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Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing n° 417, class winner of 1955 Mille Miglia


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Here is my interpretation of the graphite grey Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing that John Fitch drove to victory in the famous "Mille Miglia" race in 1955 (5th overall and 1st in his own class GT +1.3 !).
At that time, it was numbered 417 (which indicates, for the curious, the authorized starting time of this car for the race, 4 :17 AM).

 

This model that I entirely built on a Tamiya base at 1/24 scale – with addition of more than 200 scratched or 3D printed parts - is to my knowledge the second scale model in the world of this mythical car to have been entirely built by a modeler.


I was able to find this during my documentary research that the first one was built over 2 months between September and October 2015, on a FROG kit n°705 base, by a modeler named Ian, whose work is exposed on the “themotormuseumminminature.co.uk” website (link : http://www.themotormuseuminminiature.co.uk/1955-mercedes-300sl-mm-fitch.php).

 

Ian voluntarily omitted the chassis and the engine, glued the bonnet and the rear trunk lid, and made though not only a very nice model, but a remarkable work, in spite of some mistakes and omissions, if you compare it with the pictures of this car taken during the race, some of which can be found quite easily on the Internet.

I have to say that he was less lucky than me, who benefited from a wealth of advice and documents, such as those kindly and generously provided by a member of this Britmodeller.com forum, @ejboyd5, a Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing enthusiast from New York.


It must be said that it was Edward Boyd who suggested, not to say asked, that I make this car, after seeing my first silver Gullwing, and I gladly accepted the challenge.

I didn't know yet what I was getting myself into, and had no idea of the difficulties I was going to encounter in creating or recreating certain indispensable and characteristic parts of this car.
In the end, it will have cost me 2 Tamiya kits, more than 400 hours of documentary study, drawing in Fusion 360, 3D printing, assembly, a lot of hardware and supplies I didn't have, a few nervous breakdowns and a lot of beers.
I also discovered and sometimes mastered new techniques, which improved my modelling skills.

 

Nothing would have been possible and I would not have succeeded in completing this model if I had not benefited from the support and sometimes the suggestions of all my contributors, whom I will not mention all, for fear of forgetting one, but they will recognize themselves without difficulty. 
I could never thank them enough for their enthusiasm and for giving me the courage to go through with it.

 

Of course, there are still many imperfections (At least, my clear coat, which is covered with a lot of micro-scratches, because I sanded it too early after application) or mistakes on this model, but I assure you I don't intend to build it a third time.


During the building, I noticed that the first chassis had a little and un-fixable defect, which would lead to the impossibility to close the bonnet.
So, I built a second one, avoiding to repeat the same mistakes, and this is the one I’ve incorporated in the body of the finished model.


The first bare chassis has been even more improved, and is exhibited below with the car.


And now some pictures (Sorry for the dust particles, they wasn't visible with the naked eye nor on my iPhone's screen )

 

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I hope you enjoyed  this journey  :)

 

And I invite you to follow my thread on the assembly of this car by following this link:

 

 

 

Enjoy :)

 

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I've really enjoyed watching these come together and the results speak for themselves.   The addition of the chassis to the final display just takes it to another level.  Already looking forward to watching your next masterpiece being created - Andy 

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It's been a good thread to follow as you put this together, and the end results more than justifies the effort put into it.

 

From a purely selfish point of view though, I'm glad you're moving onto something different now as it means that by the time I get round to building mine unflattering comparisons with this will less readily spring to mind. Excellent work.:yes:

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Bravo! Somehow I completely missed this build, probably because I was knee-deep in a house move when you started it. Fantastic result! Those 2 cars (I didn't miss the first one) and the chassis combined are a worthy addition to your display cabinet. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

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