1923. Benz Tropfenwagen GP. The first Silver Arrow

  • 11 May 2020
  • 1 min read
  • 3 images
1923. Benz Tropfenwagen GP. The first Silver Arrow image

What does this race car remind you of if not the “Silver Arrow” of Hamilton and Bottas? That’s right: rear engine, even wings and aerodynamic tricks to increase performance proposed more or less a hundred years ago!

Benz-Tropfenwagen-1 A perfect drop of water that was already used in the 1920s to exploit the air for added performance with a sort of rear wing

Benz, on the eve of the merger with Daimler and the consequent birth of Mercedes-Benz, following up on the idea of ​​Edmund Rumpler, makes racing cars, single-seater and two-seater models based on the same principles of aerodynamic purity as the Austrian visionary.

Benz-Tropfenwagen-2 The two-seater sport version of the Benz Tropfenwagen accentuates the search for aerodynamic efficiency through external appendages that also acted as mudguards

The name clearly announces its intent: Tropfenwagen in German means “teardrop vehicle”. In addition, the use of a refined two-litre engine, two overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder – we’re talking about 1923! - low weight and excellent CX made it a technical benchmark for the time. Interesting fact: while no-one bought the Tropfenwagen from Rumpler, these Daimlers were in great demand but were not put into production, resulting in just four single-seater and two-seater sports models being made.

M226201-scaled To speak of similarities, one hundred years later, is a bold statement. One constant is true however: throughout the history of Daimler-Benz, attention to racing has always been present