News Nr. 6 – March 2010

Later on this year, Schuco will release a special 1:43 scale model of the Mercedes-Benz 170V pick-up in the version of a (very) small gas tanker bearing the colours of the German gasoline Company “B.V.Aral”.(*) This model is limited to a production of 500 pieces only, and should quickly disappear from the dealers’ shelves. Granted, it’s not the newest of models, but this version, with its white wall tires, looks quite attractive. You may pre-order this model (order number 02437), priced at 29.95€ + S&H, by e-mailing Andreas Bunte at That way, you won’t be sorry later!

(*) A bit of history: it is quite interesting to look at where the name and the logo “B.V. ARAL” came from. The Company was created on November 28th 1898 in Bochum, Germany, by 13 coalmining companies from the Ruhr as “Westdeutsche Benzolverkaufsvereinigung” (“West German benzene sales organization”). Sole purpose of the creation of this company was the sale of benzene, a by-product of making coke from coal. In 1918, after having been restructured several times, the company became the “Benzol Verband GmbH” (short form: B.V.) with 75 mining companies being members in this syndicate. In 1924, the Company created a new, engine friendly fuel mixture for automobiles (specifically for “Otto”-engines, i.e. spark ignition engines): 6 parts gasoline and 4 parts benzene. The Company searched by way of a contest for a name for this new product, and the winner of the contest turned out to be the company’s chemist, Walter Ostwald (whose father Wilhelm Ostwald had been awarded the Nobel-prize for Chemistry in 1909). Since benzene is chemically classified as an “Aromatic” substance, and gasoline belongs to the non-aromatic hydrocarbons, i.e. to the “Aliphatic” substances, he came up with the name ARAL, which was adopted immediately. The blue and white colours of the logo had been chosen to reflect the blue and white colours of the city of Bochum, where the Company had been founded. In 1930, for reasons of trademark protection, the ARAL-gasoline was tinted blue as well. The crossed hammer and chisel in the logo always have been and are to this day the symbols of coal mining in Germany. The “B.V.-ARAL” or “B.V. ARAL” Company quickly became the third largest in Germany, thanks to the ever increasing number of cars on the road, and prior to World War II, it was the only gasoline company without foreign participation or ownership. Since 2002 however, the ARAL Company, with its 2500 gas stations across Germany, is owned by BP.

Evolution of the ARAL logo from 1898 to now:

A bit of whimsy…
If you appreciate a bit of humour, you’ll smile at the tin creations of Hinz & Kunst GmbH, which produces a range of Mercedes-Benz trucks made in a similar way to the Böhringer-Unimog shown below. I can only suggest that you look at their webpage to look at all of their creations.

Sure, they are not exact miniaturized replicas, they are considered as pieces of metal art…yet they retain enough of the features for the viewer to clearly recognize what car, what truck he is looking at! One or two of these on your display shelves, and you have interesting attention getters! The Unimog is 25 cm long, costs 142 €, and can be ordered under the article number 481 from:

Hinz & Kunst
Plinganserstr 52
D-81369- München
Tel: +49 (89) 74665650
(Visa and Mastercard accepted)

A special model from the Mercedes-Benz Museum

A special orange version of the SLS AMG, limited to 500 individually numbered pieces, is being offered presently by the Mercedes-Benz Museum. Priced at 49.90 € (plus S&H), this 1:43 resin scale model made by Spark is sold in a silver presentation box similar to the box used for the red SLS AMG model at the Frankfurt IAA last year ( see News Nr. 13 / September 2009). The inside of the lid shows a picture of the Museum. To place your order, you need to e-mail Dieter Mäurer (in English – or in German for that matter) at Payment will have to be made to using Paypal, once Dieter Mäurer informs you about the total cost, including shipping.

Spark will release 3 Mercedes-Benz W196 GP cars this year

Good news
Should you or your PC accidentally delete the News, nothing is lost! Yes, you now can review the News on the following website: Scroll down, and sooner or later, you’ll see it appear in its entirety. My thanks to Mr. Thilo Wessel from the Mercedes-Benz Museum GmbH, and to Mr. Philipp Deppe.

First things first…It’s all a matter of priorities.

Until next time, drive safely…but don’t forget the hairbrush.

Author Bernd D. Loosen