Don Capps, one of the foremost experts on the topic, will present “The Silver Arrows: The 1934 Eifelrennen and Neubaurer’s Dilemma?” at the International Motor Racing Research Center on Saturday, June 9.
The discussion will focus on the creation tale of the Mercedes-Benz racing cars, the “Silver Arrows” at the June 1934 Eifelrennen by then team manager, Alfred Neubauer. The talk will use photographs and materials directly from the Daimler-Benz archives that are contemporary to the time period.
Part of the IMRRC’s ongoing Center Conversations Series, the discussion will be an open forum in which audience participation is encouraged. The talk, sponsored in part by the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce, will begin at 1 p.m. and is open to all. The Racing Research Center is located at 610 S. Decatur St., Watkins Glen.
The talk will be live-streamed on the Center’s YouTube channel or via the Center’s live-stream page on the website. The talk also will be archived on the Center’s YouTube channel to watch in the future.
“The legend of the Silver Arrows has been propagated for decades,” Capps said. “And with all due respect to the immediate success of the cars and thoroughbred lineage that Mercedes-Benz racing has achieved, it may not be all based in fact. Essentially, we take on the legend and correct the tale.”
Capps, who has been associated with motorsport activities for more than 50 years, is a member and on the board of directors of the Society of Automotive Historians. He is Chair of its International Motor Sports History Section. The retired US Army Colonel also serves on the IMRRC Historians Council.
“The presentation encourages open discussion and an insider’s look at the cars that truly revolutionized the sport of motor racing.” Capps added, “Was the story of how Mercedes-Benz achieved unparalleled success an accurate depiction of innovation, selective memory or simply a tall tale for fun? Or a combination of all of these things? That’s what we will be there to discuss.”
It is historical fact that the Mercedes Benz “Silver Arrows” dominated Grand Prix racing from 1934-39 and again from 1945-55.
The original W25 race car, which was partially funded by the pre-war Nazi government, debuted at the 1934 Eiifelrennen. At the time, a new formula for the class limited Grand Prix cars to 750kg. Neubauer recounted in later interviews that he demanded that the paint be striped from the car to help meet the weight requirement. The car met the weight requirement and driver Manfred von Brauchitsch won the race.
The legend was born.