Rikkardo’s Retro Racing Cars 5: Mercedes W111 220SE Ewy Rosqvist & Ursula Wirth

One of the prettiest  road going cars Mercedes Benz ever made in my opinion was the W111 series; the ‘fintail’ cars made from 1959 to 1971.

Mercedes-Benz_220S_(W_111)_01 (pic from Wiki, thanks guys!)

The W111 was made by Mercedes when they really did work by their motto ‘the best or nothing’. Underneath the stunning bodies were a range of silky smooth straight six engines ranging in displacement from 2.2 to 2.8 and the W111 was the first ever car to incorporate crumple zones!

A truly beautiful road car but not the most likely candidate for a race car; it was a very long and very heavy car for its time with wallow-y soft suspension and the top of the range fuel injected 2.8 straight six could only propel it to 107mph and from 0-62mph in 14 seconds. Not fast by any standards!

However that didn’t deter Swedish female drivers Ewy Rosqvist and Ursula Wirth from driving a 220SE for Mercedes Benz at the Rally of Argentina of 1962; Argentina’s major production car race and considered to be “the toughest of them all” due to it’s winding gravel tracks which Juan Manuel Fangio would have conquered and which have claimed many lives, including Mercedes driver Hermann Kuehne in that very race!


Not only did they run and complete the race but they also won it!  They averaged over 100 miles per hour on the faster stages and took the records for both stage 1 and 2. Not bad going considering the local news papers thought of them to just be decoration to help sell Mercedes Benz cars.


In 2008 Revell made 1500 slot cars based on the car Rosqvist and Wirth drove on the rally. This was a while before I got into slot cars so I really wan’t expecting to be able to get one but Joost, a friend of mine in the Netherlands, put one up for sale and so I just had to have it!


The model is a fantastic replica of the car, although you can’t really see that awfully well as any photography skill I had seems to have gone completely out of the window. The car is to scale to the rest of my collection and when you put it up against another car you can really see just how massive it was! These girls, and the other people that drove these cars in rallies really had a tremendous amount of skill to navigate such a car through a tight course.

As a slot car, it drives well, although I’ve only driven it gently and not very often it seems to go round just fine. No notchyness which can come with soe cars which aren’t driven often. Although this is the only Revell product I have I would recommend them. A nice model.

I’m hoping to cover some more cars that competed in the Argentine Rally and the other rallies that crossed South America in the not too distant future and of course more Mercedes Benz.

Thanks for reading

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