Imagine a combination of all forms of racing – off-road to high-speed – done by one core chassis design.
During the 1930s, the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows were storming every type of racing one could imagine: both competitively in Formula races and for world record attempts outside the circuit.
This sent the Silver Arrows up hillclimb events, on ultimate Vmax runs, and even a few winter setups that included a dually rear wheel and a closed shell cockpit at one point.
All these variants were highly ingenious engineering achievements around one core chassis design. The open-wheel profile of any Silver Arrow is unforgettable.
But the real achievement for history? The Silver Arrows started out looking like production coupes – but within five years, were totally-streamlined, 200-plus-mph prototypes from the distant future.
Something really spectacular in these vintage racing photos, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, is seeing the movement of these cars in action.
Perhaps the movement on film, or actual camber changes around corners in real-life: driving these cars looks terrifying.
Another special piece of these images are the fans in the background, and the drivers’ faces visible in close-ups (during this pre-face-helmet era).
A fascinating display of engineering skill and bravery, all in one.