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Who came up with the name Silverarrows/Silberpfeile?


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#1 Holger Merten

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Posted 24 February 2003 - 09:42

Reading Nixons book Racing the Silverarrows: Mercedes Benz versus Auto Union, I wonder, that I never found the name Silverarrows in the reprinted copies of THE MOTOR in this book.

That’s the same with my German sources from Auto Union, Mercedes Benz or Newspapers from that time. I never found the word Silverarrows / Silberpfeile printed in the 30s or in the 50s.

Does anybody has an idea, who came up with the name and when?

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#2 marat

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Posted 24 February 2003 - 20:12

If we believe Alfred Neubauer, it was the name of the W25 Mercedes, according to him the
Silver-Arrow name was used before the Avus and Nuerburgring races; It was at Nuerburgring
that the car was too heavy and the white paint stripped. Other sources state that it was
after the white paint was removed that the car was called silver arrow.

#3 Holger Merten

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Posted 24 February 2003 - 20:56

Marat, I know that story of Neubauer, and I don't beliebve it. There are several threads here about that paint stripping story on TNF.

But what I'm looking for, is a source, where the name was ever printed and used first.

If you'll have a look on newspapers from that time, posters (printed by AU and MB) you won't find the name Silverarrow.

I had a look in a MB Brochure from 1959, no word about Silverarrows for the MB GR race cars.

So the question is open, when or who ever used that name first? Hans, may you know more? :confused:

Sometimes I belive it's an english idea, which later on was translated to german? Richard or Doug?

#4 Vitesse2

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Posted 24 February 2003 - 22:06

Just read DSJ's description of the cars in Motor Sport August 1954 - no mention of the phrase there. Perhaps we should start from Nixon in 1986 and work back ....

#5 917

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Posted 24 February 2003 - 22:56

Ernst Rosemann and Carlo Demand published a book called "Das große Rennen - die Entwicklung des Automobil-Rennsports" in 1955 (Nest-Verlag, Frankfurt a.M.) : 94 pages text by Rosemann and 128 pages drawings by Demand, ranging from Gottlieb Daimler at the finish of the Paris-Rouen race 1894 to the British Grand Prix at Aintree 1955. There was also an English edition in the same year by the same publisher with the title "The big race - the story of motor racing" (translated by E. Evand). It tells the old Neubauer story and says on page 26 of the English edition (page 28 of the German ed.) :

The mechanics had polished the bare, light metal as best they could - and the "Silver Arrows" were born.

The whole book seems to be an effort of the Mercedes-Benz PR department, but at least in 1955 the word "Silberpfeile" was known.

Kind regards
Michael

#6 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 03:53

Originally posted by Vitesse2
...Perhaps we should start from Nixon in 1986 and work back ....

:up: excellent idea, Richard.

I will join here as soon as I find something of interest. I am rather busy now with my list of Bergrennen. So little time... so much to do.

#7 Holger Merten

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 08:04

Thanks Hans and Richard for joining this thread.

@917 thank you for your quote.

That brings me back to my first idea, that the name Silverarrows is an idea of the 50s.

:confused:

#8 Brun

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 10:08

Sounds plausible enough. I can't remember ever seeing the word silver arrows in pre-war articles.

#9 Holger Merten

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 10:17

Yes Brun, and if you have seen that Chemnitz archive, whereever did you find a word about Silverarrows, nor on prints odr posters?

#10 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 11:35

INTERNATIONALES STADTPARK-RENNEN VON BELGRAD AM 3. 9. 1939
Nuvolari auf Auto-Union in Rekordzeit


Das Rennen der großen Rennwagen gestaltete sich zu einem neuen Triumph für die deutschen Silberpfeile. In einem atemberaubenden Kampf über die 50 Runden lange Strecke (139.7 km) behielt schließlich der italienische Meisterfahrer Tazio Nuvolari auf Auto-Union mit der Rekordleistung von 130,7 km/std. die Oberhand…
(“Kölnische Zeitung”, Nr. 445/4. 9. 1939)

#11 Holger Merten

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 12:05

Hans, you are great, so we are back in the 30s. Once again, AU and MB I have no source, where AU and MB used Silberpfeile before 1939. But now we have a proove for the 30s, which takes Neubauer series, that it wasn't him in the 50s, who brings the name up.

#12 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 16:23

11. “GROSSER PREIS VON TRIPOLIS’ AM 9. 5. 1937
Sieger – Hermann Lang auf Mercedes-Benz!


Wie in den Vorjahren, so gab auch diesmal Marshall Italo Balbo, der Gouverneur von Libyen, das Zeichen zum Start. Mit einer Stoppuhr in der Linken, der Startflagge in der Rechten, stand er seitlich der Startlinie, und pünktlich um 3 Uhr – die Maschinen donnerten bereits seit längerer Zeit ihr metallenes Lied – senkte sich die Flagge, die silbergrauen Pfeile der Auto-Union und Mercedes-Benz sausten davon…
(“Kölnische Zeitung”, Nr. 232/10. 5. 1937

#13 Holger Merten

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 16:33

hans, seems to me that the Kölnische Zeitung, which is printed near the Nürburgring should be the right source. Thanks a lot.

