Fantastic Aluminium alloy Mercedes W196 Tether Car by the renowned model making firm of Aeropiccola; circa 1955.
Dimensions: 16½ inches/42 cm (length) x 6⅞ inches/17.5 cm (width) x 5 inches/12.5 cm (height)
Aeropiccola was founded by Domenico Conte. At the end of WWII he succeeded in opening a small modelling shop in Turin. During this time he was also teaching model-making at the Turin Arts and Crafts school and in order to increase his earnings he also made auto models for a famous car company, while his wife Anna kept the shop.
Mr. Conte successfully took part at national aircraft modelling competitions, international and world championships, always ready to learn new manufacturing techniques and let others know about his own experiences.
As time passed he added to his range of aircraft models, a series of period model boats and a range of racing cars. Through the success of the business, he was able to make the Aeropiccola models famous all over the world.
The Mercedes W196 is one of the most famous racing cars of all time. At the hands of Juann Manuel Fangio and Sterling Moss it became a legend! Fangio won in the 1954 and 1955 seasons driving the W196, with Moss finishing 2nd in ’55. Mercedes were the dominant force in F1 for these two years. A highlight for driver Stirling Moss was his finish 0.2 seconds ahead of stable mate Fangio at his home event, the 1955 British Grand Prix at Aintree. It was his first Grand Prix win and Mercedes romped home with a 1–2–3–4 finish.
Tether Cars are model racing cars powered by miniature internal combustion engines. The cars are attached to a central post by a steel cable in such a manner that they are able to repeatedly run around a circular track. Tether car racing started in California in the late 1930’s. The cars race individually and the winners are determined based on average speed of several laps. Early engines (prior to the 1950s) had spark ignition systems. Later engines use glow plug ignition. A Glow plug engine, or Glow engine, is a type of small internal combustion engine typically used in model aircraft, model cars and similar applications. Glow engine fuel generally consists of methanol with varying degrees of nitromethane content.
Many of these models were kits that could be purchased that provided you with all the parts for a home-assembled rolling chassis.