10th Mercedes Benz Classic Car Rally: The Showstoppers

The 300Sc Adenauer

Save the date: the 10th edition of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Car Rally (MBCCR) will be held on December 2 and 3 in Mumbai. If you are a Mercedes fan, you’ll absolutely want to be there.

“We are pulling out all the stops for this landmark event,” says curator Perseus Bandrawalla.

On display will be nothing less than the grandest, most significant and most interesting Mercedes classics ever to go in India. From cars belonging to kings and presidents to cars bought for next to nothing and restored from scratch, and to entire showroom line-ups as they were back in the day, this event will be momentous. “We’re even going to auction a 1980s’ 230, the legendary W123, a car widely considered to be the greatest sedan ever made,” Bandrawalla adds.  

In a first for any one-make classic car rally, this year’s edition will feature 75 Mercedes cars with at least 72 different classic models. It will be like swimming in a pool of Mercs.


Let’s dive right into some highlights. First up, a Grosser or Grand Mercedes – the 1969 600 Grosser, one of three in India and a car that was years ahead of its time. Owned by tyrants, movie stars and rock stars and known to be the one that took away the title of ‘best car in the world’ from Rolls-Royce, it really cemented Mercedes-Benz’s position as the world's No. 1 carmaker back in the 1960s.

Next up, the 1957 300SL roadster, a car you can meditate in to help attain inner peace. This car has an illustrious record of winning almost every race it participated in and is one of only a handful in the world still owned by the original owners. Plus, the Maharaja of Gondal actually raced the car. Can you believe that?

And yes, this car too was another groundbreaking technological tour de force; the first car with fuel injection no less and a genuine race winner. It’s worth around USD 1.5 million today; maybe even more.

Another star car is the 1956 300Sc, or Adenauer, after Konrad Adenauer, the first chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, whom it became inexorably associated with. One of just over 50 cars produced, this 300Sc had participated in the first MBCCR, back in 2014, and after a fresh restoration, it will be returning to the event, where it takes a place of honour. This model is owned by a prominent collector family in Mumbai.

Other returnees to the event include the pre-war 1934 500K owned by the Mumbai Samachar newspaper’s Hormusji Cama, (an example is allegedly also owned by a prominent member of the Third Reich), and Yashwardhan Ruia’s immaculately restored 1929 Nurburg W08.

Meanwhile, millennials will be able to indulge in nostalgia as every Mercedes-Benz car on sale in India 20 years ago will be on display in the ‘Class of 2003’ section. The 10th edition of the MBCCR will also feature Maharani Gayatri Devi’s 190SL currently owned by Yohan Poonawalla, the 230SL Pagoda owned by Pratapsinh Gaekwad and his father, as well as Harshvardhan of Dungarpur’s R107 500SL.

Other cars of note include Hani Mustafa’s mighty and original G Wagen (which makes its debut at the show); the F124 Krankenwagen, a W124 Ambulance from the President of India’s and former PM Narasimha Rao’s fleet; the Benz Patent-Motorwagen replica; and the 300SL 24v R129 of Dil Chahta Hai fame.

The 2023 edition will also have all body styles of the following: Adenauer W186, W188 and W189; 170V (roadster, cabriolet and limousine); W126 (SWB, LWD sedans and coupe and a rare limo); W124 (sedan, limousine, estate, coupe and cabriolet); and W123 (sedan, limousine, estate and coupe). There’ll also be all classic generations of the C-Class, E-Class, S-Class and SL-Class, and even some rare estates like the Ponton W120, W115, W123 and W124.

The best part of this exhibit is that you will be able to catch the cars in motion, on parade, being driven like they should. The sights, sounds and smells of the greatest collection of classic Mercs ever to hit our roads; don’t miss it for all the world.

300SL Roadster: The only 300SL in India and one of only a handful in the world still owned by the original owner (family) since new. The Maharaja of Gondal had actually raced the car, and it has a distinguished record of winning almost every race it participated in.


300Sc Adenauer: One of just over 50 cars ever produced in the world. The car had participated in the first MBCCR back in 2014 and now makes its return as a star car after a fresh restoration. Owned by a prominent collector family in Mumbai.


500K: Needs no introduction; has starred in previous editions of MBCCR and returns this time for the 10th anniversary after a few years gap. Owned by Hormusji Cama.


600 Grosser: Making its debut at MBCCR 2023 is the Grosser or Grand Mercedes-Benz. Launched 60 years ago, it was the car of choice of world leaders, superstar celebrities and even dictators. Known to be the best car in the world, with a cost-no-bar approach, it cemented MB's position as the world's No.1 car manufacturer in the 1960s.


Nurburg: The W08 with its straight-8 engine (Mercedes's first passenger car with a straight-8) was developed by Ferdinand Porsche. This particular 1929 with a tourer body owned by Mumbai's Yashwardhan Ruia is one of the few and best examples of the Nurburg in the world.



  1. The mighty G Wagon, owned by Flywheel’s Hani Mustafa himself, makes its debut at the MBCCR 2023.
  2. The 115 Ambulance from Pune.
  3. The W124 Ambulance from former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's fleet.
  4. The Benz Patent-Motorwagen replica.
  5. The 300SL 24v R129 driven by Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Khanna in Dil Chahta Hai.


Every Mercedes-Benz on sale 20 years ago will be showcased in our ‘Class of 2003’ section. For most millennials, these are the cars you drooled to when in school.


  • Maharaja of Gondal’s 300SL.
  • Maharani Gayatri Devi’s 190SL; now owned by Yohan Poonawalla.
  • Pratapsinh Gaekwad of Baroda’s 230SL Pagoda; owned by his dad since new.
  • Harshvardhan Singh of Dungarpur’s R107 500SL.
  • From the movie Dil Chahta Hai, the R129 300SL 24v, credited with kickstarting the Mumbai-Goa road-tripping culture. MH04AC1958 will be restored to its former glory.


All body styles of the Adenauer W186, W188 and W189 generations covered

All body styles of the 170V - roadster, cabrio and limousine

All body styles of the W126 - SWB, LWD sedans and coupe

All body styles of the W124 - sedan, limousine, estate, coupe and cabriolet

All body styles of the W123 - sedan, limousine, estate and coupe

All Classic Generations of the C-Class, E-Class S-Class and SL Class

Rare Estates - Ponton W120, W115, W123 and W124

Also see:

Mercedes Benz Classic Car Rally 2022 image gallery

Mercedes Benz Classic Car Rally 2022 video


Mercedes-Benz Classic Car Rally presents a sparkling array of automotive gems

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