Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow Racecar
The Legendary Silver Arrow Dominated The Grand Prix Circuit In The 1930's
The name Silver Arrow is what the press named Mercedes-Benz' dominant racing cars from 1934-1939 (models W25, W125, W154 and W165). The name Silver Arrow was also given to the Mercedes-Benz Forumula One race cars and sports cars in 1954 & 1955.
For many years each country had its traditional color in automobile racing, before until the introduction of sponsorship liveries. German cars were white. For example, the big supercharged 200 hp Mercedes-Benz SSK that Rudolf Caracciola drove to win the 1931 Mille Miglia was called White Elephant.
There is a legend that says the origin of the Silver Arrow was accidental. The story says that, starting in 1934, the international governing body of motor sport prescribed a maximum weight limit of 750 kilograms for Grand Prix racing cars, excluding tires and fuel. When the Mercedes-Benz team put the new Mercedes-Benz W25 on the scrutineering scales before the first race (the Eifelrennen at the Nürburgring) in Spring of 1934, it weighed 751 kg. The teams racing manager, Alfred Neubauer, and his driver Manfred von Brauchitsch were confused at first, but decided a good idea would be to scrape all the white paint off of the body of the car. Legend has it that the next day, the shining silver aluminium beneath the paint was exposed and the car weighed in correctly. After a successful race, the nickname Silver Arrow was born. That's the legend, however, this story was not known to the public until Alfred Neubauer's published his biography in 1958, and no reference to the story has been found in contemporary sources. Many people also believe that Alfred Neubauer can't be considered a reliable source, considering his fictitious account of the 1933 Tripoli Grand Prix.
Now, German auto makers have a Silberpfeil-Grau (or Silver Arrow Gray) shade of color in their catalogs, as the color is now traditional for many road cars, thanks to the original Mercedes Silver Arrows.