Mercedes-Benz W154 racing car, 1938.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model. This car was driven by British racing driver Richard Seaman (1914-1939) in the 1938 Swis Grand Prix, finishing second. The engine developed 480 brake horse power at 7800 rpm. Mercedes were at the forefront of Grand Prix motor racing in the 1930s, with their cars being known as Silberpfeile (Silver Arrows). Seaman raced for the team from 1937, winning the 1938 German Grand Prix. Tragically he was killed at the 1939 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa when he spun off when leading the race, the car crashing into a tree and catching fire. Although pulled from the wreckage, Seaman had suffered severe burns, and died several hours later from his injuries.