Mercedes Benz T80…

Posted: October 6, 2014 in Obscurities


The Mercedes Benz T80 1939 World Land Speed Record contender on test in 1939…

Pre-War Grand Prix Ace Hans Stuck Senior was keen to take the WSR, convincing Mercedes to build him a car, the program approved by Der Fuhrer as another of the technological triumphs of the Germans young Adolf was keen to show the world.

It was to be the first outright WSR attempt in Germany but the Nazis had World Domination in mind so the program lapsed as World War 2 commenced.

Designed by Dr Ferdinand Porsche…

t 80 body

Car design by Ferdinand Porsche. Steel body, three axles, rear two driven. Drum brakes front and rear. weight 2896Kg, length 8.2 metres, width 3.2 metres, height 1.7 metres. Drag coefficient 0.18

The car was powered by a massive Daimler-Benz DB603 44.5 inverted V12 giving around 3000BHP. It had three axles, two driven, weighed 2.7 metric tons, was over 8 metres long and had a projected top speed of 470MPH.

Aerodynamicist Josef Mickl designed the body which had a drag coefficient of 0.18, astonishing even now.

mb engine

Daimler-Benz DB 603 Aero engine. 44.5 litre, fuel injected, supercharged V12. Circa 3000BHP@ 3200RPM

Record Week…

Stuck was to take the record on a length of autobahn between Berlin-Leipzig, the road 25 metres wide and 10 Km long in January 1940, the car nicknamed “BlackBird’ by Hitler himself.

The event was cancelled, the car stripped of its engine was stored during the war in Karnten, Austria and is now on permanent display at the Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart.

It took untill 1964 for Art Arfons to exceed the projected speed of the T80 in 1940, the turbo-jet powered ‘Green Monster’ attaining 544MPH on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

driving position

Hans Stucks’ far forward driving position, hefty steel girder frame chassis, drum brakes and tyres of the day designed to cope with projected speeds of the T80…


T80 in Mercedes Museum, Stuttgart (Dylan King)


Photo Credits…

Pinterest, Dylan King Photography


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