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Color Inspirations: grey and silver for the Arrows of speed and style

Never, as in the case of grey, have the palette of style and the annals of racing been so closely in agreement about the personality of a colour: in this case, eclectic and unpredictable. Elegance and precision, tradition and futurism, reflected in surfaces and depth of tone are the elements of fascination of a passe-partout colour for every formal occasion, but also the emblem of technological innovation and sporting passion.

A colour which we at The Outlierman have chosen, not purely at random, to enhance many of our creations: from the limited edition for the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance® to the patterns of the collection The Icon, right down to the black&grey inflections of The World Beater.

The third most popular choice of bodywork color for newly purchased cars (2017 data) also says a great deal about its owner: more meditative and discreet those who opt for matt and dusty shades; innovative, practical and sophisticated those who favour the more metallic and radiant varieties such as silver.

And linked specifically with silver, there is all the tradition of grey as the colour of historic German racing, a convention which dates back to the 3rd of June 1934 on the mythical Nurburgring circuit. The story goes that the Mercedes team leader, Alfred Neubauer, ordered the mechanics to scrape off the white paint of the Mercedes-Benz W25 entered in the race, so that it could reduce its weight to the 750 kg required by the race rules. The W25 was allowed to enter the race and won it, becoming the first official German Silver Arrow.

The white, which the FIA had attributed to Germany up until that time, was rapidly forgotten, overtaken by the speed and deadliness on the track by the legendary Silver Arrows - in particular branded Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union - that dominated the European Motoring Championships between 1934 and 1939.

Over the following decades, the epithet was adopted to indicate the Mercedes-Benz Formula One cars and, in more recent times, for the F1 McLarens driven by a Mercedes engine, the GP Mercedes, the Audi Le Mans Prototype and Porsches.

Moreover, the Ferrari Testarossa Spider designed exclusively for Gianni Agnelli must be mentioned. A one of a kind model, that was specifically requested in Argento Grey by The Lawyer himself, also as an homage to the family name - "Ag" from the Agnelli's name is indeed the reference for this metal on the periodic table.

Among the renowned feats associated with grey, all racing fanatics remember the 24 Hours of Le Mans of 1999, when an amazing seven "Silver Arrows" earned their entry to the Le Mans Prototype. Among the drivers who have contributed to the prestige of the Silver Arrows, certain illustrious names stand out: Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Tazio Nuvolari and Karl Kling for the great glories, but also Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in more recent times.

Eloquent, elegant, rich in history and drenched in victory: call it Silver Arrow Grey, Silberpfeil-Grau (in German) or simply, grey. It will always know how to evoke the charisma and style of champions.

Are you curious to find out the meaning and the stories associated with all the iconic colours of motoring? You can find them in our articles on British Racing Green, Racing Red, Light Blue, YellowBlue, Black/Red.

Photo credits: Federico Bajetti per The Outlierman © 2017

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