1/3 scale model of Mercedes W 165
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I first saw this car at the 1995 Goodwood festival of speed and was captivated by it's appearance and a little later my son, Robin, bought me the intriguing book Quick Silver written by Cameron Earl following his visit to Germany in 1948 to study the Grand Prix cars of Mercedes and Auto Union.This book contains detailed specifications of various cars with photographs and drawings, the majority of the drawings are of the W165 and I realized that I could not resist the temptation to try and convert this information into a model.
When I had finally finished the Bristol Hydra I had the drawings from the book scanned and printed out as A2 size drawings and then had to decide on a suitable scale, after some thought I decided on 1/3rd full size which gives a model which will be 4ft. long and components which my equipment could cope with and, more importantly which I could see!!
The drawings in the book are amazingly detailed considering that the whole project was completed in only 8 months so that it was relatively easy to produce working drawings although I am beginning to realize how many details the complete car is going to need.
Anyway in at the deep end and start on the chassis frame, this is a twin tube frame with cross tubes the first problem being the fact that the main tubes are oval in section, the various tube lists I had showed tubes which could have been suitable but finding them was rather more of a problem unless I wanted to order a couple of tons, so I laid out the section on the computer and found that the perimeter was very close to being the same as a 1 3/8" dia tube which I managed to find after a bit of searching. It was then just a question of turning up some form rollers to suit a friends flange forming machine and winding the handle.The various cross tubes were turned and bored from bar due to the difficulty of finding short lengths of suitable tube and the various brackets produced. I was a little concerned about how I was going to fix it all together but talking to a plumber who was fitting my new boiler he told me about a Mapp gas turbo torch and this proved capable of getting the various joints up to silver soldering temperatures, in fact I had to be careful not to overheat.
The various tubes and brackets were assembled on a fixture made from 1/2" thick ceramic board marked out and drilled to locate the various bits so that I was able to use the blowlamp directly on the chassis without setting the whole workshop on fire, although some of the wooden locating blocks did get a little scorched!!
This photo also includes the wheel rims, hubs etc. which were the next things on the agenda, the chassis frame was further modified after my first visit to the Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart where their archive department gave me access to all the information they had on the car and where I managed to find a more detailed drawing of the frame. Fortunately the majority of the dimensions were correct although I did have to modify the rear engine mounting tubes.
The engine is mounted at a 6 degree angle to the centre line of the frame and I had misunderstood the rather unclear information which I had up to that point but the new drawing made it clear and also gave me additional information about the body mounting and gearbox/final drive brackets.