As a young boy in the 1950's, I was given a Dinky W196 Streamliner. This toy car pronounced for me what a race car should look like and began to open up my world to racing and cars in general. This room is a tribute to the great and mighty racing cars of Mercedes Benz in the mid-50's, whose lines have kept me captivated for over 50 years. By the way, I still have that toy!

Mercedes Benz W196 & 300SLR:

W196 GRAND PRIX CARS
Mercedes Benz W196 STR: Driven by Hans Hermann during the 1954 season as one of the three regular factory drivers for Mercedes. Hermann was a DNF in this race and his best race for Mercedes was a third place in the Swiss GP. Hermann is best known for his 1970 Le Mans victory for Porsche.
Model by BRUMM 1/43
Mercedes Benz W196 STR: Juan-Manuel Fangio drove to victory in the 1954 French GP, the first of four for Mercedes that year. Fangio went on to win his second World Drivers Championship.
Model by BRUMM 1/43
Mercedes Benz W196 STR: The third of the factory drivers in 1954, Karl Kling drove this car to a second place finish behind Fangio at the 1954 French GP, his best finish that year in Championship GP's.
Model by BRUMM 1/43

Mercedes Benz W196 STR: With its 2,496 cc, in-line eight cyl. engine producing 257 bhp dominated F1 racing in 1954 and 1955. The streamlined car while difficult to drive due to its limited visibility on tight circuits, was a visual masterpiece. This is the #22 1954 French Grand Prix car of Hans Hermann.
Model by SCHUCO 1/18
Mercedes Benz W196 STR: A pewter version with Fangio at the wheel, depicting the 1954 French GP car.
MOTOR RACING CLASSICS 1/32
Mercedes Benz W196 STR: After dominating at their debut two weeks earlier at Rheims, the Mercedes Benz team arrived at the 1954 British GP to face strong competition from Ferrari and Maserati. Despite gearbox trouble, Fangio fought on through the rain to take 4th place in this car.
Model by MINICHAMPS 1/43
Mercedes Benz W196 STR: The course at Silverstone for the 1954 British GP used oil barrels to mark the tight corners on the course. In the streamlined car, Fangio could not see them, so managed to hit several in the apex of those corners. This shows the damage to the fron t of his Mercedes he drove to a 4th place finish.
SPARK 1/43

Mercedes Benz W196 STR: Another version of the French GP winner of 1954 driven by Fangio. The numbers are a bit too wide and short.
Model by IXO 1/43
Mercedes Benz W196 STR: 1954 French GP team line-up of Hermann, Fangio & Kling
Models by BRUMM 1/43
Mercedes Benz W196 STR: Karl Kling drove this car in the 1954 Grand Prix of Berlin to victory in this non-championship race at AVUS. Kling went on to manage Mercedes competition teams in the early 60's.
Model by MINICHAMPS 1/43

Mercedes Benz W196 STR: Stirling Moss joined the Mercedes team for 1955 and together with Fangio, they were a formidable force in F1. However, at the 1955 Italian GP where he drove this car, he had a rare DNF.
Model by CMC 1/18
Mercedes Benz W196 STR: This overhead view with the bodywork removed shows the technical masterpiece that the W196 was. One of the innovations of the W196 and the 300SLR, is the fact that the fuel injected engine sits behind the front axles, giving a front mid-engine effect and superb weight distribution. The engine was also longitudinally mounted and was canted over at a 33-degree angle to lower its profile.
Model by CMC 1/18
Mercedes Benz W196 STR: Another look at the innards of the magnificent W196 Streamliner.
Model by CMC 1/18

Mercedes Benz W196 STR: A well done version of the Fangio French GP winner in a scale I have not seen another diecast model of this car.
Model by FRANKLIN MINT 1/24
Mercedes Benz W196 STR: Fangio drove this car to victory in the 1955 Italian GP at Monza. It was the final race for MB and a 1-2 finish sent them out in style. Fangio won his second of four consecutive World Drivers Championships.
Model by SPARK 1/43
Mercedes Benz W196 STR: A world beating car, driven by some of the best racing drivers ever. Undoubtedly the most beautiful GP car ever built!
Model by BRUMM 1/43

Mercedes Benz W196 STR:
Model by JNF 1/16
Mercedes Benz W196 STR:
Model by JNF 1/16
Mercedes Benz W196 STR:
Model by JNF 1/16

