Mass-produced models become true one-offs.

A Mercedes-Benz model car, some coloured pencils, a child's sieve, a few handicraft supplies: That's pretty much all photographer Stephan Garçon, based in the German town of Bitburg, needs to fool the eye of the beholder. Working on a disused US military air base near Bitburg, he creates convincingly realistic backdrops for models that he styles himself - often miniature versions of Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Born in this town in the German Eifel region, the 50-year-old knows the site inside out.

“My idea is to create pictures where the casual viewer has to think about whether the object is real or not”, is how Stephan Garçon explains his passion. He loves experimenting: “It's all done by hand. That's the only way to make the artificially created scenes look realistic.”

Today he's creating a whole scene around the 300 SE from the W 112 model series - the racing car with the starting number 617 that won the Argentine Touring Car Grand Prix of 1964 with Eugen Böhringer at the wheel.

The R-Class has room for lots of miniatures.

Over the years, Stephan Garçon has collected around 50 figures and 50 model autos. Many of them are miniature versions of Mercedes-Benz vehicles. In real life, too, he drives a Mercedes, currently a black R-Class, built in 2009. He grew up with automobiles: his father worked for many years at a dealership, and after completing his studies in economics Garçon bought himself a W 124, in the Wagon version. As you can see, his passion for classic Mercedes-Benz cars is certainly not restricted to the miniature versions.

The light, chalky soil of the one-time military base is perfect for the scene he has in mind, for the Argentine Touring Car Grand Prix of 1964 involved the teams from Mercedes-Benz battling it out over gruelling tracks to claim victory. Using the little shovel and sieve belonging to his two-year-old son, Stephan Garçon covers the 300 SE in a layer of dust. The result, in the photo we see later, is a deceptively realistic recreation of the original from 1964.

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