REVIEW: CMC Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Coupé (Blue interior) •

REVIEW: CMC Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Coupé (Blue interior)

The 1955 CMC Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Coupé is an iconic masterpiece that epitomizes the golden era of automotive excellence. Crafted with precision and sophistication, this timeless beauty showcases the harmonious fusion of cutting-edge engineering and elegant design. With its distinctive gull-wing doors and sleek aerodynamic body, the 300 SLR Coupé captured the imagination of car enthusiasts around the world.

Underneath its stunning exterior lies a powerful heart, as the 300 SLR Coupé was equipped with a high-performance engine that delivered unparalleled speed and performance. It boasted a 3.0-litre inline-eight engine, capable of producing an impressive 310 horsepower. This remarkable powertrain, combined with its lightweight construction, enabled the 300 SLR Coupé to reach breathtaking speeds on both road and track.

Not only was the 1955 CMC Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Coupé a marvel of engineering, but it also left an indelible mark on the history of motorsport. It achieved legendary status through its triumph at the Mille Miglia, where Sir Stirling Moss and his co-driver Denis Jenkinson secured a remarkable victory, setting a new record for the race. The 300 SLR Coupé’s unrivalled performance and groundbreaking innovations solidified its place as an automotive icon, forever etched in the annals of automotive history.

If the accolades of the above don’t impress we’re sure the model will!  CMC’s execution of the 1:18 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Coupé is just that good.  Why did we spill the beans so early, simple, this is a re-release from CMC’s portfolio from years past.  What changes here is little, as CMC continues to provide stellar attention to detail, however, interior wise the model moves from Red to Blue.  And if we’re honest, BLUE is preferred!

If the presentation side is your thing, the model comes encased in a lovely leather-like box with the replica of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Coupé safely held in a styrofoam shell.  Inside you’ll find the typical CMC goods of certificate and a uber-cool opening tool (we really like the tool!).

Removing the model from its home is quite simple, free from its shell one can see and appreciate the level of detail, no matter the angle or view the model excels and provides ongoing personal phrases of oohs and aahs.  And at the suggested retail of $673 US it better do so.

On the whole, the CMC hit the mark with Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Coupé, shutlines and panel gaps are exceptional!  The overall tone of the car is captured well, bodylines, fit and finish all exceed our expectations…  Opening and closing each element of the model is flawless in operation, even the magnets used on the removable panel on the right side offer a solid fit too.  CMC even captures the small details of the two connection points here.  The paintwork is top-notch as one would expect from CMC – the level of workmanship shows in spades in the numerous photos below.  You’ll get an even better appreciation for the car once you transform all the bits from close to open.

Moving to the front end, the chrome work along the oval-shaped opening/grille is executed with care, the 3D emblem is a checkmark too.  This is a high-quality piece fitting for this model.  The bean-like shaped mesh grille is a prelude to what one can expect underneath the bonnet.  Again, inside and out CMC’s definition is layered…

Once inside, one can seriously appreciate why CMC is considered one of the best in the business.  The level of detailing is unparalleled with most if not all competitors.  These guys are driven by providing the collector with more, and more, a lot more is what CMC offers up!  The use of various materials, colours and patience paints a masterpiece in our opinion.

The rear end is much the same.  Attention to detail and craftsmanship extends to the simple taillights and chrome work.  Our only complaint here, and let us express the only complaint about the replica in its entirety is the slight off-centre position “D” under the 300 SLR script on the bonnet cover.

Inside, you’ll discover a couple of spares and some of the intricate mechanical working fitted centre in between both wheels.  This isn’t the most interesting component, what surprises us is the rivet workings on the underside of the bonnet and the centre hinge, truly magic!

In typical CMC fashion, each wheel is fully removable via a single nut.  The wheel and tire detail is stellar!  The muti-spoke wheels are likely a painstaking task at production and the tires provide the depth and period correct markings throughout.  Behind you are treated to the interworkings of the suspension.  Do note the suspension is static, or non-functional.

The underside of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Coupé is surprisingly sealed to view, though the attention to detail remains changed.  CMC provides the rivet work and exposes certain elements of the car with care.  Even the paint here mirrors the grade of the upper exterior side.

On the interior end, the notable difference from their earlier release is the move from Red to Blue.  We prefer Blue as commented on earlier!  Opening and closing each door is executed without any challenge with each locking in place for one to admire the interworkings.

