welcome to "Home of Silver Arrows"
History of one the legendary garage


What could be cooler than if something legendary happens to you or occurs right next to you?
My name is Galina, and for almost 20 years, I have owned a forest house at the foot of the Nürburg Castle, located at the entrance to one of the most legendary racing tracks in the world - the Nürburgring - Nordschleife.
My house has become not only a cozy hotel but also a witness to thrilling races, turning every moment into a legendary adventure.

Once at the races...
On the late 19th century, during the early automobile races (specifically the cup organized by American millionaire James Gordon-Bennett Jr.), teams from different countries were assigned distinctive colors. The French predictably took blue, Americans took red, and Belgians took yellow. The German team got the white color.
It seems quite strange now, but it wasn't back then. In the era of Imperial Germany, the national tree - color of the country looked like this – black, red, and white. Since then, white remained the distinctive German color in all motorsport competitions for many years. That is until everything changed in the spring of 1934. Well, at least according to the legend... and confirmed by photos.

Beging of the race "Eifelrennen" in June 1934

The legend of «Silberpfeil» ( Silver Arrows)
The Grand Prix racing season of 1934 promised to be one of the most interesting in a long time. As early as 1932, officials from the Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus (AIACR), the organization preceding the current FIA, approved a new technical regulation. Its main appeal was its almost total liberality. Essentially, the only restriction for racing car constructors was the maximum weight.
Without fuel, technical fluids, tires, and the driver himself, the car should not weigh more than 750 kg. Otherwise, designers were free to do as they pleased: any engines, any aerodynamics, anything at all.

On June 3, 1934, the next German race was scheduled – the Eiffelrennen, literally the "race at the Eifel hills." By the way, now at that location stands the famous "Nürburgring," where my hotel, Home of Silver Arrow (www.ringhaus.biz), is located – the place where, according to legend, all these passions unfolded.
Everyone in the Mercedes-Benz team understood that after the May setback, there was no room for mistakes. After all, the racing W25 was largely funded by the government. Do I need to remind you who was at the helm of Germany in 1934?

But as if to add insult to injury, a new disaster struck. On the evening before the race, unpleasant news surfaced – the racing Mercedes-Benz was 1 kg over the allowed limit.
"Scheisse!!!" - Manager Alfred Neubauer likely thought. It meant the car would not be allowed to start, and Neubauer would probably have to have a conversation with an "extremely serios german leader of austrian descend" .
Sitting across from the Nürburg Castle late at night, Neubauer had a revelation. "Scrape off all the paint from the body!" - he ordered authoritatively, depriving the mechanics of well-deserved rest.
By morning, the white enamel, along with the primer, revealed the silvery, or rather aluminum, nakedness of the body. The subsequent weight check confirmed the desired result – 750 kg.
According to this story, the white paint was scraped off the W25 somewhere around here...
According to another version, it is believed that the irritated driver Manfred von Brauchitsch nudged the boss towards the ingenious solution, as recounted in the book by the head of the German team, "Men, Women and Motors."

The fact is that in the actual race, Manfred von Brauchitsch was the first to cross the finish line, turning Neubauer's cleverness into an instant legend. But in any case, the result is what counts.
The Mercedes-Benz W25, victorious in its very first race, was affectionately dubbed Silberpfeil, literally "Silver Arrow," thanks to someone's clever branding. And the fortunate silvery color logically and irrevocably replaced white as Germany's signature racing livery.
What a beautiful, romantic, and simply cool story, isn't it? Especially when you consider all the photos I managed to gather that confirm it. The garage walls don't seem to have changed much from those almost 100 years ago.

If to be honest until the end, in other sources that were available to me on the internet, for some reason, for a long time, none of the pilots or managers of Mercedes-Benz mentioned this amusing episode from the summer of 1934. The story about scraping off the paint was first published almost a quarter of a century later. In 1958, in the pages of the German illustrated weekly magazine Quick, which specialized in various types of entertainment content, a series of memories by Alfred Neubauer appeared. The racing director of Mercedes-Benz talked about the glorious pre-war years.

These memoirs, recorded by the young journalist Harvey Rowe, enjoyed great readership success.
No wonder! You need to know a bit about the charming and, most importantly, incredibly talkative raconteur to understand that eloquence always overflowed in his stories. Reporters who interviewed Neubauer fondly recalled – just press the recorder button, and Alfred would start delivering racing stories and anecdotes at the speed of a machine gun.

