After the immense success of the Mercedes 300SL, especially in the United States market, anticipation for a successor to what many consider the first supercar was rife, resulting in the unveiling of the Mercedes C111-II at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show.
Featuring the 300SL’s signature gullwing doors, the C111-II was used as a testbed for Mercedes-Benz’s exploration into engine technology. Sharing much in aesthetics with the BMW Turbo Concept (especially gullwing doors), the second iteration of the developmental car, the C111-II was powered by Mercedes’ experimental four-rotor fuel injected Wankel engine mounted in the middle under the fibreglass body. Across the first two series of C111’s, 13 were produced, many featuring different engines, including a fully functional V8 model fitted with air conditioning and a leather interior. To the dismay of many aspiring customers, the near production line ready C111-II never saw the light of day, Mercedes sighting concerns over the fibreglass bodies safety and the emissions of the engine as the reason. Despite this, the C111-II has garnered a reputation as one of the 70’s quintessential supercars, despite never becoming a production reality.
Mercedes C111 Image Credit: oldconceptcars.com/