Silver Arrows (in German Silberpfeil) was the name given by the press to Germany's dominant Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union Grand Prix motor racing cars between 1934 and 1939, and also later applied to the Mercedes-Benz Formula One and sports cars in 1954/55.

A story exists that the origin of the Silver Arrows was accidental. The international governing body of motor sport prescribed for 1934 onwards a maximum weight limit of 750 kilograms for Grand Prix racing cars, excluding tyres and fuel. It is said that when in spring 1934 the Mercedes-Benz team placed its new Mercedes-Benz W25 on the scrutineering scales prior to the Eifelrennen at the Nürburgring, it allegedly recorded 751 kg (1,656 lb). Racing manager Alfred Neubauer and his driver Manfred von Brauchitsch claimed that they had the idea of scraping all the white paint from the bodywork. The story continues that next day the shining silver aluminium beneath was exposed and scrutineering was passed.


1937  Monaco.

1937  Avus race poster.

Hans Stuck at a Grossglockner hillclimb.

Hans Stuck at a Grossglockner hillclimb.

1938  Hermann Muller during a pitstop at the 1938 German GP.

Tazio Nuvolari.

Tazio Nuvolari.

Ernst von Delius. He would lose his life in an Auto Union at the 1937 German GP.

1937  Ernst von Delius on the new AVUS banking of the Nordkurve. He would have the best effort for Auto Union this day finishing 2nd.

1935  Lined up in the pits for the 1935 Coppa Acerbo, the no. 39 of Achille Varzi, no. 30 of Bernd Rosemeyer and the no. 37 of Hans Stuck. Varzi would win the race and set fastest lap. This was the race where Bernd had his trip between a wall and a telegraph pole with only inches to spare.

1934  The Auto Union was unveiled to the world of GP racing at the French GP at Montlhery in June of 1934.

An Auto Union test at Avus with Von Oertzen , Porsche, Walb and driver Hans Stuck.

Auto Union.

The Auto Union car was based on an earlier design Porsche had worked on when he was at Benz, the Benz Tropfenwagen. It had little success and was dropped by Benz , but Porsche knew it’s potential and when he left Benz, he took the idea with him. The Auto Union board was not impressed by Porsches design and considered releasing him from his contract.

1939  Crash of Richard Seaman in rainy conditions during the Belgian GP at Spa Franchorchaps. He was driving a Mercedes Benz W125.

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