Ixo Mercedes-Benz Rennwagen Schnelltransporter 1955 "Blaues Wunder" ("Blue Wonder")
REF NO: RAC342
Back in the 1950s, motor racing was becoming very popular throughout Europe and, with more and more races being organised, the schedule was very tight for participating teams - the logistical headache of travelling from race to race was getting worse.
Traditional racing car transporters would struggle through city centre streets or where there was a low bridge and in certain regions throughout the continent, particularly along the winding roads through the Alps, so the motorsport division at Mercedes-Benz had a brainwave and created a bespoke vehicle that could transport its cars at high speed.
Working with a chassis from the luxury S-series and the engine from a 300 SL Gullwing sportscar, the engineers crafted a streamlined beauty that could transport a W196 Grand Prix car at over 100mph!
Sadly, events at the infamous 1955 Le Mans 24 Hours, where a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR crashed at high speed and flew into the crowd, killing more than 80 spectators, meant that Mercedes-Benz would withdraw from all motor racing. So in 1956, the Blue Wonder (as it had become known) was shipped to the USA where it would act as a service vehicle.
On its return to Germany, in 1967, it was unforgivably scrapped, although a replica has since been built. The full-sized replica resides at the Mercedes-Benz Museum, in Stuttgart, and is definitely worth a visit, as the Editor is always reminding everyone after his trip there in 2019.
Ixo's 1/43 scale rendering is a much more affordable option than building one from scratch and as you can see, the finish is stunning, with beautifully applied paint to the diecast body and the simple door graphics are perfectly replicated.
The detailing on the metal flatbed is exquisite and, given that this is priced at the same level as the motorsport replicas at the same scale, this represents a huge amount of model for the money. As a result, these are being snapped up pretty quickly so, like the real thing, they won't be around for long. The detailing around the grille, plus the chromed hubcaps and front bumper are fabulous. All that's needed to finish this stunning model off is a suitable period Mercedes-Benz racer as cargo - something like a 300 SLR or W196 Grand Prix car.
This is surely a must have for any classic motorsport enthusiast.