Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Mercedes 300SL Open Top

Ignoring for the time being things like colour variations and wheel types, this is one of the very last Corgi Toys I needed to find. 

Just in case you haven't been keeping up, I set out a year or two ago to get a reasonably decent example of every model produced from 1956 to whenever the British 1:43 scale ended which seems to be around 1977. I photograph and document each one and then put them up for sale again in most cases. One or two I will have trouble parting company with but there is still a massive stock that is available for other collectors now.

There have been quite a few Mercedes 300s around but so far they all either had damaged screens, had been restored or were one of those immaculate, never-been-played-with models in a box for hundreds of pounds. Finally, after a long time looking, I've managed to get this at a reasonable price from an old collector in the States. To ease the postage costs per item I also bought a very nice Aston Martin DB4 from him which is shown in a recent post.

That screen must be vulnerable and when models were packed away I guess many suffered as, whilst quite sturdy, it was probably seldom protected. Whilst replacement screens can be bought I don't think they can be fitted without taking the car apart so decent originals will forever be diminishing in availability. The wide expanse of bonnet and raised strips at the sides are also usually scratched or chipped and this one also has a couple of chips on the sides. They are very small, though, and it's more than good enough for my purposes.

This was replaced in 1961 by the 303S, mostly found in silver plate but also in white or blue, with racing stripes as a Competition model. That had a suspension system unique to the #303S and #304S.

The same body was used for the #304 hard top and the #304S still didn't get any interior so can often be confused with #304, the suspension not being particularly obvious and the car still just looked like it could be the 1958 version. Although it never appealed to me much at the time, these are quite impressive models. It looks a bit unexciting in white but the silver parts are excellent and well defined.

My 'Wants List' is now very short in terms of basic models.I'll post a detailed one soon but all that's left are:

  • #322 Rover 2000 International Rally Edition (the white one with a different front - they are pretty scarce and all fetch very high prices)
  • #513 Citroen Safari Alpine Rescue (the one with the red roof and St Bernard etc. - all seem to be in boxes and very expensive. I've yet to see one vaguely played with example on its own.)
  • #430 Bermuda Taxi (I am not really bothered about this. There are plenty around but I just haven't been able to bring myself to pay more than a few pounds for one!)
  • #242 Fiat Ghia Jolly (The yellow one) Again, I can't get excited about these and they are all crazy prices too. I am just hoping to find one in a job lot or something!
  • #202 Morris Cowley (I have an M version so just need the normal one and, to be honest, I haven't tried very hard! This should be next on the 'got' list)
  • #349 The 'Pop Art' Mini 'Mostest', of course. Several available if I had £300 spare.
  • #351S RAF Land Rover (I think I have one that's been repainted which may well have to do as this is going to be difficult to get!)
I am nowhere near 'complete' yet, though. There are another seventy or so models with different wheel types or colours I shall be looking for and writing about!

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