Silver Arrows - Mercedes-Benz Museum
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About the Mercedes-Benz Museum
The Mercedes-Benz Museum – A milestone in contemporary architecture
Located at the gates of the city, visitors to Stuttgart are greeted with the view of a unique new structure. Designed by UNStudio, one of the world's most respected architecture firms, the Mercedes‑Benz Museum is worth a visit for its design alone.
Ben van Berkel, joint founder and Director of UNStudio sums it up like this: "The Mercedes‑Benz Museum sets up an interface for a series of radical spatial principles in order to create a completely new typology."
One of the most outstanding aspects of this groundbreaking concept is the route taken by visitors through the Museum. They do not begin their visit to the exhibition at a conventional entrance at the base of the building. They are transported by lift to the top floor. Here they have the choice of two tours, during which they descend through the building. The paths of each tour meet on each floor, enabling visitors to switch between tours – the Collections tour and Legend tour – should they wish to do so.
120 years in the spirit of tradition
As inventors of the automobile, we are aware of our responsibilities. Our pursuit of perfection and passion for building cars have been an established tradition for 120 years. This tradition was extended in unique fashion in May 2006. At the birthplace of the automobile, Mercedes‑Benz stages an exciting journey through history, enabling you to experience the identity and legend of the brand.
About the Silver Arrows
During the period of Grand Prix racing in pre-war years, Mercedes-Benz created a legend that has been fascinating people to this day: Silver Arrow became a byword for Mercedes-Benz motorsport. The W 25 racing car, originally painted white, made its racing debut in the International Eifel Race on the Nürburgring in 1934. With the 750 kg formula ruling this race, it was a question of achieving top performance with a limited vehicle weight. The W 25 was found to be one kilogram (about 2.2 pounds) over the limit, however. Racing strategist Alfred Neubauer therefore instructed his team to sand down the white paint over night. The next day, Manfred von Brauchitsch lined up at the start with this car, now exposing its silver-colored aluminum bodywork, and won the race in superior fashion.
With seven victories in eleven races, the Silver Arrows dominated the 1935 racing season. Rudolf Caracciola clinched the European champion's title - the contemporary equivalent to today's Formula One World Championship - with six wins under his belt. The string of the Silver Arrows' successes was interrupted in 1936 when the cars emerged victorious only twice. The designers therefore developed a new racing car
for the 1937 season - and the new W 125 did indeed continue the winning streak of 1935 with seven victories in twelve races. Rudolf Caracciola was crowned European champion once again. However, the W 125 was entered in racing for just one season. As cars became ever faster and races ever more dangerous, the new three-liter formula (183 cubic inches) was introduced for the 1938 season with the aim of reducing top speeds.
For the three-liter formula, the Mercedes-Benz team again had to develop a completely new racing car, capable of developing maximum power not only with a restricted weight but also from a limited displacement. The W 154 finished "only" in second place in its first race but nevertheless took Rudolf Caracciola to his third European championship. For the 1939 season, the Italian motorsport association surprisingly specified the 1.5-liter formula (91.5 cubic inches) for the Tripoli Grand Prix. Mercedes-Benz engaged in the design of a 1.5-liter racing car on September 15, 1938 - with less than eight months to go - and came up with the W 165.
The race in Tripoli ended with an impressive double victory for Mercedes-Benz, with Hermann Lang winning ahead of Rudolf Caracciola. This continued the tradition - interrupted only in 1938 - of the brand winning the first race in each season. The W 165 was entered just once but nevertheless became a legend, demonstrating impressively how the Mercedes-Benz motorsport department succeeded time and again in mastering seemingly insurmountable challenges. In the subsequent races of the season, the new W 154 continued on its successful course, winning five out of seven races and helping Hermann Lang on to clinching the European champion's title. With the Silver Arrows' series of victories, Mercedes-Benz was the most successful brand in the 1930s.
The outbreak of World War II brought this Silver Arrow era to an end. During the rather short period between 1952 and 1955, impressive successes were again scored with silver-colored sports and GP formula cars. Victory in the world sports prototype car championship in 1989 and 1990 continued the lively tradition of the Silver Arrows.
And the Silver Arrow legend is kept alive in the present-day DTM and Formula One series. As in the 1930s, racing successes are not owed to individual cars or individual drivers but to the entire Mercedes-Benz team of designers, drivers and mechanics.
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