Furtak SLR – Heiligs Blechle
How comes a Polish man to the SLR?
The development of the Furtak SLR: From a 1988er 500 SEC to a 2004er SLR
To the IAA in September Mercedes Benz brings finally the supersports car SLR. The church historian Robert Furtak however did not want not to wait for a so long time – He simply built the car himself.
By Oliver Lauter: It is a little terribly already to me, in the plane to Krakau. There a certain Robert Furtak actually maintains that he ownes the world’s first SLR. Today the super sports car ranks among being the best guarded mystery of Stuttgart’s company. At the earliest on the Frankfurt IAA, at the beginning of September 2003, the finished car is to be demonstrated. All existing prototypes are considered as state secret. Pasted. Covered. Guarded. Brought in security before the car Paparazzi. How, by the will of god, does a man from Poland gets to that million euro expensive erlkoenig? Is the Eastern European Mafia really so fast that she already steals cars, before these are on the market at all?
On the airport I meet first our Polish contact man, Maciej Pertynski (40). With camouflage waistcoat and dark eyeglasses he looks like a secret agent. But it is a journalist as I am, writes for Auto Swiat, the Polish sister sheet of AUTO BILD. Pertynski tells proudly: “I saw the SLR this morning. Unbelievably nobly. At the moment it parks straight at the Mercedes Benz dealer Kapera in the city centre of Krakau. If we hurry up, we’ll get him still.”
Pertynski steps its borrowed Renault Kangoo on the tube. The mill does not make more than 150 km/h. But that is enough for a country without highways (Autobahn). And nearly too much for a region, in which behind every shrubs a Polski-Fiat or a Polonez with radar pistol lurks. With screeching tires we reach the yard of the Mercedes Benz Dealer. There he actually stands. That world-wide first to road-certified SLR. Licenseplate: KO-SLR 01. The broad trace, the perfectly produced sicken, edges and air intakes – a car like a sculpture.
From scale 1:18 make SLR 01
Besides a rawboned man is located in cord pullover and grey material trousers. An inconspicuous type with dark, frizzy hair. Its green eyes look around searching, nearly a little shy. That is Robert Furtak (35). The silver arrow belongs to him. And not only that. He built it. After the pattern of a toy car.
The history is as unbelievable as ingenious. It begins 1999. There the pictures of Detroit Motor Show flicker over the screen of family Furtak. An attitude lets family father Robert Furtak nearly fall off nearly the brown Cord arm chair: the photographs of the Design study Mercedes Benz Vision SLR. Infront of the TV the studied church historian and Mercedes Benz fan decides: I build this car myself. Under sound of laughter of the neighbours Furtak begins to collect everything, which is connected with the super sports car: Poster, picture volumes, newspaper chips. He gets even a copy of the press briefcase of Mercedes Benz. And to a Maesto car model, scale 1:18.
Thus the unbelievable plan is perfect: Robert Furtak and master of building of bodies Feliks Ciask (45) divide the toy car up to last screwing and measure it with a caliper gauge. Then they multiplied simply all measured values by 18, and the SLR already comes out in original size. Sounds oneself naively, however actually worked. On the basis of a Mercedes Benz 500 SEC with front and engine damage.
Daring rear light experiment
Before well two years the 500er was completely stripped, the wheel base was shortened around 29 centimeters. From the mentioned press briefcase Furtak knows the dimensions. Body man Ciask transfers the projected toy automass to solid steel sheet. Marks the cutouts and edges. Then a construction unit is sawn out after the other one, into shape-knocked and gedengelt over an anvil. Even the front apron and the instrument carrier are made of steel. Who laughes now has no notion. Because exactly that is the high art of car body work. Exactly the same in former times Nobelautos were manufactured. In the case legendary Ferrari 250 GTO Enzo Ferrari even a wood form let build, over which the sheet metals were worked on – to visit today in the Galleria Ferrari in Maranello.
Gradually the Polish pirat copy of the vision SLR. the laesternden neighbour grows remains spits away. Motivated by the continuation of the project, help ever more friends and acquaintance with the auto+’s building in the domestic garage. Up to 20 people must be supplied during the day by wife Isabella Furtak (30) with breakfast, noon and dinner. And with beer.
Each still so small detail at the Maesto model is reproduced. The pointers of the precision mechanic, the chrome-bordered instruments of the Buechsenmacher. An upholsterer refers the seats and inside panelings with noble leather and Alcantara, even built. Robert Furtak in a glasswork lets the disks make. The edges of glass black scored are burned in a factory for perfume bottles. Less than five different plastics do not have to hold for the daring rear light experiment. The shining LEDS originate from the electrical specialized trade. Robert Furtak grazes half to Europe off, in order to come to construction units, which see somehow similar to those in the photos of the genuine SLR. The door handles originate from a Fiat Barchetta, the window lifters from the Peugeot 206. The Mercedes Benz Multimediasystem is taken from a current s-class with total loss.
