By Frank Koh
This old diecast Mercedes-Benz 300TD diesel wagon was introduced by Gama in the late 1970s. From the 50s thru the very early 90s, this West German toy company established by George Adam Mangold produced some very interesting miniatures from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Opel, Audi/NSU, Volkswagen, and even an occasional non-German marque. Gama was even commissioned by the German auto manufacturers to produce some official dealer promotional models, mostly in diecast metal, but a few Gama cars were made in plastic and were battery-operated or friction-powered.
Personal favorites of mine from the Gama line included the Mercedes-Benz and Opel vehicles. In the late eighties and early nineties, many European manufacturers were hit hard by globalization, and Gama was one of the better known casualties. I miss this brand.
Like the real W123 series Mercedes-Benz station wagon, this 1:26-ish scale diecast model is built to last. The real 300TD was manufactured from 1978-85, so perhaps Gama stopped producing this one as well around 1985. It is also the first factory-built Mercedes-Benz station wagon of modern times!
This Gama is all-metal construction, including a heavy chassis plate, resulted in a little car that can become a deadly weapon in the wrong hands.
In the quarter of a century that I have owned it, I have taken great care to avoid having this exceptionally heavy miniature roll off the table and land on my foot. Truth be told, they really don’t make model vehicles the way they used too.
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