Roue Watch designer Alex lervolino blogs about the MERCEDES-BENZ: C111 ROTARY ICON!, a gullwing masterpiece that started life as a laboratory car.

MERCEDES-BENZ: C111 ROTARY ICON!Stuart Schorr, Vice-President Communications & Marketing, Jaguar Land Rover, with the C111 at Pebble Beach.

In 1969, Mercedes-Benz surpassed all expectations revealing a super sports car well ahead of its time. With gullwing doors and a Wankel rotary engine the C111 was a research vehicle that quickly became the absolute dream car of the 1970s. Designed by Bruno Sacco, it was a dream that would never come true to consumers except as die-cast model toys.

Although prior rumors were that MB was creating the new Gullwing 300SL from the 1950s, from the very start, the C 111 was conceived purely as an experimental vehicle to test the use of glass-fibre-reinforced plastic for automotive body shells, the rotary piston engine designed by Felix Wankel, new modern suspension components and to improve the aerodynamic efficiency of sporty road-going cars.

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