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Bungo's picture
Bungo
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--23c Mercedes Benz auto de course (1948-1952)

Hi all,

every now and then the discussion comes up about the metal wheels mounted on the early post-war F/23c Mercedes Benz racing car.

In Roulets bible you can find metal wheels of 18mm diameter or 15mm. My F/23c has metal wheels with a diameter of 16.4 mm (and so has my early F/23b Hotchkiss, see pictures). 

I have my doubts that such wheels ever existed on those two racing cars. I would therefore like to know if other members have F/23c Mercedes Benz Racing Cars (or F/23b Hotchkiss) with such large 18mm or small 15 mm metal wheels in their collection.

Thanks for your help and best regards from Thailand

Walter

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janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Hi Walter, I'm not very expert on this and I am not completely sure what you mean. But these are my findings:

Roulet (page 104) says for the French 23C Mercedes Benz voiture de course: 1st variant with zamac wheels of 16,5 cm diam., 2nd variant with zamac wheels of 15 mm diam. (and 3rd with 17 mm tyres). 

In Philippe Salmon, Dulin collection, I find on page 10 the picture below, zamac wheels, size not stated, but I guess 15 mm, like some other contemporary French Dinky Toys - compare the 17 mm tyres on the one far below.  Kind regards, Jan 

Bungo's picture
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Hi Jan,

thanks for your comments and picture.

In my Roulet (undated, edition Adepte) I can't find anything regarding the 23c Mercedes on page 104.

Only on page 34 he talks about the various wheels, point 4) deals with those metal wheels (18mm). And under point 6) he refers to a "interim wheel" completely in metal with a diameter of 15mm. 

And on page 85 he makes a rather strange reference to "unpainted zamac wheels (type 24?)" and "small zamac wheels (type 25J?)".

Other than that, I can't find anything about these wheels in his book.

Anyhow, I think there was only one type of zamac wheels, used on both the early post-war French 23c Mercedes and 23b Hotchkiss: a 16.4 mm wheel. Most likely no 15mm wheel and certainly never a 18mm wheel.

This is what I want to have confirmed by asking my DTCA friends to check their wheels!

Regards

Walter

Richard's picture
Richard
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DTCA MemberFrance

I Walter.

I have both french cars. I will check tomorrow and will let you know.

Kind regards

Richard

janwerner's picture
janwerner
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Sorry Walter, not to have been specific enough: I referred to the second - much more elaborate - edition, published by Editions Atlas in 2012. For the rest no doubt Richard will be able to help you much better than I can! Kind regards, Jan  

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Richard
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DTCA MemberFrance

Hi Walter.

Here are the results of my investigations !smiley 

My Mercedes 23C and my two Hotchkiss 23B have the same wheels diameters : a little bit more than 16mm

I had a look on my others Dinky with metallic/zamac wheels and I found out that :

Studebaker 24O, Ford and Studebaker truck 25 (all letters) have the same wheels diameters : 15mm

Roadster 24h and Peugeot 402 (taxi or not) 24k and 24l have the same unpainted wheels with diameters : 17mm

I hope that you got your answer.

Kind regards.

Richard

 

Bungo's picture
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Thanks, Richard, yes, at least up to a certain degree.

It still leaves the question open whether there were 23c Mercedes and 23b Hotchkiss with smaller (15mm) wheels like the Studebakers and the Ford. But somehow this wouldn't make sense. Why replace already small 16.4mm wheels with even smaller 15mm wheels? They just would look even wronger and the racer could hardly be driven anymore on rough terrain. and why only on the Mercedes and never on the Hotchkiss? They were produced at the same time for the same short period and even if the larger 16.4mm wheels would have run out of stock and the new order would have been slightly smaller (15mm), why on the Mercedes only?

But as we all know the question "why" should never be asked when it comes to DInky Toys.

Thanks and regards
Walter

Richard's picture
Richard
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DTCA MemberFrance

Walter,

It's probably a matter of manufacturing dates !

If I believe in my informations, the Hotchkiss with zamac wheels was produced in 1948 in a big quantity (with the16,4 wheels) to cover the sales of 1949 instead of the Mercedes which was produced in 1949.

In a parallel direction, the Studebaker and Ford trucks were first produced in 1949 in the same time than the Studebaker State commander and the Packard super eight sedan (body comming from UK) with the15mm wheels.

That's mean that Meccano needed a big quantity of zamac wheels, (for a short time as the tyres appeared in 1950) and to simplify the stock they used the same wheels for each models.

It is probable that the stock of the 16,4 wheels was over in 1949 and the manager did not want to buy wheels for only one car !

More, smaller wheels = smaller cost !

Cheers

Richard

 

Bungo's picture
Bungo
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Quite possible, your explanation, Richard.
I will subscribe to it once such a 15mm Mercedes Benz has turned up.
Thanks anyway and let's see what other DTCA experts come up with (!).
Best regards
Walter

john45
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Hello Walter,

I have some French models with metal wheels in my collection. Pre- and postwar.

23a with unpaited metal wheels, diam. 17,5 mm. 25k and 25l Peugeot 402, unpainted metal wheels 16,5 mm.

23 Mercedes (2x) black metal wheels 16,5 mm. Hotchkiss (2x) black metal wheels, 16,5 mm.

Series 24 cars postwar unpainted metal wheels 16,5 mm. Serie 25 wagons unpainted metal wheels 16,5 mm.

In fact the diameter of the 16 mm wheels vary from 16,4, 16,45, 16,5, not fatigue!

John.

 

Bungo's picture
Bungo
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Hi John,
thanks for your input. It seems to support my thesis that a 15mm wheel on a 23c Mercedes still has to be found!
Will it ever?
Best regards
Walter

Bas's picture
Bas
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Some images of my Mercedes 23d's. I assume one (the yellow) is repaint. I have utmost respect for the yellow one in the close pictures; completely declining by metal fatigue but hanging in there txs to quite some glue form a previous enthousiast...Any suggestions on the dates? txs! Bas

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janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

This thread being for the French 23c, I wonder, Bas, if any of your 23c’s shown above is really a French one. This gives me the opportunity to present a French example that entered my collection quite recently. Initially the French models had their black painted all-zamac 16,5 mm wheels (1948-1949), followed by the examples with smooth medium size ‘M’ tyres (1950-1952). The British models always had the large 20 mm ‘supertoys’ tyres, both pre- and post-war. The British bear roundels with racing number (none, 1, or very incidentally 2, in front of the driver), the French show standing ovals (with a variety of numbers 1-6, behind the driver). And of course the base plate gives French information. Perhaps you can check (perhaps the silver one in the centre?).

A number of photos below, single, or in the company of some British examples, and a comparative picture in combination with the French no. 24O Studebaker Coupé State Commander, showing the differences of the metal wheels, both in size (16,5 and 15 mm) and profiles. Kind regards, Jan 

Bas's picture
Bas
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Ai, my mistake...sorry...all UK models, all with 20 mm tyres. It seems the French are harder to get txs Jan!

 

 

 

 

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janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Thanks, Bas! Now this takes me to another puzzle. As the French one, made from the British die, was available/in production in the period 1948-1952, I wonder when the British one with coloured (red) hubs (shown below) was produced. These red hubbed models were produced in the period around the year 1950, most probably not before 1948 and not later than 1952 (the herringbone tyres not later than 1950) in my opinion, possibly for export only (I bought that one from a Peruvian seller back in 2010). Is such an overlap of French and British production possible? Did the die cross the Channel several times? Kind regards, Jan