Not just Land Speed Record. Any speed! This included air and water, where this exact car’s 141.7MPH run on Daytona Beach was, literally, the fastest man-made object on Planet Earth until 1919.
The start-up process in the below video is handled by Mercedes-Benz Classic experts — and even they took at least six minutes to breathe 21st-century life into this beautiful behemoth.
MOMENTS BEFORE START-UP — Cued Video Link
FULL STARTUP VIDEO 2012 Pebble Beach — Ignition occurs at 6-minutes, 17-seconds
Stunning features all around, including the aero-pointed radiator and the chain-drive traction system from a locomotive. No differentials back in these days — there are chains to both back wheels.
Other highlights? The engine is a 21.5-liter four-cylinder making 200-horsepower. The exhaust manifold is large enough to stick your head inside.
Mufflers? Barely! The manifold on this car is not much of a sound dampener — but did help to shoot the red-hot exhaust away from the driver’s face, which turned out to be a helpful feature at 140MPH!
This 2013 Retromobile Paris example shows how the Blitz Benz looks in all-white with no exhaust outlets beyond the sawed-off manifolds exits to the side of the giant engine.
The presentation is immaculate — with this Blitzen Benz marrying the best, most tantalizing (and most terrifying) elements of locomotives and industrial engines into a wildly modified (for length, width and weight) Mercedes-Benz Gran Prix car chassis.
Is this not an airplane engine? Not yet… but it would be eventually!
Airplanes (of any kind) were still in their new-born infancy — with none able to support a power plant of this sheer size, mass and power. But the Mercedes chassis certainly wears it proudly.