1938 was a heady time for Grand Prix motor racing. The nationalistic German government had spent huge sums of money on the development of the famous 'Silver Arrows'; powerful monoposto racers from Mercedes Benz and Auto Union. Although political tensions were increasing between Germany and what would become the Allied nations, the Germans knew talent when they saw it, thus the hiring of Richard Seaman, the rising star of British motorsport. Seaman was brought on board to pilot one of Mercedes' W154 Grand Prix cars; a 450-plus horsepower supercharged twelve cylinder, 5 speed equipped beast that replaced the all-conquering W125, the recent victim of a rules change.
Seaman was effectively a bench player for Mercedes, as many Grand Prix's were limited to a maximum of three cars entered per team, and Mercedes' roster of drivers was full. For the 1938 German Grand Prix however, the maximum was raised to four cars, and Seaman was given his big chance. His teammates were real luminaries of the period; Rudolph Carracciola, Hermann Lang, and Manfred von Brauchitsch.
After sixteen laps of intense racing, von Brauchitsch was leading, and entered the pits to refuel. There was an error in the process, and pressurized fuel erupted from the rear of his W154, immediately igniting the car and the surrounding area. Pandemonium ensued in the pits, and the team finally extinguished the massive fire, but not before Seaman, who had pitted behind his teammate, reacted to the danger and escaped back onto the track, taking over first position.
Von Brauchitsch gallantly climbed back into his foam-covered Mercedes and re-entered the race, only to retire on the next lap when he ran off the track. The way to victory for Seaman was clear, and he became the first British driver to win a major Grand Prix in fifteen years.
Our lovely pewter sculpture depicts Seaman in the '38 race, manhandling his W154 around a turn, smoke and debris billowing out behind the wheels. The level of detail is very nice, with the grille, engine louvres, and racing numerals etched deeply into the metal. Seaman is pulled to one side of the cockpit by G-forces, and he turns the steering wheel hard to the right as the big Mercedes is flung into a power slide.
The sculpture is quite heavy, and measures 15 inches long, by 7.5 inches wide. This eye-catching piece of metal work will be appropriate for any motorsport enthusiast. Whether gracing a desk top, bookshelf, or accent table, Richard Seaman and his W154 will enhance any decor.