It's the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend but the famous Spa track has hosted more than F1 racing over the years...
Compiling a shortlist for Pic Of The Week it was clear the signs pointed in one direction: Belgium. Spa-Francorchamps to be precise. Tying together various threads this week our picture celebrates the famous track, its most legendary corner, a mighty V8 touring car and one of our favourite performance brands.
So, here goes. Spa? Well, in addition to the Grand Prix this weekend that we’ll be following from the inside with Red Bull and Infiniti we’ve got news of PH camping at the Spa Six Hours race and, if you prefer to do the driving yourself, a reminder that we’ll be hosting a track day there just a week later.
V8 touring cars? A little more tenuous this one and a different continent. But we celebrated a glorious piece of V8 racing barge action earlier in the week reliving Peter Brock in his Holden Commodore at Bathurst. We like to think Brock and the mighty 6.8-litre AMG 300SEL pictured here would have gotten along just fine too.
And finally that AMG connection. Chris Harris visited the firm’s home in Affalterbach earlier in the week and was lucky enough to drive the Hammer, the car that really put the brand on the map in the 80s. But AMG was putting big V8s in Mercs long before that, the famous ‘red pig’ 300SEL based on a 6.3 bored out to 6.8 litres delivering 428hp and running to a best in class finish and second overall in its first outing at Spa in 1971. Big V8s in barge-like saloons being manhandled around the most exciting tracks in the world? Whichever side of the globe you live on it’s a formula we’ll never tire of.
Funnily enough I recently took a couple of pictures of this fine specimen whist in France this week. It looks fantastic.
MAD6331 Aug 2012
Thats but a replica of the real thing. AMG had special blocks cast that could allow the capacity to enlarged to 6.8 liter. You cant bore a 6.3 out to 6.8 . The real REd pig ended her days as the test mule for Matra who would had it loaded with cameras and stuff to record the action of landing fighter jet landing gear. Nothing else was big enough or fast enough . The winning car at Spa was a Capri with millions of dollars worth of factory backing,whereas AMG was helped with parts assistance through the back door and no money what so ever. Shots taken in the AMG pits of the actual race show Werner and Waxl (Eric Waxenberger) helping out with tire changes and engine adjustments. The only surviving part of that race effort is the spare 6.8 engine in the Ex Berhmann 300SEL 6.8 racer ,now in the hands of mechatronik.
Gridl0k31 Aug 2012
I can't remember the term, unfortunately, but in Mercedes' dealer mag they call this the RED KING or RED BARON or something, RED PIG (accurately, RED SOW - ROTSAU) doesn't convey current AMG brand attributes, obviously.
If I ever end up walking into Albert Speer Mercedes Uxbridge (aka MB World) to spec my own AMG, it will be this colour.
pSyCoSiS01 Sep 2012
Absolutely epic machines.
I have a Minichamps model of a Mercedes 300 SEL 6.8 Red Pig, truly beautiful.
sisu01 Sep 2012
I am surprised that there aren't more people fitting the 6.2 M156 V8 engine and gearbox out of the 2005-2011 Mercedes into the old 300 SEL W108 cars. But then they say that nothing is as expensive to run as a cheap Mercedes-Benz