Huge fascination on a small scale: This is the extremely diverse world of model vehicles ranging across numerous scales and themes. Replicas of Mercedes-Benz cars are always right at the forefront. This is underlined by this year’s competition for the “Model Vehicle of the Year”, in which readers of the special interest magazine “Modell Fahrzeug” (Model Vehicles), published in German by Delius Klasing, choose their favourites – seven miniatures of the brand bearing the star have been selected. In addition, the title of “Top Original Model Brand 2020” has been awarded to Mercedes-Benz for the tenth time in 30 years. This title is awarded each year to a car manufacturer that “takes a particular interest in the topic of model cars”, according to the competition organisers. The 2020 award-winning miniatures range from tiny – corresponding to the H0 model train scale – to really large models. The respective originals come from very different eras and segments. The award ceremony took place in early December 2020 in an online format only.

The Super Model of the Year 2020: When the Mercedes-Benz 600 (W 100) was unveiled at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt am Main in September 1963, the highly representative vehicle caused a sensation. It was the first Mercedes-Benz passenger car with a V8 engine, offered driving performance at sports car level and had numerous hydraulically controlled comfort features. The equipment level was unique at the time in every respect. Customers were able to choose from a range of sumptuous materials and colours for leather covers, fabrics, wood and interior trims to personalise their car. The Pullman version of the W 100 with a wheelbase of 3,900 millimetres was clearly designed to be a chauffeur-driven vehicle as a limousine or landaulet. CMC has now reproduced just such a Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman landaulet in the equally impressive 1/18 scale. This model, which costs more than 900 euros, has been awarded both the “Super Model of the Year 2020” and the “Collectors’ 1/18 Classics” prizes.

Great racing cars in miniature: At the wheel of the AMG 300 SEL 6.8 racing touring car, Hans Heyer and Clemens Schickentanz achieved a totally surprising class victory in the 24-hour Spa–Francorchamps race in Belgium on 24 July 1971 and took second place in the overall classification. Their success quickly focussed the public gaze on the AMG company, founded in 1967 by Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher as an “Engineering Office, Design and Testing for the Development of Racing Engines”. The basis for the competition vehicle was the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 (184 kW/250 hp) luxury saloon. Basing their design on this exceptional car of its time, Aufrecht and Melcher developed the 315 kW (428 hp) racing touring car. In 2006, the AMG 300 SEL 6.8 was replicated as a fully detailed reconstruction and became a popular guest star at events for Mercedes-Benz Classic. Schuco has now released a detailed 1/87 scale model of the red powerhouse to correspond to H0 model trains. In the competition for the Model Vehicle of the Year 2020, this miniature car, which costs only around ten euros, won in the category “Collectors’ 1/87 Classic Cars”.

Remote-controlled all-rounder: There is almost no task that a Mercedes-Benz Unimog cannot master. This also includes remote-controlled driving and manoeuvring at a tiny 1/87 scale as in an RC model of the Unimog 406 series made by Carson RC Sport. Inside an overall length of less than five centimetres, the receiver and drive are located under the striking body of this model of the original that was in production between 1963 and 1989. The model, which costs around 100 euros, is available as a municipal service version (this Unimog can be seen on the front page of the January issue of the magazine), a forestry and a Bundeswehr German army version. So it’s not surprising that readers of the magazine declared this Unimog – universal motorised device – the winner in the “RC: Electro-Economy” category.

Bernd Mayländer model: The current Formula One Safety Car, the Mercedes-AMG GT R (fuel consumption combined 12.4 l/100 km, CO2 emissions combined 284-282 g/km) is depicted in the 1/43 scale model made by Premium X, and was the winner in the “Collectors’ 1/43 Current Large-Run Series” category. The miniature, which costs around 40 euros, was based by these model-makers on the design that was current before the new design launched in July 2020. The latest version of the Formula One Safety Car now bears motifs from the “#WeRaceAsOne” campaign for diversity and integration. Mercedes-AMG has continuously provided the official Safety Cars and Medical Cars for Formula One since 1996 and, since 2000, Bernd Mayländer has been the regular driver of the Safety Car.

Gaggenau fire brigade classic: The history of the vehicle that was the inspiration for this model goes back to the time before the merger of Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft with Benz & Cie. in 1926. In 1924, in the region around the area that later became the Stuttgart district of Vaihingen auf den Fildern, several boroughs, districts, the state and local industry joined forces to purchase a new fire engine for 31,360.90 marks. The basis for this “overland fire engine” was a Benz 2 CSN truck built in Gaggenau. In the model designation, the number “2” stands for 2 to 2.5 tonnes of payload, the C for the cardan drive, the S for the fire pump (“Spritze”) with which it was equipped. The Benz 2 CN truck on which the 2 CSN was based was built from 1923 to 1926 as the successor to the 2 C. The 29 kW (40 hp) engine meant the fire engine was able to reach a maximum speed of 50 km/h when it was out on an emergency call. Today, the Benz 2 CSN fire engine is one of the exhibits at the Fire Brigade Museum in Winnenden. This 135-euro model of the vehicle delivered in 1925, scale 1/43, made by Autocult, won in the “Collectors’ 1/43 Commercial Vehicles” category.

Pagoda innovation: The innovation award went to Schuco this year for its green Mercedes-Benz 280 SL “Pagoda”, model series W 113, scale 1/18. The toy manufacturer based in Franconia, South Germany, has managed to reduce the retail price of this sports car classic from around 160 euros to under 100 euros, while maintaining the same quality, by adjusting its production methods.

Models at the Museum: The shop of the Mercedes-Benz Museum (currently closed) offers a large selection of models of passenger cars, commercial vehicles and motorsport originals. Alternatively, it is worth taking a look at the online store with its comprehensive range of products and the option to ship anywhere in the world: https://www.mercedes-benz-classic-store.com/en 

Source: Mercedes-Benz Classic