1934 Mercedes-Benz W25 Rekordwagen
Pilot: Rudolf Caracciola
Race: 1934 land speed record attempt Spark - S1030 (resin)
With total encouragement (and a hefty funding) from the Nazi government, as soon as the Silberpfeile started racing, they were also used to set land speed records (LSR). At the time, Germany only had just a few LSR, so both Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz modified their GP cars to chase records. In early March 1934, Hans Stuck grabbed three medium distance records using an almost stock Typ A GP car, and there was no way that Daimler-Benz would let their arch-rivals bask in all that glory without opposition. So they took their race-winning W25 and installed the M25B engine, a supercharged inline-8 cylinder that was still under development for the 1935 Grand Prix season. The M25B had 3992 cm³ and drinking the special “WW fuel” could produce 430 hp. So two cars were made ready to tackle short distance records in the International Class C (3 to 5 liters).
The first car was basically a GP car with a smaller front air intake, a louverless hood and no windshield. But the second car was really different. With a closed cockpit, the pilots called it Rennlimousine (“race sedan”). In late October the Mercedes-Benz Rennabteilung took both to a stretch of concrete straight road near Budapest in Hungary. On the first attempts the GP car suffered a broken supercharger and the Rennlimousine lost it’s roof. Mercedes fixed the problems and finally established LSR using both the GP car and the Rennlimousine.
After the trials in October, Mercedes decided to drop the GP car and use only the Rennlimousine. But it was modified: it received front brakes, a lowered roof, the hood replaced by a standard one with all the louvers and wheels received aerodynamic covers*. On December 1st, at AVUS, Rudolf Caracciola piloting the Rennlimousine went after short distance records. However, mechanical and specially tire issues prevented his success. But on December 10th he finally managed to set a new world LSR. He achieved 311,985 km/h in 5000 m with a standing start. You can actually watch the record run here.
So here we have without a doubt the most ugly Silberpfeil ever to come from Germany. Despite being ugly as sin, Spark most expertly recreated the modified (later) version of the Rennlimousine, even with blued pipes. Compared to the Minichamps’ Silberpfeile, I would say that this one is just as good. Perhaps a little better, with a little extra in the form of the blued pipes. Unfortunately though Spark wasn’t as prolific as Minichamps when it came to Silberpfeile, and they’re usually much harder to find.
*: This car in this later version still exists to this day. You can see it at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.