1952 was one of the most important years in Mercedes-Benz racing history; after a 13-year absence, it returned to motor sport competition with an automobile that rewrote the history of modern sports car racing. The 300 SL's debut was the culmination of a long, difficult road back to racing for Mercedes-Benz. Return to Glory! vividly depicts the 300 SL's performance in the five races in which it competed in 1952, and tells the story of how it became the most successful competition sports car of that year. Through dramatic photographs and equally stirring text, one of the greatest years of sports car racing is brought to life--a year filled with automobiles finished in national racing colors, prepared by great factory teams, driven by men who were national sporting idols, and raced under gruelling conditions unique to the age. From its Mille Miglia debut, through the Nürburgring, the Le Mans 24 Hours, to its greatest race - the Carrera Panamericana, the 300 SL's career from conception to retirement is presented, culminating with a detailed photographic essay illustrating restoration of the oldest 300 SL in existence.
Robert Ackerson's first encounter with a Mercedes-Benz took place in 1952, with a Mercedes SSK. Leaving a lasting impression upon him and his interest in Mercedes-Benz automobiles, an interest given added depth and intensity when the 300 SL made its sensational debut in sports car competition that same year. Robert's knowledge of that great year's triumphs -- a year that included victories for the 300 SL at Le Mans and in the grueling Carrera Panamericana -- was accompanied by a deep admiration and respect for the men who drove in those races, including Karl Kling, Hermann Lang, John Fitch and Rudi Caracciola.Robert has written numerous books and articles about many of the world's greatest high performance cars, including the 300 SLR competition cars and the W 196 R Grand Prix racer. He has received recognition for the quality of his writings from the Society of Automotive Historians and the Antique Car Club of America.