Personally, we like the way CMC executes the “leather-like” elements, the creasing and motion of the material add a level of authenticity.  A wood-like steering wheel is found as well as a highly detailed dashboard.  Seats are covered in a retro fabric and the surrounding backend cover is flocked in Blue.  The sum of all the parts is truly an inspiration to see in person.  CMC definitely makes the grade here!

It would be a mistake if we didn’t mention the delicate attention to detail in the exterior windows on both driver and passenger sides.  CMC does provide us with a fully functional pivoting glass integrated within the larger glass structure.  And it works without comprise!

There is no question the CMC Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Coupé is a brilliant and well-rounded model.  The team is driven to provide the collector with the ultimate scale model.  The presentation and the model itself are top-notch, a benchmark if you wish to the rest of the community…  CMC also captured our award for first place, Model of the Year 2022.  As voted by you!

But we would be remiss if we did not note notice the price.  At $673 US, this model is out of reach for most.  But maybe not…  If this model is important to you on any level, then the stretch is worth moving outside your comfort zone.  Instead of three or four average pieces, how about investing in one?  This is a question for you to decide.  What we can say without error, the CMC Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Coupé is one of the most impressive models to cross our path.  And anyone with any tender in the hobby knows “impressive” or “special” is a rarity today…  Enjoy the pics!

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33 Responses to "REVIEW: CMC Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Coupé (Blue interior)"

  1. Patrick says:

    I got mine years ago, when it originaly came out. Back then the price was about 170€. That is a massive price-increase. And I don’t see any improvements to the model. The doors still look not quite flush to the body.

    • Marcel171281 says:

      The doors are absolutely flush on the new release. At least on mine.

      Also CMC did dome improvements over the original model:

      • Patrick says:

        Well ok, they did do something to improve the model. But does this justify this massive price-increase?

        And maybe “flush” wasn’t the right word for what I meant. In my opinion the curvature of the doors doesn’t fit to the curvature of the body. One can see it at the gaps between door and body. In many areas the silver shade of the doors has another brightness than the body on the opposite side of the gap. This is not a paint-thing. This is a result from the mouldingprocess of the doors.
        I hope, I could explain, what I mean. My English is not the best…

        • Bob says:

          It is not possible anymore to manufacture this level of quality for €170 in 2023. Let’s just accept that, and move on from the endless reminiscing of early 2000s prices.

          • DS Team says:

            Agreed. We’re not condoning high prices, but this hobby has changed quite a bit in the last 20 years or so…

          • Patrick says:

            If it was a completely new model, I would totaly agree with you. But in my opinion this is “just” a re-release. So all the cost-intense research and developement, tool-making etc. has allready been done years ago. For me this is just money-making…

            • YT NYC says:

              This wining about price increases is endemic for forums and betrays a basic misunderstanding about how any business functions: – yes, this is a reissued model, largely unchanged, using likely the same molds as before. So why it costs three times more? Simple- BECAUSE CHINESE DUDES AND GALS that are gluing all these pieces together are no longer content getting paid ten dollars per month as they were twenty years ago. Yes, these models are 75% of hand labor that start with casting and deburring the pieces, then assembling and gluing them together. And the cost of materials did not increase much, and there is no need to invest into molds that already exist, the biggest componemt- menial labor cost nowadays much much more than it did during the heyday of asian sweatshops twenty years ago. Besides the demise of sweatshops, the gas prices, i.e. the cost of shipping- anything, including the models, also increased ten-fold in the past twenty years. So, while many suspect a moneygrab, some model-making firms go out of business because of these objective changes and general difficulties making ANY profit in this field. I am actually impressed by the resilience of CMC, while even Autoart went with plastic over metal diecast- yes, note because of “eliminating paint rush” and other BS spin, but primarily due budgetary concerns as the ABS plastic that Autoart uses costs a fraction of Zamac alloy, amd then requires less hand finishing and efforts of assembly…

              • Peter says:

                According to CEIC, real wages in China have increased by roughly 110% between 2011 and 2021. The price of this 300 SLR coupe on CMC’s own website is 623 EUR. Assuming the 170 EUR someone’s paid for the earlier release was a MSRP back then, the current price is 3.66 times what you had to pay for the first release. And that’s before you factor in the 43 EUR price difference between the red and blue interiors. Or the fact that they want almost 700 EUR for the announced 250 GTO they plan to release twelve thousand of, on top of the already released of course. And before you factor in their recent move to another manufacturing facility, the reason of which is quite obvious. And before you realize that what you get for these hundreds of euros today is poorly drawn lines and quality control misses so common that it’s near impossible to find an example free of them.

