Magic moments.

The Mercedes-Benz racing success story is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

DVD 'Magical Moments'.

The Silver Arrows of Mercedes-Benz: with their unique success story, they stand for an incomparable era of motor sport. Characterized by spectacular achievements in racing as well as glorious but also tragic individual careers, the stories of the drivers and their silvery racers are fascinating to this day. Caracciola, Lang, Fangio and Moss are the names of the heroes who dominated the racing scene at the time. With their Silver Arrows they became legends. However, this era of motor sport does not only produce stories of great triumphs. Risk always accompanies the drivers on their way to heroic fame. How they put man and machine to the limit, is a big part of the fascination.

Film director Saskia Weisheit and author Florian Dennert make the magical moments of an era come alive that has lost not one bit of its attraction and fascination − with elaborately shot play scenes, historically accurately depicted interviews as well as never before shown archive footage in colour.

Experts, collectors and racing legends like Jackie Stewart, Jochen Mass and Hans Herrmann showcase the historical race cars and convey impressively the fascination that emanates from these precious originals.

Episode 1, “A Star Is Born“

The first episode starts with a journey through time back to the roots of the motorsports tradition of Mercedes-Benz: With his Mercedes-Simplex from 1904, classic car collector Dieter Dressel presents a descendant of the 35 hp Mercedes from 1901, which ranks as the first modern car. Its success in the racing week of Nice made the Mercedes make famous overnight. Among the most spectacular racing triumphs of the following period are the Mercedes wins in the French Grand Prix: In 1908, Christian Lautenschlager won in Dieppe, six years later, he finished first again in Lyon. His team mates Louis Wagner and Otto Salzer completed the first ever triple victory in a Grand Prix race. George Wingard, collector of historical racing cars and former US senator, showcases the distinctive features of the two winning cars on the streets of Oregon. At the beginning of the 20th century, Benz in Mannheim also set new standards in motorsports. Especially the 200 hp Benz, known as “Blitzen Benz”, has become a legend, when he set speed records in North America and on the British Brooklands Racing Circuit between 1909 and 1914. For the “Magical Moments”, the car returns to Brooklands, about 100 years after its record drive.

Episode 2, “The Beginning of an Era“

In 1926, the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft and Benz & Cie. merged. Together, the world’s two oldest car manufacturers form the Daimler-Benz AG with the new make Mercedes-Benz. Its mighty supercharged race cars of the S-series achieved glorious racing success at the end of the 1920s and the beginning of the 1930s. The S, SS, SSK, and SSKL models, also known as “White Elephants” because of their mostly white paint and the roaring of their superchargers, won the most important races of their era – they are the stars of the second episode. German collector Franz Maag showcases the SS model, introduced in 1928, whose label stands for “Super-Sport”, and vividly conveys the special fascination of this car. Even rarer is the short version, the Mercedes-Benz SSK, of which Dutch collector Evert Louwman owns an original version. The individual history of the super sports car is documented in minute detail. At the wheel of these racing cars, the young racing driver Rudolf Caracciola dominated the years 1927 to 1931, his congenial partner as conductor and strategist on the circuit was racing manager Alfred Neubauer.

Episode 3, “The Birth of a Legend“

The International Eifel Race on the Nürburgring, June 1934. What a shock: Mercedes-Benz shall not be allowed to start with the new Grand Prix racing car W 25, because the car is too heavy by one kilogram. Legend has it, that as an emergency measure, the traditional white paint on the body was sanded off. With that, the W 25 with its bare aluminium body was under the weight limit imposed by the new 750-kilogram-formula, and the first Silver Arrow was born. Through a powerful re-enactment, the viewers are able to witness this pivotal moment of the Silver Arrow legend. The focus lies on racing manager Neubauer and racing driver Manfred von Brauchitsch – he drove the W 25 to victory in this first racing stint. In the following year 1935, Rudolf Caracciola then won the first ever European Grand Prix championship in the W 25. The viewer witnesses the original car from the collection of Mercedes-Benz Classic, whose sound and dynamics fascinate to this day, not only during a ride on the plant’s own test track, but also during its elaborate preparation and the following conservation.

Episode 4, “The Strongest of its Kind“

Spring 1936: In spite of two victories in Monaco and Tunis it showed that the W 25 was not competitive anymore. The racing department received a new technical manager, whose job was to bring the racing car back on the road to success. Rudolf Uhlenhaut, himself almost as fast as the Silver Arrow pilots, tested the W 25 under racing conditions and chose a revolutionary chassis construction with a soft suspension and firm damping for the successor W 125. With success: The new Silver Arrow dominated the 1937 season from a standing position. Hermann Lang instantly won the first race, the Tripoli Grand Prix in the Italian colony Libya, and Rudolf Caracciola again became European champion on Mercedes-Benz. With 435 kW (592 PS), the W 125 was the most powerful car in the whole era of the Silver Arrows from 1935 until 1955. Not until the 1980s could Formula One cars exceed the performance level of the W 125. Jochen Mass excitedly describes it as an “archetype of a racing car”. The Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador belongs to the few contemporary racing drivers who are able to control the W 125. He demonstrates this with an impressive drive at the Großglockner Grand Prix 2012.

