Thursday, 28 July 2016

Mercedes-Benz 220SE

It's funny how things work out. When I started rebuilding my collection, one of the very first models I bought was the metallic blue Mercedes 220SE. I hadn't even appreciated before that there had, in fact, been a second version of #230 that didn't have steering and was slightly different here and there. Now, some considerable time later, I am nearing the end of my wants list and it has been the metallic cerise version that has been a long time coming.

There have been quite a few available but all were either as new and priced at well over £100 or looked a bit messy, often missing the radiator emblem.

The one I have bought is not perfect and I have to say it looks a bit dull. I would like to get a brighter one so I am still looking but this will fill the gap in the list for now.

I've also recently acquired the Great Book Of Corgi Pocket Book, an 80 page list of all that was Corgi until 1983, but if anyone has been relying on that for their lists then it is strangely rather lacking, I'm afraid. For example, it only lists 'red' as the colours available for this #253 model but includes a 'dark blue' for #230. My goodness, what I would give to find a dark blue #230! At the same time it proclaims there was also the release of a metallic red E Type! More on that in another article.

I do wonder why Corgi stopped making the steering version after a couple of years or so. The Bentley was the only other car with steering of that type and was very popular. It is one of the models you can almost guarantee a child had in those days. I had the green and cream one but always wanted the black and grey one. Then there was the Ecurie Ecosse Racing Transporter. I desperately wanted one of these - really only because it had that steering. That, too, was a popular and much-loved model, albeit rather expensive at the time. I can only imagine that there was a need to add the window pillar or amend the boot line which would require a new casting and expense and so they ditched the intricate steering to cover that cost.

Things were going very well for the business in 1963 when the decision would have been taken so I cannot imagine it was purely on the grounds of the expensive steering. They could simply have dropped the model and made something else - they had the Pullman 600 coming along and could have revived the SL -perhaps a Competition version with some extras, which would also have been well-received.

If anyone does know about a dark blue #230 do let me know.

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