Silver arrows to impress at Amelia Island
An unprecedented gathering of five Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows is set to take place at the Amelia Island Concours on March 8th to celebrate the event’s silver anniversary.
The display starts with the 1934 Mercedes-Benz W 25 Grand Prix racer, which is often knowns as the ‘first modern racing car’. So the story goes, the car was set to compete in the Eifelrennen at the Nurburgring, where racing rules dictated a maximum weight of 750 kg without fuel, lubricants and tyres.
The cars were weighed at Mercedes’ factory and were in compliance with the limit, but the scales at the Nurburgring said different and showed the racers as being just 1 kg overweight.
As Mercedes-Benz’ racing team manager Alfred Neubauer considered his options and tried to fathom a way to bring the cars into compliance, mechanic Willy Zimmer suggested that ‘the paint has to go’. Hours of labour and dedicated sanding later and the cars were left in bare silver metal, departing from the traditional white used by German GP entrants. More importantly, the cars were now light enough to race.
The term “Silver Arrows” then became synonymous with the team after a Berlin newspaper proclaimed Mercedes’ winning racer as ‘fast as a silver arrow’.