Spark × Minichamps: 300 SLR

Spark × Minichamps
Minichamps on the left, Spark on the right.

Published 03/06/22

Late last year I saw on my Instagram feed some folks showing the new Le Mans’ 300 SLR from Spark. The 300 SLR is a grail model for me, because of the fantabulous machine it was. And, of course, because of its tragic history at La Sarthe. When I started collecting 1:43, for this model it was a case of buy-first-ask-price-later. So in late 2017 I got one, from Minichamps. A pretty decent model, if you ask me, specially because the alternative was a Brumm 🤢. Nonetheless, I didn’t think twice to replace it with Spark’s version as soon as I found one on evilBay.

Spark × Minichamps
From the rear, the Spark (right) is a lot more detailed.

On the first photo above, you can see the first difference. While the Minichamps has dead eyes for headlights, Spark uses smooth lenses. At the other end, the difference between both is even more pronounced. For instance, while Minichamps painted emblems, Spark used photo-etched parts. The tridimensional aspect of photo-etched parts helps absurdly in realism.

To cool the big inline-8 engine, Mercedes opened the right-hand panel. Only Spark was faithful to the real deal.

Looking from the side, the first thing you notice is the front side panel. At Le Mans, all three 300 SLR raced with the right-hand panel opened. Minichamps, however, neglected that detail, while Spark did replicate it. And as expected, Spark’s car has much nicer wire wheels.

Again, Minichamps on the left and Spark on the right.

However the biggest difference between the models is from above. Spark did a much more delicate job recreating the cockpit. Moreover, on their model the aerodynamic brake and fuel tank nozzle are almost perfect in scale. In conclusion, in this Spark × Minichamps debacle, Spark has the better model, no questions asked. Of course, it was released a few months ago, while Minichamps’ came out in the early 2010s. Therefor, if the 300 SLR is any sort of personal grail and you don’t mind Spark’s hefty price tag, that’s the one to get.

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