Mercedes-AMG honours its iconic ‘Red Pig’ endurance racer

The original “Red Pig” (right) with the three modern Mercedes-AMGs that celebrate their predecessor's feats. Picture: SUPPLIED
The original “Red Pig” (right) with the three modern Mercedes-AMGs that celebrate their predecessor's feats. Picture: SUPPLIED

The 1971 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium put AMG on the map when Hans Heyer and Clemens Schickentanz won their class and finished second overall in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG.

Nicknamed the “Red Pig”, the big AMG-tweaked sedan defeated much lighter race cars and established the young AMG brand as a force in motor racing.

To commemorate the 50-year old feat, Mercedes-AMG has created three one-off race cars bearing the red paint scheme and livery of the famous car.

Known as the “50 Years Legend of Spa” collection, the ready-to-race specials comprise a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, a 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT3, and the Mercedes-AMG GT3 which is currently participating in international GT racing, including this weekend’s 24 Hours at Spa-Francorchamps.

A 50-year Mercedes-AMG milestone will be commemorated at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend. Picture: SUPPLIED
A 50-year Mercedes-AMG milestone will be commemorated at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend. Picture: SUPPLIED

The gull-winged SLS is a special rarity as it was discontinued in 2015 but Mercedes built the one-off race version using the last available bodyshell in its warehouse.

Inside, the cars feature matt-grey tones, a carbon-fibre dashboard, and a plaque signed by AMG founder Hans Werner Aufrecht.

All three are powered by 6.3l  V8 normally aspirated engines with 478kW of power.

“The special editions recall one of the most important milestones in AMG’s corporate history,” said Jochen Hermann, technical MD at Mercedes-AMG. “The 24-hour race at Spa in 1971 stands as an example for the spirit of our brand: daring to take on the impossible, overcoming challenges and convincing with performance.”


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