The Argentine Touring Car Grand Prix, 28 October to 7 November 1964: one-two-three victory for Mercedes-Benz. The perilous fords, known as vados, were popular places for spectators to gather. The water sprayed high in the air as Eugen Böhringer and Klaus Kaiser, the eventual winning team, drove through one in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SE (W 112).
Fifty years ago Mercedes-Benz dominated the 8th Argentine Touring Car Grand Prix — VIII Gran Premio Internacional de Turismo Super Nafta YPF — with yet another sparkling performance. At the end of the race, which ran from 28 October to 7 November 1964, the model 300 SE ‘Tailfin’ Saloons (W 112) occupied the first three places in the overall rankings. It was the fourth win in a row for the Stuttgart-based brand in this prestigious long-distance competition, which was considered to be the toughest road race in the world at the time. Previous winners included Walter Schock and Manfred Schiek in 1961, the female team of Ewy Rosqvist and Ursula Wirth who pulled off a spectacular victory in 1962, and Eugen Böhringer and Klaus Kaiser who secured 1st place in 1963 – a feat which they repeated in 1964.
Eugen Böhringer crossed the finish line of the Argentine Touring Car Grand Prix on 7 November 1964, beaming victoriously. This was the second time that the Mercedes-Benz rally driver had won this, the toughest long-distance race in the world at the time, together with his co-driver Klaus Kaiser. Böhringer led a triple victory for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SE Saloon (W 112), following six stages covering a combined distance of 4,779 kilometres. This was even the fourth consecutive victory for Mercedes-Benz in this race, officially known as the Gran Premio Internacional de Turismo Super Nafta YPF.
The start on 28 October 1964 was marked by great expectations and stiff competition: would the German brand with its strong ‘Tailfin’ saloons be able to come out on top again over the route described as the “track with a thousand bends”, as it had done in the three preceding years?
The success story began in 1961, when Walter Schock and Manfred Schiek triumphed in their Mercedes-Benz 220 SE. The same vehicle was driven to victory a year later by the female team of Ewy Rosqvist and Ursula Wirth. Then, in 1963, Eugen Böhringer and Klaus Kaiser crossed the line in 1st place in a 300 SE, spearheading a quadruple victory for the ‘Tailfins’.
At the end of October 1964, four near-standard Mercedes-Benz 300 SE vehicles started the race in Buenos Aires. The only modifications made to the cars used in the race involved the installation of larger fuel tanks and changes to the engine characteristics as well as the transmission or final-drive ratios. The 300 SE had proved itself as a racing vehicle. In the 1964 season alone, Eugen Böhringer won the ADAC International Six-Hour Race at the Nürburgring and the Macao Touring Car Grand Prix in this car.