Lamley Daily: Mercedes-Benz C-Class DTM

Model: Mercedes-Benz AMG C-Class Racer

Release: 2022 Car Culture – Deutschland Design

eBay link: Hot Wheels 1994 Mercedes DTM

Why I’m featuring it: Two years ago, I wrote a feature for Lamley about the Matchbox DTM cars. You can revisit it here. The Alfa 155 is one of my favourite cars and the Matchbox model one of my favourite diecast of all. With wide arches, big wings and colourful decos, the cars of the 1990s DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft – German Touring Car Championship) look great as toys or models in any scale.

Hot Wheels is on a streak with new Mercedes models. To my eyes, the slammed black ’72 280 SEL 4.5, the 300 SEL 6.8 AMG Red Pig and recent CLK-GTR are all spectacular new castings. This killer trio is now joined by another winner, the AMG C-Class Racer that debuts in the latest Car Culture Deutschland Design set. Thanks Bryan (@beardedmugmedia) for finding one for me.

The C-Class arrived in the DTM in 1994 as the successor to various iterations of the 190E 2.5-16, which has been extensively modeled in recent years by Hot Wheels, Mini GT and Tarmac Works. The new Hot Wheels C-Class represents the car of Klaus Ludwig, who scored three wins and eight further podium finishes on his way to the championship title.

As you can see, graphics designer Steve Vandervate did a terrific job to replicate the complicated scheme of sponsor D2 Privat, a Mannesmann cellphone network that was later swallowed up into Vodafone. I love an authentic paint scheme so I’m especially happy not to see a random Hot Wheels logo among the many other names depicted!

C-Classes were still running a similar scheme when I watched an ITC race at the Norisring in 1996. This was Dario Franchitti’s car, post-accident!

Back to the model. Credit for the casting design goes to Mark Jones, who as usual has captured the feel of the real car without tying the model to a particular scale. “I think it came out well,” says Mark with typical understatement. “The wheel-to-body clearance is really nice and I remember having to negotiate for the through-holes in the lower body!”

Take a look at the area just ahead of the front wheels and you’ll see what he means. Not even my older Microchamps (Minichamps 1:64) C-Class can boast that detail!

Three-inch diecast C-Class DTMs. From left: Matchbox, Hot Wheels, Microchamps

Mark acknowledges that some people may feel the model is a little on the large side. Personally, I think it’s fine just as it is but to dig a little deeper, I took some measurements. Google tells me that the real ’94 C-Class DTM measured 4,666mm long x 1,789mm wide x 1,280mm high. Taking a ruler to my three C-Class DTM models and dividing through to get the scale, reveals the following stats:

Minichamps:  72mm x 27mm x 20mm (1:65 x 1:66 x 1:64)
Hot Wheels:   77mm x 34mm x 22mm (1:60 x 1:52 x 1:58)
Matchbox:      76mm x 32mm x 24mm (1:61 x 1:55 x 1:53)
(all measurements L x W x H, approximate scales in brackets)

The Minichamps is billed as a true-scale 1:64 model, and mostly conforms, but the numbers bear out the subjective impression that it looks a little narrow. At the other extreme, the Matchbox’s chunky, toy-friendly proportions are reflected in its excessive width and height. The Hot Wheels, meanwhile, sits somewhere in between. The numbers say it’s too wide for its length and height, but somehow it looks great all the same!

To finish, here are some quick shots of Ludwig’s C-Class in good company. First is a side-by-side with the Boulevard release of another of Mark’s creations, the CLK-GTR, also in a D2 Privat paint scheme. He says he has a particular affinity with the CLK, having seen the cars race in period at Laguna Seca.

Second, here it is with Ludwig’s 1990 190E DTM car, which coincidentally arrived this week from Tokyo Station. Two different approaches, both great models.

(find Mini GT Mercedes 190E on eBay)

A third comparison pic will have to wait a little longer but there’s another Hot Wheels DTM car coming soon. This will be Mark’s take on the Alfa Romeo 155. I can’t wait for that but honestly, this beautiful new C-Class will more than do for now.

(find Hot Wheels 1994 Mercedes DTM on eBay)

(follow me on Instagram @diecast215)

9 Replies to “Lamley Daily: Mercedes-Benz C-Class DTM”

  1. This is about the first time I’ve seen a direct scaling comparison spelled out like this in a while, and it drives home just how nice the new HW seems to look relative to both true-scale premium models and toys. At MSRP, Hot Wheels has hit the jackpot with this C-Klasse AMG DTM car, and now I’m even more excited to see what HWDT can do with the 155.

    Also, as an aside: it’s kind of a shame that it’d take a long while for HW’s E36 M3 casting to get a more righteous remaster, as I would have loved to do a what-if fiction tale for it that’d also involve this Mercedes, the Sierra Cosworth and the Alfa (plus any Opel and Audi replicas out there).

  2. THANK YOU for this article! It has been sooo long since someone did a proper Hot Wheels Car Culture/ Premium showcase on the blog! (they were my favorites in the old days) And this is a really good one. I’m loving these realistic premium car castings (premium or mainline) that have been going on for a while, and this C-Class DTM is no exception. The proportions and casting details are on point, the livery looks superb and the wing is well done. My only gripe would be the wheels. I know the real DTM car also came with AMG Monoblock-style 5-spoke wheels (I don’t know if they’re AMG wheels or made by some brand like Enkei or O.Z.) and these roughly look similar to those, however I would still prefer to see the 10 spokes, as those are more accurate to the ones shown on the car featured here. I am also hoping that they’ll do a livery-less version in the future, in just plain silver or black, with the right wheels and maybe a couple of decals on the door (I believe a car like this existed at some point). My chances of actually acquiring this model are pretty much zero, so I will just enjoy these photographs!

    And last but not least, I must specially applaud you for going out of the way and doing the measurements for the scale and putting things into mathematical perspective. That is what makes these articles even more compelling. Good job!

  3. I made the exceedingly rare decision (for me) of ordering this batch of Car Culture from a hobby dealer rather than hope to find it in stores. Premiums have gotten ever-harder to find in person for me and there are enough models I really want in this mix (this one particularly) that it made sense. I am eagerly awaiting their arrival. I’ve been in contact with the dealer I ordered from and he said Mattel has prioritized shipments to big-box retailers over some of the smaller dealers, so I’m on pins & needles waiting. These pictures and write-up only make me more jittery to have them! Great article, and I especially appreciated the scale breakdown!

  4. Speaking of Mercedes racers. I have been on a hunt for 1/64 scale Le Mans racecars. From what I’ve been able to find, there are no 1/64 Mercedes CLR (the one that flipped in the 99 le mans).

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