A Picture Paints a Thousand Words
Above image: A Dampened Victory Spa Belgium 25th June 1939. Hermann Lang Passes the burning wreckage
of Mercedes team-mate Englishman Richard Seaman who unfortunatley died later from the burns he received
Arriving at the Goodwood Festival of Speed when the gates open has a few advantages; not least the traffic chaos that ensues soon after but also a chance to walk around unhindered for about an hour and take in the sights in peace. Heading straight for the paddock I had no intention of stopping at the cricket pitch until I saw the first of 12 huge pictures, set out in a circle that kept my attention for far longer than they should. The Silver Arrows Project is a collection of stunning images created to celebrate the 80th anniversary since the birth of the racing legends. In a dozen images the story of the Mercedes Silver Arrows and the Auto Union machines is told but in a totally unique way from 1934-39. Firstly the Czechoslovakian team went through thousands of original images, documents and footage to ensure exact detail of all aspects of each picture. They built exact models not just of the cars but also the track surroundings, many of which no longer exist, then by using live photography, actors and state of the art CGI (computer generated imagery) they were able to build the images. The areas featured in the images are real and so are the bystanders, and drivers; all photographed multiple times in period dress, then by over laying and adding parts of the image piece by piece an 80 year old moment is re-created. To be honest it’s all far too technical for me to explain but a visit to their website and view the short film which explains the process much more eloquently than I am able to. My first question was how long does all this take to produce a dozen pictures and the statistics are amazing; 9472 man hours, involving 75 people, 10 locations and 2 years to finish. The man behind it all is Jan Rambousek and obviously the limited edition prints are not going to be cheap but they are extremely limited, bespoke and unique. I would love to have one or two around my home; they really are superb pieces of art. To find out more you can get the full story on.
Below Image: Steeper, Stronger, Faster. Avus, Germany 30th May 1937. On the extreme banking of the north bend at Avus Circuit Rudolf Caracciola in his Mercedes leads Bernd Rosemeyer's Auto Union speeds averaged 276.39kph
Lasarte Circuit, Spain 1935 as Luigi Fagioli positions his W25 to over take Bernd Rosemeyer in his Auto Union stones flicked up by the cars ahead smash the aeroscreen on the Mercedes
Masaryk Circuit in Czechoslovakia 1937 featured one driver who always gave the Silver Arrows plenty to consider but this race Nuvolari's Alfa lost a rear tyre but still managed a creditable fifth place
Nurburing 1938 saw near disaster when Von Bauchitsch W154 burst into flames. He was dragged clear by team manager Neubauer the result was Richard Seaman winning his first German GP