Last time I featured a model here, it was a 1992 Mercedes SL500 by Maisto, a 1:18 built in the 1990s that was solid, well detailed, and, frankly, gorgeous...a testament to the amazing car it represented. I thought it was only fair to back that up with the complete opposite car.
At least, so I thought.
This Bburago 1:24 represents the most recent generation of Mercedes’ grand touring roadster, the SL, with a chassis code dubbed R230. While the R129 generation I featured last time is one of my favorite Mercedes models of all time, if not my all-time favorite, this one is kind of the opposite. I respect a lot of what it stands for, it’s a logical evolution of the old SL, but it doesn’t have a lot of what makes the R129 so special.
While the R129 was unique and so most-certainly a Mercedes, this one doesn’t carry that weight quite as much. In the period between the 90s and now, so many luxury roadsters in the vein of the SL have come and gone, and while the SL still manages to stand the test of time, it doesn’t stand out amongst the crowd much anymore.
I feel like a lot of that comes down to the design of the car in question. In the 2000s, Mercedes ditched their famous square styling and went for a more sweeping, aerodynamic style. Some of the cars, like the early-2000s CL and even the R129's successor, the R230, really wore the styling well, but something was lost in translation on the new SL. It’s surely handsome, but not quite as stately as those old cars. Couple that in with the lack of tank-like build quality and reliability, and it makes for an ill recipe.
So, if I’m whining so much about how much I dislike this new SL, why am I still here? Why do I own this model of a car that I seem to hate so blindly? Because, for all intents and purposes, this model is perfect.
For all of my gripes about the styling and the quality, I still have a lot of respect for Mercedes-Benz, and especially their tuning house AMG. The main thing that drew me to this model was that it wore those three letters, and two very important numbers, that make this one of the most insane AMGs you can buy today. The SL65 is the most German of German you can be, in utmost comfort and speed down the Autobahn, and what’s not to love about that?
Most importantly though, Bburago knocked this model straight out of the proverbial park. I waxed poetic about how Bburago seems to have picked up slack and started making proper casts and models for once in my previous reviews of their Alfa Romeo Giulia and Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, and this one is no different. It’s insanely detailed, right down to the diamond quilted pattern of the leather seats.
Bburago is the ideal manufacturer for those who want to get into model collecting, in my opinion. Their variety and quality has grown so much in recent years, and you don’t have to pay much of a premium either. Between them and Welly, it’s hard for me to choose the best 1:24 scale producers, and this SL65 only makes the battle all the more rougher.
So, regardless of how you feel about the future of Mercedes, they at least still know how to make a cracking AMG, and Bburago knows how to make a cracking model of it. It sits so beautifully next to its older, bigger brother, and I actually really enjoy having it in my collection to this date. I was skeptical at first, but I actually ended up loving it more than I should...and that’s all that matters.
Coming next time...the peak of American excess.