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    The making of the Blue Wonder 2.

    Creating a classic copy: a 1:18 scale model of the 1930s Mercedes-Benz racing car transporter.

Taxi for the Silver Arrows.

'The Silver Arrows are one of the most amazing phenomena ever seen in motor racing.' Albrecht Würschum, Sales Manager at CMC Modelcars, could back up his claim with sales figures of their model range, but there's no need: just a glimpse of the 1:18 scale model of the Mercedes-Benz formula racing car from the 1930s and 1950s – or indeed the actual thing – is more than enough to convince most people.

'The Blue Wonder racing car transporter of the 1950s is a best-seller in our product range,' Würschum adds. 'That's why we've also made its counterpart from the first great age of the Silver Arrows.' Now collectors can provide their W 25, W 125 and W 154 models with a mobile garage, as originally used to transport the winning cars to the Grand Prix circuits and back.

Close-up view of the unfinished loading platform.
The racing car transporter in its good old days.

No surviving original.

CMC Modelcars, which is based in Fellbach, not far from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center, is one of the world's best known makers of accurate 1:18 scale models of historic cars and as such is an excellent partner for the creation of Mercedes-Benz miniatures. The Mercedes-Benz Classic Archive provides frequent support for CMC and allows the model-makers to take measurements from its original vehicles.

However, one major challenge they faced with the Lo 2750 racing car transporter used by the Mercedes-Benz racing division from 1934 to 1938 was that there is no surviving original vehicle and nor are there any design drawings of it. 'The reconstruction had to be carried out based on old photos and comparable vehicles,' says Werner Junginger, who has been a product developer at CMC Modelcars since 2001.

The reconstruction.

The Mercedes-Benz Classic vehicle collection does in fact include a reconstructed racing car transporter modelled on the original Lo 2750. 'This vehicle actually has a petrol engine and a shorter platform than the racing car transporter of the 30s, but it was still a good guide for us,' says Junginger. The experts at CMC were able to take measurements from an original diesel engine from the period at the Mercedes-Benz museum.

The dimensions of the loading platform and the positions of the spare wheels, the toolbox and the large fuel tank for long non-stop journeys could all be calculated by analysing archive photos. 'The transporters were used with the Silver Arrow W 25, W 125 and W 154 models, as you can see from the photos,' explains Junginger. 'The load area therefore has to be the correct size to be able to accommodate each of these model types.'

The previous reconstructed model was a good guide for the team.
The 3D print model.

Measured, scanned and printed.

Once the measurements have been taken – either by hand or using a scanner, and sometimes supplemented by reconstructions – the quickest and best route to the finished model is via the data highway. Instead of making a master model by hand, the designers now convert their measurements into STL format, which can be sent to a 3D printer. This then produces an initial impression of the whole vehicle in white plastic. After this is checked against the original dimensions, the CAD data for almost every component – and for the Lo 2750 racing car transporter there are no fewer than 2365 individual parts, of which almost 2000 are metal – is sent one part at a time to the production department. Sales manager Albrecht Würschum puts the development costs prior to production at over 300,000 euros.

Around 15 hours of hand craft.

CMC Modelcars operates its own production site in China. Unlike the construction plant, most of the work here is done by hand: the parts are produced at the factory and the models assembled – screwed, clipped, riveted, soldered and glued together. The parts are painted and printed with the relevant designs prior to assembly. It takes a total of around 15 hours to assemble the racing car transporter from the 2365 separate parts.

The Reconstruction requires a lot of handcrafting.
The reconstruced transporter with a racing car on top of it.

Fascination in every detail.

Strictly speaking, the type Lo 2750 Blue Wonder 2 should really be called the Blue Wonder 1, having appeared at least 20 years before the high-speed transporter of 1955. The latter was equipped with a 300 SL engine and remained a one-off production. The racing car transporters from the 1930s often travelled in convoy: Mercedes-Benz fitted out at least seven Lo 2750 vehicles from the Gaggenau plant as racing car transporters. The CMC model, order number M-144, is also available from the Mercedes-Benz Classic store, priced at 719 euros.

Classic Store

  • Placed on shelves: The Oldtimers await their new owners.

    Mercedes-Benz Classic Center Irvine.

    The road to Irvine – California’s star-studded treasure trove is hard to find.

Adenauer cabriolet.

