CMC Mercedes 300SLR Display Engine 1:18 | $147.00 (misquoted in the issue as $135.00)
If there’s anything wrong with the models coming from premium maker CMC, it’s that a lot of the coolest details are lost beneath the cars’ skins. The good news is that this maker occasionally releases a stripped chassis (like the Maserati 300 Bill Bennett reviews in the Winter ’14 issue of DCX), or uncorks one of their engines and pops it onto a plinth for all to enjoy.
That’s what’s happened here, and this amazing little motor is the exact same piece that you’ll find under the hood of the company’s built-up 300SLR, with the only difference being a warm-toned wood base, a clear top – and the opportunity to scope out usually unseen details. In and around the tidy, well-finished castings, there’s tons of those; the intake side of the 3-liter 8 is a snake pit of induction, injection, and electrical controls made from bent steel, soft vinyl, and rubber. There are clamps and fasteners everywhere, with the former used to hold sections of rubber tubing in place on the intake logs and water pipes, and the latter including pinhead sized rivets holding pieces like the engine’s build tag to the cam covers. Amid all of that, our favorite details are the things we could never have seen with the engine in place – like the sixteen spark plug leads run to the valley between the cam covers, and the cross-drilled and geared flywheel. Wow.