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Michael Kramer del reparto ricerca Mercedes Benz.Michael Kramer from the Mercedes Benz Research Department.

A few months after the construction of the Maybach began, Harald Leschke and Michael Krämer of Advanced Design, together with Gunter Holzel from the research department, proposed a new job.
Its name is F300 Life Jet and it is a three-wheeled, two-seater vehicle with a refined attitude variation technique while driving.
In practice, the Life Jet tilts automatically in curves including changes in trajectory when overtaking.

021997 the drawings of the Mercedes Life Jet made by the Sindelingen Advanced Style Center directed by Harald Leschke.031997 the drawings of the Mercedes Life Jet made by the Sindelingen Advanced Style Center directed by Harald Leschke.

For Mercedes, after the F200 it was a period of great technological research for innovative driving systems, and with the Life Jet they could explore more and more daring styles. Despite the modest dimensions, this prototype proved vey difficult to build due to its complexity.
Shaped like an aircraft wing, the absence of a normal floor and the use of aluminum on 100% of the bodywork really tested Felice Chiara's team.

04Beppe Comollo05Antonio Tartaglia and Rocco.

The Life Jet would be presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1997 arousing a lot of amazement and interest among both journalists and professionals.
Currently the F300 Life Jet prototype is exhibited at the museum of the history of Mercedes cars in Stuttgart.


06August 1997. The official photos in Italy before the transport of the F300 Life Jet to the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Francoforte Salone dell'Automobile. Jurgen Hubert CEO Mercedes presenta il Life Jet insieme a David Coulthard e Mika Hakkinen. Sulla destra della foto si riconosce Dieter Zetsche.Frankfurt Motor Show. Jurgen Hubert CEO Mercedes presents the Life Jet together with David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen. Dieter Zetsche can be seen on the right of the photo.

10September 1997 Frankfurt. The Mercedes F300 Life Jet premiered at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

11Stuttgart November 1997. At the Gunter Holzel Research Center invites Alfredo Stola and Gioachino Grande
to review the Life Jet.

122019 Stuttgart. The F300 Life Jet is currently on display at the Mercedes automobile history museum.



In 1997, a few days before Christmas, without warning, we received an invitation to go to the Sindelfingen Style Center for a business meeting.
The breefing was presented by the director Bruno Sacco and assisted by Peter Pfeiffer and was exciting beyond all expectations. The proposed goal was to create a Supercar to celebrate their current Formula 1 collaboration with Maclaren, the MP 4\13.

01Bruno Sacco director of the Mercedes Benz Style Center.02Peter Pfeiffer Deputy Director of the Mercedes Benz Style Center.

This was the period in which the Silver Maclaren mercedes offered a real challenge to Ferrari, in partucular with Mika Hakkinen at the wheel, so much so that they would take the world championship, beating Schumacher's Ferrari, just before the prototype was finished.
We were told that the name would be SLR, in memory of the legendary "Silver Arrows", the formula 1 heritage was clearly seen in the front of the scale model. In the meetings, Maclaren were never mentioned, it was always described as a Mercedes with an AMG engine.

031998 Mercedes returns to win the F1 world championship with the MP4 / 13 driven by Mika Hakkinen.041998 Mercedes returns to win the F1 world championship with the MP4 / 13 driven by Mika Hakkinen.

Mercedes' commitment was to have the 1/1 clay styling model with a motorized chassis in Turin by 2nd May.
After creating the Maybach, one of the most luxurious cars ever made, we now had the opportunity to build another prototype for Mercedes, an  heir to the magnificent SLR, it is hard to describe the satisfaction that that gave.
Everything was planned, our team was ready, and on May 5th 1998 the model and chassis arrived by truck.
An hour later,the meeting to start work with the whole Stola Team was announced by Messrs Pfeiffer, Gorden Wagener and Jurgen Weissinger.
Now I would like to tell a particular story that may seem hard to believe, but having experienced it in person with my colleagues, and many years have passed, I feel I can tell it.
Before reaching the reserved area where the styling model and chassis of the SLR had just been positioned, the Mercedes Team saw our STOLA Abarth Monotype at the end of the corridor, recently returned from the Turin Motor Show, with both doors open.

