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).
A total of four vehicles, all painted light blue with white roofs designed for tropical climates, set off from starting line of the Argentine Touring Car Grand Prix. Dieter Glemser and Martin Braungart had the number 605, Hans Herrmann and Manfred Schiek’s car bore the number 607, Ewy Baronin von Korff-Rosqvist and Eva-Maria Falk started with the number 609, and Eugen Böhringer and Klaus Kaiser – the eventual winners – drove the car with the number 617.
A total of 268 vehicles entered this, the 8th Touring Car Grand Prix involving six stages. Every two days of racing was followed by a day of rest. After only the first stage of 781.5 kilometres, all four Mercedes-Benz vehicles were already at the top of the rankings, with Eugen Böhringer setting a new record with an average speed of 181 km/h. At the same time, 91 vehicles were already out of the competition due to accidents or technical defects.
The start of the second stage, which was 731.9 kilometres long, became a celebration of the Mercedes-Benz rally cars. The “Tailfins” from Stuttgart also raced through the finish line in quick succession. Through stages three (729.4 kilometres), four (630 kilometres), five (the longest section of the race at 961.1 kilometres) and six (945 kilometres to the finish line), the route of the Touring Car Grand Prix led the competitors west and north, before turning back east to Buenos Aires.
Eugen Böhringer and Klaus Kaiser won the race with an average speed of 138 km/h, having overcome steep mountain passes, tight bends and seemingly endless scree-strewn slopes. The rally cars trailed long plumes of dust behind them as they drove along many of the unsurfaced roads.
While the car driven by Hans Herrmann and Manfred Schiek pulled out during the sixth stage, the three other Mercedes-Benz 300 SE vehicles drove on to achieve the brand’s last major victory for that era of motor sports. The 1964 Argentine Touring Car Grand Prix marked the end of an outstanding period in which “Tailfin” saloons achieved numerous victories in touring car rallies and long-distance races. Supported by team manager Karl Kling and the Argentine Mercedes-Benz Champion Juan Manuel Fangio, the vehicles with their characteristic profiles once again showed the outstanding performances they could help their drivers to achieve in that autumn 50 years ago.