Mercedes Benz W196: On the tighter circuits such as Monoco, the W196 was an open wheel car. For Monoco, which held its first GP in five years in 1955, Mercedes fielded two short wheel base cars for Fangio and Moss and a regular wheel base car for Hermann. Fangio sat on pole, but retired at mid-distance with transmission troubles.
Model by SPARK 1/43
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Mercedes Benz W196: Stirling can't resist another photo opportunity, even though Fangio drove this car to first place in the 1955 Dutch GP. All three Mercedes sat on the front row for that race and Moss finished second to Fangio, who won the Championship in '55. Moss won the next race at the British GP by the narrow margin of .02 seconds. Did Fangio let him win?
Model by CMC 1/18

Mercedes Benz W196: The 1955 British GP was held at Aintree and was the 6th round of the Championship after the French GP was cancelled due to the Le Mans disaster, Fangio and Moss swapped the lead several times with Moss coming across the line in his home GP just ahead of his team mate.
Model by SPARK 1/43
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Mercedes Benz W196: Stirling Moss led the 1955 race at Monoco driving this car until he developed engine problems, finishing 9th. At almost the same moment Moss's engine blew, Ascari, perhaps distracted by Moss's problems, crashed at the chicane and went straight into the harbor.
Model by SCHUCO 1/18

Mercedes Benz W196 STR: This is the Dinky toy that started my love for race cars and these cars in particular. Well played with and patiently awaiting a restoration, someday I hope to give it to a young boy, with hopes that it will start his love for cars.
Model by DINKY 1/43
Mercedes Benz W196 STR: Another early diecast version of the W196 STR, this time by a German manufacturer. Not as well detailed as the models that follow, but it captures both the lines of the car and has the patina of a model from a different era.
Model by MARKLIN 1/43
Mercedes Benz W196 STR: Probably the best early version of a diecast MB W196STR is this one by Crescent Toys from England. The driver of this car looks particularly demonic when viewed close up. Flying like a bat out of hell!.
Model by CRESCENT TOYS 1/40

300SLR RACING CARS
Mercedes Benz 300SLR: Developed for sports car racing, the 300SLR was based on the W196 F1 car and is technically known as the W196S. The engine was enlarged to 2,982 cc and the output increased from 290 bhp to 310 bhp and it also developed more torque providing strong pulling power. The cars at Le Mans also featured an air brake to provide additional stopping power to the big inboard drum brakes.
Model by PAUL'S MODEL ART 1/24
Mercedes Benz 300SLR: Fangio and Moss drove this car at Le Mans in 1955. In an epic battle withe Hawthorne's Jaguar and leading the race, after the horrific crash of another 300 SLR and spectator deaths as it careened through the crowd, Mercedes with drew their remaining two cars.
Model by PAUL'S MODEL ART 1/24

Mercedes Benz 300SLR: One of my all-time favorite race cars, here is another version of the Fangio/Moss car from Le Mans in 1955. Besides at Le Mans, the 300SLR was a force to be reckoned with on the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio and Dundrod TT. Nine W196S chassis were built. The cars all had two seats, the passenger seat being covered for races like Le Mans and Targa Florio.
Model by SCALECTRIC 1/32
Mercedes Benz 300SLR: To lower its overall weight, the 300SLR used a spaceframe chassis and magnesium-alloy (Elektron) bodywork. It is generally accepted that this name references the car's lightweight construction as 'Sport Leicht Rennen. Stirling and Fangio look ready to race their Le Mans car once again!
Model by MINICHAMPS 1/43
Mercedes Benz 300SLR: The pairing of Moss and Jenkinson on the Mille Miglia is legendary. Besides serving as Moss' navigator it was also Jenk's job to press the horn button, which flashed the headlights as they came upon another car at 170 mph! Given the close calls and the pace they maintained, as a passenger, Jenkinson must of had a big pair!.
Model by BRUMM 1/43

Mercedes Benz 300SLR: Stirling Moss brought endurance racing success to Mercedes with an outstanding win at the 1955 Mille Miglia, one of his best remembered drives. With co-driver Denis Jenkinson, they drove the 1,000 mile race at an average of 98 mph! MB was the only foreign make to win the MM.
Model by MAISTO 1/18
Mercedes Benz 300SLR: Denis Jenkinson used detailed route notes on the Mille Miglia, along with an elaborate use of hand signals to direct Moss on their drive to victory in 1955. Jenkinson's article on the win. With Moss In The Mille Miglia is generally recognised as a classic of motor racing journalism.
Model by MINICHAMPS 1/43
Mercedes Benz 300SLR: Over the 1000 mile open-road endurance race, Moss and Jenkinson won in the record time of 10 hours, 7 minutes, and 48 seconds, finishing almost half an hour ahead of teammate Fangio in second place.
Model by PAULS MODEL ART 1/24

