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Guest Post: Norev does the obscure Mercedes, by Joep Verbeeten.


It has been fun these last couple of weeks to jump into some of the non-Mattel brands.  There has been a lot of Auto World, Majorette, and Kyosho.  Not to mention a little Lionel Racing Nascar.

So let’s keep it going with Norev.  Joep Verbeeten not only collects Norev, but he collects replicas of some crazy cool, more obscure stuff.  He was nice enough to write a guest post late last year, and returns with some more.  

I try to keep the joy of collecting theme alive and well here at Lamley, but I am well aware that there are many MANY more brands out there that many of you all over the world love to collect.  Trying to write something myself about some of these brands would just be dumb, so I am always thrilled when one of you wants to share your collection here on the blog.

So if you can write a bit, produce decent photographs, and are passionate about a particular part of your collection that you would love to share, let me know.  We’ll talk.

For now, enjoy this feature by Joep.  I did.

(Thanks Joep.)
In the last guest post I did (well, actually, it was the first as well) for the Lamley Group, I already mentioned Norev makes several casts for carmakers to sell as merchandising at their dealers.

One of those carmakers is Mercedes-Benz. And luckily Mercedes decided not to just have their current line up replicated as diecast but they looked back a little as well. All the way back to the ’50’s, even before that.

Norev makes the original Gullwing 300SL, an even older 500K Roadster but the best, to me, is this Renntransporter. Or “Blue Wonder”. And a wonder it was as it was capable of transporting a Mercedes “Rennwagen” at high speeds back to the factory in case a repair was needed that was beyond capabilities in the field.

And back in those days a lot of the important races (important to Mercedes) took place in Europe so a transporter going 160 km/h (100mph) fully loaded was a nice bonus for a raceteam. For that it was equipped with the same engine as the 300SL.

And except for carrying that 300SL (the one above is not the Norev by the way but the UCC “coffee cast”, picture courtesy – few below as well – of Craig Oesterling, craig.oesterling on instagram) Norev has an excellent alternative candidate for being transported by the Blue Wonder. The W196 Stromlinien.

It’s officially called the Monza, after the track it raced twice. And Mercedes didn’t use it a lot as the aerodynamic body was great for reaching high speed. Ideal for Monza with it’s long straights. A conventional open-wheel-version was introduced as well, just in time for the most important race on the calendar for Mercedes, the German Grand Prix at the old Nürburgring

Featuring a direct injected (remember, this is 1954!!!) straight 8 of 2496 cm³ (formula 1 engines were limited to 2500 cm³ naturally aspirated or 750 cm³ supercharged) it put out 257hp at first and 280hp in it’s second season.

Quite successful seasons I might add as the W196 won both the 1954 an 55 Formula 1 seasons in the hands of Juan Manuel Fangio. While Fangio at the start of the 1954 season still was driving for Maserati!

I can’t really compare these 3” models (actually, they’re both exactly 1/64) to other casts or the real things as the 1:1s are hard to come by. The Blue Wonder was destroyed, although two replicas are known to exist. One (the only “official” replica) at the Mercedes-Benz factory and one in that amazing garage of Jay Leno. Which initially was ordered by Mercedes-Benz as well but was cancelled so Jay jumped in on that one.

But as they are official Mercedes-Benz merchandise I’d expect them to be accurate. And with cars obscure as these they’re awesome to me anyway. Although the Stromlinien might use some weathering to be even more amazing.

In Europe you can get these easily at your Mercedes-Benz dealerships, if I’m not mistaken this isn’t the case in the USA. And that’s too bad as these are pieces of history that are highly collectable.

Frohes Wochenende!

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14 thoughts on “Guest Post: Norev does the obscure Mercedes, by Joep Verbeeten. Leave a comment

  1. Very very awesome read if your a collector! Not only is the featured model a peice of history, I never knew it existed. The knowledge and expertise of and info on them is on point. You hear a lot of crap on here sometimes but this is what caught my attention with Lamely in the first place. John thanks for again opening up your blog to true collectors and providing great info in the hobby. Maybe in a future post you can put all the brands in one post so we can see how they size up. I tend to stick to HWs and MBX because they scale well together. I also have some older Majorette's and some other brands but I tend to keep my collection to a uniformed size. My first intention was to build a massive diorama to showcase my collection but the collection really has over run me. I could use to go through and thin the heard if you will. Well thanks again and keep posts like these coming. PLEASE…..👍👍

  2. This is just fabulous…I actually had heard of the “Blue Wonder” before, and seen pictures of it, but I had no idea someone had made a 1/64 model of it. A quick perusal of ebay surprised me a little bit with how reasonably priced these are…I mean, $30 is by no means cheap for a 1/64 model, but the quality looks top-notch…I could definitely be tempted. In my mind, the list of models that would look great riding atop this blue chariot (Mercedes and otherwise) is almost endless…

    As a side-note, I would LOVE to see the steering linkage on the real vehicle…that alone is probably a work of art.

  3. No need to pay $30 on ebay. I wrote this piece a few months ago but one of my Californian friends seems to have gotten two through the US-dealer network. Just drop n
    by your local dealer and start asking questions, it should do around $10.

  4. There has been a rumour floating around that GreenLight bought the Norev Renntransporter tooling and will be (re)releasing it sometime in the future.

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