Jackie Stewart checks out one of the Mercedes Benz Silver Arrows at this year's Goodwood Revival.
Jackie Stewart checks out one of the Mercedes Benz Silver Arrows at this year’s Goodwood Revival.

When Adolph Hitler came to power in 1933, he used all the powers of the state to promote the new Nazi Germany. One of the areas where he would demonstrate the superiority of Germans was automobile racing. Between 1934 and 1939, Mercedes Benz and Auto Union (Audi today) were given unlimited funds to create the finest race cars the world had ever seen. They were painted silver, and thus called Silver Arrows. During the period, Mercedes Benz, befitting its long tradition of automobile racing, developed traditional front engined cars that varied from 450 to 600 hp. in straight eight and V-12 form, all supercharged. Auto Union, a newer company, had the freedom to experiment with the radically new ideas that came from their brilliant young engineer, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche. He developed a rear engined car, the largest of which was an an extraordinary V-16. Some of these were double supercharged.

In the summer of 2012, all the remaining Mercedes Benz and Auto Union cars were assembled at the Goodwood Revival for three days of demonstration racing. The photos that you see were taken in the pre-grid just before the cars went out on the track. I was there helping a friend with a 1934 8CM Maserati that ran with the Silver Arrows in the 1930s. We were included in the demonstration race, as the Maserati had competed with them. Consequently, I was in the pre-grid with these exquisite machines, and had complete access to them.

Please enjoy the photos.

Yours truly,
Thurlow Weed

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Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows