A collectible white Mercedes Benz wind-up model racecar with red seat, exhaust pipe and black rubber wheels. The car body has various red and black name decals, including "Märklin technik erfahren." The clockwork mechanism is accessible from the underside, wound by a key (included), with a release mechanism next to the steering wheel. It propels the car forward several yards.
This so-called Alpha Mercedes Benz racecar was produced by Marklin in 1992. It is a white colored version of Marklin's 1990 Silver Arrow Mercedes Benz, a silver-gray car that was the fourth in a series of clockwork racing cars manufactured for sale in the factory museum in Germany about this time. The Silver Arrow, MB W154/38 was available as a limited edition in the United States as Item 1097. The offered Alpha white car was a premium given to dealers in the United States who purchased a certain quantity of other Marklin products. Inasmuch as the Alpha was not made for retail sale, there was no suggested retail price for it, and examples now are scarce.
The Marklin toy manufacturing company was founded by Theodor Friedrich Wilhelm Märklin (1817-1866), a master tinsmith, who began production in 1859 in Göppingen in the South German state, Kingdom of Württemberg. By the turn of the century, his sons were producing popular clockwork locomotive toys under the Marklin company name. The company continued to produce fine toys during the early 20th century until World War II, with some postwar production continuing up to about 1999.
Condition: Generally fine overall with only minor handling and wear. Clock mechanism turns right rear wheel only to propel car forward-- probably as issued.
Eiermann, Georg. "A Short History of Märklin Metall." Bits and Pieces. http://www.dalefield.com/nzfmm/odds&ends/marklin1.html (8 December 2016).
"Märklin Clockwork Racing Cars." Modelbahn Collectors. http://www.modellbahn.com/racing_cars.html (8 December 2016).