Wednesday, 4 July 2018

New exhibition at the Louwman Museum

Here at Veloce, we are rather fond of Mercedes Benz, having published many titles on this iconic marque. This summer, the Louwman Museum, in the Netherlands, will host a special exhibition dedicated to a racing classic. 


Following the successful 'Silver Arrows 1934 - 1939' exhibition held in 2012, the Louwman Museum, in close cooperation with Mercedes-Benz Classic in Stuttgart, Germany, is proud to host an exhibition of the legendary Mercedes-Benz racing cars from the 1950s during the summer months (July 7 to September 2). The seven unique cars represent one of the most heroic periods in the history of motor racing. 

All the cars have earned their place in the motor racing history books. However for Dutch enthusiasts, the No. 8W 196R featured in the key visual of the exhibition is extra special. 



Then reigning Formula One 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 300SLR racing sports car in the gruelling Mille Miglia. Film footage will be shown to illustrate these epic races. 

Probably the most valuable car in the world, the 300SLR 'Uhlenhaut-Coupé', will be on display in Holland for the first time. 



This coupé version of the 300SLR (W196S) never actually took part in an official race, but it is regarded as the first supercar of the era: a two-seater thoroughbred racing car featuring a roof and gull-wing doors. Based on the extremely successful W196R Formula One car, it had a top speed of almost 300km/h (186mph): a sensational speed – not only at the time. 

Just as special is the 'Blue Wonder', the racing car transporter, which was built in 1955 to transport and service the Mercedes-Benz racing cars during long-distance races. This ultimate service vehicle was based on both the 300 S and 300 SL and had a top speed of 170km/h (105mph): the fastest racing car transporter ever. 



The 'Silver Arrows, Mercedes-Benz Racing cars of the 50s' exhibition includes Formula One cars and sports cars that won not only Grand Prix events, but also long-distance races, such as the Mille Miglia and the Targa Florio within the sports car championship. The link between racing and series production is demonstrated by two 300SL 'Gullwing' exhibits: the W194 racing car from 1952 and the W198 production car which was derived from it. All of the cars have an extensive racing history, involving such famous racing drivers as Juan Manual Fangio, Stirling Moss, Karl Kling and Hans Herrmann. 

The cars in this temporary exhibition are without exception first class exhibits from the permanent collection of Mercedes-Benz Classic in Stuttgart, Germany. 


Robert Ackerson's limited edition book Two Summers – The Mercedes-Benz W196R Racing Cars explores the Mercedes-Benz W196R's historic roots, development, and its place in Grand Prix racing, detailing its triumphs, struggles and disappointments, as well as the spirited challenges from Maserati, Ferrari, Gordon and Lancia. If you can't make it over to the Louwman Museum this summer – and you really should, as it is an excellent place, full of a huge array of fantastic cars! – then this book would be perfect for those who want to learn more about this historic icon.