La Show Car Stola Abarth Monotipo presentata al salone dell'Automobile di Torino nell'aprile del 1998.The Stola Abarth Monotipo Show Car presented at the Turin Motor Show in April 1998.

Mr. Pfeiffer in reaching the restricted area was very taken by the doors of the open Monotype, which had been parked between a Lamborghini Countach and an Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale.
The SLR clay model had been designed and engineered to have conventional opening doors.
Instinctively, Mr Pfeiffer asks if the doors of their newly arrived model could be opened as the STOLA Monotype, and if possible what would the extra cost be?
Stola technicians, Felice Chiara, Vittorio Della Rocca and Lucio Giarolo were immediately tasked with the analysis, and after some empirical evaluation with the appropriate drawings it was communicated that it would be possible, without cost or time slip.
From that precise moment in time, the doors of the SLR would have had the same openings of the STOLA ABARTH MONOTIPO.
It would be 8 months of intense but rewarding work, in perfect integration with the Mercedes technicians residing in Turin.

06Gorden Wagener and Steffen Kohl are the designers who designed the Mercedes SLR in 1998.07Steffen Kohl and Gorden Wagener are the designers who designed the Mercedes SLR in 1998.

08One of the first drawings of the Mercedes SLR which, together with the scale model, is shown to the Stola by the Directors Bruno Sacco and Peter Pfeiffer.09One of the first drawings of the Mercedes SLR which, together with the scale model, is shown to the Stola by the Directors Bruno Sacco and Peter Pfeiffer.

The designers directly involved for the SLR prototype were the young Gorden Wagener and Steffen Khoel, who together, not only designed the model but would oversee construction throughout the process, pushing us to goals of quality and more and more ambitious details.
For this project, for the first time in our history we also built the aluminum rims within our production structure.

101998 Rivoli via Ferrero 9. The SLR Roadster in paint shop on the second floor of the prototype department.

11December 1998. From left Stefano Santolin, Vincenzo Angelini, Gunter Holzel and Maurizio Di Maria.

13December 1998 Rivoli. Franco Gavina of Salt in a moment of pause.

Dicembre 1998 Rivoli. Poche ore prima di caricare il prototipo della Vision SLR sul camion destinazione areoporto di Francoforte per consegna a Detroit. Da sinistra si riconoscono Maurizio Di Maria, Gunter Holzel, Vincenzo Angelini, franco Gavina, Giuseppe Gammicchia e Franz Leker.December 1998 Rivoli. A few hours before loading the prototype of the Vision SLR on the truck destined for Frankfurt airport for delivery in Detroit. From the left we recognize Maurizio Di Maria, Gunter Holzel, Vincenzo Angelini, Franco Gavina, Giuseppe Gammicchia and Franz Leker.

15Spitaleri, Sasso, Comollo and V. Angelini can be
16Big game in a souvenir photo with the Vision SLR.

Dicembre 1998 Rivoli. Una foto ricordo pochi minuti prima della partenza della SLR. Franz Lecher, Gunter Holzel, Franco Gavina e Alfredo Stola.December 1998 Rivoli. A souvenir photo a few minutes before the start of the SLR. Franz Lecher, Gunter Holzel, Franco Gavina and Alfredo Stola.

1824 December 1998 Rivoli. Part of the Stola team rests while the prototype is loaded onto the elevator. Santolin, Bonetto, Buttiglieri, Angelo and X19A sheet written by A. Stola placed in the department where he indicates December 24 as the last delivery date together with three technical notes.

20December 24, 1998. G. Holzel, A. Sasso, F. Chiara, Angelo, Y and S. Sassu.21December 24 Salvatore Sassu in a souvenir photo a few seconds before the departure of the Vision SLR.