The stars of the Mercedes-Benz season in 1934: Luigi Fagioli, von Brauchitsch, and Neubauer.

The series of stories from the Quick magazine later became the basis for Neubauer's autobiography, "Speed Was My Life," and the story about the nighttime scraping off of white paint began to be retold and rewritten in various sources. In the blink of an eye, what started as a category of hunting stories, "Oh, there was another case...", turned into an accepted and acknowledged fact in the official chronicles of Mercedes-Benz.
"Everything is not as it seems."
The end of the idyll came from German journalist Eberhard Reuss, who conducted his own investigation in the late '90s and found out that almost everything Neubauer had narrated was untrue. At that time, Reuss could still find living witnesses to the events of June 1934.
This is how the sensational statement from the chief mechanic of the Mercedes-Benz racing team, Eugen Reichle, emerged: "The racing W25s were never white, so no one scraped paint off them!"

The photoshoot of the W25 and its creators of the 1934 season.
The photoshoot of the W25 and its creators on the 1934 season.
Whom to believe?... But is it just the word of the mechanic against the word of the manager? No, not just the manager's word! The story told by Neubauer was later confirmed in one form or another by Manfred von Brauchitsch, who won the "Eifelrennen" race, another Mercedes-Benz driver Hermann Lang, and the chief engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut.
Intrigued by the information from the retired mechanic Eugen Reichle, Eberhard Reuss delved into the archives and unearthed a wealth of interesting facts. For example, in photos from the training sessions at the AVUS track in May 1934, the racing Mercedes W25 is depicted in a silvery color. As we have already mentioned, Mercedes-Benz did not participate in the actual race. However, this does not negate the question – why bother repainting the body for the next stage?

And this is the race at AVUS in1932. The streamlined custom body mounted on the SSKL chassis earned the nickname "cucumber" from the pilots.
However, the race commentator on the radio broadcast compared
the aluminum cucumber to a Silver Arrow...
In the first press release issued on the first of Jan of the 1934 season and dedicated to the new racing W25, the Mercedes team themselves already referred to the car as "ein silberne Pfeil",
meaning "Silver Arrow."

And this was still in winter, not summer! However, in the extensive archives of Mercedes-Benz, there is no heroic report with mentions of the events of June 2, 1934, including the famous scraping off of paint. Instead, a recorded radio broadcast from the 1932 race was unearthed, where the commentator compared the streamlined Mercedes-Benz SSKL (and not just any, but von Brauchitsch himself) to a "Silver Arrow."

In short, Mr. Reuss stirred up quite a hornet's nest. When, at a symposium organized for the "deception of the century," historians and official representatives of Mercedes-Benz found out that some photos, long used as evidence for Neubauer's story, were heavily retouched, everything fell into place. The original negatives revealed that the racing Mercedes cars of 1934 were silvery from the very beginning!
To summarise....
Well, the Germans' commitment to the legend is not all that bad; after all, sports inherently give rise to myths, and then they should cherish them.
Today, with enthusiasm, we COLLECT AND SHARE WITH THE GUESTS OF OUR HOTEL ALL POSSIBLE "facts and legends of the Nürburgring." Everyone who visits this place enters the world of history, an indescribable energy of creating speed and the power of motorsport, a world where the team of designers and engineers at Mercedes-Benz has managed to control the incredible force of motion, making it accessible to everyone.
We stumbled upon old inscriptions on the walls by chance, confirming the year of the house's construction and creating an atmosphere of the past century. To give our generation a chance to immerse even a little in the atmosphere of creating the first racing cars, now iconic in the Formula 1 brand, we invite you to touch the origins of true speed today.

Whether you are enthusiasts or professionals in racing, especially at the Nürburgring, and if you have any other facts or stories, particularly about the W25 from 1934, I would be very grateful if you could share them. You can contact me through the hotel administrator.

Meanwhile, we are reviving history and becoming an integral part of it.

The legend itself turned out to be beautiful and gained widespread popularity, and even though it turned out to be a myth, Mercedes continues to uphold it, although in recent times, they do so more cautiously, trying not to delve into the details.

History of one the legendary garage


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