California’s star-studded treasure trove is hard to find. For the most exclusive Mercedes-Benz classic cars in the USA are well hidden away in an industrial park some 45 minutes south of Los Angeles. Behind the unprepossessing gates lie automotive gems that make any visitor’s eyes pop.

The grey Mercedes-Benz 300, one of the rare “Adenauer cabriolets”, is the most spectacular model to have paid a visit to the Classic Center in recent months. The grey specimen is probably the finest of its kind to be found anywhere in the world. “In the last four years, we’ve painstakingly restored the vehicle,” says Michael Kunz, General Manager of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Irvine.

Extraterrestrial: The gullwing models remind of intergalactic vehicles.
Every car an individual piece with its own story.

Mirror image of progress.

In the late 1950s, the sales brochure for the closed-top 300 model used such slogans as “mirror image of progress” and “island of safety and comfort”. None of that appears an exaggeration even by today’s standards, because the open-top 300 “Adenauer” is a flying carpet, the like of which has scarcely existed even in the history of the automobile. “The owner wishes to remain anonymous,” says Michael Kunz, adding even more suspense to the story. “He has many cars, including a gullwing.”

Highly complex restoration.

The 300 d Cabriolet originates from 1960 and was in a truly pitiable state prior to its restoration. As the original moss green was not to the liking of the present owner, the open-top four-door vehicle was painted grey. “The entire restoration was highly complex. During that time, we learned a great deal about the car and its technology,” admits Kunz.

The Adenauer cabriolet in its whole beauty.
In the showroom there are vehicles of any kind – a paradise for Oldtimer fans.

A paradise for automotive fans.

The location of the star-studded treasure trove is hardly a surprise, because southern California is home to more expensive classic cars worthy of preservation than anywhere else. That was also the thinking of the Daimler management when, in 2005, the decision was made to set up a Classic Center on US soil. Since 2006, wealthy customers have been lining up to bring their historic cars to Irvine for inspection, repair or complete restoration. The showroom itself is enough to send a mild tingle down the spine of most automotive fans.

Absolute gems.

On the immediate left behind the entrance stands a white 560 SL of the R 107 model series from 1987. An absolute gem – in its original condition, of course. The white sun worshipper with beige leather seats is resplendent with its full equipment specification. Welcome to a treasure trove of classic cars! That much becomes apparent to the visitor upon setting eyes on a dark grey Mercedes-Benz 300 S. The mighty cabriolet from 1956 is one of just 49 produced units of the Sc variant with petrol injection. Its key attributes include 175 hp, perfectly restored condition and rare graphite grey paint finish, as well as the grey interior.

Re-varnishing: Grey varnish is supposed to make the vehicle look great again.
A white Mercedes-Benz with opened bonnet.

A gleaming white Mercedes.

The lady behind the decorative reception counter initially leaves the visitor in peace. This is probably not the first time she has seen a visitor's eyes pop on entering the Classic Center. At the rear right of the showroom stands a gleaming white Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6.9. The windscreen wiper is adorned with a handwritten label: 229 miles – with none of the expected zeros behind the number. The interior is in dark blue leather. Luxury radio, heated seats in front and rear, automatic air conditioning – 'fully loaded', as the Americans say.

'Developed marvellously.'

Unless one is a true automotive aficionado, it is advisable to stay well clear of the Classic Center in Irvine. For the showroom itself boasts only a few vehicles, just those that are for sale. The jewels currently in the process of being restored are parked in the workshops at the back. Michael Kunz has been in charge of the Classic Center since its official opening almost 11 years ago: 'Everything has developed marvellously. Of course, we ourselves weren't sure initially whether customers would take up our offer.'

Placed in shelves: The Oldtimers await their new owners
The inner structure of the dream car.

From all over the USA.

They did – since then, vehicles from all over the USA have been making their way to Orange County, to the south of Los Angeles. Some customers bring in a 'gullwing' for servicing, while others want a dent repairing on their 107 model. Yet others are in search of a suitable retro roadster as a birthday present for their wife. 'We do all the same things that our colleagues at the Classic Center in Fellbach can do,' explains Michael Kunz, 'just on a slightly smaller scale.'

A memento.

The yard at the back of the building is home to the odd Mercedes-Benz 300 TD Turbodiesel of the 123 model series. 'The customer, who lives close to San Francisco, brought the car to us a while ago because he wants to continue using it as an everyday vehicle and it needs a few faults ironing out. The vehicle is still with its first owner and has 230,000 miles on the clock,' adds Kunz. 'The complete repair job, inside and out, with new paintwork and everything finally came to over 40,000 dollars. A lot of money for a car that's actually worth a lot less. Yet the vehicle is quite simply a memento. We have many such customers.'