Bid by Mercedes Benz
Only once, there he has itself powerfully vertan. To the IAA 2001: He rushes with its buddy to Frankfurt, in order to visit the brand-new Mercedes Benz SL. He hoped nevertheless that the current SL already gets the front lights of the future SLR. But nil return. Instead of two Xenonfunzeln the new SL possesses only one one above the other. Again it “is called invents”. Out of epoxy resin Furtak pours a headlight form, screws VW-Passat-W8 and Volkswagen Phaeton lights in one above the other. Very practically in this connection that Furtaks of friends in the Crash center of AUDI work. There drops so which already times.
The SLR Schrauberei does not remain natural unobserved. Stuttgart smells lunte and sends equivalent two envoys from the Mercedes Benz research after Krakau. Those want to buy the halfrefined SLR immediately. But Robert Furtak does not want. It does not have also. Is its private pleasure. Thus the project grows further and finds ever more friends. The local Mercedes Benz contract dealer Krysztof Kapera can use publicity well and offers 30 per cent on all work and spare parts.
Thus it comes that Stuttgart of largest Albtraum, which are completed fruehgeburt of the SLR, just in a Mercedes Benz workshop. The Mercedes Benz own paint shop primed, sharpens and paints, which holds things. The silver is hardly to be over-bid at perfection. Kfz master Artur Lew (38) worries affectionately about the Technikmarotten of the betagten eight-cylinder.
In April 2003 the SLR is finished. And it sees condemned well out. You notice immediately that a perfectionist at the work was here. Far upward the swinging wing doors fit exactly into the guidance worked cleanly. The locks come from old SECOND, the oil-absorbed telescope arms of the Mercedes Benz Vito. Nearly all gap dimensions are correct. Only between hood and A-column still another hole gapes. The window weather strips are accurately cut. The chromium-plated quadrant is exactly cut out by laser beam on a thousandth millimeter.
Masterpiece ago, old-age pension
This car one would have thought capable of hardly to a technique genius, let alone a church historian of the papal academy in Krakau. In addition one should know: For years already Robert Furtak put the Bible vocationally ad acta and restored instead in the customer order Jaguar Mk II and pontoon Mercedes Benz. The SLR is to a certain extent its reference object. Its masterpiece.
So, as the dream from steel looks, then it drives also. Firmly, solidly, imperturbably. The five-litre eight-cylinder (year of construction 88, without catalyst) announces itself knurrend to word. The enormous air cleaner schnorchelt loudly after outside. Strong the 265 horses start moving. Well seven seconds of zero on speed 100 seem reliable. The whole does not function unfortunately yet completely perfectly: With the kickdown the four-course mechanism strikes its gear wheels violent as into one another with the suggestion hammer.
The sensational optics cannot emislead about the fact that this chassis has already 300,000 kilometers and 21 years on the embossment. Those are little things, which Furtak wants to bring later in order. But: Only times in travel, the handgedengelte SLR with high quiet running inspires. Completely contrary to the Kitcars from plastic and Elaste knistert and rattles here nix. The Design castle with triangle wishbone in front and diagonal steering wheel axle in the back irons even worst roadway unevenness out. The Polish sports car is not to be brought simply from the peace. The wind noises hold themselves within limits.
For this HP charm Robert Furtak all passbooks gepluendert. One whispers from 75.000 euro? Old-age pension ade. In addition the old Polish proverb fits: “everything is correct. Up to the cash.” But autofarmer concerns the gottesfuerchtigen little. Its next building project? “the May brook!” We believe him on the word…
Technical data: Mercedes-Benz-V8 • 2 valves per cylinder • Capacity 4973 cm³ • 195 KW (265 HP) with 4800/min • max. Torque 430 Nm with 4000/min • Rear-wheel drive • Four-stage mechanism • Double wishbone in front, diagonal steering wheel axle • all around disc brakes • Does 245/40 R mature 20 on rim 9 J x 20 in front, 275/35 R 20 on 10,5 J x 20 in the back • Wheel base 2555 mm • Trunk volume 200 l • Level of fuel in the tank 70 l • Unloaded weight 1600 kg • Additional load 200 kg • 0-100 km/h in 7,2 s • Maximum speed 235 km/h
From the Uhlenhaut Coupé to the vision SLR
The Mercedes Benz SLR already celebrates its largest success 1955: Sterling Moss wins 1600 km long mille Miglia with a err-funny average speed of 157,65 km/h. A record, which was never broken. Also two closed cars were built, called by this sports car after the Mercedes Benz at that time development boss “Uhlenhaut Coupé”.
With the Design study vision SLR wants to tie Mercedes Benz 1999 on Detroit car Show to the myth SLR. After four years old development time in the autumn on the IAA production stage car is finally presented. However only as Coupé, the angedachte Cabrio variant was rejected. The car as well as Formel-1-Partner McLaren in the English Woking is built. The most important data: V8-Kompressormotor, approximately 600 HP, more than 750 Newtonmeters, maximum speed approximately 320 km/h. Price: approx. a million euro. Sales start: 2004.