75th anniversary of the Mercedes Benz W125 Silver Arrow 595…

22 мая 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Mercedes-Benz W125

75th anniversary of the Mercedes W125 Silver Arrow 595 bhp and 750 kg in 1937

The first outing of Benz new 1937 Grand car was not in Europe, but in the politically important Premio di Tripoli one of the legendary Prix venues and the only motor race ever to been ‘fixed’

Before the race became a metaphor for technological capability, the Grand motor race was regarded, at by Hitler and Mussolini, as the most available way of displaying its world-leading prowess. In 1930s Europe, the of Mercedes Benz and Auto for Germany, and Alfa Romeo and for Italy, were powerful key to the national interests of their countries.

Hence the first of Mercedes Benz new 1937 Prix car was not in Europe, but in the vitally Gran Premio di Tripoli.

The Premio di Tripoli was first in 1925 in the capital of what was an Italian colony in North named Tripolitania — of Italian leader Mussolini’s of recreating the glory of the Roman Tripolitania was later unified as Libya, then after it became Libya.

In the mid-thirties, the Prix of Tripoli became showcase of the empire he was creating, and the Prix of Tripoli became a propaganda tool as he sought to the local economy with

In the twenties and thirties, North became motor racing’s new frontier. The fly-away rounds to climates that now mark the of the Formula One season, were the sail-away non-championship Grands in North Africa.

In addition to the Grand Prix, the Tunis Prix regularly ran either the before or after the Tripoli Prix, held in one of the world’s cities — Carthage As you might expect, intrigue both events.

To pay for it all, a national Italian was created, with vast to be made for those who won, and the of a ticket within reach of the man at just 11 lire. Tripoli, the Grand Prix and the lottery a huge national event.

have been a popular raising exercise throughout with the Great Wall of having been funded a lottery and Roman Emperor Caesar had raised funds for to the City of Rome with the of lottery tickets, so Mussolini a lottery would finance his Prix in Tripoli.

To win the lottery, you had to be one of the 30 chosen to be represented by a driver in the Grand Prix, and then. driver had to win. The tickets for the lottery were drawn a prior to the 1933 event, proved to be a very bad idea. It to what is widely believed to been the only fixed Prix in history (more at the of this article).

The funding for the Lake racing circuit it was every bit as grand in its day as any on the Grand circuit today. It had a grandstand as big as any at a racing circuit in the world at the and was the first in the world to use starting

Visiting drivers and teams treated like royalty and the quickly became a very event for numerous reasons, few of them actually about racing.

International racer Seaman described the circuit as the of motor racing circuits, it to the famous and luxuriously appointed circuit so close to Buckingham

Unfortunately for the drivers, while the modern pit complex and grand had every modern convenience it was only modern around the area.

Although the circuit is now Mitiga international airport in Tripoli, in 1933 it was countryside and of the long 13.14 km (8.165 circuit was comprised of country in a roughly oval shape. The was good, with white on either side of the track the racing surface — it was was just beyond the white that presented the dangers.

If you through the gallery for this and watch the accompanying video, see an era of motor racing where concepts of motor racing just didn’t exist for the spectator, the officials, the photographers, the People walk completely alongside the course, and when you in detail at some of the hi-res racing images, you will see things in every background.

of the images in the photo gallery been added from major Grand Prix of the thirties to bear witness to a when motor racing was and unvarnished. Our thanks to Mercedes for enabling us to use its extraordinary historical

The Mellaha Lake racetrack public roads with all the buildings, trees, walls, edges and other obstacles in most cases completely with not a single bale of hay to be guarding a tree or lamppost that was a safety innovation into the future. This was in the where the occasional death at a meeting was accepted as inevitable.

nationalism began to take in Europe in the early thirties, and teams had funds swelled state coffers, the technology rapidly.

When the cars first using the Mellaha Lake in 1933, the average speed of Varzi’s winning Bugatti T51 was mph.

When the Mercedes rolled its new W125 off the boat in in early 1937, the 750 kg era of motor was about to begin its final and the W 125 was developed specifically for that year.

It was there to win. had quit Grand Prix in early 1936 in order to a competitive car for 1937, and the new beast the had built represented a quantum in race performance.

The W125’s 5.6 liter engine produced 595 bhp kW) and it had somehow been shoehorned a chassis so light, that it under the 750 kg limit by a single The engine used desmodromic actuation for each of the four per cylinder, and the Roots supercharger was downstream of the twin carburettors.

The weighed a full one third of the entire dry weight!

It won in Tripoli in of a brace of Auto Union C — Bernd Rosemeyer in Ernst von Delius third, Stuck fourth, and Luigi in fifth, with the W125s of and Seaman sixth and seventh.

four years after Bugatti had average 105 mph to win, the speed of Herman Lang’s Mercedes-Benz W125 in 1937 was mph (213.14 km/h) — an identical circuit.

Speeds had 27 mph and indications suggest the real on the cars’ lap times by then was how much risk the driver was to face. The image below is of Seaman’s Mercedes Benz two later. He was leading a Grand by 20 plus seconds when he off the racetrack in the rain and hit a tree.

Prominent driver deaths provoked safety concerns and the of the incredibly popular British helped create a new law for Grand racing — compulsory

After it won its initial race in the W 125 wrote its way into the record winning the Grand Prix of (Nürburgring), Grand Prix of (Bremgarten), Grand Prix of and Grand Prix of Italy with W125 drivers first, second, third and in the European title.

In Formula One itself, the W125’s horsepower was not equaled for nearly half a when turbo-charged engines during the eighties.

Mercedes-Benz W125

It wasn’t about the engine though.

In to build a chassis capable of the horsepower of the massive motor. appointed chief engineer Uhlenhaut used a frame of molybdenum steel, with crossbars. The picture below Uhlenhaut with a post-WWII and engine.

The previous race car had a box section frame but Uhlenhaut an elliptical cross-section tubing increased the torsional stiffness of the without its engine, to three the amount of its predecessor, the W25.

Benz description of the W125 is from the company archives: The wheels were steered by wishbones with helical as in the celebrated 500 K and 540 K production models. The at the rear were mounted on a double-jointed drive shaft constant camber adjustment, longitudinal torsion bar springs and lever-type shock absorbers. and braking torque was transferred to the by lateral links.

Uhlenhaut on to become the technical brains many of Mercedes greatest In the image below, he is pictured from left with Team Manager Alfred at left, plus British Dennis Jenkinson who had just Sterling Moss’ legendary 100 mph Miglia victory from the seat.

After extensive test on the Nürburgring circuit, Uhlenhaut for a revolutionary chassis design. He the bold and visionary decision to the customary principle of hard and minimum damping with the opposite. The W 125 featured soft-sprung and exceptionally long spring with a high level of setting the pattern for today’s sports cars.

The W 125 competed in Prix races for just one In 1938, Mercedes-Benz replaced it the W 154 to comply with the new 3000-cc for Grand Prix cars, it must be said that the frame was replicated in the W154 prix car of 1938.

The record

During the mid-thirties, Mercedes experimenting with aerodynamically vehicles with a view to speed records. In January Rudolf Caracciola achieved the speed ever recorded on a road (on the Frankfurt–Darmstadt autobahn) in an optimised rekordwagen version of the W

The eight cylinder engine was for the attempt with a 736 bhp (541 kW) V12 and the vehicle achieved 432.7 over a kilometer and 432.4 over a mile.

That’s a quicker than the 2012 Veyron Super Sport’s 431

The Fixed Race

The initial Grand Prix at the new Mellaha circuit, the 1933 race, is the motor race of note has ever been regarded as — the laws of human have seen baseball, basketball and football fixed, but is the only motor race aware of where drivers of teams conspired to influence the of a race.

Unfortunately, there no definitive version as to what behind the scenes with the race, but the short story is the ticket holders from the lottery knew which would represent them a before the race. The drivers still in Italy (where the 30 holders were) and there both written and verbal made that may not have, almost certainly didn’t), to a fair result.


There are varying opinions as to really happened, with Team Manager Alfred controversially recounting the incident in his book — Speed was My . Neubauer indicated Varzi, and Borzacchini were the main with Campari and Chiron as suspects. These were of the biggest names of the sport of racing at the time. In the end, happened. The race results no-one was fined or had their revoked and like so many of the faced by powerful interests, it dropped off the news agenda. administrative governance, the willingness of the to acquiesce, and public safety, all come a long way since

Neubauer’s version is contested and the may indeed have been slightly more serious the current team orders

Mercedes-Benz W125
Mercedes-Benz W125
Mercedes-Benz W125
Mercedes-Benz W125
Mercedes-Benz W125

interesting records

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