Often the clients bring their cars to continue using them as their everyday vehicle.
One look under the lifting platform.

Nothing for bargain-hunters.

The Classic Center makes half of its money from the sale of parts. Located in Whatney Avenue in Irvine, the Classic Center currently employs around 20 people, no fewer than eight of them in the workshop. The technicians there can look forward every day to working on gems such as rare 'gullwings' or even racing versions of the 300 SL. 'Most customers come to us with major repairs. The kind of jobs Mercedes-Benz dealers can no longer do,' explains Classic manager Kunz. Just like the vehicles for sale in the showroom, the services of the specialists in the workshop at the Classic Center are nothing for bargain-hunters.

With a three-pointed star.

Such a one is car collector Aaron Weiss, who owns arguably the largest collection of 16-cylinder models in the USA. The fleet of the soon-to-be retiree is currently undergoing a transformation – with help from the Classic Center. The building adjacent to his private collection houses not only majestic 16-cylinder battleships from Marmon and Cadillac from the early 1930s, but also specimens bearing the three-pointed star.

Eight technicians can look forward every day to working with rare .varities of the Mercedes-Benz cars.
The Cabriolet with its blue and white interior.

The Californian's new love.

Here a Mercedes-Benz 380 SLC, there a 'Pagoda' and, on the stage, the Californian's new love: a Mercedes-Benz 290 Cabriolet A from 1936. 'We're in the process of restoring it to its original condition. It comes from Wiesbaden. The previous owner even opted for heated seats because of the cool temperatures there,' says Weiss, shaking his head. The green beauty will soon be finished. At that point, the wife of Aaron Weiss will probably switch to a different Mercedes than her beloved E 320 from 1995.

The appropriate everyday family runabout.

The blue 190 SL might be the appropriate everyday family runabout; it has just returned from an inspection at the Classic Center. Aaron Weiss intends to take it out for a run this very moment – because, in the Californian's opinion, a classic car is not just there to be looked at. So it's fortunate that his five children, too, have slowly acquired a taste for their father's passion. All their first names begin with A – which explains why, when the Weiss family hits the road on a classic trip, they simply call themselves the 'Flying A Garage'.


An Oldtimer is inspected at the Classic Center Irvine.
  • Mercedes-Benz Classic Magazine.

    The Mercedes-Benz Classic Magazine for Download.

    New perspective on classic cars — now available as ePaper.

Myth Mercedes-Benz.

The magazine “Mercedes-Benz Classic” is the ultimate magazine for fascinating stories about people and machinery on the myth of Mercedes-Benz. In our online shop you can find all issues of our magazine since 2002 as PDF files for download.

To the ePaper

The legendary Mercedes-Benz 300 SL "Gullwing" in Nashville, Tennessee

Mercedes Classic Magazine 1, 2018.

The history of brand and model.

The magazine delves deep into the history of brands and models and offers a new perspective on classic cars. The magazine is published directly by the Daimler AG in close cooperation with the Mercedes-Benz Museum and the Mercedes-Benz record offices.

  • Mercedes-Benz Museum: Vehicle exchange.

    Vehicle exchange – Five new vehicles demonstrate personality.

New tones in the “Gallery of Names”.

The “Gallery of Names” presents vehicles of famous individuals, such as Pope John Paul II., Lady Diana, Emperor Wilhelm II and Konrad Adenauer. The largest exhibit is the O 302 team bus of the German national football team from 1974, while the smallest object is the Daimler motorised road car of the Sultan of Morocco from 1892.

Since April 2017, the new room has enriched the permanent exhibition with vehicles of Lukas Podolski, Cro, Nicolas Cage, astronaut David Randolph Scott and globetrotter Gunther Holtorf.

Mercedes-Benz Museum: Transport of the CLA designed by rapper Cro.
CLA designed by German rapper Cro.

CLA StreetStyle designed by Cro.

In 2015, the musician Cro, famous as the rapper with the panda mask, transformed a CLA into a work of art. By the free-hand use of spray cans, touch-up pencils and paint, he created a unique design in Street Art style, which is now on show at the Mercedes-Benz Museum.

SLK 55 AMG of Lukas Podolski.