24 dicembre Rivoli Felice Chiara guida la SLR verso l'ascensore per il trasporto per fare il servizio fotografico. Dietro l'SLR una parte del Team. Da sinistra si riconoscono Leker, X, Y, A. Stola, Gammicchia, Holzel; bonetto, Buttiglieri, Spitaleri, Z, W, Santolin, sassu, Erminio, Maurizio Di Maria, Cena, Vincenzo Angelini.December 24 Rivoli Felice Chiara drives the SLR to the transport lift to do the photo shoot. Behind the SLR a part of the team. From the left we recognize Leker, X, Y, A. Stola, Gammicchia, Holzel; bonetto, Buttiglieri, Spitaleri, Z, W, Santolin, Sassu, Erminio, Maurizio Di Maria, Cena, Vincenzo Angelini.

27 Dicembre 1998 Mercedes Vision SLR Coupè allo studio fotografico in Torino prima della partenza per Detroit.December 27, 1998 Mercedes Vision SLR Coupè at the photographic studio in Turin before leaving for Detroit.

Like all the Mercedes show prototypes, everything but everything is absolutely functional and working, this is a characteristic that few car manufacturers claim in this very first phase of a project.
Presented at the Detroit Motor Show in the early days of January 1999, as always in the presence of Mercedes top management, the interest of journalists was positive far beyond expectation.

24January 1999 Detroit. COBO is the name of the building that hosts the events in the city of Detroit.25Here is the first moment of the presentation of the SLR.

26January 199 Detroit 1998 The moment of the presentation of the Mercedes SLR to journalists and professionals.27January 199 Detroit 1998 The moment of the presentation of the Mercedes SLR to journalists and professionals.

Gennaio 1999 Detroit. Alfredo e Roberto Stola insieme a Gioachino Grande pochi minuti dopo la presentazione.January 1999 Detroit. Alfredo and Roberto Stola together with Gioachino Grande a few minutes after the presentation.

On the second day of the Detroit Show, in a meeting in the lounge of the Mercedes stand, Bruno Sacco and Peter Pfeiffer tell us that for the Frankfurt Motor Show, in 8 months we will have to build a new roadster version of the SLR.

1999 Detroit. Nella lounge della Mercedes. B. Sacco, R. Stola, F. Stola, MP. Stola, M. Kramer, H. Leschke, P. Pfeiffer e G. Holzel.1999 Detroit. In the Mercedes lounge. B. Sacco, R. Stola, F. Stola, MP. Stola, M. Kramer, H. Leschke, P. Pfeiffer and G. Holzel.

Novembre 1998, disegno della SLR di Gorden Wagener.November 1998, Gorden Wagener's drawing of the SLR.


In February 1999 we received a new clay model and roadster chassis from Sindelfingen, of course the doors still had exactly the concept as the Stola Abarth Monotype.


The working teams remained the same, and at the beginning of September Jurgen Hubert presented the SLR roadster, announcing that both versions would be put into production, starting with the coupe, at the MacLaren factory in England. 

Sindelfingen novembre 1998 Steffen Kohl al lavoro sul disegno della SLR Roadster.Sindelfingen November 1998 Steffen Kohl working on the design of the SLR Roadster.




36July 1999 Rivoli. The assembly phases of the Mercedes Vision SLR Roadster. On the left Alfredo and Francesco Stola and Gordon Wagener. Right on the ground Klaus Busse.

37August 1999 Rivoli. A few minutes before the Vision SLR Roadster is transported to the Frankfurt Motor Show. A part of the Stola team poses for a souvenir photo.

38September 1999 Carrara. Official photo of the Mercedes Vision SLR Roadster before its presentation at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The SLR daughter was certainly the 2004 SLK called the R 171 with the unmistakable hood with the DNA of the great SLR supercar.

39September 1999 Massa Carrara. A few days before the presentation of the SLR Roadster, Mercedes organizes an unforgettable photo shoot in a marble quarry in Carrara, with the three SLRs. These three masterpieces will be presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show.



Klaus BusseKlaus BusseIn early 1998, for the occasion of the upcoming Turin Motor Show on April 24, Mercedes decided to have Stola spa make a special version of the Mercedes A-Class W168.
This was to be a tribute to the Turin show, and so was called "Turin".
It was to be a simple refinement of the bumpers,wheel arches and wheel rims, plus interor trim by the Gavinas of Salt.
These discreet improvements were penned by the young Klaus Busse, who worked with the Stola modellers on their realisation.

