1939 Mercedes-Benz W154

The storied history of Mercedes-Benz racing was cemented by cars called the “Silver Arrows,” pre-war racers like the W154 whose aluminum-skinned bodies flashed through the European racing circuits. This was an era of racing greats like the “Rainmaster” Rudolf Caracciola, who piloted one of the W154s. The W154 was the product of a rule change in the European Championship that excluded cars over 3.0 liters with a supercharger. Rather than just build a new engine, Mercedes built a new car: the W154. 1939 was the second year for the W154, which now had a two-stage supercharger on its massive 12-cylinder engine that made around 475 hp. Throughout 1939, the three and sometimes four W154s qualified 1-2-3 and took home numerous Grand Prix wins. Take the W154 around the Nürburgring in the rain – if it doesn’t give you a great respect for what the racers of the past accomplished, nothing will.

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