                You are right about the cost of manual labour driving the price increases, but as you can see, it’s not just that. And whining is well justified when the manufacturers try to jump on our wallets like this.

    • Vitaliy D says:

      Let’s look at the price of the modern 1/18 Pagani Huayra by AutoArt.
      Let’s add the same detailing level to its motor and suspension as the 1/18 300 SLR Coupe by CMC has (more tiny elements, wires, pipes, etc.).
      Let’s make all the small hatches openable.
      Let’s make its wheels detachable and metal rather than plastic.
      Let’s use real look&feel materials in its interior rather than plastic.
      Let’s add more tiny metal+rubber details here and there.
      Let’s make its windshield’s wiper to be from metal+rubbar rather than plastic.
      I bet the resulting price will be _higher_ than the one asked by CMC.

      • Peter says:

        You picked one of the best AAs to date, dissected in detail on DS forums:

        You might be surprised, but many 1:18 wheels are made of metal, not plastic. I haven’t had Huayra’s ones in hand, but I suspect as one of their best Signature models, it has metal wheels too. Detatchable? Well, they are :D I’m not sure anyone in their right mind would choose to fiddle with a tiny tool instead of just pulling them. And that thing would likely polish the creases on the nut the third time you use it. Purely theoretical ‘feature’, so what’s the point?

        Same goes for windshield wipers, even Hot Wheels Super Elite had photoetched metal parts.

        Opening hatches? My $100 Schuco 911 has them. Kyosho’s first F40 had them. That’s not a differentiator.

        Engine? Yeah, SLR’s motor is a jewel, but remember it’s a 1950s car. Aa could maaaybe make theirs more detailed, but look at the real thing! There aren’t nearly as many ‘tiny elements, wires, pipes, etc.’ to add there.

        Having that out of the way, the question to your remaining points is: *what’s the purpose*?
        CMC has its weird philosophy of doing everything out of ‘noble’ materials. So leather is genuine leather, even though you can’t miniaturize its grain and thickness to scale and it looks out of place. Metal is metal, so you get oversized hinges and those wipers for the same reasons. The end result is something that resembles a watchmaker’s effort to recreate a car using pieces and techniques they know… but without master watchmaker’s precision :D Or those artisanal tin can cars, slightly out of proportion and wonky.

        I understand it’s their way of doing things and that it has its fans, but you’re the one comparing things. And in comparison, plastic resembling leather, paint looking like metal or chrome and non-opening, but true to scale tank lid with no oversized hinge are just better in a miniature because it’s meant to *resemble* a real thing, not *be* a real thing.

        And at that, Aa’s Huayra and many other models are just better than any of the CMCs.

        • DS Team says:

          “And at that, Aa’s Huayra and many other models are just better than any of the CMCs.”

          Not taking away from AUTOart or others, BUT that is a stretch.

          “You picked one of the best AAs to date”

          Incorrect. Not their best by a long mile! In our opinion, no way, not nearly their best, and in our opinion was beaten by relative newcomer LCD.

          • Peter says:

            I haven’t seen each and every Aa released to date and I know it’s not Macca F1, Zonda R or Silhouette level of detail, so I won’t be arguing what ‘one of the best’ exactly means.

            That being said, please take a look at the link to your own forums I posted. It’s probably the most detailed scale model review/comparison in the whole of Internet and it’s hard to undestand your opinion about LCD beating Aa after reading that (pictures are sadly gone, but words are still plenty). The fact that the more expensive re-release of the Autoart still sold well seems to reinforce it.

            As for Aa beating CMC, what I meant was the general ‘feel’ of the model and the minute details Lucky13 listed in his comparison that are easy to overlook in separation, but together make a difference between a good model and the ‘looks like a real thing’ one.

            Aa had a handful in the second category. CMCs are real jewels, but their insistence on using metal and leather where other manufacturers use plastic comes with limitations I mentioned. These limitations manifest in a way their models look – you can see right away that some elements are not scaled down properly. I prefer the ‘looks like a real thing’ look because modern paints and craftsmanship can emulate the look of chrome and metal so well that you’re unable to tell the difference. And I’m not putting my bum on that leather seat anyway, so I’d rather have a properly shrunken-down grain that tricks my eye than real leather that’s there primarily to be able to brag that you have a model with real leather seats.

