Mercedes-Benz built this extremely-cab-forward flatbed to haul its 1950 Formula 1 racers. It could top 100 MPH back in its day.
You wanna talk about cab-forward design? Imagine sitting ahead of the steer axle of a flatbed car transporter.
Now imagine doing 108 mph in it.
Jay Leno is here to give us a tour of his 1950 Mercedes Racecar Transporter, a replica of the official vehicle the automaker built to transport its Formula 1 racer throughout Europe in 1950. The original used the same engine (and dashboard!) as a 300SL Gullwing, and Jay says it could top out at an astonishing 108 mph. The Mercedes race team used this high-speed hauler to bring its cars back to headquarters between races, rather than work on them in the field.
What’s it like to drive a truck with six feet of front overhang? Jay’s modern-interpretive dance gives us a hint:
Jay’s replica isn’t bolt-for-bolt accurate—it uses a 1980s Mercedes truck driveline, and it’s been updated to include some features not available back in 1950—but he uses it to bring his vintage Mercedes to racing and show events. We’re just glad there’s someone out there bringing the joy of this bizarre and wonderful vehicle to the automotive world.