Gescha 1930s Silver Arrows Mercedes Benz
More details on the Gescha tinplate toys
Less easy to find than the similar Schuco toy Mercedes, is this one shown here by Gescha. Slightly smaller than the Schuco, the Gescha version of the 1930s Merc racing car is a cracking little toy, and this one has survived really well. It is powered by a clock work motor and has operational steering. There are 2 levers, one engages and disengages the drive, and the other (I think) switches between high and low gears. It also comes with a quick-lift jack for pitstop tyre changes! The final photo shown above is of a Gescha Mercedes Benz, with driver, belonging to Lloyd in Australia.|
Update. John dropped me a line, with some more information on the Gescha Mercedes Benz:-
"I have one of these cars. It looks identical to that shown by you on
On my car the two side levers (one on each side of the cockpit) are
1 to disengage the mechanism, presumably so the car can free wheel to
enable it it be played with without its mechanics engaged.
2 as a brake on the mechanism. This enables the car clockwork motor
to be wound and released at will. It also stops the car from moving.
The wheels are (or were) retained by a friction grip wheel cap. These
caps have long been lost - unfortunately.
But before they were lost wheels could be changed.
It has a rack type steering mechanism but this can only be set (for
example in a large circle) before releasing the car.
The steering wheel in the cockpit was decorative (although it could
be turned). Unfortunately this is also now lost.
A feature which you do not mention is that it has a diaphragm on its
base and this is beaten by two hammers when the clockwork mechanism
is run (with or without the transmission being engaged).
It makes a noise not unlike a real racing car - with a bit of
Thanks for the extra information John, I hadn't realised that the diaphragm in the baseplate was there to create engine sounds! I've added in three new photos, including one showing the toy's baseplate and another showing the quicklift jack system. The latter represents the type of jack often used to lift single seater competition cars in the 1930s, the idea was the engine would be run up, in gear, with the back wheels spinning in order to, I believe, warm up the oil in a pre-selector gearbox.
Measures: 125mm long.
Colour: silver with black base, wind-up clockwork motor and steering mechanism.
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