02March 1998 Rivoli The modeling of the Turin A-Class.03March 1998 Rivoli The modeling of the Turin A-Class.

15 aprile 1998 Rivoli. La Mercedes Classe A edizione Turin a fine montaggio nell'area di lavoro della Stola spa.April 15, 1998 Rivoli. The Mercedes A-Class Turin edition at the end of the assembly in the Stola spa work area.

055 April 1998 Rivoli. The Mercedes A-Class Limousine W168 Turin edition a few days before being presented at the Turin motor show.065 April 1998 Rivoli. The Mercedes A-Class Limousine W168 Turin edition a few days before being presented at the Turin motor show.

07April 1998 Photograph of the A-Class Limusine Special Edition for the Turin motor show.08April 1998 Photograph of the A-Class Limusine Special Edition for the Turin motor show.

Aprile 1998 Salone dell'auto di Torino, Klaus Busse e Michael Mauer con la A Class Turin Edition.April 1998 Turin Auto Show, Klaus Busse and Michael Mauer with the A Class Turin Edition.

Mikka Hakkinen Sulla MP4/13Mikka Hakkinen on the MP4 / 13At the time of Mikka Hakkinen's victory in the 1998 Formula One championship with the MP 4/13, Mercedes AMG decided to build first one, then four, high-performance A-Classes.
The name of the project was "A190 Twin Study", and the first prototype was previewed at the end of November at the Mercedes-Benz Museum on the occasion of the celebrations of the historic victory in Formula 1.

11January 1999 Rivoli. The stages of preparation for modeling the bumpers.12January 1999 Rivoli. The stages of preparation for modeling the bumpers.

Febbraio 1999 Rivoli. Nella fase di assemblaggio finale, in piedi a destra è riconoscibile Lucio Giarolo.February 1999 Rivoli. In the final assembly phase, standing to the right is Lucio Giarolo.

Marzo 1999 Ginevra. La Mercedes A 190 Twin-Engined A al salone di Ginevra.March 1999 Geneva. The Mercedes A 190 Twin-Engined A at the Geneva Motor Show.

The timescale was very short, obviously the Mercedes managers predicted the victory a few months ahead of time in order to prepare the AMG and its sophisticated mechanics.
Il secondo motore ubicato nel vano bagagli.The second engine located in the luggage compartment.In fact there were 2 engines, one at the front and the second in the rear luggage compartment. Of course, brakes, suspension and steering and much more had to be modified as well.
The power output reached 250 Hp with a speed of over 230 km / h, all transmitted through four-wheel drive. Obviously testing was performed by the new champion.
Time was so tight that the Stola modellers had to make changes directly on the car, including painting and the upholstery realised by Salt.
New parts realized through models and soft tools included the two bumpers and side skirts, all being made in hand-layed carbon fiber.
The first example was built by Stola, whilst the following three were assembled in Germany by AMG using body parts moulded and shipped from Rivoli.

Mika Hakkinen testa la prima Classe A W168 targata S MZ 1144 il cui primo esemplare la Stola spa a contribuito alla realizzazione dei modelli, degli stampi e dei particolari dei due paraurti e delle minigonne laterali.Mika Hakkinen tests the first A-Class W168 with the S MZ 1144 license plate, the first model of which Stola spa contributed to the creation of the models, molds and details of the two bumpers and side skirts.

Foto ufficiale Mercedes della prima A Class W168 presentata a novembre del 1998 al Mercedes-Benz Museum.Official Mercedes photo of the first A Class W168 presented in November 1998 at the Mercedes-Benz Museum.



The creation of three Pope-mobiles between 1997 and 2002 was a wonderful experience, one consequence of which was the opportunity for Alfredo, Francesco and Maria Paola Stola to have an audience with Pope John Paul II.
In a meeting at the offices of the of the Rivoli modellers between Bruno Sacco, Monsignor Danzi and other clergy, and Mr. Piero Cicchetti, the Pope's driver , the decision was taken to build a new S-Class Landaulet.


