You’ll know by now I’m very comfortable expanding the Lamley Single File series. It allows me to show off the quirkier, rarer models in my collection that normally would go unnoticed by the vast majority of diecast collectors. This Pilen Mercedes MB100 is one such vehicle.
Due to the omnipresence of these things on the roads of Southern Europe (especially Spain), I have encountered a fair few of them on my travels so this thing is a scale reminder of my trips.
The Mercedes-Benz MB100 can trace its roots back as far as the DKW F1000 of 1962. Built at Mercedes’ Vitoria-Gasteiz plant in Northern Spain, the first generation MB100 went on sale in 1980, and was heavily based on the Mercedes N1000/N1300 van, which was effectively a re-engined DKW F1000. The second generation MB100 went on sale in 1987, and is the version replicated by, quite fittingly, Spanish diecast brand Pilen.
The MB100 was a great success in its native Spain and I’ve seen examples scattered across Southern Europe as far as Greece. A large variety of body configurations were on offer; van, bus, pickup, tractor unit, 4×4 and even an AMG version. Production of all types ended in 1996 but the second gen MB100 body was utilised by Mercedes for their MB700 series of trucks and by BMC of Turkey as a basis to create their Levend series of vans.
The Pilen version is a rather big bit of kit, coming in at 1/50 scale. It’s weighty and solid, with thick gauge metal utilised in the body and base. The wheels are also metal, shod in treaded rubber. The sliding door functions, both rear doors open and it rolls brilliantly.
It’s simply detailed with plastic head and taillights, the separate petrol filler cap and one window has been modelled in the lowered position which is pretty neat. There’s a bit of burring on some edges of panels and some rough mould lines on the plastic parts here and there but nothing major.
It’s just a great little model, and one that Single File was built for!
(Find the Pilen Mercedes MB100 on Ebay)