Tuesday, 18 December 2007

REVIEW: Mercedes Box Set

Mercedes-Benz Mille Miglia
50th Anniversary Twin Set

Scalextric have released a special limited edition box set of the 1955 Mercedes-Benz SLR and the 2005 Mercedes McLaren SLR. The production run is limited to 8,000 units. There are two cars in this set and I have decided to review them both separately so I can go into a little more detail. As the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR is an all new model, I couldn't resist reviewing it first.

PART 1: 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Daimler-Benz


Mercedes-Benz SLR Daimler-Benz signed up Stirling Moss for the 1955 racing season. On May 2, Stirling Moss won the Mille Miglia in the record time of ten hours, seven minutes and 48 seconds at the wheel of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR, together with navigator Denis Jenkinson. Similar to his team mates, Moss and his navigator, motor race journalist Denis Jenkinson, ran a total of six reconnaissance laps beforehand, enabling "Jenks" to make course notes on a scroll of paper 15 feet long that he used to give directions to Moss during the race by a coded system of hand signals. Moss and Jenkinson were competing against drivers with a large amount of local knowledge of the route, so the reconnaissance laps were considered an equaliser, rather than an advantage. Moss and Jenkinson arrived in Brescia in their Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR with the now famous No.722 car, setting the race record at an average of 159,65 km/h which was fastest ever on this 1597km variant of the course.


1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR:
  • Motor Mabuchi SP 18k rpm,
  • Overall length 135 mm,
  • Car Weight 74 gm,
  • In-Line Rear Mounted 2 wheel drive,
  • Wheelbase 74 mm,
  • Gear ratio 9:27
  • Down-force 190 gm


The first thing you will notice about this set is how stunning it looks in its silver presentation box. As this set is a homage to the legendary Silver Arrows, what other colour could Scalextric use? The Scalextric presentation box is very nice and removing the cars from the box's base is easy. The base section of the box simply lifts up exposing the slots metal screws which are tight and firmly secure the models in place.
The set comes with the usual Scalextric limited edition collector's plastic card. A nice touch is that the cars are printed in colour on the card. There is also a brief history of the cars on the inside of the boxes lid.


I don't think I'm going too far if I say the 300 SLR is one beautiful looking model. Scalextric have done a very good job capturing the essence of this car. From the photos I have researched of the 300 SLR, Scalextric have also done an accurate job. Scalextric have gone so far as to even accurately capture the appearance of the great man himself, Stirling Moss. Denis Jenkinson looks quite accurately depicted too.
Dash and internal detail is very good, I almost think I can see a tiny Mercedes star on the center of the steering wheel. Exhaust detail is also very well done and makes this model a little unique as its running around the track.
One of the most impressive elements of the model is the spoke wheels with Mercedes emblem in the center. The only improvement I could suggest would have been to use metal mesh for the intake on the bonnet, (similar to Cartrix's model of the Mercedes W196) unfortunately the mesh is a decal. Paint and decal quality is up to typical Scalextric standard - excellent.
The model comes with front and rear lights, you'll be happy to hear that the front lights are not too bright which was a worry I had. The shape of this model is beautiful, (especially from the rear) the curves of this car alone are enough to make you want to own your own little piece of Silver Arrow history.
The body comes away from the chassis via 6 small screws. You will have to remove another 2 screws to separate the driver's cockpit from the chassis. There isn't very much room inside the 300 SLR's body so Scalextric have placed the motor in an offset in-line configuration which is a little unusual. Putting the model back together can be a little tricky as everything must be exactly right, but it's not too hard. Note the small 'limited' edition metal sticker under the chassis, (just in front of the magnet) of the car.

The 300 SLR comes with the standard 18,000rpm motor and 7mm wide classic rear wheels so this car is never going to be a 'Slot.it killer' nor is it intended to be. Considering the offset front-mounted inline motor and the thin rubber, this car does not disgrace itself for one minute.
I would have liked to see this car with Scalextric's stepped magnet or the larger button magnet, (like in the classic F1 cars). The 300 SLR comes with the standard non-stepped magnet and I suspect this is to compensate for the thin rear rubber.

I found no need to true the rear rubber and in fact truing these types of tires can be a trap. As the tires are not very wide they true quickly and you can reduce the wheel diameter quite easily. This means that the bar magnet will be lower to the road, thus increasing the down-force. This might sound like a good thing but it removes the personality of the slot and you end up with a rocket. I made this mistake with the Scalextric Ferrari 156 sharknose, don't do it.

I think the car is a real winner, Scalextric have been highly successful in paying homage to the famous 300 SLR and Mercedes-Benz. The general vibe I'm getting on forums is this type of release is very welcome. The good news is that the Scalextric's 2008 line up will feature the 300 SLR Coupe. Here's hoping Scalextric continue to release more of these classic motorcars. Will I be buying the Coupe? Absolutely!

Manic Score Breakdown - Mille Miglia Box Set
  • Sex Appeal: 6th Gear
  • Set Collectibility: 6th Gear
  • Build Quality: 6th Gear
  • Attention to Detail: 6th Gear
  • 'RTR' Performance: 5th Gear
Overall Manic Score: 5.8 Gears

You can read the second part of this review on the 2005 Mercedes McLaren 722 SLR at the below link.Want to find out more about Scalextric slot cars?
Be our guest and CLICK HERE


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