The Mille Miglia, or 'Thousand Mile' race from Brescia Italy, to Rome, and back to Brescia was, along with Le Mans and the Targa Florio in Sicily, an event which tested drivers and their machines to the utmost. A victory in the MM confirmed the quality and durability of an automobile manufacturers product to the world, and the level of competition was extreme.
Mercedes Benz re-entered international racing in 1954 with an eye to winning both the Formula One and sports car championships. They succeeded in F1 in 1954 and '55, and with sports cars in '55. Key to the '55 sports car championships was a Mille Miglia victory, and Mercedes had just the vehicle to do it. The 300 SLR was a two-seat adaptation of the indomitable W196 Formula One racer. Utilizing much of the F1 technology allowed the 300 SLR to win every race in which it finished.
For 1955, one of the Mille Miglia entries was car #722, piloted by Stirling Moss, with navigational duties performed by motoring journalist Dennis Jenkinson. By carefully mapping out the race course and communicating by hand signals, the pair became the perfect team for the demanding event. Moss pushed the Mercedes and himself to the limit, securing victory, and recording the fastest average speed in Mille Miglia history.
John Haynes, of Historic Replicars has re-created the Moss-Jenkinson 300 SLR in 1:24 scale, and was produced in the same series as our Historic Replicars Jaguar D Type. As with the Jag, the paint work is excellent, as is the overall fit and finish. The racing numeral decals are perfect and there is enough fine detail to satisfy a demanding collector. The bespoke straight, twin exhausts are correctly scaled, while other fine bits like tail lights and reflectors are beautifully executed. The model is affixed to a perspex base and carries two plaques; one is a mechanically reproduced Stirling Moss signature, while the other contains the historical data and edition number, which is 135/250. This plaque is also signed by John Haynes in permanent marker.
With vintage models like this, one can legitimately ask the question if there are not more detailed modern examples available. The answer is an undoubted 'yes', but that should not be the determining factor for the true collector however. Age, condition, rarity, and historical significance should rule the day, and this 300 SLR hits all the marks.