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1955 Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut-Coupé


Plastheniker
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Hi, certainly there would be no need to say anything about the 300SL.

The 300 SLR, however, is much less known. Those not familiar with this vehicle might be interested in some basic information.

In 1954 Mercedes returned to racing and dominated immediately GP (F1) racing with the W 196 and sports car racing with the technically similar 300 SLR (that open car with the spectacular air brake).

For the 1956 racing season Mercedes converted two open 300 SLR into coupes for long distance racing in order to reduce the drivers' physical stress.

After the Le Mans disaster, however, Mercedes decided to retire from all racing activities after the 1955 season. Therefore both coupes were never raced. Made road-legal they mainly served as personal cars of Rudolf Uhlenhaut, the head of the Mercedes racing department. He crossed Europe with both cars and covered several 10.000 kilometers. Since they turned out as incredibly reliable and durable Mercedes was urged to build a small number of vehicles as an ultimate 290 kph super car for the super rich. But despite several blanc checks Mercedes preferred to keep their technical knowledge.

Both coupes still belong to the Mercedes museum. I read the other day that if ever sold each would be worth appr. € 50,000,000.00 (nearly $ 70,000,000.00). Both cars show minor differences: f. e. #1 has red interior trim and horizontal chrome moldings left and right of the Mercedes star; #2 has blue interior trim and no chrome moldings.

When Revell of Germany announced the Uhlenhaut-Coupé in the early nineties this excited great expectations: a kit manufacturer with access to two museum cars only 300 kliometers away and such a fascinating subject - this had to become a fantastic kit. But instead Revell released a complete failure. While chassis and drive train go together pretty well, the body is notorious for its extremely poor fit. If your body parts are luckily not warped and you want hood and both doors open this will not show. If not (because you are not willing to spoil the breathtaking lines of the car) you have a problem. Especially the fit of the doors is so poor that it is almost impossible to build them closed, particularly as the body hasn't even a door stop.

Anyway, besides the fit issues only some minor detailing was necessary. With a set of self-made wire wheels it became an acceptable model - even if today after 20 years I had some better solutions.

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That is some truly amazing work, considering how bad this kit is...

The fit of those gullwing doors and hood temporarily killed my enthusiasm for this build, but what you have done with yours might just put me back on track.

I even purchased the Hobby Design PE set for it, but sure do wish I could put wheels like yours under it!

Those are just unreal... Or, rather, real... Well, you know what I mean :P

Edited by PowerPlant
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Thanks for your comments so far.

Very nice.

I have that kit in the pile, with broken windshield posts. Gonna try to get the doors to line up and just glue them shut, even if I have to glue sheet plastic behind the gaps to hold it all together.

Brian is absolutely right. Broken windshield posts ( "A column") are another typical shortcome of this kit. I purchased another kit because I needed it for a kitbash for a Protar W 196 GP car. Both pillars were broken.

Using strips of styrene around the complete door opening for making a door stop is the only way to insert the doors properly. Otherwise they would hang half inside and half outside of the body and you could peep through the door gaps. Since the door openings are mostly curved and the result should look acceptable also from the interior, this is a real pain and very time consuming - neurasthenics should refrain.

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OMG is that a beautiful car!! Excellent craftsmanship, Jurgen.

I have a Mercedes 500SL in my stash and (don't hate me) it's waiting for a big block Chevy engine with a tunnel ram manifold. Maybe some large scoop on the hood. I plan to make it a street machine.

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Very nice build of a great car.

These cars where special since it got a straight 8 with desmodronic valve system. Also not bad with "300" hp from a 3liter n/a engine back in the day.

Fun read: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/07/automobiles/a-drive-of-a-lifetime-nearly-ending-in-mechanical-mayhem.html?_r=2&

Before I could push in the clutch, the engine spun up to 10,000 r.p.m. Remember, this was a 1950s engine, when 10,000 r.p.m. was uncharted territory.

I rolled into the pits, the transmission in neutral and my heart in my mouth. When the chief mechanic came over, I could only point to the “telltale” on the tachometer, which had one hand at 10,200.

“How long?” he asked.

“About a second,” I said.

He shrugged. “Five minutes, it doesn’t like.”

I started breathing again.

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Thanks for all further comments.

Nice build Jurgen, I found mine came out reasonable straight from the box, just took some time

Dave, this is one of the best OOB models I have seen. The door looks well-aligned and the bonnet is really closed - this is often not the case because the engine is too high or the bonnet hinge is not properly located. You achieved the best OOB result possible.

How did you do the seat upholstery pattern? Kit decals? It looks really good.

You guys need to click on that interior shot and check out the detail of the dash knobs. Unbelievable!

Harry, you are right. The kit decals make the nice upholstery pattern. As far as I remember the decals were one of the real pros of the kit.

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Very nice build of a great car.

These cars where special since it got a straight 8 with desmodronic valve system. Also not bad with "300" hp from a 3liter n/a engine back in the day.

Fun read: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/07/automobiles/a-drive-of-a-lifetime-nearly-ending-in-mechanical-mayhem.html?_r=2&

Tommy, that is a really interesting link.

By the way for those who are interested in a short overwiew this English wikipedia article might be quite useful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_300_SLR

For those who want to go into detail in my oppinion Karl Ludvigsen's book The Mercedes-Benz Racing Cars is still the standard.

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