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Achille Varzi’s Auto Union Type B pitstop during the 26 May Avus-Rennen, Berlin, 1935…

Note the onboard air-jacks, pretty schmick for 1935, I didn’t realise the technology went back that far, I wonder when they were first used in racing? It’s a nice shot also of the swing axle rear suspension, sprung by torsion bars in 1935 rather than the transverse leaf spring of the 1934 Type A.

Varzi was 3rd in his 4.9 litre V16 beastie, the race won by Luigi Fagioli’s Mercedes Benz W25. The race was a Formula Libre event so the German teams turned up with some streamliners including a Mercedes W25 for Hanns Geier, the cockpit cover of which could only be opened from the outside. No doubt Alfred Neubauer was happy to oblige at each pitstop.

rose race

Avus 1935 heat 1 start; #1 Stuck AU Type B 1st from #4 Rosemeyer AU Type A Streamliner DNF, the Mercedes is Fagioli’s W25 2nd, #9 is Nuvolari’s Alfa Bimotore 6th, #20 Farina’s Maserati 4C 5th, #16 Siena’s Maserati 8C DNF (unattributed)

Continuing the themes of commonsense and bravery!, the meeting was also notable for the first ever car race of German ‘bike ace Bernd Rosemeyer. He ‘blagged his way’ into the Auto Union team for whom he raced from then until his untimely death in early 1938 during a brave land speed record Auto Union run. Read anything about this fella and the word brave will be peppered throughout the article.

The car racer novice plonked the notoriously twitchy 375bhp mid-engined Type B on the front row for his heat on the fastest circuit in the world, the AU’s were seeing 326kmh along Avus’ long straights. He punctured a tyre during his 7 lap heat so didn’t make the final which comprised the first 4 placegetters in each of the heats, but he had well and truly ‘arrived’…

Check out Kolumbus F1’s ’35 Avus race report, this being my favourite Pre-War race results site, have a good poke around if you haven’t visited it before;

http://www.kolumbus.fi/leif.snellman/gp3503.htm#9

Credits…

Kolumbus F1, Ullstein Bild, Zoltan Glass

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Auto Union Type A engine and rear suspension (Zoltan Glass)

Tailpiece: Varzi’s Auto Union Type B 4.9 V16 and Rosemeyer’s AU Type A 4.3 V16 in the 1935 Avus paddock…

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(unattributed)

 

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