wrapped gear lever... belongs to an automatic transmission. This is made for collectors with more money than brains, not for actual driving, except for a gushing 2-minute blurb on Top Gear.

  • Art_Vandelay It's not like everyone is topping their ICE vehicles off and coasting into the gas station having used every last drop of fuel either though. Most people start looking to fill up at around a 1/4 of a tank. If you constantly run the thing out of gas your fuel pump would probably be unhappy. If you running your EV to zero daily you probably bought the wrong vehicle
  • ToolGuy Imagine how exciting the automotive landscape will be once other manufacturers catch up with Subaru's horizontally-opposed engine technology.
  • FreedMike Oh, and this..."While London likes to praise its own congestion charging for reducing traffic and increasing annual revenues, tourism has declined..."The reason London's tourism numbers are down is that the city has resumed its' "tourist tax." And why did the tourist tax get reimposed? Brexit. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/tourist-tax-cost-millions-myth-hmrc-survey-foreign-visitors-spending-uk-b1082327.html
  • Dukeisduke Eh, still a Nissan. Nope.
  • Kosmo "And, indeed, there remains a big screen atop the dash in the 2023 Nissan Z"Not the best look, but far safer while driving, when compared to lower in-dash units.Nissan blew it on so many levels with this, but I'd still enjoy one (though I'd certainly buy the Mustang instead).