            • DS Team says:

              These are opinions. These opinions are based on seeing both examples first-hand… We also did a comparison and rated each as fairly as possible… Again, we’ll stick by our opinions on both models. As you do to yours.

              • Peter says:

                Since when is pointing out inaccuracies compared to a real car ‘an opinion’? What is a fact then? I’m flabbergasted… That guy examined both with a scrutiny worthy of a monk living in solitude and has first hand experience with the car they are supposed to represent… And you sum it all up as ‘an opinion’. Sorry guys, with all due respect talking to someone who creates their own reality where words don’t mean things they usually mean is not my cup of tea, so I’ll pass, Since when is pointing out inaccuracies compared to a real car ‘an opinion’? What is a fact then? I’m flabbergasted… That guy examined both with a scrutiny worthy of a monk living in solitude and has first hand experience with the car they are supposed to represent… And you sum it all up as ‘an opinion’. Sorry guys, with all due respect talking to someone who creates their own reality where words don’t mean things they usually mean is not my cup of tea, so I’ll pass. Have your opinions, I’ll rather listen to those who have facts.

        • YT NYC says:

          Dude, are you new to this hobby and thus inexperienced, or just easily persuaded by marketing?
          I can name at least ten AA models that are better, i.e. superior in every way over a rather schlocky Huayra. Then I can name you at least thirty of the models that I actually own that are better than the VERY BEST that Autoart ever did: – We can start with such perelrenial favorites like the gorgeous BBR model of Ferrari 375BB #4 LeMans winner; then proceed to equally impressive BBR 512BB in red, all the way to amazing Exoto Alfetta, Exoto Jaguar D-type, and so on and so forth.
          Now, a ‘proper’ CMC model like this Merc belongs at the very top tier of modelmaking along with those very special “XS” series from Exoto (the rest of the Exoto range was rather average and on par with typical AA level). Not all CMC models are born equal in terms of detailing and execusion. BUT, this Merc along with its sister-models of W198 Streamliners, and last year’s Ferrari 275GTB, as well as previous Talbot Lago and a couple other models are among the very best of CMC efforts, and, no, AA does not get even close to any of those in terms of stance, materials, detailing, and the all-important ‘presence’ in hand or on shelves… Cheers!

          • Peter says:

            Dude ;) No, I’m not. Please see my response to the DS team above. I never said there aren’t better models than Autoarts. Vitalyi’s argument was that ‘upgrading’ Huayra CMC-style would result in higher price tag. My response simply states it would not be an upgrade, because their genuine leather seats, genuine metal seals and oversized hinges on small openings make them look dorky.

            D-type from Exoto XS is what I’d like to see from CMC. It’s not dorky. It’s an incredibly detailed miniature. Same goes for BBR’s 375 Plus.

            ‘(the rest of the Exoto range was rather average and on par with typical AA level)’

            Absolutely not true. Have you had one in your hands? Exoto has different ranges and while their Motorbox might be on par with Aa, which was reflected with lower price, Racing Legends are so good there are only a handful of Aa models matching that. Now it’s my turn to ask if you’re new to the hobby ;P

            Aa did get close (Nissan Silhouette and R390, Zonda R) to CMC and even surpassed it on occasion in terms of shelf presence because of the reasons I stated above. To each their own, I prefer the ‘real’ look to real materials, but I understand why someone might have the other way round.

  2. Juju says:

    Only two 300 SLRs were built.
    The one with the red interior from the previous edition (also reissued by CMC) and the one with the blue interior and the large exhaust silencer, previously made by CMC.
    Did it really exist with the blue interior, without the exhaust silencer and with the petrol inlet in the rear window? I don’t know and I’m wary of CMC, who are capable of inventing a lot of things (they’re not wrong, when we read here that people prefer the blue interior to the red, without questioning the authenticity; why not green or yellow, then?)

    In any case, the miniature is splendid and I hope that one day they’ll decide to make the most beautiful 300 SL Gullwing (W198) of 1954.

    • Peter says:

      Cars can change over time of their ownership, external silencer can be easily put on and taken off depending on the need. Interiors get reupholstered. Sometimes you need to do the archaeological research in order to learn the original color of the car.

      I get it, there were only two of these IRL, but lamenting about CMC letting people pick between two interior colors of the miniature of otherwise the same car… they’ll never experience and possibly even stand next to is an extreme case of nitpicking. Especially taking into account the extent of liberities they take on a daily basis.

