Mercedes-Benz Classic at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018: Silver Arrows celebrate the Silver Jubilee

Mercedes-Benz Classic at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018: Silver Arrows celebrate the Silver Jubilee

11.07.2018: From 12 to 15 July 2018, the Goodwood Festival of Speed will celebrate its 25th anniversary. At the Silver Jubilee event, Mercedes-Benz Classic will present some outstanding vehicles from the company’s own collection. Goodwood will see the world d

From 12 to 15 July 2018, the Goodwood Festival of Speed will celebrate its 25th anniversary.

At the Silver Jubilee event, Mercedes-Benz Classic will present some outstanding vehicles from the company’s own collection. Goodwood will see the world debut of the chassis, restored by Mercedes-Benz Classic, of the record-breaking Mercedes-Benz T 80 from 1939.

There will also be a chance to experience the legendary Silver Arrows of the 1930s and 1950s. This year’s brand ambassadors: Klaus Ludwig, Jochen Mass and Bernd Schneider. Staged on the country estate of the Duke of Richmond in England, the Festival of Speed is one of the world’s leading events in the culture of sporting mobility.

The “world’s biggest automotive garden party” has an anniversary to celebrate: like every summer since the inception in 1993, Chichester in the south of England is hosting the “Goodwood Festival of Speed”. Naturally, Mercedes-Benz Classic, a regular guest at the famous event on the country estate of the Duke of Richmond, will be joining in the celebrations.

Mercedes-Benz Classic has been a participant from the outset with spectacular Silver Arrows. To mark the 25th anniversary in Goodwood, the brand with the star is again presenting some outstanding racing and record-breaking vehicles from the company’s own collection. These automotive icons will be piloted by Mercedes-Benz racing drivers and brand ambassadors Klaus Ludwig, Jochen Mass and Bernd Schneider.

Premiere of an exclusive showpiece

One of the highlights at the Festival of Speed will be the presentation of the original chassis of the record-breaking Mercedes-Benz T 80 from 1939. The “record-breaking giant” is being exhibited for the first time in public since its restoration by the specialists at Mercedes-Benz Classic.

Even without the body, which is on show at the Mercedes-Benz Museum, the authentically reconstructed spaceframe illustrates the form and dimensions of the impressive vehicle. Together with the V12 aircraft engine DB 603, of which an original cutaway version is installed, the exhibit affords a unique insight into the technology of the vehicle, which in its day achieved a maximum speed of up to 650 km/h, thereby setting the absolute world land speed record.

The experts at Mercedes-Benz Classic reconstructed the spaceframe, which acts as a substructure for the body, on the basis of original drawings. This means that the inner workings of the T 80 are presented just as they were engineered and built by Mercedes-Benz eight decades ago.

In addition to the frame with major assemblies, the complete cockpit with leather steering wheel, pedals, instruments and driver’s seat, covered in the authentic fabric, is fully preserved in the original. The original body, including its spaceframe substructure and the wheels, has been part of the permanent exhibition at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart for many years.

In Goodwood, alongside the T 80, Mercedes-Benz Classic is presenting the chassis of the W 125 record-breaking car from 1938. This was the vehicle in which Rudolf Caracciola reached 432.7 km/h on the autobahn between Frankfurt and Darmstadt in 1938, thereby setting a speed record for public roads which stood for almost 80 years and wasn’t broken until November 2017, and then only by a few km/h.

In keeping with the two chassis, the Stuttgart brand will also be represented at the Festival of Speed by a series of elaborately constructed 1:4 scale models of record-breaking cars. Produced by designers at Mercedes-Benz, they show record-breaking Mercedes-Benz cars from the period between 1936 and 1939. They also include the T 80 and the W 125 from 1938.

Racing legends in Goodwood

No fewer than five historic Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows will be on show at the Festival of Speed, some of them in action on the hill-climbing course in Goodwood. The origins of the Silver Arrows tradition will be represented by a Mercedes-Benz W 25 from 1934: the W 25 was the first Mercedes-Benz racing car for the 750-kilogram formula, which was introduced in 1934.

Legend has it that the silver colour was due to the fact that, prior to the Eifel race at the Nürburgring, the mechanics had worked through the night to remove the white paint in a bid to meet the weight limit. The Mercedes-Benz W 125 dates from 1937. This was the vehicle in which, at the end of the season, Rudolf Caracciola was crowned European Grand Prix Champion for the second time after 1935.

