The W165 was a car that Mercedes didn’t even want to build. In late 1938 teams were informed that there would be a new specification for the 1939 Tripoli Grand Prix. A 1.5L supercharged engine was to be the maximum displacement — a formula that by design heavily favored the Italian marques. The late announcement of the change almost guarranteed that the other teams (specifically the Germans) would not have time to develop a competitive car.
Mercedes team principle Alfred Neubauer, incensed by the political manipulation of the formula, was determined to build a car that could beat the Italians at their own rigged game, and that’s just what his team did. To save time, Mercedes took its successful W163 3-liter car and scaled it down, making it lighter, shorter and narrower to better suit the smaller powerplant. The engine itself commanded most of the engineering attention. A supercharged V-8, it’s displacement was half of the W163’s V-12 yet still managed to crank out nearly 280hp. That was enough for Hermann Lang to pilot the W165 to victory ahead of the incredulous Italians.
CMC has directed considerable engineering talents of its own in recreating the W165 in 1:18 scale. The undisputed leader of vintage Grand Prix cars in diecast, CMC’s meticulous detail inspires awe. The W165 is a brilliant example of German engineering, and CMC’s model earns equal regard in the world of diecast.