Six cylinder day is here, and presented me with a dilemma. I have a few nice 6 cylinder castings, which to choose? I had to go with the one connected to my username and my own car. Today we examine something a little unusual, the Lone Star Impy Road-Master Mercedes-Benz 220SE:

The 60s were a heady time for the diecast car industry. By 1960, it was obvious Lesney had a runaway hit with its Matchbox line, and this spawned competitors. The British had a long history of precision small scale tool and die-making, and were naturals for this market. Lone Star had been making toy soldiers/guns, railroad items, and larger vehicles, and in 1965-66, launched the Impy line to compete in the small scale arena. Around 1968-69, this was maybe the first brand to launch high speed wheels to compete with HW, and these black wheels became obsolete. The company soldiered on into the 80s making various products, but was gone by 1990. This casting of a W111 220SE fintail is from this initial line, likely made in 1965-66. Scale is claimed to be 1:63, likely accurate, and as close to 1:64 as is possible. The casting features much detail, and some quirks, but there’s no mistaking what kind of car this is:

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Front and rear have similar detail. All of the shapes are there, but some of the execution is a little quirky, like the hood ornament casting blob. The front shows off a fun feature of Impy models, jeweled headlights:

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Flash makes the lights illuminate a little:

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The base features identifying data, along with some technical detail. Like the detail elsewhere on the casting, the right material is there, but some liberties are taken - on a full sized car, the exhaust exits on the passenger side:

The key differentiating point for the Impy line, other than the jeweled lights, is opening features. A key selling point on these was “everything opens” - 2 doors, hood, and trunk. This was insanely full-featured for the time, but presents a slight dilemma in that the shut lines and gaps are not entirely perfect. Still, it was quite innovative for the day:

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The interior has contoured seats and accurate placement of steering wheel spokes:

This casting is a fun piece of history, along with being a model of a car I own - which makes it a necessity. Based on that, I am glad to have it, and I pick up variants when I find them in the wild:

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And now for the engine. The engine bay contains considerable fine detail, and like in other areas, some of it is quirky:

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Zoom in a little, and one can see I6 under the hood:

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I am quite familiar with this engine, the M127, and I think some of this detail is amusing. The round part in the middle appears to be an ejector ring for the casting, and can be excused. But the round bit to the left, whats that, an air cleaner that covers a carburetor? This is a fuel injected car. The square design with 5 dots at front right resembles an air suspension pump, but these were not air suspended cars, those were the W112 300SEs. We’ll call it an AC compressor. The line coming off it with connecting bits resembles fuel injection parts, but those live on the passenger side. I believe the middle rectangle is the cylinder head, we’ll allow it. The rectangle at far right must be a battery. The detail is funny, but this was a toy, not a technical scale model for adults, so all is forgiven - they get an A for effort.

And some pics of a 1:1 in blue on blue (my car), for comparison:

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And engine images from californiaclassix.com and benz-books.com (clearer than pics of my engine) showing what it looks like in 1:1 form - these early FI (MFI) engines have a bit of plumbing:

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