MercedesBenz W108 280 SE vs W109 300 SEL 6 3 AUTOart vs Norev…

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Mercedes-Benz W109

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03 April 2013 — PM

This is my comparison review of two of very similar vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz 280 SE (W108) finished in Grey Metallic with tan by Norev. Purchase price (2013)

1967-72 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 finished in Black with red by AUTOart. Purchase price (2010)

Pictures of the two models are

Real car references: Autocar 18 June 1970 (for 280 Autocar Magazine 3 July (for 300 SEL 6.3).

Marks each section out of 10.

The Norev is in a quite handsome clear framed box fastened to the base two long retaining screws.

The is presented in the by now familiar Millenium polystyrene clam shell box, surrounded by tissue fastened within by three retaining screws which is then placed within a cardboard box with pictures of the (not the real car)

Neither boxes are particularly or offer much sense of during uboxing. Both retaining screws are very The Norev does however a cheap screw driver to the model and a cleaning cloth for the which is a nice touch for the and shows Norev went the mile. However, there’s no that the clamshell box is longer and offers better protection.

Impressions out of the box

The Norev is heavier I expected upon my first of the model which was a pleasant The peel off stickers holding the bonnet and boot were removed, leaving no marks. The steering mechanism works giving plenty of angle and the rolls well on a flat

The AUTOart was a little lighter I expected and feels lighter the Norev which is difficult to unless the gauge thickness of the is different. That said, all steering works well, but not quite as much angle as the The AUTOart rolls smoother more freewheeling than the on a flat surface.

Body and stance

Right from the the Norev is a very impressive here. I have been a big fan of the 280 SE saloons and would have terribly disappointed in the shape or was not correct and the Norev looks on to my eyes. The 280 SE is a beautifully proportioned perhaps the most elegant of all war Mercedes-Benz saloons and Norev’s looks as nice as the real car on the I haven’t seen many four door saloon in 1/18 scale as pleasing to the eye as One slight exageration, is the difference of between the front and rear handles. This looks to be a feature, but it slightly over-emphasised. well done to Norev for this up this detail.

After the Norev, any classic would be a hard act to follow, but the does just that and further. It is correctly a little than the Norev, as is this the wheel based model and the door is slightly longer as the car is 4 longer. It is also slightly than the Norev and again, is correct as according to the two period I am using as benchmark references, The 280 SE is in height and the 300 SEL 6.3 is 4’75’ in height. detailing from both to be that accurate down to scale. Still the AUTOart has one detail extra that a true afficionado would taken the time and trouble to The rear wheels ever so angle inwards — a feature on the real car that you have to look for. is acheived in the AUTOart model by the of the independent rear drive compared to the single part on the Norev.

Paintwork and brightwork

The is available in two very nice colours. Anthracite grey of the example I am reviewing here for the version with the single headlights and dark blue for the stacked headlight version of the US The colours are beautiful and look correct and are add to the interest of the model. is excellent with no obvious or blemishes and the metallic finish scaled down for 1/18. The is perhaps not quite as glossy as you’d see on a gleaming polished model, but to to me, the patina looks on for this era. I wish model makers would this sort of variety of so a good choice from There is plated chrome on on the twin front and rear head and tail light door handles, drivers mirror, boot lid, plate frames and grill. The strip and sills looks plated chrome but is in fact a shiny silver paint on a body casting. The front and window frames are separate as the the two wipers but all window frame and wipers are painted silver not or plated chrome and look a flat. One very nice is that the Norev side brightwork includes a gap for the body within the frame — for the 280 SE but not for the 300 SEL so excellent work from The bonnet has a very attractive plated vent near the The grill plating is accurate and the paint has been applied to ventalation to simulate tiny which look convincing. The pointed star emblem is a piece of chromed plastic and too course at this scale. The wheel hubs are ventilated and impressive and the rear bootlid has badging — a mark of a quality model. The wheel hub cap are the same colour as the body and demonstrates that Norev very close attention to the for this model. The rear lenses are all correctly coloured no attachment stubs and look nice. The front headlights are pleasing as they have all lights beneath the transluscent rather than a sngle lense I’ve seen so times on this type of However, Norev have the yellow/orange indicator colour should be on the very tip behind the

