Thursday, January 13, 2011

One of my Better Scale Models & My Car Book

This is my Bburago scale model kit of the 1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SLR M.M., one of the world's most famous racing cars. Though named similarly to the 300SL Gullwings of the mid Fifties, this car wasn't based on that car, it was a full-race chassis, the 196S in Mercedes speak. The M.M. in the name refers to the Mille Miglia, a thousand mile rally around Italy that took place 24 times from 1927-57, with time off for World War II. Drivers such as the great Sir Stirling Moss piloted these phenomenal cars at the great races of the day, including Le Mans. This car was involved in what has become the worst accident in the history of racing, with 82 people dead, the 1955 Le Mans. I've had this kit for 9-10 years.

The back of the box illustrates many other awesome Bburago metal scale model kits. Oh, if I could have ordered all of them, lol!
  • I found photos of this model in "built" condition on Flickr. It's more authentic looking than the rendering on the box!
  • For the Wiki on this famous series of racing cars, click here.
  • Another site with cool vintage photos and a write up of this car, click here.
B T W : The First Book of Cars I Designed

This car was also featured in a book I designed a few years ago, 50 Cars to Drive, written by Dennis Adler, it was No. 4 of the 50. The link will bring you to Amazon, and there is a neat "Look Inside" feature, allowing you to see some of the interior pages as well as the cover, designed by my good friend, Jane Sheppard.


  1. Many years ago in an issue of True magazine, if memory serves, there was an article about the accident at LeMans where Pierre Leveigh (I think that was his name) tried to drive the whole 24 hours by himself. I forget why -- I think at the time (and maybe today) drivers drive in shifts. The theory is that he missed a shift and in trying to correct that error he lost control and plowed into the crowd. I guess I was about 10 at the time I was reading about it and it was fascinating to me. I see references to the accident every once in a while, yours being the latest. It just occurs to me as I write this that I have a Dinky Toy of this car!

    Paul, NYC

  2. you know, Paul, I didn't realize this was the same car as in my book until this morning! After I wrote the post, there was something about the blue plaid seats that jogged my memory and I went and got the book. Then I realized there was a photo of the exact car, #722. The model box was probably sitting on the floor next to me the entire time I worked on the book! I get spacey some times! I bet that Dinky toy is pretty cool, a great period piece!

  3. The Germans sure know how to design and make cars back then. Unfortunately Mercedes had bad luck, wondered if that effected sales that year. The body was made from magnesium alloy which made the car flammable. Too bad the driver's wife saw the car go up in flames.