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The first Silver Arrows race car, the Mercedes W25 at the 1934 Eifel race.

In 1932 the international motorsport oversight body did what many Formula One fans wish the FIA would do today: declared that from 1934 there would be no restriction on Grand Prix racecar design beyond having a maximum weight of 750 kilograms (1,650 pounds). That led Mercedes-Benz to develop the Silberpfeil, the racer that began the Silver Arrows legend, the aluminum-bodied W25. In its first race on June 3, 1934 at the Nürburgring the W25 driven by Manfred von Brauchitsch won the event and set the track record.

The day before the race, however, the W25 was painted white, but when it was put on the scales to satisfy the one condition it had to fulfill it weighed 751 kg. The legend is that the solution devised by team manager Alfred Neubauer: grind off all the paint. The aluminum dart with the supercharged 3.4-liter inline-eight-cylinder stayed at or near the front of grand prix racing for the next five years, then continued the trend after World War II, cementing the Silver Arrows legend into racing history.

You can read all about its history in the press release below and admire the past in the high-res gallery above, then watch its modern incarnation driven by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg the next time the F1 circus comes to town.

Continue reading Mercedes’ Silver Arrows legend was born 80 years ago

Mercedes’ Silver Arrows legend was born 80 years ago originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 26 May 2014 10:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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