The AUTOart is available in two less factory colours — black or solid white. is unfortunate as these are probably to the two boring colours in the Mercedes-Benz effectively making the model like a diplomats car or a wedding Having said that, the of the paint is perfect and rich and is the finished model in black seen in any scale by any manufacturer. The is everywhere on this model and is should be. The twin bumpers, strips, sills, door light frames, grills, bonnet vents, hub caps and the Norev, all window frames been chromed to a higher and using separate parts AUTOart simply cannot be here. Also, the chromed frames are completely flush the panel gaps (correct for the 300 and the windows have just the amount recess. The front and windows have a simulated rubber beading.The chrome to be twice as bright than on the Photo-etched badging and photo-etched pointed star on the bonnet that this model is a quality item than the The roof looks as if it has a separate for a sunroof that has then attached — I haven’t but it looks as if could open. The lights are all correct and coloured deeper than the Norev but the AUTOart includes the rear fog standard on the 300 SEL 6.3 but an option on the 280 SE so both are correct. Front headlamps and fog are exquisite and include the small indicator as a separate lense. the grill. It has all the correct colours and but has true perforations within the so the engine is visible behind though you’d need to a torch to see it through the darkness. detailing from AUTOart.

I’m one of those collectors who like to open the doors of his but will never buy a 1/18 without opening doors. it’s worth doing so for the to admire their work. The shade of metallic grey on the is nicely reflected with the of tan interior. It looks as if is soft but a quick feel shows it is of course painted plastic. The has a separate part for the lining, itself has been lined at the — a real enthusiasts Flocked carpeted interior is on the and rear parcel shelf. The frames have brown to match the dashboard which is to wood — not perfect but enough and there is no bare showing inside. The seat holders are separate parts and on the seats but the belts themselves are cast attached the b post the only weak point of the No rear seat belts of correct for the period. Instrumentation is The steering wheel is mutli-part and the chromework is painted silver as on the and dashboard strip- not very it has to be said but at least it’s on The doors have winders in the panel (electric front were extra) The rear has a separate grab handle the frame which again, how much effort Norev put making this model for the pedals and a stick shifter disclose that this is the gearbox version (automatic was a £221 optional extra at the

The AUTOart interior is simply The patina of red is dark and inviting. The look as opulent as the real and carpet flocking is just The rear seats have restraints (again not included in the 280 SE so both models are correct). The front and rear fold up or The roof lining is a of a separate but the grab handles are moulded the roof — not separate as on the Norev. The chromework is plated including on the armrest mountings which is very impressive. the 280 SE with wind up windows, the 300 SEL are The dashboard has a very realistic wood grain finish and the wheel has etched chrome Two pedals on the driver footwell that this is of course an as it should be for the flagship executive

Norev’s 280 SE is chassis is completely despite having many mechanical parts, including a suspension. In truth, it isn’t a very accurate working since none of the suspension move in quite the way they and the springs are far too large. Personally, I much care for working unless the suspension components move at their pivot (look at Exoto models or new signiature E-type for examples) it looks like a Maisto. As for the the chassis looks quite with separate parts for the wishbones and rear swing The twin exhaust is a separate in gloss black with chrome tips that are too thick but have good holes. Unfortunately the model not feature a completely separate so the the lower short engine, are fastened into a flat piece of plastic that of isn’t there in the real Some other compenents are on the plate but overall, looking the engine bay is disappointing if you like see box mounting screw holes are and unsightly but the manufuacturers logo and are discreet.