Mercedes Benz 300SLR: Castellotti's Ferrari was gaining on Moss as they approached Padova at 150 mph. They under braked at a sharp bend and hit straw bales along the road. This allowed the Ferrari past, but only to be repassed as the Ferrari stopped for tires.
Model by NOREV 1/43
Mercedes Benz 300SLR: Fangio chose to drive alone on the 1955 Mille Miglia so that he did not endanger the life of a co-driver on this dangerous road circuit. While he finished second to Moss, Fangio was slowed by engine problems and finished on seven cylinders and otherwise would have likely won. Very heroic!
Model by BRUMM 1/43
Mercedes Benz 300SLR: Driving alone, Fangio drove this car to second place behind Moss and Jenkinson in the 1955 Mille Miglia. To me, that's an incredible feat and demonstrates the skill and ability of in my opinion, the world's greatest driver.
Model by SCALEXTRIC 1/32

Mercedes Benz 300SLR: Karl Kling also chose to drive alone and put thousands of miles of practice in on the course. Unfortunately he crashed just outside of Rome and just before reaching the half-way point of the race.
Model by BRUMM 1/43
Mercedes Benz 300SLR: Hans Hermann and co-driver Hermann Eger were in third place behind Moss and Fangio when they suffered a ruptured fuel tank while climbing through the mountains, ending their race.
Model by BRUMM 1/43
Mercedes Benz 300SLR: Juan Manuel Fangio drove with Karl Kling in the 1955 Targa Florio, finishing second to Moss and Collins. This was the final race for the 300SLR, sealing the World Sportscar Championship for Mercedes. Following the Le Mans tragedy, Mercedes with drew from racing at the end of the 1955 season.
Model by BRUMM 1/43

Mercedes Benz 300SLR: Yet another brilliant drive, Stirling Moss and Peter Collins drove this car to victory in the 1955 Targa Florio. That victory insured the constructors championship for Mercedes. It was also after that race that Mercedes announced that they were withdrawing from racing and an era in sports car racing ended.
Model by MAISTO 1/18
"Sicilian Magic": This print is of Stirling Moss at the 1955 Targa Florio, passing through the village of Campofelice. Note the pounding the car has taken. The Merceds team cars always seemed to take a beating in road races. The 300SLR Moss drove in the Targa Florio was the same car he drove to victory in the Mille Miglia.
Print by NICHOLAS WATTS
Mercedes Benz 300SLR: Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss chat before the start of the Targa Florio in 1955. The pairing of Moss and Peter Collins was formidable, taking first place and holding off a very determined Fangio as Moss drove the car to victory.
Model by BRUMM 1/43

Mercedes Benz 300SLR: Moss and John Fitch drove their 300SLR to a hard fought victory at the Dundrod Tourist Trophy in 1955. They battled the Jaguar of Hawthorn and the three car effort of both Aston Martin and Ferrari, as well as their own team; with Juan Manuel Fangio and Karl Kling's coming home a close second and von Trips and Simon's 300SLR, third. Due to three deaths on the Ulster 7.4 mile circuit that year, it was the last TT and Dundrod. Model modified by Old Irish Racing.
Model by BRUMM 1/43
Mercedes Benz 300SLR Coupe: Rudolf Uhlenhaut, the head of Mercedes Motorsport ordered two coupes built on the basis of the 300SLR in anticipation needing a closed car for endurance racing. With Mercedes withdrawal from racing, one of the coupes became his personal transportation and also spawned several legends. So called the Uhlenhaut Coupe, it was reported to be the fastest car in the world in its day!
Model by MAISTO 1/18
Mercedes Benz 300SLR Coupe: Imagine a Formula One car transformed into a grand touring machine, that's what Mercedes did when they built the 300 SLR Coupe. Karl Wilfert who designed the MB 300SL Gullwing and the W196S F-1 car, also designed this coupe. While it looks very similar to the Gullwing, the two cars do not share any similar sheet metal. The second coupe was used by the MB Sports Car Team for practice at such races as the Targa Florio and Mille Miglia.
Model by MINICHAMPS 1/43