The final stage of development of Stuttgart Grand Prix racing cars in the 1930s was the Mercedes-Benz 3-litre formula racing car W 154, which was used in 1938 and 1939. The vehicle on show in Goodwood dates from 1939. Mercedes-Benz landed a special coup in the same year with the 1.5-litre racing car W 165, which was constructed exclusively for the Tripoli Grand Prix.

Its debut was also its only outing – the race ended with a phenomenal one-two finish for Mercedes-Benz. The second era of the Silver Arrows in the mid-1950s is represented by the Mercedes-Benz Formula One racing car W 196 R with free-standing wheels from 1955. This was the car in which Juan Manuel Fangio won the world title in 1954 and 1955.

Another racing legend is the 300 SLR, which Mercedes-Benz developed for the 1955 World Sports Car Championship. It was based on the successful Formula One racing car W 196 R.

The 300 SLR’s superiority was impressively demonstrated by one-two finishes in the Mille Miglia, the Eifel race, the Swedish Grand Prix and the Targa Florio (Sicily) as well as by a one-two-three finish in the Tourist Trophy in Ireland and victory in the World Sports Car Championship.

Mercedes-Benz’s more recent racing history is symbolised by the CLK-LM, the winning car from the 1998 International FIA GT Championship. The most recent era of motor sport will be represented by the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 W05 Hybrid Formula One racing car, which in 2014 opened a new chapter in the uniquely successful history of Mercedes-Benz motor sport.

This vehicle, in which Lewis Hamilton won the first of four driver’s titles so far for MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS in 2014, will be on show in the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS paddock along with other Formula One racing cars of the team.

Festival of classic automobiles

Under the title “Festival of Speed – The Silver Jubilee”, Goodwood will celebrate its young 25-year history in splendid fashion this year. The Festival was launched in June 1993 as what was then a one-day event in celebration of automotive sporting culture.

The organisers around the host, Lord March, expected up to 5,000 visitors. In fact, over 25,000 fans of sporting automobiles and motorcycles instantly accepted the invitation with the motto “ Relive the Glory of British Racing Green”.

Since then, the festival has continuously evolved – into one of the most famous dates in the calendar of mobile sporting culture. The range of vehicles on show extends from classic racing and sports cars to present-day super cars and motorcycles. Around 200,000 visitors are expected to attend over the course of the four days in this anniversary year.

Goodwood, which has also played host to the Goodwood Revival on the nearby Goodwood Circuit race track since 1998, has for many decades been imbued with the spirit of automotive sportiness: the hill-climbing course, which has been at the centre of the Festival of Speed since 1993, has its roots in the 1930s, when Frederick Gordon-Lennox, ninth Duke of Richmond and called “Freddie” by his race-loving friends, held the inaugural hill-climbing race for the Lancia Car Club.

This tradition was resurrected 25 years ago by his grandson, Charles Gordon-Lennox. The then Earl of March and Kinrara, Lord March for short, has held the title of eleventh Duke of Richmond since September 2017.

25 years of driving into the future

The Festival of Speed has evolved ever further over these 25 years – Lord March’s vision is thus driving into the future. In addition to the 1.16-mile (1.87-kilometre) hill-climbing course, since 2005 there has been the 2.5-kilometre “Rally Stage”, which is made up mainly of forest tracks.

Since 2010, the Festival of Speed has opened with the “Moving Motor Show”, which takes place on the Thursday and in which some 20 international automotive manufacturers present their latest vehicles in dynamic driving action.

On Thursday, 12 July 2018, this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed will once again kick off with the “Moving Motor Show”. This first day is the start of the “world’s biggest automotive garden party”, held against the setting of an English estate and in the adjoining park. This year, for the first time, the Duke’s family will also open the private “Library Lawn” to some of the visitors.

Several hundred outstanding sporting vehicles will be on view in the paddocks, which are open to all Festival visitors. Many of them will set off from Friday (13 July 2018) until Sunday (15 July 2018) on the hill-climbing course or the “Rally Stage". The finale is the “Hillclimb Shootout” on the Sunday.



- Ralph Wagenknecht -   photos Mercedes


11.07.2018 / MaP

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