      • Juju says:

        If, for you, hoping that a $600 miniature reproducing one of the only two real models in the world conforms to at least one of the two is nitpicking, then I am indeed an incorrigible nitpicker.

        • Peter says:

          Yes, pointing out the lack of silencer on a model of a road-worthy PROTOTYPE that was being used and modified throughout its life and using a hyperbole argument of some bizarre color scheme because you can’t get over a fact that one of two existing in real life could be paired with the ‘wrong’ chasis (assuming it’s even the case, I’m no Mercedes historian) makes you an incorrigible nitpicker ;)

          CMC already made your ‘correct’ Uhlenhaut with the ugly muffler, let other people put this one on their shelves and enjoy it It’s not a museum piece. Every time a CMC name comes up here’s always someone whining about small historical inaccuracies as if they commited a deadly sin.

      • Atalante says:

        CMC GmbH is located in Felbach, suburbs of Stuttgart the hometown of Mercedes-Benz. Their neighbor right across the street is Mercedes-Benz Classic center where their restore the most glorious MB cars. The MB museum where the SLR Uhlenhaut coupe is exposed is a mere 6km away… CMC have had close contacts with the Stuttgart based manufacturer for all models they designed; documentation, historic pictures and real cars. CMC takes sometimes liberties with real car histories but they are usually well informed when it comes to MB. You can be assured that the car with blue interior has existed in this form with gas inlet through the rear window. Is it 100% authentic? Probably no but it is close enough. By the way the muffler has been installed later so that Rudolf Ulhenhaut could take the car for its personal use on the road (the noise is just unbearable without it).

    • YT NYC says:

      There are photos of a car with a fuelimg cap through the back glass. Now, since the photo is black and white its impossible to say if it was blue or red interior car. But the argument of nitpicky detailing is a weird one as the cars were changed from race to race and from race to daily use. I am sure that if CMC wanted, they could have made another four or five variation of the same car and each would have been equally authentic, just reflective of different periods or racing days.
      Also, for example, CMC made some ‘fantasy’ versions of Ferrari 275GTB, though they did use the actual colors that were in Ferrari catalog, just were never applied to the actual cars. Paradoxically, those ‘fantasy’ cars cost more and were sold out faster- because for the rich people who can afford the REAL cars, those models are actually of more interest- something they can put in a display case on their yacht, contemplating of what could have been… Those who are most concerned about exact verisimilitude to the last detail are those who cannot own the real car. It’s like- the poorer a collector is, the more he or she is concerned about the last unimportant detail- which is a paradox I observed many times. Cheers!

  3. YT NYC says:

    Yes, this is one of CMC best efforts, along with their recent Ferrari 275GTB, and earlier Talbot Lago. Their best model- in every sense- is still a Merc W198R Streamliner, but this Merc is not far behind. It is certaily way better than CMC models from five-ten years ago, some of which were downright shoddy. So, a return to form of sorts. I just hope it’s not a swan song as it been with BBR with Ferrari 375BB, Exoto with its Aftessas, and some others that produced their very best before sliding into resin-cast mediocrity (BBR), or getting out of makimg models (like Exoto).

  4. Jelle says:

    Just ordered one with a red interior last weekend, a really good offer at € 480. I read so many good things about it, I finally gave in. Only a few more weeks before I’ll be able to actually take a look at it. And compare it to the Schuco 300 SL with blue interior :-)

  5. Richard says:

    Recently purchased and received the CMC 300 SLR Coupe “re-released” blue interior version. I have only been collecting for a short time (about a year), but I’ve accumulated 4 CMCs so far. In purchase order: Mercedes 600 Pullman W100 Landaulet, Ferrari 275GTB, Talbot Lago. My small collection also includes an Amalgam, BBR, a few AAs and Almost Reals. I am committed to spending my money less on quantity and more on quality. Certainly, CMC’s prices are steep, but one CMC, at least at the CMC 300 SLR level of quality is worth at least 3 of 4 of the also-rans. These models are nothing short of magnificent! Nothing else comes close, in my limited experience. Btw, I have the Ferrari 250 on pre-order!

  6. Dennis says:

    I recently received the #15 Swedish version and was hesitant at spending the $640 shipped but the model is magnificent, I was wary of the warnings about panel gaps and shut lines but what I received is superb, I really like the magnetic headlight covers. This is CMC at its best.

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