In the 1950s and 1960s, classic Mercedes-Benz saloons won numerous touring car championship races around circuits and at rallies. Stuttgart-based Walter Schock and his co-driver Rolf Moll took part in the 1956 Monte Carlo Rally in a Mercedes-Benz 220 a (W 180). Six cylinders, 2.2 litres of displacement and 85 kW (115 hp) were enough to finish in second place of the overall classification at this rally, which is so deeply steeped in tradition.
The crucial criterion in favour of the “Ponton” was its ground clearance, an advantage compared to the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W 198) at this rally, which was hit by plenty of snow. With this second place, the team laid the foundations for the 1956 European Championship title. Schock/Moll once again claimed the victory at the Monte Carlo Rally in 1960 at the wheel of a large car, the Mercedes-Benz 220 SE (W 111) tail fin saloon.
The rally duo from Stuttgart chose the 300 SL for further rallies during the 1956 season. Schock/Moll won the Sestrière Rally as well as the Acropolis Rally and finished near the top at further races. After a very close finish at the Ibérico Rally on 24th November 1956, the Mercedes-Benz team claimed the European Rally Championship title for touring cars with a lead of only two points. Schock/Moll were also crowned International Rally Champions while Walter Schock also claimed the German GT Championship in the 300 SL that same year.
Walter Schock was born on 3rd April 1920. He trained as an automotive mechanic at Mercedes-Benz, passed his driving test at the young age of 17 and became test driver. Walter Schock only started motor racing after the Second World War, namely in 1954 with a Mercedes-Benz 220 a (W 180) at the “Solitude” Rally.
He celebrated plenty of success in the following years, including the title at the 1961 Argentinian Grand Prix for touring cars, driving the Mercedes-Benz 220 SE (W 111) with Rolf Moll. Walter Schock passed away in Stuttgart in 2005 at the age of 85. His long-term co-driver, mechanical engineer Rolf Moll, was the CEO of Deutscher Kraftfahrzeug-Überwachungsverein (German Motor Vehicle Inspection Association, DEKRA) between 1968 and 1996. He also remained closely associated with motorsport after having retired from active racing, holding numerous honorary offices.
Rolf Moll died in 2018 at the age of 89.
Source: Motorsport history of Mercedes-Benz – Newslettter 3/2021 (Dated 9th September 2021)
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