The Birth of the Silver Arrows: Mercedes-Benz Racing

The racing cars of Mercedes-Benz have been known as the “Silver Arrows” (Silberpfeile) since the 1930s in the years immediately preceding the Second World War. Along with the racing cars of the Auto Union company, the silvery-liveried German machines of the two companies dominated Grand Prix racing from 1934 to 1939. After the Second World War, Mercedes-Benz once again returned to racing with a new generation of Silver Arrows in 1954 and 1955. In recent years, the Mercedes Formula 1 team has won six world championships in a row, from 2014 to 2019, also using a livery that is basically silver.

How and why the Silver Arrows of the 1930s came into being has often been attributed to an incident that occurred during the weigh-in for the Eifelrennen (Eifel Race) at the Nűrburgring in June 1934. For many years, the account given by the manager of the Mercedes-Benz racing team, Alfred Neubauer, was accepted at face value and repeated in books and magazines.
However, in recent years there have been those challenging this account. The Mercedes-Benz Heritage Information Center became aware of the various challenges to the tale attributed to Alfred Neubauer and in July 2007 held a symposium at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Fellbach, Germany to discuss this issue.

Preeminent Automotive Historian Col. H. Donald Capps U.S. Army, Retired will take us into this fascinating story and explore whether or not there is truth in the famous story or there is more to the story than meets the eye.


The Studebaker Museum Speaker Series, presented by the Campisi Family Education Fund, is held in the Wiekamp Auditorium. Regular Speaker Series admission is $2. Regular admission fees apply to tour the Studebaker National Museum and The History Museum. Studebaker National Museum and Campus members are admitted free!

  • November 15, 2023
  • 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm