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TopSlot has recently released two very superb - and expensive - RTR versions of Mercedes W196 Streamliner from the debut race on Reims, July 4th 1954.

7102 W196 Karl Kling #20
7108 W196 Hans Hermann #22

Despite the fact that I have build these two cars (and Juan-Manuel Fangio #18) out of A2M 15102 kits I have taken a closer look on these fine TopSlot models.

Do I dare to question their liveries?

My doubt is concerned the two race numbers placed on each side of the cars. They have one on the side panels and one on top of the body as well. Many die cast versions of these famous racers are sporting the same race numbers. But not all!

My theory is that the race numbers on the side panels were only placed on the right side of the cars - just in front of the exhaust pipes.

Looking in several books and on the internet I can find no single photo showing these cars viewed from the left showing these race numbers on the side panels. But a lot without them. Well, they could be photos from practice days, but it seems to be funny that not a single photo - viewed from the left - should have been taken during this famous race day. '

Proto Slot Kit offers the same car as GhostModels 005, and examining their web site shows both #18 and #20 build according to my theory: Two race numbers on right side, one only on left side.

Gentlemen - what are your opinions?

/Holger
 

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Google presented these two which state they are from the 54' French GP I can check my books to be sure if nobody else confirms before then...



 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
MAF - thanks, these are well known photos, and the first confirms my theory about no race number on left side panel of Fangios #18 car. Unless it is from practice days and the number was later added?

Second photo has no value since no side panels are visible.

/Holger
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Guys - thank you very much for your help. Much appreciated. But again my knowledge of the Queens English may put me down here.

I am NOT searching for photos from Reims showing the W196s without race numbers on their left side panels (= just one race number on left side). Believe me, I can provide literally hundreds of such photos.

It is the other way round. Can anyone provide photos which proves, that TopSlot is right with two race numbers on each side and that I am wrong believing the cars only had two race numbers on the right side of the car and one of the left?

Hope this made my need for help a bit clearer?

/Holger
 

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I would say Top Slot got it wrong as the pictures show. I built the Fangio car a few weeks back and also researched the pictures. No vintage pictures showed the cars with six sets of numbers. Proto Slot/Ghostmodel must also agree, the body shell was theirs and it came with decals for only five number locations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I say the case is settled. Seems to be no more opinions on this.

Thanks to Matt for supporting me in TopSlot being wrong!

/Holger
 

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Only just read this post...having bought both the TopSlot and Ghost versions the number of numbers puzzled me so I searched for pictures which showed 2 sets of numbers on the right side.

My next question was why? Reims was a high speed circuit with cars approaching maximum speed past the pits and start line where the timing marshals were stationed. Remember in those days lap charts were recorded visually and timing was by mechanical stopwatches. Red numbers on shiny silver race cars don't show up too well at 170 mph or so. My guess is that the extra set of numbers on the right side were added at the request of the timekeepers. Interestingly Mercedes subsequent used red numbers on white discs and even later, black numbers on white discs.
 

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According to the books I have the black numbers on white discs were used after the Le mans tragedy.
 
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