Silver Arrows: a legend is born

‘Silver Arrows’ is the name that was given to the Mercedes-Benz racing cars between 1934 and 1939, and also to the early Formula 1 cars. The origin of the ‘Silver Arrows’ name was purely accidental.

In 1934, the international governing body of motor sport decreed that Grand Prix racing cars could weigh a maximum of 750 kg, excluding tyres and fuel. In spring of 1934, Mercedes-Benz introduced their new car, the W25. Unfortunately, when they came to weigh the car, it tipped the scales at 751 kg – just 1 kg over the maximum weight limit.

Racing manager Alfred Neubauer and driver Manfred von Brauchitsch refused to be beaten. After some brainstorming, an idea came to them – to scrape the paint off the car. The next day, the team set about removing all the paint from the car, exposing the shiny silver aluminium chassis beneath. Lo and behold, on weighing the car again, it conformed to the weight regulations. After a successful race, the Silver Arrows nickname was born.