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Mercedes and Matchbox are showing girls that it's OK to play with cars

The two companies are teaming up to celebrate the history of Ewy Rosqvist and her incredible victory in the 1962 Argentine Grand Prix and in doing so, empower young girls.

The history of motorsport has countless incredible tales of grit and determination, of triumph against impossibly stacked odds. It's incredible and inspiring stuff, but one thing that most of those stories have in common is that they're about men.

Mercedes-Benz -- a company with no shortage of incredible racing history -- decided to partner with Matchbox for International Women's History Month to show young girls that not only can women race cars, but they can do it with incredible skill and courage and, in the end, change the face of the sport forever.

To do this, Mercedes went back into its own history and found the story of Ewy Rosqvist and her 1962 effort to run the grueling and dangerous Gran Premio de Argentina. Not only was Ewy the first woman to enter the race, but she and her co-driver Ursula Wirth won all six stages, finished three hours before any of the other competitors and broke the average speed record for the race in a Mercedes 220se.

To help take Ewy's story out of the past and into the minds of little girls, Matchbox is making replicas of Ewy's gray Mercedes sedan and giving them to thousands of first-grade girls. It's also selling the car at retailers nationwide.

Because just giving girls a toy car isn't going to be nearly enough to make a difference on its own, Mercedes is also distributing materials to teachers on how to talk to little girls about Ewy's story. The idea is to bring it up in a way that will help them feel empowered and understand that they're not limited to the kinds of activities and roles in which society has placed them.

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