Racing successes are an important part of the Mercedes-Benz story. Ever since the first automobile race in 1894, Mercedes-Benz and its predecessor brands have repeatedly used motor races to prove their performance and reliability. The company’s proud record in the motorsport arena is, of course, dominated by the Silver Arrows that have become part of car racing history. The creation of these vehicles alone, in 1934, is the stuff of legend, marking the beginning of an amazing run of successes, halted only by the outbreak of World War II in 1939.
So the first chapter in the Silver Arrow story was short, but incredibly successful. Drivers such as Manfred von Brauchitsch, Rudolf Caracciola, and Hermann Lang breathed life into the Silver Arrow legend, in the process becoming legends themselves. The second Silver Arrow era, which began in the early 1950s, brought even more impressive results. Germany had only just been rebuilt from the ruins when the silver sports cars and Formula One racing cars returned to the scene with a series of spectacular victories and world championship titles. And the magnificent Silver Arrow tradition was renewed once again in 1989 and 1990, when Mercedes-Benz sports prototype cars won two world championships. This record of outstanding achievement still continues today, in Formula One and DTM German Touring Car Championships.
In Formula One racing, the acme of international motorsport, Mercedes-Benz and Mika Hakkinen have won two championship titles. And in the DTM championship, Mercedes-Benz has consistently been the most successful manufacturer over many years. But the company’s involvement in motorsport extends much further than this. Successes in the international car-rallying arena, in the Monte Carlo rally and the gruelling Paris-Dakar long-distance rallies, for example, are matched by a string of impressive victories in truck racing competitions.
Over the decades, Mercedes-Benz has consistently delivered outstanding performances in the motorsport arena. And the presentation of the most famous racing vehicles in this museum is just as fascinating as the Mercedes-Benz history of motorsport achievement, enabling visitors to experience the legend for themselves. A gigantic steep-bank curve, climbing ever higher into the space of the building, provides the perfect display environment for the Silver Arrows, touring and sports cars, rally cars, and race trucks. You can almost hear the rumble of the engines and the applause from the spectators, and sense the excitement as the drivers engage in an overtaking duel.