The racing stars of the 1950s are going on an exclusive journey: in summer 2018: the Dutch Louwman Museum in The Hague is showing a special exhibition entitled “Silver Arrows. Mercedes-Benz Racing Cars of the 1950s”. It is the renowned museum’s second exhibition of Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows. From October 2012 to January 2013, it showed “Silver Arrows 1934–1939”.

Mercedes-Benz 2,5-Liter-Formel-1-Stromlinienrennwagen (W 196 R, 1954 bis 1955), Studioaufnahme von rechts vorne.
Mercedes-Benz streamlined 2.5-litre Formula One racing car (W 196 R, 1954 to 1955), studio shot from front right.

A total of seven famous vehicles from the second Silver Arrow era will be made available for the new exhibition by Mercedes-Benz Classic. The exhibits span the period from the Stuttgart brand’s re-entry into motor sport in 1952 with the 300 SL racing car (W 194) to the exceptionally successful competition season of 1955.

Juan Manuel Fangio’s victory in both the 1954 and 1955 Formula One world championships will be represented by 2.5-litre racing cars W 196 R with streamlined body and free-standing wheels. An exhibit with a special relationship to Dutch motor sport history is the W 196 R with start number 10: this vehicle with free-standing wheels was the one in which Stirling Moss finished second in the Dutch Grand Prix on 19 June 1955 in Zandvoort – just behind his team colleague Juan Manuel Fangio.

The 300 SLR racing car (W 196 S) in the special version with an “air brake” recalls the winning of the 1955 World Sports Car Championship. Finally, the 300 SL “Gullwing” (W 198) bears witness to the racing successes with series production sports cars. Special exhibits are the 300 SLR “ Uhlenhaut Coupé” and the high-speed racing car transporter. Developed in 1955, the coupé version of the W 196 S was supposed to compete in the 1956 season. However, due to the Stuttgart brand’s decision to pull out of motor sport at the end of the 1955 season, the vehicle was never raced. It became famous as the official sporting car of Rudolf Uhlenhaut, who at that time was head of testing at Daimler-Benz. Nicknamed “The Blue Wonder”, the high-speed racing car transporter was built for especially urgent transport between the factory and the race track in the 1955 season.

World-class museum
The Louwman Museum, which opened at its present location in 2010, is home to the world’s oldest publicly accessible private automobile collection. In an exhibition area of over 10,000 square metres, an outstanding collection of classic vehicles and automotive art is on view in The Hague. The Louwman Museum ranks as the Netherlands’ national motor museum.

The museum dates back to the Pieter Louwman collection, which was founded in the 1930s. Today, the director of the museum is Evert Louwman, son of the founder. The permanent exhibition consists of the areas “The Dawn of Motoring”, “Motoring”, “Racing” and “Luxury”. The exhibits include the world’s largest collection of Spyker vehicles. Built in 1887, the museum’s De Dion-Bouton et Trépardoux is considered to be the world’s second-oldest car.

Opened in 2010, today’s museum building was designed by US architects Michael Graves and Gary Lapera. Prior to completion of the three-storey building, the Louwman family’s collection could be seen in Leidschendam and Raamsdonksveer under the names “Nationaal Automobiel Museum” and “Louwman Collection”.

Source: Mercedes-Benz Classic