#14 David McKinney

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 17:06

Regardless of who first used the term, it seems to me it was not in general use until much later - perhaps dating from Nixon's 1986 book

#15 dmj

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 17:46

Chris Nixon would surely be one of most welcome possible additions to TNF trust of brains. Can anyone persuade him to join? I believe he is still with us? I once wrote to him about an Aston Martin DB3S raced in Croatia and received a prompt response so it seems that he shouldn't be too unaccessible?

#16 fines

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 20:43

Originally posted by David McKinney
Regardless of who first used the term, it seems to me it was not in general use until much later - perhaps dating from Nixon's 1986 book

In Germany, it was VERY much in use before 1986. In fact, I believe it was common before the world was invented (i.e. 1967).

#17 Holger Merten

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 21:48

it was common before the world was invented (i.e. 1967).

:confused: :confused: :confused:

Does that matter to some political circumstances......Fines? :rotfl:

#18 fines

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 22:10

No... I'm 36 years old if that helps...

... and I just refuse to believe that this world existed before I was born!!!!!





















:blush:


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#19 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 22:39

Originally posted by David McKinney
Regardless of who first used the term, it seems to me it was not in general use until much later - perhaps dating from Nixon's 1986 book

If I would be living in England, I would check their contemporary newspapers and magazines but my German language sources have to do for now. The term 'Silberpfeile' was in use in 1937, I submitted the source. That should suffice. I heard the term 'Silberpfeile' during the end of the forties and early fifties when I lived in Berlin.
My parents spent their money on food, not racing tickets for the little racing that may have existed in Berlin and we played with silver Märklin racing car models in the sandbox.

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#20 Holger Merten

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 22:49

Thanks a lot Hans.

And take your gift on the Romania thread :kiss:

#21 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 09:16

With reference to the silver color, I was surprised when I read some while ago that at the 1932 Avusrennen, the winning streamlined Mercedes-Benz SSKL of Manfred von Brauchitsch was painted silver and not white. The silver Mercedes beat the white Alfa of Caracciola by just 3.6 seconds. Do we know if other silver racing cars participated at international races before the Avusrennen on May 22, 1932?

#22 Michael Müller

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 22:32

Hans, it was silver, but that does not automatically mean painted. I tend to believe it was bare aluminium.

#23 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 22:46

Originally posted by Michael Müller
Hans, it was silver, but that does not automatically mean painted. I tend to believe it was bare aluminium.

Yes, yes, yeeaas... :blush:
I was to hasty with my remark and second, I don't have your analytical mind, Michael. But I have not yet given up and am still learning. ;)

#24 Dennis David

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 23:14

Too bad there is not an OED for German. You would find first usage in there.

#25 Michael Müller

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 10:48

What is an OED??

MvB's streamline body was made under severe time pressure, and just ready before the official training on Saturday, it was driven on own power from Cannstatt (near Stuttgart) to Berlin. So it is explainable that there was no time for painting. The strange thing is that MvB entered the same car again in next year's AVUS race, and still the car is silver...

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#26 Holger Merten

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 10:59

Originally posted by Michael Müller
What is an OED??


I thought it must have to do something with the D = Dictionary and then the O could stand for Oxford, so I came back with the idea of Oxford English Dictionary. Does it make sense? :blush:

#27 Vitesse2

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 11:03

Dead right Holger :up:

THE dictionary of the English language.

#28 Holger Merten

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 11:10

Ohh Richard,

my english teacher always said:Use your Oxford Advanced Reader...", which was our Dictionary at school, and nowadays I would be happy, if I listened to her. But OED was some success in my english lessons on TNF.

#29 Vitesse2

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 11:23

The Oxford Advanced is a good one-volume dictionary, produced for the English as a Foreign Language market. The OED is a 20-volume work, with regular supplements: it is enormous! You can also access it on-line, but only by subscription.

http://dictionary.oed.com/about/

#30 Holger Merten

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 11:32

Thank you, but I will prefer my one volume dic. There is no more space on my desk, cause I have so many books and other sources on the table. :lol:

A 20-volume work word blow up my holy own system and my desktop.Posted Image

#31 Udo K.

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 13:08

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
The term 'Silberpfeile' was in use in 1937, I submitted the source.


In the report of German magazin "Motor und Sport" on the German GP 1936 the term
Silberpfeil is not mentioned. The only reference to the colours: "Ein unbeschreiblich ergreifender Anblick, diese bunte, donnernde Meute - SILBERN, rot, blau, grün, orange -, die vorbeibraust in die enge Südkehre."
If "Silberpfeil" would have been a common term, I'm sure, the author would have made use of it in his 3 pages report.

#32 fines

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 15:42

Originally posted by Dennis David
Too bad there is not an OED for German. You would find first usage in there.

Oh, we have! Look for "Duden"...

#33 conjohn

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 16:03

Originally posted by Vitesse2
The OED is a 20-volume work, with regular supplements: it is enormous! You can also access it on-line, but only by subscription.


