Motorsport hospitality since 1926

The first part of the actual building originates from 1924, 2 years before the Nurburgring was finished. Right at the very beginning of racing at the Ring, the racing department of Mercedes Benz recognised that this house had everything they needed: Very close to the track, infrastructure to prepare cars, and space for the team members. Racing hospitality was born! Nothing has changed since, only the interior became more modern.

At the opening of the new racetrack, the Mercedes SSK, known as the 'White Elephant', was prepared for the first ever race on the Nurburgring.

Like now, the budget was the biggest issue in racing in 1930 - and this budget vanished at Mercedes Benz after the 1931 season. Rudolf Carraciola changed from Mercedes to Alfa Romeo with their racing team, called 'Scuderia Ferrari'. He took his new teammates to the place he knew ... the Forresters' house.

 

During the next season, Mercedes came back to test their brand-new W25 race car. As seen on the left photo, the local kids were very cheeky and keen to catch some of the racing atmosphere. Consequently an accident occured, injuring one the children from Nurburg village. After this, the Mercedes plant hired a kindergarten teacher and paid for sweets and toys, to hide away all children during their test days.

In 1934 they once again located their headquarters at "Forsthaus St. Hubertus". This was two years before the international motorsport authority AIACR decided to introduce the "750kg Formula". The main rule was that cars were not allowed to be heavier than 750kg without fuel, oil, fluids, and tyres.

 

From our modern perspective this is quite interesting because nowadays, minimum weight is required rather than maximum. AIAC's intention was to make the cars lighter and less powerful because the cars with huge engines and superchargers were nearly undriveable and a serious safety issue.

In 1934 the new weight limit was introduced and Daimler-Benz brought their new W25 racer to the Eifel woods. The straight-eight cylinder engine with a 4-valve cylinder head and supercharger produced an amazing 314hp from 3,360ccm and was well ahead of its time. The car was already equipped with independent suspension and hydraulic brakes. This first race entry of the W25 was the beginning of the 'Silver Arrow' myth, but why? Even the most advanced light weight engineering could not prevent the cars being slightly too heavy and over the limit of 750kg.

Alfred Neubauer's team had only one night after the training to reduce the weight of the cars - a seemingly impossible task. Engineering changes were impossible to carry out until the scrutineering next morning on the 3rd of June 1934, and so Manfred von Brauchitsch said the legendary sentence to team patron Neubauer:

This early W25 driven out from the Forsthaus yard still looked white with thick layers of paint on the aluminium body. Hans Geier was driving it to the track, see also the article on Hans Geier of Guilherme Ribeiro (GMiranda – Motorsport History)

"Now it is time for one of your famous tricks, or we are the 'lacquered' tomorrow" (German slang).

That was the keyword. Neubauer told the mechanics to scratch off the white paint from the aluminium bodies over night. With this action the cars were under 750kg and simultaneous it was the birth of the 'Silver Arrow' legend.

 

Manfred von Brauchitsch won the Eifelrace well ahead of Hans Stuck on Autounion.

 

After WW2, the Silver Arrow heritage continued at the Forresters' house. The #24 SL gullwing became a chop-top Spyder at the Forsthaus garage to improve visibility for driver Karl Kling.

Here is the Mercedes 300 SL Spyder with no. 24 and numberplate 'W 59-4029'. The Eifelrace in 1952 ended with a quadruple victory sweep by Mercedes. Hermann Lang won, Karl Kling became second, Fritz Rieß third, and Theo Helfrich fourth.

The ancient circles closed between 2007 and 2009 when the actual F1 pilot of Scuderia Ferrari stayed here as young junior driver with teammate Mikhail Aleshin and Team Carlin for the Renault World Series.

 

Daimler-Benz Classic also brought two of the original W25's with world champion Lewis Hamilton back to their birthplace to film for a promo video.