02Rome 1960 Pope John XXIII with the Mercedes 300 Laundaulet in service until 1997.

This was replacement for the now-dated Mercedes S Class W 111 Landaulet, in service since 1959 with Pope John XXIII, and it still operational.
The requirements for reliability and respect for emission standards made the Stuttgart company decide to donate to the Vatican a new vehicle based on the new W140 chassis.

January 1997 Rivoli via Ferrero 9. At the metrological room of Stola s.p.a. the Mercedes 300 Laundaulet still in service since 1960 for four Popes.January 1997 Rivoli via Ferrero 9. At the metrological room of Stola s.p.a. the Mercedes 300 Laundaulet still in service since 1960 for four Popes.04Ergonomic surveys are carried out in order to obtain useful information for the future and new Mercedes

Il progetto di base per la nuova Laundaulet.The basic design for the new Laundaulet.It was a sensitive project not only because of the who the customer was but also because cutting up an S-Class and making a Landaulet version is a demanding operation.
The design and modeling were performed by the Stola team directed by Gottardo Bustreo and Stefano Ardagna following the stylistic indications of Andrea Deufel from Mercedes.
The actual construction and painting of the prototype was entrusted by STOLA to Salvatore Diomante of Nichelino SD .


Nichelino dicembre 1997. Roberto Stola esamina la Laudaulet prima della consegna allo Stato Vaticano da parte di Mercedes Italia.Nichelino December 1997. Roberto Stola examines the Laudaulet before delivery to the Vatican State by Mercedes Italia.

Rivoli gennaio 1998 presso la Stola s.p.a. in via Ferrero 9, gli ultimi ritocchi prima della consegna.Rivoli January 1998 at Stola s.p.a. in via Ferrero 9, the final touches before delivery.


13San Mauro Torinese January 1998 at the property of Roberto Stola Villa La Vista the souvenir photos before delivery.

13 113 2
Vatican City - Rome: the first official outing of Pope John Paul II with the Mercedes S Class LandouletVatican City - Rome: the first official outing of Pope John Paul II with the Mercedes S Class Landoulet

For reasons of security, between 2000 and 2002,the Vatican State asked Mercedes to imagine a new model of Popemobile that could be used even when the pope was standing and offering maximum visibility.
Given their recent excellent experience, Peter Pfeiffer ,Director of the Style Center, together with the special cars department in Stuttgart entrust this work to STOLA.
Monsignor Danzi and driver Piero Cicchetti both made valuable contributions to the project, in particular to all questions of internal ergonomics and accessibility to the vehicle.
The design and modeling were carried out at STOLA in Rivoli, whilst the construction of the prototypes was given to SD of Nichelino.

14Nichelino 2001 at SD Alfrdo Stola, Salvatore Diomante and Gregorio Apuzzo15Alfredo Stola and Dalessio

16A. Stola poses for a souvenir photo.

17Nichelino 2001 a few moments before the delivery of the first Popemobile to Mercedes Italia.

The ordered vehicles were twins, the starting point was the M Class W 240, styling was by Peter Arcadipane and the agreement was that all the ballistic safety materials would be supplied by Mercedes.
This time the painting of the two white Popemobiles would be carried out by Vercar in Beinasco,STOLA's usual supplier.
The reason for this choice was that such a tall painting booth was not available at either SD or STOLA spa.

18Turin 2001 the official photo of the Popemobile M Class W 240 taken before being sent to Mercedes Italia. The following year a second twin model will be built, again by Stola spa.

The first person to use these 3 vehicles was Pope John II, Official delivery of the three vehicles to the vatican was made by Mercedes' Gregorio Apuzzo, manager of the Mercedes special production department (police cars, taxis, etc.)and the man who managed the project.


The Holy Father was aware of the work done in Rivoli, and so, through Monsignor Danzi, In the spring of 2003 he sent two personally signed books to Roberto and Alfredo Stola.
Alfredo Stola with his wife Maria Paola and his son Francesco were invited to a touching audience in St. Peter's in front of Karol Wojtyla, and at that time the assistant of the Holy Father reminded him that company Stola had cooperated in the construction of his cars.


