Seven unique Mercedes grand prix cars in new Louwman Museum display

The exhibition, entitled 'Silver Arrows, Mercedes-Benz Racing Cars of the 1950s', will open in the Dutch museum on July 7

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Seven one-off 1950s Mercedes 'Silver Arrows' race cars will go on show in a special display at the Louwman Museum in The Hague, Netherlands, from 7 July to 2 September.

The exhibition will represent one of the most heroic periods in the history of motor racing. The seven cars all have extensive racing histories, involving such famous racing drivers as Juan Manual Fangio, Stirling Moss, Karl Kling and Hans Herrmann.

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The cars, all of which are from the permanent collection of Mercedes-Benz Classic in Stuttgart, Germany, are as follows:

Mercedes-Benz W196 R

Then reigning Formula 1 world champion Juan Manuel Fangio won the 1955 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort in this car, finishing just 0.3 seconds ahead of his teammate Stirling Moss. This was just one month after Moss’ and Fangio’s legendary one-two victory with the 300 SLR racing sportscar in the gruelling Mille Miglia.

Mercedes-Benz W196 R Streamliner

Mercedes-Benz experimented with streamlined bodywork but it was effective only on circuits with long, fast straights and slow corners. Fangio in particular preferred open-wheeler cars.

Mercedes-Benz W196 S

In addition to F1, Mercedes-Benz also competed in the World Sportscar Championship, adapting the W196 single-seater to the regulations, with two seats and full bodywork. It proved an effective weapon in the Mille Miglia and the Targa Florio.

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Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut

The 300 SLR ‘Uhlenhaut-Coupé’, one of the most valuable cars in the world, will be on display in Holland for the first time in its history. This coupé version of the 300 SLR (W196 S) never took part in an official race, but is regarded as the first supercar of the era: a two-seater thoroughbred racing car featuring a roof and gullwing doors. Based on the successful W196 R Formula 1 car, it had a top speed of almost 300km/h.

Mercedes-Benz Blue Wonder

The ‘Blue Wonder’ race car transporter was built in 1955 to transport and service the Mercedes-Benz racing cars during long-distance races. It was based on both the 300 S and 300 SL and had a top speed of 170km/h – the fastest race car transporter ever.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing

There will be two Gullwings on display, to demonstrate the link between racing and series production. The two 300 SL Gullwing exhibits will be the W194 racing car from 1952 (above) and the W198 production car (below), which was derived from the W194.

Nationaal Automobiel Museum

The Louwman Museum, otherwise known as the Dutch National Automobile Museum, is one of the world's greatest privately-owned car collections.

The permanent collection of the museum will be open to the public during the Silver Arrows exhibition. The museum includes over 250 cars produced by more than 100 different manufacturers, as well as an extensive collection of automotive art, including posters, sculptures, trophies and paintings.

The museum is at Leidsestraatweg 57, 2594 BB Den Haag, The Netherlands. For more information visit the Louwman Museum website.

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