• Type 
  • Lot number 
  • Location
    United Arab Emirates


• Child-sized tribute to the famous 300 SLR sports-racer
• 52cc two-stroke engine
• Centrifugal clutch
• Recently restored and improved

Offered here is a child-sized copy of one of the most celebrated sports cars in motor racing history: the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. Seven years after the end of WW2, Mercedes had returned to international competition, winning the Le Mans 24-Hour race and Carrera Panamericana in 1952 with the Type 194 sports-racer. The W194's successes not withstanding, its 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine was derived from that of a production model: the 300 saloon; clearly, something with greater potential would be required if Mercedes-Benz were the remain competitive with the Ferrari and Jaguar opposition. Enter the 300 SLR.

For their new sports-racer Mercedes drew heavily on the design of its contemporary Formula 1 car, the W196, which had taken the 1954 Drivers' World Championship courtesy of Juan Manuel Fangio. Thus the 300 SLR inherited the W196's monoposto space-frame chassis, modified to provide accommodation for two, and its straight-eight engine, the latter enlarged from 2.5 to 3.0 litres. Featuring desmodromic (positive closure) valve gear and Bosch mechanical fuel injection, the 300 SLR's engine produced 296bhp, with power taken from the centre of the crankshaft to reduce torsional stress. Canted over at an angle of 53 degrees (as in the W196), the engine was set back in the chassis for better weight distribution.

The aerodynamic body was made of lightweight Elektron magnesium alloy, while one of its most interesting features, developed for use at Le Mans, was a large air brake that would be deployed to help slow the car from high speed. Suspension was independent all round by means of double wishbones at the front and swing axles at the rear; too large to fit within the 16" wheels, the drum brakes were mounted inboard at both ends.

In a tragically shortened career, the 300 SLR entered six races in 1955, winning five and being withdrawn from the other. Wins were secured at the Mille Miglia in Italy, this being the famous Moss/Jenkinson victory; the Tourist Trophy at Dundrod in Ireland; the Targa Florio in Sicily; the Eifelrennen in Germany; and the Swedish Grand Prix, a record good enough to bring Mercedes-Benz the 1955 World Sportscar Championship.

Built in 2020, this child's car has been restored and improved recently by our vendor to reflect the real 300 SLR more faithfully. Described by them as in excellent condition, this stunning child's car is powered by a 52cc two-stroke engine, while other noteworthy features include a centrifugal clutch, opening bonnet and boot, and working headlights.

Please note that this lot is subject to VAT on the hammer price.

Bonhams 1793
101 New Bond Street
United Kingdom
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Bonhams Collectors’ Car department