Born 1906 in London as the son of an English mother and a German father, Rudolf Uhlenhaut was an engineer and designer for Daimler-Benz. He became famous for his achievements regarding the Silver Arrows, the 300 SL with the famous gull wing doors, the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR, known as the “Uhlenhaut Coupé” and the various experimental C 111 versions well-known for several speed records.
Uhlenhaut joined Daimler-Benz in 1931 after finishing his studies of mechanical engineering in Munich. In 1936 he took over as head of the racing department and conducted the Silver Arrows and Rudolf Caracciola to their 1937 European championship. Based upon the 300 SL “Gullwing”, initially a thoroughbred racing sports car, he created the road versions W198 and the smaller open-topped W121, both launched at the International Motor Sports Show in New York 1954. Though Uhlenhaut never owned a car of his own, his official company car, a 300 SLR with a top speed of 290 km/h became famous as the Uhlenhaut Coupé – the fastest car of its day authorized for road use!
This first ever comprehensive biography of Rudolf Uhlenhaut, illustrated with many previously unpublished photographs, depicts his life and technical achievements, presenting a complete compilation of all the patents he filed and exploring their significance. It also draws a vivid picture of the person behind the technical innovations and tries to explore his character and motivation.