OTHER MERCEDES RACING CARS
1952 Mercedes Benz 300SL W194: The original 300SL was a purpose built race car and is the spiritual father of the 300SLR. This car took second place at Le Mans in 1952 with Theo Helfrich and Helmut Niedermayr. Slightly underpowered, the low weight and low aerodynamic drag made the 300SL fast enough to be competitive in endurance races. The W194 demonstrated that Mercedes could produce a world beating sports racing car, which ultimately led to the 300SLR.
Model by IXO 1/43
1952 Mercedes Benz 300SL W194 LE MANS WINNER: Hermann Lang and Fritz Riess were the winning drivers at Le Mans in 1952, finishing one lap ahead of their team mates. The six-cylinder SOHC 3.0L engine in the 300 SL W194 produced 175 hp. Besides Le Mans, a W194 won the Carrera Panamericana in 1952, as well as a second and fourth place finishes on the Mille Miglia. A home win at the GP Nurburgring by Lang was the icing on the cake.
Model by IXO 1/43
Mercedes Benz TRANSPORTER: In order to transport their cars quickly from the factory in Stutgart to the track, or back again for quick repairs, the team employed this transporter. Nick named the "Blue Wonder", the purpose-built transporter was often seen traversing the high speed roads in Europe at well over 100 mph, powered by its 300SL engine.
Model by CONRAD 1/43

1952 Mercedes Benz 300SL W194: Mercedes entered three 300 SL's for the 1952 Carrera Panamericana race in Mexico. Two were coupes and one was roadster driven by American John Fitch. This car driven by Herrmann Lang and Erwin Grupp finished second behind the winning coupe driven by Karl Kling and Hans Klenk. Fitch failed to finish as his car was disqualified after receiving "illegal" repairs. These were the protoypes of the production 300SL Gullwing.
Model by MAX MODEL 1/43
1957 Mercedes Benz 300 SL: Paul O'Shea drove this factory supported 300 SL to the SCCA D Sports National Championship in 1957. The prior two seasons he had won the SCCA D Production National Championship in a 300 SL Gullwing. Through the urging of US distributor Max Hoffman, Mercedes supported the US racing effort with Hoffman's sponsorship and the cars prepared and entered by George Tilp. O'Shea was selected to drive based on the recommendation from John Fitch.
Model by SCHUCO 1/43
1989 Sauber C9 Mercedes-Benz (LE MANS WINNER): The Team Sauber entry driven by Jochen Mass, Manuel Reuter and Stanley Dickens won Le Mans in 1989, with team cars also in 2nd and 5th positions. After two years of trying, the C9 dominated Group C racing in '89, winning all but one race. Its all-alloy, turbo-charged 5.0L V8 engine produces 720 bhp and a top speed of over 240 mph. The Silver Arrows of Merceds reborn!
Model by IXO 1/43

2000 AMG-Mercedes CLK-DTM: Thomas Jager drove this car in the revived 2000 DTM Championship, supporting teammate and series champion Bernd Schneider. These were highly modified, V8 powered, tube frame, carbon fiber silhouette bodied racers (although the roof and roof pillars do originate from the production car). The engine power is limited to 470 hp.
Model by AUTOART 1/43
1937 Mercedes Benz W125: The W125 was designed by Rudolf Uhlenhaut to race during the 1937 Grand Prix season and this W125 was used by Rudolf Caracciola to win the 1937 European Championship. It is seen here in its 1937 Monoco GP configuration. The 5.6L supercharged 8-cylinder engine of the W125 had an output of 595 hp. It was considered the most powerful race car ever made until the Can Am cars of the 1960's came along. The engine capacity of supercharged Grand Prix cars was limited to 3.0L and the W125 was replaced by the Mercedes-Benz W154.
Model by BRUMM 1/43
1939 Mercedes Benz W154/W163: The 'Silver Arrows' from Mercedes Benz, along with Auto Union, dominated grand prix racing in the late 1930's. New body work from an aluminum alloy, along with a new 3.0L V12, two-stage supercharged engine made the W163 different from the W154 before it. The engine ran on a mix of methyl alcohol, nitro-benzine, acetone and sulphuric ether, which required two fuel tanks for its 2 mpg consumption. It put out 483 bhp and had a top speed of 192 mph. This car finished 1st at the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, with the great Rudolph Caracciola at the wheel.
Model by BRUMM 1/43

PLEASE NOTE: From 1968 into the 1990's tobacco companies sponsored many significant race cars. In the interest of historical accuracy, Old Irish Racing chooses to display models in our collection as historically accurate as possible. While seeing a tobacco advert on a car gives me no more desire to go smoke than seeing a car makes me want to go suck on its exhaust pipe. If tobacco (or alcohol) adverts on race cars offend you, please go look at nice pictures of bunnies and kittens on another site.

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