Register now to get rid of these ads!

Germany's Pre-War Hot Rodding: The Mercedes W125

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,214


  2. Flipper
    Joined: May 10, 2003
    Posts: 3,298

    from Kentucky

    I'd love to see one of the silver arrow cars in real life.

    Are they monsterous sized cars or are the drivers the size of jockeys?
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  3. jroberts
    Joined: Oct 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,568


    Rudolf Caracciola is one of my all time favorites. The W125 was a monster that indeed did outclass the field that it competed against. Thanks for this look into a great car driven by a great man.
  4. plhildy
    Joined: Aug 4, 2007
    Posts: 30

    from Clovis, Ca

    Would love to hear a really good recording of that big 8 at full song!
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    fun to watch...thanks...
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  6. DaveInc
    Joined: Feb 11, 2008
    Posts: 81


    Looks like tires were the weak link at the time.
  7. Normant93
    Joined: Apr 23, 2009
    Posts: 138


    I watched them run at Lime Rock during the Vintage Fall Festival a few years ago. They are as big as they appear in the film, and make a truly magnificent sound!
    I spent an hour+ looking over every inch of the car, I'm sure I pissed off all the other folks waiting to get a better look, but I figured it would be a once in a lifetime deal. Cool post, thanks J-B.
  8. A32Flathead
    Joined: Feb 16, 2004
    Posts: 9,498


    Last summer back home in England at the Goodwood Revival Meeting....

  9. I have ridden in or on a few things with about the same power to weight ratio. and they were super scary fast..... I cannot imagine that power in a car of that technology

    drivers must of had balls of steel
  10. 28RPU6
    Joined: Feb 3, 2009
    Posts: 106


    I was lucky enough at age 14 or 15 to get to go to Germany with my folks and we got a behind the ropes tour at the Mercedes museum. We got to open the hoods and do some light touching on the early silver arrows, the SLR's, and even a magnesium test body. I asked our guide why each car had a drip pan under them instead of just removing the oil and he said that every car in the building leaves at least once a year for vintage racing or some type of parade. I asked if they were worried about damaging them. He said that these race cars were all built to be driven as hard as possible and many have been wrecked and repaired many times before. I thought that was a great attitude to have.
  11. Can always count on you to have been to the show!

  12. Heo2
    Joined: Aug 9, 2011
    Posts: 661


    The engine had so much torque
    so they had to take out the power
    in the middle of the crank to not
    twist it
    The gearbox is on the side of the
  13. BeatnikPirate
    Joined: May 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,416

    from Media, Pa.

    Very interesting! Thanks for posting.
    Wikipedia says:

    "The W125 was considered the most powerful race car ever for about 3 decades, until large capacity US-built V8 engines in CanAm sportcars reached similar power in the mid 1960s."

    Pretty impressive. Those drivers had guts.
  14. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796


    It's always cool, when someone builds a car, so bad ass, that the rules have to be changed. Amazing.
  15. Heo2
    Joined: Aug 9, 2011
    Posts: 661


    Yes and imagine driving the auto union v16
    with almost a VW bug suspention
  16. A32Flathead
    Joined: Feb 16, 2004
    Posts: 9,498


    Ummm.....what you trying to say?

    Haven't been to Goodwood since 2002 when I moved to California.
  17. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 7,976


    Made my day! Thanx for all the videos and pix, what great sound.
    these are just beautiful beyond belief cars and much appreciated ~sololobo~
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  18. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,194


    My sentiments,exactly.
  19. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,597


    One of my favorite books was a biography of Juan Fangio and thru that learned of the other great drivers and their cars during the era of racing pre WW II. Thanks for the posts, Carp

  20. [​IMG]

    That'd be one hell of a ride.....
  21. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,734

    Tech Editor

    "To put those numbers in perspective, it weighed 1000 pound less than a ’37 Ford with 6 times the horsepower"

    And then imagine driving a car like that in the rain, and on difficult tracks like the old Nurburgring.

    Carracciola was the Regenmeister ( rain master ), besides his car controll in the rain he had also found out that taking his goggles off in the rain and just let his eyes flood with water made him see better that he could with his goggles on...

    The top speeds of these cars were really high, not that far off from today's GP cars.
    ( 211 MPH claimed for a Auto Union from that period )

    Because they had no aerodynamics to slow them down ( downforce costs straightaway speed, which of course gets all won back under braking, in the corners and more )

    Rudolf Caracciola wrote a book about his life.

    Its a great read for anybody who is interested in this period of motor racing.


    I have it in its original German version.

    302 003.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  22. boo
    Joined: Jul 6, 2005
    Posts: 530

    from stuart,fl.

    love those old mercedese and 50's sports cars. am building my version of the w196 streamliner, been working on it for 20+ years, close to being done, just billy pan and inner wheel panels to go on body, all alum. was a major project, must of been crazy to start. started w/drawing.
  23. KK500
    Joined: Dec 29, 2006
    Posts: 354


    Neighboring workshop had to fire one of those Audis for Monterey couple years ago after unloading from container.......needed methanol and 2 or 3 solvents mixed before it would even THINK of cooperating. Earsplitting result!
    Awesome detail in the build of those prewar GP cars.
  24. truckjim
    Joined: May 21, 2011
    Posts: 166


    Photos, please! :)
  25. Magnus
    Joined: Apr 30, 2006
    Posts: 904

    from Sweden

    Don't forget to read the books of the teamboss Alfred Neubauer, Speed was my life, and Männer, Frauen, Motoren (don't know the english title) They were published in a swedish magazine years ago and are truly very interesting stories.
    And I was pitted next to the Audi at Goodwood 2002. When Hans Stuck warmed that engine, oh my god, the sound it made... I remember the tach gauge was as big as a dinner plate.
  26. skywolf
    Joined: Jul 1, 2006
    Posts: 1,862


    I have been fascinated by these cars since I was a child. The autobiography is a great read - even better at the bargain swapmeet price of $3.00. For the record, Caracciola hit 432 km/h [268 mph] in the streamlined W125 Rekordwagen in January 1938. Amazing stuff !!

  27. ventilo
    Joined: Aug 25, 2009
    Posts: 237


  28. A32Flathead
    Joined: Feb 16, 2004
    Posts: 9,498


    I was marshaling on the hill that year, when Hans rolled (at 40mph) past us un the way back down the hill, he floored the throttle on the V16 & laid 75 feet of rubber for out benefit....downhill......with a 40mph rolling start.....

    Look at the tire marks in this picture from that day, my friend has his foot at the start of the is downhill, the picture looks like its uphill tho!

    164 by Pro Photo Photography, on Flickr
  29. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,781


    When I had a shop in San Marcos Ca. in the 80s I traded some metal finishing on a XKE for storage of a friends Pierce Arrow. He saw I had a record player and asked if it worked. The next night he brought a 33 record album with sounds of the Mercedes 125 and 163s (maybe the 154s) I believe at some racecourse at full song. There are probably some of those old albums on ebay or vintage sources. He played the record so loud some of the neighbors working late came over to see how nuts we were.-Jim
  30. Magnus
    Joined: Apr 30, 2006
    Posts: 904

    from Sweden

    Hell yeah. It was an amazing experience. Maybe you'll remember our car, we had a brand new Camaro Pro stocker in AcDelco banners putting on rubber at the hill. Speaker refered to our show as London fog. Did you attend the earl's dinner after the race? Check the link for a brief report of the Camaro.

    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.