German national footballer Lukas Podolski bought a SLK 55 AMG in September 2006 – just after the football World Cup in Germany, in which the host country finished third. In terms of optional extras, the footballer opted for such features as the AMG Performance package.

SLK 55 AMG by footballer Lukas Podolski.
190 E 2.3 by Nicolas Cage.

190 E 2.3 of Nicolas Cage.

An expressive 190 E 2.3 was purchased by the actor, film producer and Oscar winner Nicolas Cage in February 1993: The black vehicle with AMG Drivers Package also boasts dark-tinted windows at the sides and rear. The original Mercedes-Benz cassette radio is still part of the extensive equipment specification.

190 SL of David Randolph Scott.

The 190 SL of NASA astronaut David Randolph Scott, who in 1971 became the seventh human being to set foot on the moon, is in its unrestored original condition. He bought the elegant roadster on 2 March 1959 from new and owned it until August 2004. The 190 SL was unveiled in 1954 along with the 300 SL “Gullwing”. The two cars established the tradition of “SL standard production sports cars”.

190 SL by David Randolph Scott.
300 GD by globetrotter Gunther Holtorf.


300 GD of Gunther Holtorf.

A total of 897,000 kilometres in 215 countries: that is the impressive record set by the 300 GD of globetrotter Gunther Holtorf, who used “Otto”, the affectionate nickname given to the off-roader, for 26 years as an expedition vehicle. In doing so, he realised one of the brand’s advertising promises: “Where there’s a G, there’s a way.”

Space for the new additions.

Space for the new additions will be made by four vehicles that will then be available for other purposes in the Mercedes-Benz Classic collection:

the 24/100/140 PS Roadster (1926) of Oscar Henschel, a 190 SL (1958), the 190 E 2.3 AMG (1984) of Ringo Starr and the ML 320 from the movie “Jurassic Park” (1997).

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    We miss you.

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  • 1st Visitor from Botswana at the Mercedes-Bent Museum Stuttgart.
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An invitation to the Mercedes-Benz Museum.

Over the years, the Mercedes-Benz Museum has welcomed visitors from all over the world. All over? Not quite. No one from Benin, Botswana, Guyana, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, St. Kitts and Nevis or Suriname has ever been there. The Museum has now launched a campaign to find visitors from these countries.

'The Mercedes-Benz brand is known all over the world, and that is reflected in the nationalities of those who visit the Mercedes-Benz Museum: we welcome people from so many countries every day. We've had visitors from the Bahamas, the Solomon Islands and from Andorra. But there are seven countries missing from our list. So we started wondering what we could do to redress that fact'

Monja Büdke, Head of the Mercedes-Benz Museum

The Mercedes-Benz Museum has now set itself the target of attracting visitors from those seven countries so far unrepresented among the Museum’s visitors. In Benin, Botswana, Guyana, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, St. Kitts and Nevis and Suriname, the Museum has now issued, in digital and printed form, an invitation to the Museum. In addition, the foreign representations of the various countries in Germany have been provided with information about the campaign.

The first visitors from any of these countries will be officially welcomed and given a personal guided tour of the Museum, along with a voucher for the shop and restaurant. A further highlight will be a trip out in a Mercedes-Benz classic car. All further visitors from any of the countries sought will receive free admittance throughout 2017.

He Dingding is the eight millionth visitor.

Public attraction with global appeal.

The Mercedes-Benz Museum uses regular surveys to collect information about where visitors come from. These findings show that over a period of eight years the Museum received visitors from a total of 186 nations – in other words from almost all 193 member states of the United Nations (UNO). The eight-millionth visitor on February 14 this month came from China – which is in fact where one in ten foreign visitors hails from. Next in the list are the USA, France and Switzerland. The Bahamas, for example, appear on place 108 in the list, the Solomon Islands in 147 and Andorra at 153.

Since the Museum re-opened in its new home in 2006, the proportion of international guests has continued to rise steadily. The latest peak was reached in 2016, with a figure of 57 percent.

Flags of every country on the planet.

Every aspect of the Mercedes-Benz Museum is geared to the needs of international visitors. Both the audio guide and all information materials are produced in eight languages, while the Museum guides also offer tours in several different languages. When high-ranking visitors from foreign states are expected, the relevant national flag is hoisted in front of the Museum. The Museum holds the flags of every country on the planet ready for such occasions.

The scope of functions may vary according to country.