Product News

E-mail Article to a FriendPrint ArticleBookmark and Share

1956 Maserati 300S from CMC

By Mark Savage
Published: April 15, 2013
Product: Maserati is just slightly below Ferrari on the ooh and aah list of exotic Italian cars that car lovers and race-car collectors recognize. So when CMC, the premier 1:18 die-cast car modeler, rolls out a stunning red Maserati 300S, serious collectors take note. Back in the 1950s, Maserati racers were primo and highly competitive with the likes of Ferrari and Jaguar in sports-car competition. Equally important, the 300S had a beautiful shape.

The 1956 model that CMC recently unveiled featured a twin-plug inline six with three Weber carbs and a hearty 245 horsepower that could propel it to 0–60 in about five seconds. That was moving in the mid-1950s. The aluminum body, created by Medardo Fantuzzi, sat on a steel tube frame with hydraulic drum brakes front and rear and Dunlop tires. The rear-drive racer had unequal wishbone suspension up front and a DeDion rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs.

This was a sporty little racer, riding on a 90.9-inch wheelbase, similar to today’s original Mazda Miata, but only 28 were made and raced between 1955 and ’58. Among its biggest wins was the 1956 race at the giant Nürburgring track in Germany and World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio’s 1955 win in the Venezuelan Grand Prix.

Performance: There is always a wow factor with any CMC model, and this is no different. The execution of the Maserati’s smooth, sensuous curves and rich, red paint job make this devilishly stunning visually. But the devil truly is in the details here. CMC hand-assembles hundreds of tiny parts, again blowing away the competition with its perfect wire-spoked wheels with tiny air valves. Tires are treaded racing Dunlops, appropriately labeled.

Headlights are deep-set and realistic looking with three small rivets appearing to secure the big protective lenses. There are brown plastic hood and trunk belts to hold those opening pieces in place.
Another CMC standout is just how much of the model is functional. There is a small air vent door that opens on the driver’s side fender and gas caps that open from small holes on the rear deck. The tiny half doors with riveted-on side windscreens also open and securely shut with a click.

The Maserati also features knock-off spinners to hold on the wheels. You can take any of those off for display, too, revealing the racer’s nicely machined drum brakes.

Under the hood is the straight-six Maserati engine, with the car company’s name engraved on the header, plus other fine detailing, including the three Weber carbs with all wiring and plumbing. Under the rear bonnet is a tire and detailed gas tank.

You may want to use a glove when handling the Maserati to avoid marring its finish, but folks will want to turn it over. The undercarriage is spectacular, with fine detailing of the entire front and rear suspensions. You can see the transverse gearbox and DeDion rear axle.

The interior is exquisite, too, with a wood-look steering wheel and unfinished aluminum interior with finely detailed shifter and linkage along with cabling in the doors. The black dash face is alive with readable gauges and detailed buttons and knobs. The seats appear to be brown leather, as is the headrest behind the driver.

Marketing: Keep this close to the counter so you can engage serious collectors and demonstrate all the car’s features and details. In this case, you are much like an actual car salesperson.

But you also should have a short list of top customers, the folks with an interest in exotic and historic cars and racers. This could be an email list that you use to market directly to your top-tier customers, giving them an early heads-up on new products such as this, or offering them special deals to keep them coming back to the store. We all like personal service!

Product: 1956 Maserati 300S
Maker: CMC
Scale: 1:18
Stock number: M-105
MSRP: $449
Availability: CMC

• Exquisite detail
• Rare Maserati
• Show-stopper for any collection