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DaimlerChrysler to donate Mercedes McLaren SLR No 1 to charity

As part of a charity auction at Christie’s in New York on December 18, 2003, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Customer Car No. 1 will be handed over to the highest-bidding automobile collector. The proceeds of this auction will go to the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.

The present top bid from the “silent auction,” which ended on November 30, is €1.5 million. In addition to the Laureus Academy members Boris Becker, Nadia Comaneci, Michael Johnson, John McEnroe, Edwin Moses and Robby Naish, numerous top stars from the worlds of sport and entertainment are expected to attend the auction.

Prof. Jürgen Hubbert, DaimlerChrysler AG Board of Management member responsible for the Mercedes Car Group, said: “This high bid for the first SLR shows how enthusiastic people are about the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. We’re glad that we’ll be able to support the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation even more with the proceeds from this auction.”

DaimlerChrysler AG donated the super sports car to the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation last May. The foundation, which was established in 2000 by DaimlerChrysler and Richemont, supports 21 socially oriented sports projects throughout the world. The Laureus World Sports Academy consists of 40 famous sportsmen and sportswomen who have volunteered their services as global ambassadors to support the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Boris Becker, chairman of the organization’s German branch, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation Deutschland, said, “The financial support we will receive from the auction of the first SLR for a customer will enable us to give deprived children and young people the opportunity to find a place for themselves in our society through sports activities and therapeutic support.”

The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, with its striking gull-wing doors and stylistic elements that recall the Formula 1 Silver Arrow, continues the myth of the legendary SLR racing car from the 1950s. Equipped with state-of-the-art race-car technology and pioneering Mercedes innovations, the new SLR offers top-level safety features and is suitable for daily use. It’s a high-profile, fascinating synthesis of time-honored myth and leading-edge innovation. The SLR will go on sale in the U.S. during the summer of 2004.

Like the Formula 1 racing car produced by McLaren-Mercedes, the new SLR also has a body made of lightweight carbon-fiber materials with an outstanding degree of energy absorption, thus providing maximum safety to the driver and passengers. The SLR is therefore the world’s first series-produced automobile with a front crash structure that consists entirely of carbon fiber. Adaptive airbags, newly developed knee and side airbags, seatbelt tensioners, ceramic brakes and an automatically extendable air brake in the rear round off the safety equipment of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. .

Text/Photos: DaimlerChrysler