Episode 5, “On the Hunt for Records“

Not only their racing victories characterized the legend of the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows, but also the speed records they set. From the beginning, the engineers constructed distinct record cars, specially tailored for these record drives, on the basis of the Grand Prix racing cars. In the autumn of 1936, Rudolf Caracciola achieved several international speed records, one of which a world record, on a W 25, which had received a streamlined body and a powerful V12 engine for the record attempts. While doing so, he achieved a speed of 372 km/h. The excellent aerodynamics of the almost 80 years old record car is confirmed by elaborate measurements in the Daimler wind tunnel. When the record drive with the original car of 1936 is recreated in the most modern driving simulator in Europe, the viewer is able to witness what Caracciola experienced driving at 372 km/h. A suspenseful and dramatic re-enactment addresses a record that remains unbroken to this day: In January 1938, Caracciola achieved the highest speed on public roads with 432.7 km/h.

Episode 6, “The Gentleman in a Silver Arrow“

1937 was the last year of the 750-kilogram formula, which gave birth to the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows. From 1938, there was a new formula, which was intended to lower the extreme speeds by limiting the displacement. Will Mercedes-Benz be able to keep up the success of the preceding years? The engineers around Rudolf Uhlenhaut have built a completely new racing car according to the 3-liter formula. This W 154 was the first Mercedes-Benz racing car with a twelve-cylinder engine. At the wheel, young Englishman Richard “Dick” Seaman proved himself as a new member of the Stuttgart racing team, who even won the German Grand Prix in 1938. In 1939 however, the gentleman in the Silver Arrow lost his life in a tragic racing accident. A compelling re-enactment captures the dramatic moments of Spa-Francorchamps. Apart from the superiority of the cars and the driving skills of the pilots, the perfect procedures in the pits contribute to the victories of Mercedes-Benz in the 1930s. The viewers experience a thoroughly choreographed pit stop of the W 154, which takes only 21 seconds including a tire change.

Episode 7, “Rivals at the Wheel“

Rudolf Caracciola became European champion again in 1938 on Mercedes-Benz. However, his supremacy did not remain undisputed. In a re-enactment, the viewers witness how he saw competition rise from among his own team: Up-and-coming driver Hermann Lang, the two-time winner of Tripoli, became more and more successful. Will there be another duel between them in Libya in 1939? At first, it did not look like it. In September 1939, the organizers decided to arrange the next year’s race for the voiturette class with a displacement of 1.5-liter. This was done to neutralize the superior German competition, which had no cars in this class. Mercedes-Benz, however, developed a completely new car in less than eight months, the W 165. On his first and only appearance, Lang and Caracciola achieve a spectacular double victory against 28 redly painted Alfa Romeos and Maseratis. Impressive footage of the annual “Goodwood Revival” in Southern England recreates the racing atmosphere of those days: Ten original Silver Arrows convey their unbroken fascination.

Episode 8, „Comeback on the Track“

After World War Two, the comeback of a German manufacturer in Grand Prix racing was unthinkable at first. Thus, from 1952, Mercedes-Benz focused on sports car races for the moment and developed the racing sports car 300 SL (W 194). With this car, which received the distinctive gullwing doors because of its light steel tube space frame, the Stuttgart make succeeded in returning to racing sport. The 300 SL made its first appearance in Italy, where Karl Kling and Rudolf Caracciola took the second and forth places in the legendary “Mille Miglia”. The viewer experiences the special fascination that the “Mille Miglia” conveys as a historic event since 1977 consistently every year. In 1952, the 300 SL, after its decent result in Italy, achieved spectacular double victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Carrera Panamericana, over 3,100 kilometres across Mexico. The tires contribute to the racing victory not only in such strenuous long distance races. A report about the production of classic racing tires in a historic manufactory in Great Britain appreciates their role in racing.

Episode 9, „Master from Overseas“

In 1954, Mercedes-Benz returned to Grand Prix racing – with the new W 196 R racing car and Juan Manuel Fangio as a new star in the racing team. At the wheel of the Silber Arrow, Fangio instantly won his first race, the French Grand Prix, ahead of his team mate Karl Kling. With this double victory the team from Stuttgart made an impressive premiere – on the same day Germany became football world champion in Bern. The W 196 R achieved its win in Reims as a futuristic seeming streamlined car; on twisty tracks however, it started as a classic Monoposto with open wheels. With the new Silver Arrow, Fangio, the 1951 Formula-One champion, won the title also in 1954 and 1955. Racing driver legend Hans Herrmann describes emphatically how the drivers back then did not let themselves be deterred by the dangers of motorsports. An impressive re-enactment, in which Juan Manuel Fangio must cope with the death of his friend, racing driver Onofre Marimon, shows the potential consequences. Through a report about the comprehensive racing car collection of Mercedes-Benz, the viewer gains an exclusive insight in the “Holy Halls”.

Episode 10, „The Winner’s Farewell“

In 1955, Mercedes-Benz supplements its triumphs in Formula One with spectacular victories in sports car races. Lining up for the start were the racing sports car 300 SLR (W 196 S), a further stage of the latest Formula-One car. Since it was not bound to the displacement limit of the Formula-One regulations, it was propelled by a three-litre version of the eight-cylinder engine. Because of his unsurpassed stability and reliability, the 300 SLR was far superior to his competitors in 1955. Thus, Stirling Moss won the Mille Miglia with an everlasting best time, and at the end of the season, Mercedes-Benz also achieves the sports car world championship title. But in the following years, the Stuttgart make wanted to attend the innovation of its production cars even more than before and terminates its involvement in racing sports with the conclusion of the 1955 season. The tenth episode of the “Magical Moments” pays tribute to this final point at the peak of success in a re-enactment and showcases with the legendary “Uhlenhaut-coupé” the 300 SLR for the 1956 season. To many, the racing sports car that drove not a single race belongs to the most fascinating cars ever.

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Product details:
  • Language: german / english
  • Running time: 530 min.
  • Sound: stereo
  • Genre: documentation
  • Dimensions: 16:9
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