- The history of motor racing is Mercedes-Benz Classic’s theme for 2014
1894: the world’s first car race took place from Paris to Rouen
100th anniversary of the triple victory for Mercedes at the French Grand Prix in 1914
“120 years of motor sport” is the theme which has been adopted by Mercedes-Benz Classic for 2014 – combined with a host of “magical moments” from the history of motor racing. The anniversary stretches back to the first car race in history, staged on a route from Paris to Rouen in the year 1894. The victorious automobile from Peugeot and Panhard & Levassor was propelled at that time by the “Moteur système Daimler”, a Daimler two-cylinder V-engine built under licence in France.
In addition to this actual anniversary event, the outstanding “magical moments” of 2014 which will form part of the “120 years of motor sport” include a host of further successes, such as the triple victory for Mercedes at the French Grand Prix in Lyon some 100 years ago (4 July 1914); the victory at the Targa Florio in Sicily 90 years ago (27 April 1924); the first victory of the first Mercedes-Benz W 25 Silver Arrow 80 years ago (3 June 1934); the double victory of the W 165 Silver Arrow at the Tripoli Grand Prix 75 years ago (7 May 1939); the double victory of two Mercedes-Benz W 196 R “Streamline” Silver Arrows at the French Grand Prix in Reims 60 years ago (4 July 1954); and also the double victory of the Sauber-Mercedes C9 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 25 years ago (12 June 1989). With these sporting successes and countless other victories, Mercedes-Benz has written history. The brand’s racing cars and drivers put in some outstanding performances – thereby underscoring the ambition to lead time and time again.
The new film series “Magical moments. The hour of the Silver Arrows” brings the unique motorsport history of Mercedes-Benz to life on DVD and Blu-ray. It is an extraordinary portrait of the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows and their drivers, and looks beyond the actual time of the Silver Arrows from 1934 to 1955: in line with the “120 years of motor sport”, the series begins with the birth of motor racing and extends to the present day, so that collectors, racing drivers and protagonists of the sport are also seen and heard.
Mercedes-Benz Classic will be continually returning to the topic of “120 years of motor sport” throughout the year. It is being adopted as the guiding theme for its participation in trade fairs and select events making up the international Classic calendar. For Techno Classica in Essen (26 to 30 March 2014) for example, Mercedes-Benz Classic is planning to be in attendance with the largest contingent of motor sport vehicles from its collection ever to appear at a trade show. Additional highlights will include the Mille Miglia (14 to 18 May 2014) and the Goodwood Festival of Speed (26 to 29 June 2014). Attendance of the Le Mans Classic (4 to 6 July 2014) will simply evoke memories of the great victories achieved at this ultimate classic endurance race.
From March 2014, the Mercedes-Benz Museum will also shed new light on the magical moments from motorsport history on display on the museum’s banked curve in Legend Room 7.
A “rolling ambassador” for the anniversary year will be the Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II (W 201) which Mercedes-Benz Classic has built as a second vehicle, alongside a 220 SE (W 111), specifically for historic motor sport racing, and in particular for participation in this season’s “Young Classic Trophy”. The design of the “Evo II” has been specially chosen: the vehicle provides a quick journey through the most important decades of motor racing, from the beginnings of motor sport through to the present day, with the aid of historic photo motifs applied to its body.
The “120 years of motor sport” anniversary will get under way at the Rétromobile exhibition in Paris (5 to 9 February 2014), attendance of which is being organised and implemented in close cooperation with Mercedes-Benz France. Here, valuable exhibits from the Mercedes-Benz Classic collection dating from a variety of eras will recall the “magical moments” and motor sport successes achieved by the brand in France.