22Vatican City April 2003 Alfredo, Francesco e Maria Paola Stola at the Vatican garage with the Laundaulet
and the M-Class Popemobile.

Citta del Vaticano 19 aprile 2003 Maria Paola, Francesco e Alfredo Stola in udienza con Papa Giovanni Paolo II in Piazza San Pietro.Vatican City April 19, 2003 Maria Paola, Francesco and Alfredo Stola in audience
with Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square.

These 3 papal cars were then used again by Pope Ratzinger Benedict XVI, and are now exhibited in the Vatican museum, in the hall dedicated to cars and carriages.

24Vatican City 2002 Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square.25Pope John Paul II.

26Washington April 16, 2008 Pope Benedict XVI visits the President of the United States of America George W. Bush.27Pope Benedict XVI




A "chapter within the chapter" was the Smart brand, with which STOLA spa was already involved in 1996 directly from the Swiss company Swatch for the construction of a styling model for a dashboard, exhibited at the Louvre museum in conjunction with the Paris Motor Show in October.
Between 1999 and 2002, Smart, now 100% owned by Mercedes, presented 4 Show Cars all built in continuity by STOLA spa.
They were the Roadster in 1999, the Coupe in 2000, the For Four Tridion in 2001 and the Cross Blade in 2002, shown at the respective car shows in Frankfurt, Paris, Frankfurt and Geneva.
The design of the first two concepts was under the direction of Michael Mauer and the last two by Hartmut Sinkwitz, all under the supervision of director Peter Pfeiiffer.

02Official photo of the Smart Roadster.

03Frankfurt September 1999 The Roadster at the Smart

04Official photo of the Smart Coupè05Parigi ottobre 2000 La Coupè nello stand Smart.

06Official photo of the Smart Tridion 4

07Frankfurt September 2001 The Tridion 4
on the Smart stand

08Photo of the Crossblade press kit.

091 March 2001 Geneva. The Crossblade on the Smart

Flavio Secoli presidente della F&S nella modelleria di Rivoli.Flavio Secoli president of F&S in the Rivoli model shop.These four very special show cars were made by STOLA spa, but not in the usual way.
The modeling of the many Mercedes projects and those of other customers meant there was physically no space available in the factory, so, for the first time, the complex work was given to F&S.
This Rivoli model shop located in via Novara 29, owned by Flavio Secoli assisted by his son Davide, is a few hundred meters from the Stola factory, and is a reliable company already its supplier for over twenty years.

Vittorio Della Rocca capofficina della Stola spaVittorio Della Rocca foreman of Stola spaThese four Show Cars were built with a mixed team of men from the two modellers, under the supervision of the STOLA spa departmental manager Vittorio Della Rocca and Lucio Giarolo technical manager of the prototype department.
The upholstery of the interiors also on this occasion were by Messrs Gavina of Salt.
Painting of all the models and show cars was done at STOLA spa on the second floor of the prototypes finishing department in via Ferrero 9, Rivoli.

12Michael Mauer13Hartmut Sinkwitz

14Rivoli March 199915Rivoli March 1999

16Rivoli May 199917Rivoli May 1999

18Rivoli September 1999

19Rivoli September 1999 We recognize G. Grande first on the left and F. Secoli last on the right.

20Rivoli January 2001.

21The construction phases of the technical model
the Smart Tridion

22The technical model of the Smart Tridion that will be used to build the prototype.23The technical model of the Smart Tridion that will be used to build the prototype.

24Rivoli April 2001 Vittorio Della Rocca25Rivoli April 2001

26Rivoli April 2001

27Rivoli August 2001 V. Della Rocca, G. Grande and M. Vay28Rivoli August 2001 G. Grande.

30Rivoli August 2001 F. Secoli, X and Peralta31Rivoli August 2001 V. Della Rocca.

32February 27, 2001 Rivoli the Smart Crossblade a few hours before departure for the Geneva Motor Show. From left Hummel, Alfredo Stola, Conrad Hummel, Flavio Secoli and Gioachino Grande.

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