Return of the Silver Arrows

Brian Owen steers us through the history of, and the models to mark, the momentous 1954-55 F1 years

Juan Manuel Fangio in his Mercedes-Benz W196 leads Alberto Ascari in his Ferrari 625 at the 1954 Italian Grand Prix at Monza


The models

There is an enormous choice of models available to the collector to represent the Grand Prix seasons 1954-55. Not surprisingly the Mercedes-Benz W196 is the most modelled, and it would probably be easiest to list manufacturers who have not produced one! To avoid repetition, my coverage is far from exhaustive but the models illustrated are interesting in how much they differ, bearing in mind they are based on the same full-sized cars.


J.M. Fangio’s 1954 French Grand Prix winning Mercedes-Benz W196 streamliner, built from a resin kit by Provence Moulage.

Minichamps’ version of the 1954 W196 streamliner. This is the car which caused Fangio problems at the British GP. Spark model the car complete with its front-end damage.


The W196 ‘streamliner’ has received the most attention. There are recent fine replicas by Minichamps and Spark, and older, but very worthwhile releases from Brumm and others, including some very good part-work models. The 1955 W196 ‘slipper’ has been modelled more than the 1954 car and the fi nest is, I think, that by Premium Classixxs, a beautifully detailed resin model. Brumm’s die-casts, though elderly cannot be ignored, but Ixo’s 1954 car, now available in the Whitebox range, is sadly not one of its best. Cursor did a ‘slipper’ in plastic for the Daimler-Benz Museum, John Day produced a white metal kit and French resin kit maker, Jade does a large range of ‘slippers’. Spark has produced splendid models of both versions of the W196, paying particular attention to individual detail. Fangio’s streamliner from the 1954 British Grand Prix comes complete with damaged front wings. Spark faithfully reproduced the 1955 British GP cars of Stirling Moss and Fangio. The pair drove extrashort chassis W196s as developed for Monaco and fitted with outboard front brakes.

Moss’s car had a new type of bonnet which hinged forward complete with the radiator cowling. Full marks to Spark for including all these features.

Read the full article in Model Collector August 2017

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