This Red Pig Replica is the perfect antidote to alternative “meats”

With the rise of the plant-based meats like Beyond Meats and the Impossible Burger—a strange simulacrum of one of the great joys of the culinary world—you’ll forgive us for skepticism when “Replica” and “Pig” are used in the same sentence. However, “You should check out this amazing replica of the iconic Red Pig” is in this case a sentence we wholly endorse.

So, here we are, urging you, our cherished and tasteful reader, to do just that, when this incredible vehicle crosses the block on February 5 of this coming year at the RM Sotheby’s Paris sale.

Hopefully, the story of Red Pig (a.k.a. die Röte Sau) is a familiar one. If it’s not, here’s the CliffsNotes version: Two brilliant engineers from the Daimler-Benz Development Department were enlisted to help turn a customer’s wrecked 300 SEL chassis into a working race car. The shapely 300 SEL sprouted fender flares, aluminum doors, a significantly widened track, and larger tires. The resulting abomination was dubbed the “Red Pig,” thanks in part to the extra headlights that were akin to the nostrils in a pig’s snout.

1969 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 'Red Pig' Replica front
1969 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 ‘Red Pig’ Replica RM Sotheby’s
1969 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 'Red Pig' Replica rear
1969 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 ‘Red Pig’ Replica RM Sotheby’s

1969 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 'Red Pig' Replica side-view
1969 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 ‘Red Pig’ Replica RM Sotheby’s

But racing doesn’t care about looks, only speed. When the Red Pig blitzed the competition at the 1971 24 Hours of Spa, taking first in its class and second overall, all opinions on its ungainly looks were also left in the dust. The car is largely credited with jumpstarting what would become the Silver Star’s most notorious tuning firm, so much so that it’s now an in-house brand for Mercedes. Sadly, the original Red Pig was lost to the history books—it was used for aircraft testing that eventually led to its destruction.

Thankfully, a handful of exceptional replicas have been built, like this one. The replica began life as an accident-free 1969 model year 300 SEL 6.3. It was then commissioned by a South Korean CEO, and built by Arthur Bechtel Classic Motors, a well-regarded Mercedes-Benz specialist shop.

While it may not be the real deal, replicas like these are worth celebrating and admiring. From the wicked-cool Ferodo and Bilstein decals to the sauce-pan deep wheels, this is one replica pig we’re more than happy to see trotting across the block.

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