1934 Mercedes-Benz LO 2750 “Werkstattwagen” Schuco - 450310600 (resin)
Mercedes-Benz launched their first range of commercial trucks in 1926. The range consisted of three basic models capable of 1.5, 2 and 5 tons of payloads. Each model was available with a standard and a low-frame chassis. Cleverly, Mercedes also used the low-frame chassis for buses with just minimal adaptations. All trucks came with 4-cylinder gasoline engines, developing from 45 hp to 70 hp, according to the version. Right after, in 1927, Mercedes-Benz introduced the OM5 engine, their first diesel engine. The OM5 was the world’s first 6-cylinder diesel engine used on a commercial vehicle. By the 1930s, all Mercedes’ trucks built at their Gaggenau plant had diesel engines. At the time, most other commercial vehicle manufacturers used gasoline engines. Yet, diesel engines were highly reliable and efficient. With that, starting with Mercedes, diesel engines became the benchmark for all other truck engines.
The LO 2750 was one of these trucks. Introduced in 1932, it used a reliable and economical 4-cylinder 4,939 cm³ diesel engine. With an output of 65 hp at 2000 rpm, it was a good cargo vehicle. It also had a hydraulic four-wheel brake system and a spacious driver’s cab, designed for 3 people. Since it used the same low-frame chassis that they used in their buses, Mercedes designated it “LO” (Lastwagen Omnibusse – truck & bus). And since it could carry a 2750 kg payload, Mercedes called it LO 2750.
In the early 1933, Mercedes formally organized their Rennabteilung (racing department). Under the firm hand of Alfred Neubauer, Mercedes’ ever-growing racing effort needed a transporter for their racing machines. At the time, the LO 2750 was specially suited for the role, since its rear bed was lower than the level of the rear wheel arches. With that, loading the car onto the bed was much easier. Yet, a LO 2750 could only carry one race car, and usually Mercedes’ works team consisted of two or three cars. Moreover, sometimes the team also took one more car as a spare or test car. That being so, by 1934 Mercedes’ transporter fleet consisted of at least seven blue LO 2750.
However, it wasn’t just a matter of getting the cars to the racetrack. Once there, they also needed repairs and adjustments. Therefore, Mercedes’ racing department also had a special truck for that. The Rennabteilung-Spezialwerkstätte (“Racing Department Special Workshop”) was a regular LO 2750 converted into a workshop. It carried bigger and motorized tools, so that mechanics could deal with any kind of issue the cars suffered. In fact, having a lathe, they could even fabricate simple parts. The Werkstattwagen (“workshop trolley”) was always part of the Mercedes convoy to any race around Europe.
Mercedes-Benz used the LO 2750 (along with the Werkstattwagen version) starting in 1934. These transporters carried all of the Silberpfeile, from the W25 to the W154. Unfortunately, none of the Rennabteilung blue transporters survived WWII, and that includes the Werkstattwagen. However, in 2009 the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center made one. Using a normal LO 2750 and photos from their archives, they recreated Wagen Nº 01. It now resides at Mercedes’ museum in Stuttgart, and sometimes they take it out for a drive.
My wife presented me with a Rennabteilung LO 2750 for my birthday, in 2018. From Premium Classixxs, the truck is a-w-e-s-o-m-e in scale. And with that one, I thought that was it in terms of Mercedes’ Silberpfeile transporters. To my surprise, however, this year Schuco released this Werkstattwagen. It automatically became a must buy for me and as soon as I could I got one. It looks just as good as Premium Classixxs’ truck, and I can’t say which is nicer. And more importantly, not as fragile as Schuco’s MAN 635. Most definitively not a model for everyone, yet for the Silberpfeile or racecar transporter collector definitively a must.