Silver arrow was the unofficial designation of the German Grand Prix racing cars of Mercedes Benz and car union of 1934 to 1939, as well as the sports car 300 SL (R) (W194), used by the factory by Mercedes Benz in the formula 1 of 1954/55 used type W196 and/or the 1952 and 1955.
By the superiority of these vehicles in international automobile racing, which was based not least on the with the utmost care preparation as well as the good work of the mechanics, the term became "silver arrow" the myth. Always connected with the era these the competition superior racing car are the names Rudolf Caracciola, Bernd Rosemeyer, Tazio Nuvolari as well as late Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio. Hermann long drove both before and to the war for the natives of stuttgart generally speaking price from Germany.
The emergence of the silver arrows was based on an embarrassment solution: The international sport authority prescribed a gross weight of 750 kg starting from 1934 for formula racing cars, in order to force lighter and thus achievement-weaker vehicles. In addition, past large volume racing cars with compressor engines, as for instance Bentley Blower or the "white elephant" Mercedes SSKL had nearly two tons up to 300 HP, were very large and heavy.
When the responsible persons of Mercedes Benz before the Eifel running placed its new development W25 on the in the spring 1934 on the balance of the technical commissioners, this indicated however 751 kg. On the basis of the utterance now we are the Gelackmeierten! running leaders Alfreds new farmer and his driver Manfred von Brauchitsch came on the idea to sand the white lacquer off of the body, usual for German racing cars. Among them the silver shining aluminum plate showed up, the weight limit was now kept. Manfred von Brauchitsch won the Eifel running, and the press coined/shaped the term of the "silver arrow".
The intention of being able to limit only by the low weight the achievement did not come up. The new racing cars had already from the beginning good 300PS. 1937 was reached with compressor engines without capacity limit engine performances of approx. 640 HP (which only at the beginning of the 1980er was over-bid years with the appearance of the turbo engines in the formula 1). These vehicles reached speeds far beyond 300 km/h, but the drivers had at that time neither helmets nor seat belts.
Mercedes built 1952 the and "Roadster" 300 SL (W194), which despite seriesnear engine from the sedan of the type 300 (W186) surprising successes against stronger sports cars achieved, among other things with the Carrera Panamericana and with the 24-Stunden-Rennen von Le Mans. Thereupon one pausierte one year and developed a new racing car in accordance with the new rules for the formula 1, in order to achieve with the debut on 4 July 1954 in Reims (France) a sensational double victory, which had very strong psychologically effect in connection with the football WM title in the same evening. "Silver arrows" were back, and triumphed often, although nearly only with Juan Manuel Fangio to tax end season 1955, which by the disaster with the 24-Stunden-Rennen von Le Mans, with which a silver arrow of the type W196 von Mercedes was overshadowed had an accident and into death tore 80 spectators, withdrew themselves Mercedes both from formula 1 and from sports car running, since one had won all WM-titles. The silver arrows moved in the museum.
As road version on the W194 which are based 300 SL (W198) however still to 1963 one offered.
The racing cars of Porsche exhibited also silver lacquer finishes and/or bright aluminum bodies in the 1950er and at the beginning of the 1960er. With the sports cars one achieved thereby numerous successes, approximately with the Carrera Panamericana and the Targa Florio, besides a victory in the formula 1 1962. Although firm founder Ferdinand Porsche had designed the car union racing car at that time, the term silver arrow was hardly brought with Porsche in connection - not least, since the company could normally bring no total victories in still with its small capacity-weak vehicles. Besides soon Kunststoffkarosserien arose, which were usually painted in white.
With Mercedes into the 1960er years to beginning of the 1980er sporadically route car running and Rallyes with seriesnear sedans and of the S-class were driven. The term silver arrow was not used also here. A planned entrance into the Rallye WM with the new compact "Mercedes 190E 2.3-16V" was blown off, after car union successor AUDI had released an arms race there with turbo and all wheel. "Quattro" was painted thereby in the white color of the tobacco sponsor.
End of the 1980er years decided one with Mercedes to support the sports cars of Swiss Peter Sauber propelled by Mercedes-V8-Motoren factory-installed on which this silver were painted and marketed as "silver arrows". As successes thereby the profit of the long-distance world championship as well as the 24-Stunden-Rennen von Le Mans is to be registered. Besides one trained, among other things new generation pilots Michael Schumacher as well as Heinz Harald Frentzen and Karl Wendlinger, with which clean changed in the year 1993 into the formula 1. Here the Monoposto was however black painted, only the signature "concept by Mercedes Benz" gave a reference on the fact that Mercedes supported the development of an engine, which was built by Swiss Mario Illien in its company Ilmor in England.
Already in the year 1995 this engine changed to the team McLaren, which drove tobacco sponsor for over twenty years in the white-red colors and 10 WM-titles achieved (with engines of Ford, TAG-Porsche, Honda and briefly Peugeot), but in the middle of the 1990er years a long victoryless period of reduced circumstances through-lived.
For the season 1997 this tobacco sponsor concentrated on Ferrari, and McLaren Mercedes completed the test travels with orange lacquer finish like already into the 1960er years, before a new tobacco sponsor along-brought black-and-white-orange colors. Despite only fewer silver tones at nose and hood the term "silver arrow" was again used. Nevertheless like already 1934 and 1954 could be obtained equal with the first employment a victory (Australia 1997, David Coulthard), which still two further followed. The years 1998 and 1999 brought in each case the WM-title for Mika to
In the year 1999 with the 24-Stunden-Rennen von Le Mans met one another for the first time for 60 years again reinrassige silver arrows with the star and/or the four rings. While by AUDI the with the actually Mercedes typical wing doors, used, failed England for lack of reliability, the open R8R-Sportwagen cared for by the successful German Joest team achieved the goal as third and fourth. Won in white painted BMW V12 classical for German racing cars.
Mercedes against it experienced a debacle, since the CLR Silberpfeile took off due to the extreme interpretation from aerodynamics and chassis three times like an airplane and verunfallten spectacularly, fortunately without consequences. Mercedes pulled thereupon immediately the last remaining car of running back and terminated all activities with the sports cars, while AUDI could bring unbelievable successes in with the AUDI R8 in the following years. The AUDI R8 is considered today as most successful sports cars prototype of all times.
Starting from 1997 the team McLaren Mercedes began for the first time again with silver-black cars. This break with the red-white lacquer finish maintained for many years marked at the same time a turning point in the development. From the centre zone now again as "silver arrows" the designated cars advanced into the point and showed in particular by Mika Hakkinens world champion title 1998 and 1999 a new superiority. After a further vice-world champion title however often technical problems impaired 2000 after way right at the top. With Kimi one got again to 2003 and 2005 the title of the vice-world champion.
See also: McLaren (formula 1) - Mercedes Benz museum in Stuttgart bath CAN place
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