Mercedes-Benz celebrates legendary female racer with Matchbox 220 SE
Getting enthusiasts excited about cars sticks best when it starts early. Toy cars littering a kid’s play space get the hooks in young. Mercedes-Benz is looking to make sure that not just boys get that experience. The automaker partnered with toymaker Mattel to break from the norm and create a die-cast Matchbox replica highlighting a celebrated female driver.
That car is a simple-looking gray 220 SE model, modeled after the car driven by a woman, Ewy Rosquist, who defied the odds and not only raced in the Argentine Grand Prix race for 1962, but won all six stages and set a new speed record. She raced for the Mercedes-Benz factory rally team until the company discontinued factory support for rally efforts in 1965. She continued racing for two more years and stayed active with Mercedes through the years that followed, as a brand ambassador and regular guest at events.
“It’s beyond time that we break the stereotype that cars are for boys and that we do more to recognize the influence women have, and have always had, on car culture,” said Tabetha Hammer, senior manager of car culture at Hagerty. “Mercedes-Benz is doing just that with a simple, yet profound Matchbox car. We should never forget that girls like cars, too.”
These toy cars will be available in stores nationwide in early 2020, and Merecedes will be giving thousands of them to young girls through a non-profit partner. Proceeds from the purchased diecasts will go back to produce and give away more.
Mercedes-Benz isn’t alone in its efforts to create interest among the next generation. From programs to show young enthusiasts the ins-and-outs of car show judging, to driving experiences teaching the nuance of three-pedal driving, Hagerty is right there with them. Tell us what you do to get the next generation involved in the comments below.