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The Saxony Classic rally (18 to 20 August 2016) aptly describes itself as Saxony's longest car museum. Around 200 classic vehicles are registered to take part this year, and will be seen on some of the state's stunning roads and on the Sachsenring. The museum on wheels will feature three worthy classics from Stuttgart: a 300 SL Roadster (W 198), a 500 SL (R 107) and a Mercedes-Benz 230 (W 123). The 300 SL is to be driven by Wilfried Porth, board member of Daimler AG. The Zwickau-born discus thrower Lars Riedel, gold medallist at the 1996 Olympics and five times world champion, will be behind the wheel of the 500 SL on Saxony's roads.
"I'm over the moon that the Saxony Classic is starting in Zwickau, where I was born," commented Lars Riedel. "Classic cars have always been a hobby of mine. I'm particularly looking forward to the reception from the local fans." Riedel's car for the Saxony Classic 2016 is a dream in silver: with its V8 engine, the 500 SL has an output of 170 kW (231 hp), which made it the new flagship model in the SL series back in 1980. The success of the R 107 SL model series is indicated by its long production run of over 18 years, from 1971 until 1989.
Another dream car, but dating from the 1950s and 1960s, is the 300 SL Roadster. Introduced in 1957, it superseded the legendary 300 SL "Gullwing", which had marked Mercedes-Benz's triumphant return to the super sports car market segment in 1954. To this day the cars are seen as icons of the brand and it comes as no surprise that they form the centrepiece of many renowned car collections around the world. Their lightweight, sturdy space frame and their powerful six-cylinder engine (158 kW/215 hp) with direct petrol injection underline their motor racing pedigree, while the technology is all wrapped up in timelessly stunning bodywork.
Alongside these two vehicles the Mercedes-Benz 230 appears relatively unremarkable. A four-door, five-seater saloon with 80 kW (109 hp) in this starting line-up? Quite right: it represents the brand's unique tradition in the luxury mid-range segment, which dates back over 110 years. Mercedes-Benz has shaped this segment with technical innovations and benchmark design. Since 1993 Mercedes-Benz's mid-range model has been the E-Class, the latest generation of which arrived in Mercedes-Benz showrooms around the world in 2016.
The Mercedes-Benz 230 that will take part in the Saxony Classic comes from the Museum's stock of ALL TIME STARS (http://alltime-stars.com) – vintage and classic cars in a technically and visually good condition, whose patina lends them a special character – and is available as part of the Collectors' Edition . The model series 123 Saloon in distinctive sahara yellow is a treasured item with impressive road capability: with only one previous owner, this is a car with very few kilometres on the clock. Since it was first licensed in March 1979 it has only driven around 23,000 kilometres. Its optional extras include automatic transmission, power steering, a Becker Europa radio and the right-hand exterior mirror. The latter is not atypical: it was standard for many car brands at the time to feature an exterior mirror on the driver's side only.
With its picture book setting and idyllic routes, the Saxony Classic provides the perfect showcase for these cars. The starting field will take a short detour into the Czech Republic.
Profile of Lars Riedel - Born: 28 June 1967 in Zwickau
Gold medallist at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, silver medallist at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, five times world champion (1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2001) and eleven times German champion –& nbsp;Lars Riedel has chalked up an impressive list of victories. He began competitive sport as a teenager in what was then East Germany. But when political change came in 1989, his trainer lost his job and Riedel turned to his qualifications as a skilled concrete worker to earn his living. He was rediscovered, however, and went on to become one of Germany's most successful athletes. For almost ten years he dominated national and international discus competitions. He achieved his personal best of 71.50 metres in Wiesbaden on 3 May 1997.