Mercedes-Benz W154 Silver Arrows

Silver Arrows at the Goodwood Revival 2012

Silver Arrows at the 2012 Goodwood Revival – Mercedes-Benz W 25, 1934

In autumn 1932, the motor sport body AIACR (Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus) in Paris announced a new formula for Grand Prix races that was to come into force in 1934. The rules stipulated a maximum weight of 750 kilograms without fuel, oil, coolant, and tyres, but otherwise no restrictions for the constructors. In 1933, Mercedes-Benz made the decision to develop a new racing car bearing the designation W 25. Initial test drives quickly showed that this was a car destined for victory, thanks to its combination of slim body, mechanically supercharged 3.4-litre in-line eight-cylinder engine producing 354 bhp (260 kW), individual wheel suspension, and direct rear axle transmission.

Mercedes-Benz also decided on a new chassis colour for the W 25 – silver. Its debut had been planned for the Avus race in Berlin in May 1934, but the team had to withdraw at the last minute because of technical problems. As a result, the new car made its first appearance one week later, at the International Eifel race at the Nürburgring on 3rd June. The W 25 lined up at the start in silver – supposedly, as legend has it, after the cars on the Nurburgring had been stripped of their white paint for weight reasons. Even though this race was not run in accordance with the 750-kg formula, the team was clearly determined to present a car that met the new regulations. The name “Silver Arrow” was coined some time later and gradually caught on over the years.

Mercedes-Benz W 125 Silver Arrows
Mercedes-Benz W 125 Silver Arrows at Goodwood Revival 2012 (photo: Tim Scott)
Mercedes-Benz W 125 Silver Arrows
Mercedes-Benz W 125 Silver Arrows at the Goodwood Revival 2012 (photo: Julien Mahiels)
Mercedes-Benz W 125 Silver Arrows
Mercedes-Benz W 125 Silver Arrows at the Goodwood Revival 2012 (photo: Julien Mahiels)
Mercedes-Benz W 125
The directors, the engineers and the workers of the racing department with the new Mercedes-Benz W 25 750-kg formula racing car, February 1934. (photo: Daimler AG)
International Eifel race on the Nurburgring, June 3, 1934. Luigi Fagioli (start number 22) in a Mercedes-Benz 750-kg formula racing car W 25.
International Eifel race on the Nurburgring, June 3, 1934. Luigi Fagioli (start number 22) in a Mercedes-Benz 750-kg formula racing car W 25. (photo: Daimler AG)
Mercedes-Benz W 125
Spanish Grand Prix in Lasarte – San Sebastian, September 23, 1934. The winner Luigi Fagioli (start number 18) in a Mercedes-Benz W 25. (photo: Daimler AG)
Mercedes-Benz W 125
Mercedes-Benz W 125 at Goodwood Revival 2012 (photo: Tim Scott)
Mercedes-Benz W 125
Mercedes-Benz W 125 at Goodwood Revival 2012 (photo: Tim Scott)

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  1. As David Hinshaw says, “Great photo gallery and history of these awesome machines. Thanks to all involved for putting this together!” Good also to see Stuck (senior!) in hill-climbing and also Luigi Fagioli who always seemed to be overshadowed by Caracciola and Seaman in pre-war racing and by Fangio and Farina in 1950-1951. A driver who deserves to be remembered more than he is. An article for your site, maybe?