I saw a version of the OED (at least I think it was the OED) in Sweden in the early 70's. I was in two volumes... but what stuck in my mind, was that they supplied a magnifying glass with the set! :smoking:

Personally, I use Webster's.... picked up for a song, well below list price; also in the early 70's...

In Sweden we have 'Svenska Akademiens Ordbok', a work started in the 1890's - the 33rd (and latest) volume was published in 2002 - covering 'Svär - Talkumera'...

#34 Michael Müller

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 16:05

In an article was stated that the term "Silberpfeile" was used already in the programme booklet of the German GP 1937. Anybody around having a copy?

#35 David McKinney

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 16:07

Originally posted by conjohn

I saw a version of the OED (at least I think it was the OED) in Sweden in the early 70's. I was in two volumes... but what stuck in my mind, was that they supplied a magnifying glass with the set!

The two-volume set was/is called, IIRC, The Shorter Oxford
More common was the one-volume Concise Oxford

#36 Vitesse2

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 22:40

Different animal, David. What Conjohn is referring to is the Compact OED, which was the complete text of the original 1928 edition, plus the earliest supplements, with the text reduced to one quarter size and reprinted in two volumes. I have one myself. :)

#37 Vitesse2

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 22:45

Originally posted by fines

Oh, we have! Look for "Duden"...


I'm aware of the multi-volume Duden, Michael, but I don't think it's compiled on the same principles as the OED, which tries to provide published citations of the earliest known usages of words and phrases. Of course, I could be wrong .... I've never seen a set and I don't think there's a copy in any library hereabouts.

#38 Racer.Demon

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 10:28

Originally posted by Vitesse2
The Oxford Advanced is a good one-volume dictionary, produced for the English as a Foreign Language market. The OED is a 20-volume work, with regular supplements: it is enormous!


Hardly as enormous as the Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal, which is a 40-volume tome compiled between 1864 (!) and 1998... :eek: :cool: :drunk:

#39 Holger Merten

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 10:40

Could somebody have a look what we can find under Silberfeil in the OED?
Thanks in advance. :smoking:

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#40 Mohican

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 11:06

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
INTERNATIONALES STADTPARK-RENNEN VON BELGRAD AM 3. 9. 1939
Nuvolari auf Auto-Union in Rekordzeit


Das Rennen der großen Rennwagen gestaltete sich zu einem neuen Triumph für die deutschen Silberpfeile. In einem atemberaubenden Kampf über die 50 Runden lange Strecke (139.7 km) behielt schließlich der italienische Meisterfahrer Tazio Nuvolari auf Auto-Union mit der Rekordleistung von 130,7 km/std. die Oberhand…
(“Kölnische Zeitung”, Nr. 445/4. 9. 1939)


I like the fact that the "Kölnische Zeitung" carried a race report on September 4, 1939...as though no more important things were happening elsewhere.

#41 D-Type

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 15:36

Originally posted by Racer.Demon


Hardly as enormous as the Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal, which is a 40-volume tome compiled between 1864 (!) and 1998... :eek: :cool: :drunk:

Surely this depends on the font size and the paper thickness? :wave:

As for the use of "Silver Arrows" in English, it has been around from the fifties. I remember it from before I started reading Motor Sport so logically my source must be either The Eagle or The Meccano Magazine (does anybody remember that?).

#42 Racer.Demon

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 15:41

Well, let me put it this way - I wouldn't want to be hit over the head with one of the WNT volumes... :D

#43 Vitesse2

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 21:03

Not an earlier citation, but an implication from Guenther Molter that "Silver Arrows" was in common usage:

The last Silver-Arrows - as these fast race cars with the three-pointed star were called all over Europe ....



German Racing Cars and Drivers (1950), page 7.

#44 dmj

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 14:04

Originally posted by Michael Müller
In an article was stated that the term "Silberpfeile" was used already in the programme booklet of the German GP 1937. Anybody around having a copy?


Does anyone have access to that booklet? It would be very interesting to find out if term was already in use back then.

#45 Mike Riedner

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 09:30

I heard that expression "Silberpfeile" was first used by the speaker (or even radio commentator) of either the Eifelrennen or the German Grand Prix in 1936 or 1937.

The term was then gladly adopted by the rest – journalists, spectators and even Neubauer who by the way refused to call the Auto-Unions "Silberpfeile" but gave them (in his book "Männer, Frauen und Motoren") the rather negative name "Silberfisch".

And when I remember it right, there even was a case – or discussion? – between Mercedes-Benz and Audi regarding the exclusive use of the term "Silberpfeil" some years ago (around 1996/97). Mercedes-Benz tried to get an exclusive right but in the end gave in.

#46 duby

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 20:19

hi all
well , i dont have your record for all that unfo but while collecting info for my research about the golden era and the Nazi involvment in motorsport i remember reading that the name came from one of the MB mechanics and not Alfred Noubauer .
cant remember now where i read this but i will try to find ....

#47 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 16:57

Der Grosse Preis von Deutschland
Wie die Uhrwerke fressen die Silberfische die Kilometer herunter... [in reference to the Auto Union grand prix cars]
Source: AUTOMOBIL-REVUE Nr. 61 p3/July 28, 1936

in English: The silver-fish complete the kilometers like clock-work...