Mercedes-Benz W109

AUTOart does a separate engine in comparison, the detailing is a little course to say an Exoto or CMC. The chassic are just flat silver for the and gearbox and black for the rest. The component are definitely an improvement on the and have more parts, mechanisms and better finish but not as good as I had hoped. The exhaust are scale and not polished chrome but metal tubes so look nice — the nicest of the chassis. The fastening screw are much less prominent and the chassis looks quite

Neither model were to be studied from underneath and it as if the money has been spent on the model. Having said sitting on your desk, models will have chassis details poking if you peeked to convice you of an implied as neither have featureless chassis that you often see in a model.

Norev’s engine bay is detailed with lots of activity to keep the collector Although the bonnet opens on a of dog legs, they are small and and acceptable. The six cylinder Mercedes-Benz has always held an attraction for me and Norev has made a fine Silver, black, white, colours abound for single ohc cover, pipes, inlet fuel injection systems, more pipes, radiator, are all there to be picked out.There is sort of label on top of the radiator but it appear to be legible. Interestlngly, you notice that the engine is not a unit from above, with a torch shining into the engine bay. done Norev for this

The AUTOart engine bay is even busy, but then in real it should be as this is the wonderful 6.3 V8 that made this the saloon car of it’s day. The opens using scale hinges — a nice It has all the pipes, manifolds, hoses, and systems that I never but always admire when at a classic car engine bay — a contrast to what you would in a modern saloon. The radiator and fan are parts and the fan has the finest ventalated I’ve seen, so it must be a photo-etched part. Again, have focused on the modeller the model from above on his and so the detailing is deep and impressive.


Norev’s bootlid with dog legs that are a too large but the storage bay itself is with a plain plastic separate grey plastic mat correctly, doesn’t completely the boot floor, which like rubber, some and a spare wheel correctly at an angle. Suspension top turrets are which is a nice detail was not missed.

AUTOart similarly with dog legs but as with the car, are smaller positioned at corner so more accurate the Norev. It has a flocked carpet, like the Norev, correctly not cover the entire floor and has a spare wheel pitched at an The AUTOart also has suspension tops featured in the correct

Value for Money

At the time of this, Norev Mercedes-Benz saloons are available for £70 postage and the AUTOart Mercedes-Benz in white for around £114 ebay sellers with ratings. The cost of both are fluctuating depending upon so this part may not make after a while.

For example, in I was slightly irritated that waited years for a 1/18 model of the 300 SEL 6.3 to arrive, I ended up £100, which was the most ever spent on an AUTOart at the time. Now I think £100 for an Millenium for this model is but it’s still expensive for a that used to cost £40 a model. Similarly, I bought the Norev Citreon DS and was disappointed with the detailing at So I was very surprised to discover how the Norev model was for £10-£20

So two questions emerge. Are the models value for money at this point and is the AUTOart worth third extra in cost? If I had model in my collection, I would jump at the chance to buy the Norev 280 SE in dark blue because it so elegant and I’ve always one and I’d probably go up to £100, so the Norev is good value for There’s no question that the is the better model, but is it that better? My answer would be if it was available in other colours but it isn’t.

I am biased. The W108/W109 is my postwar Mercedes-Benz and I am therefore fortunate to have both to this standard in my collection. The is clearly the superior model but it necessarily the winner because models give me equal I’m delighted that have made the 300 SEL 6.3 and Norev the 280 SE and not the way around. The 300 SEL 6.3 should be better the 280 SE but they both should be just like the real They are both as handsome on my as I imagined them to be in my fantasy and I have enjoyed writing review which has allowed me to and pore over their I really do appreciate that did not make a poor copy of the AUTOart 300 SEL 6.3 but instead, made a model in the 280 SE with a different and engine, in different colours so collectors like me could add to their collection without which was best and how to get rid of one of them.

a collector obtains a new model, one where it will fit into collection, and which model look good standing to it on the desk or showcase. These two each other perfectly. done to AUTOart and Norev.

+ Norev = 11/10

Edited by 03 April 2013 — PM.

Mercedes-Benz W109
Mercedes-Benz W109

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