This is an extremely rare opportunity to own a Mercedes Benz spec F1 Safety car. A friend of mine in the Mercedes-Benz club introduced me to a gentleman who told me he had an F1 Safety car, that he had special ordered from Mercedes-Benz in Germany. Frankly, I didn’t believe him… until I saw the car yesterday and drove it myself. He has asked me to find a buyer for it… so, it will be posted here, on Dave Knows Cars first, then on eBay, for the world market.
A little history… the FIA uses a ‘very fast’ street car as their ‘Pace Car’ and ‘Safety Car’ during Formula 1 races around the world. There is normally a professional race driver driving and a doctor in the passenger’s seat, so, in the event of a bad accident, the car can take to the track and keep up with F1 car traffic while arriving quickly at the accident scene with a doctor. A variety of Mercedes-Benz vehicles have been used for this purpose over the years. For the 2004 Formula 1 season the FIA used a factory modified SLK55 AMG roadster as the Safety / Medical car during Formula 1 races. Mercedes built a handful of these cars for FIA use and offered them, on an extremely limited basis in subsequent years, to VIP customers around the world.
Enter my new friend from Wisconsin… back in 2004 and 2005, when he heard of these cars, he went to the three Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the Twin Cities, Sears Imports, Feldmann Imports and Maplewood Imports, asking if he could order an SLK55 AMG F1 Safety car. Apparently, all three dealers said, “Sorry, we can’t get one of those for you, they aren’t for sale for the North American market”. He finally went to a Mercedes-Benz dealer in Wisconsin who said he’d ‘see what he could do’. After some phone calls to MBUSA, and the buyer mentioning ‘I thought you could get anything from Mercedes-Benz, as long as you were willing to pay for it’… after all, if you’re a sultan or sheik, you can get your Mercedes cars gold plated. He was eventually told they could get one for him, but he would have to provide documentation that he had professional race driving credentials. (Did they do this expecting him to fold and go away? Whoops!)
It just so happens that this gentleman holds several North American competition drivers licenses for several different racing organizations. He raced professionally in Formula 2 in Europe for a number of years in the 1970s and competed in the SCCA National Champion Run Offs in a number of open wheeled classes throughout the 1980s and has been vintage racing ever since. These days he races a very rare and very fast 1970 D sports prototype in vintage races around the country.
Long story short, they built a Formula 1 Safety car for him, he was able to choose the colors and some options… The factory modifications of a normal, run of the mill SLK55 AMG include the following, among other items… 19″ 3 piece AMG wheels, HUGE upgraded brakes on all four corners, I forget how big they really are, the ‘Nurburgring’ suspension package, top speed limited to 186 MPH, the car sits on FACTORY lowering springs, it is considerably lower than a normal SLK55 AMG. It also has an aluminum hood among other components which replaced heavier steel in series production cars. Beyond the performance enhancements, it has carbon fiber interior trim, alcantara trimmed seats and steering wheel… spare tire delete and a number of other unique options, but still has comfort options such as heated seats, the AIRSCARF feature and a 6 disc CD changer in the glove box.
The car was brought into the country with a standard U.S. spec SLK5 AMG VIN, if you pull the window sticker through the Mercedes-Benz Netstar system it will show up as a regular, run of the mill 2006 SLK55 AMG. The owner’s supporting correspondence and documentation with Mercedes-Benz tells the real story.
Amazingly, the car only has 1,453 miles on its odometer. The owner bought the car, drove it around a little, but never tracked the car. He originally purchased it for track use but decided it was ‘just too nice to take to the track’ and he has other race cars for that anyway. It has seen occasional dry weather use over the past 6 years.
I witnessed an all new level of true fanaticism when taking photos of this car with its owner. Of course, it sits in a climate controlled garage, heated in the Winter, air conditioned in the Summer. When he washes this car he puts wheel and tire covers from his race cars over the wheels as not to get water on the brake calipers, causing oxidation. He brushes his feet off before getting into the driver’s seat. When we got in to go for a drive he put on driving gloves, not for grip or because he was going to thrash the car, but because he ‘doesn’t like to get oil from his hands on the alcantara trimmed steering wheel’! Way over the top…!
The car is essentially PERFECT in every way. The exterior is absolutely flawless, the silver paint shines like brand new. The interior shows absolutely ZERO wear, look at the close up photos of the driver’s seat, the carpet, the buttons, everything is perfect in every way.
So… what is a car like this worth? Good question… it was in the low $80,000s when new. I found a similar 2006 F1 Safety Car online, in Japan, with the F1 safety car graphics and yellow light bar for over $100,000. This gentleman wanted to talk to me about selling his car because he’d like to buy another racing car, something he will use more often, something he car race competitively, wheel to wheel with other cars.
Given the rarity and condition of the car, we’re thinking a fair price today is something in the neighborhood of $60,000.
Seriously interested? Please give me a call, I’d be happy to discuss the car with you.