1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Club Edition Diecast Model

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Franklin Mint 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL - Roadster- D4C LECC IX diecast car
  • Year: 1960
  • Brand: Franklin Mint
  • Make: Mercedes-Benz
  • Code: LECCIX
  • Model: 300SL - Roadster- D4C LECC IX
  • Scale: 1:24
  • Color: White

The usual suspects gathered for the nomination of the ninth DieCast Car Collectors Club (D4C) Limited Edition Club Car (LECC). And while that’s a lot of letters and designations to contemplate, it pales in comparison to what we had in front of us to consider for the LECC IX. The bulk of the process fell upon the club’s founder and president, Jay Olins, former FM Design Manager, Raffi Minasian and me this year. We have previously offered three Corvettes, a Ford, Hudson, Cadillac, Continental and Packard as exclusive limited edition models with several of them including modifications to the Mint’s original fabrication.

We all wanted something different for number nine and also wanted to tie it in with FM’s 25th anniversary. I started off the process by looking at models that Franklin has not redone, reissued or repainted. Easily and above all, the 1960 Mercedes-Benz stood out. It would be our first-ever European offering and one that has stood the test of time in its design and elegance. And I say this referring to both the model and its 1:1 inspiration. Raffi and I pondered the car and the most classic colors it was built to wear. All the while we kept in mind what colors FM’s Gullwing had been released in and the original red exterior of this roadster diecast issued in 1997. Off white was the unanimous choice with classic red interior.

Raffi set out with modifications to the headlamps. The original red roadster wears American eyes while the Euro variety had amber marker lights in the top section only. He also adjusted the model’s mounting pins so they aren’t so prominent in their replication. He then upgraded the front Mercedes medallion and the rear M-B star logo and, “300SL” script to hot stamped chrome versions. They are so much more dimensionally improved. You will find the same, “300SL” script on the dashboard’s glove box now too. This has always been a high-tech, before-its-time, model and the excellent work of the original build carries forward wonderfully. Just look into that crowded engine bay. The air chamber-laden Benz motor takes up a lot of room. Yet M-B and FM found the way to present the washer bag, lined brake cylinders, hoses, wires and plumbing in the most efficient manner.

The interior is as inviting today as it was back in 1960. FM built a readable shift pattern onto the white shift knob, crafted the steering wheel with scaled rippled chrome horn ring, found lots of detail for the gauges and replicated the seats with stippled texture that is still at the very top of its game today. The trunk houses a gorgeous set of luggage that has never fit into the rear compartment better than on the LECC. What an opulent touch to have in the beginning of the decade. Only higher end cars, even today, can boast this amenity. Raffi then hit upon an auxiliary hard top option that might further set this model aside as special. We opted out the color choice availabilities.

We would do both a white and black hard top. All will come with black convertible tops and most will come with the additional hard top in black. But to commemorate FM's 25th anniversary, we will configure 25 models with a white auxiliary hard top. These models will also carry a gold plate attesting to this fact while the others will have a silver plate. It begs the question as to what we might expect to do as a follow up for the next LECC. Keep in mind that it will be our Tenth!

So, the stage was set, colors picked and options evaluated. The resultant car, as I write this and hold the first prototype, “Quality Sample” as FM calls it, is beautiful.

-Tony F Perrone

  • Our Price: $155.95
  • Sold Out
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