It was a momentous decision. The Team Sauber Mercedes entries in the 1989 World Sports Car Championship would run as Silver Arrows, just like the W125 grand prix cars before World War II and the W196 Formula 1 racers afterwards. The ‘new’ livery for the Sauber-Mercedes C9 Group C design tipped its hat to the glorious past of a manufacturer returning to motor sport after a long hiatus. And it also paved the way for an equally bright future that comes right up to the present day with the line of championship-winning F1 hybrids.
Yet the call to adopt the famous livery of the marque wasn’t made as the result of intense boardroom debate, extensive market research and never-ending focus groups. Rather it was the personal diktat of one of the highest authorities within Mercedes at the time – unsurprisingly after he’d had a few drinks inside him.