Posts Tagged ‘Auto Union Type B’

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(Ullstein Bild)

Sculptor Olaf Lemke works with Hans von Stuck on the bust of the pre-War Champion German driver, 1932…

Stuck cut his racing teeth in the hills and was soon scooped up by Mercedes Benz for whom he was a factory driver, but via the introduction of Adolf Hitler became Auto Union’s first star.

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Stuck in the Auto Union Type A, Avus 1934 (Getty)

He did most of the early development work on the AU Type A or P Wagen and won the German, Swiss and Czech Grands Prix in 1934, his best season. Had a European Championship been run that year he would have won it. His star rose and then fell as his capabilities were put into context by Bernd Rosemeyer, a ‘Gold Standard’ of outright pace admittedly.

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Hans Stuck leading the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in 1935, his final GP victory (Getty)

His last championship win was the 1935 Italian Grand Prix, the photos here show his Auto Union Type B 5 litre V16 machine, which triumphed over the Rene Dreyfus/Tazio Nuvolaro Alfa 8C-35 3.8 litre straight-8 and the Paul Pietsch/Bernd Rosemeyer AU B Types.

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Stuck with the Monza crowd in 1935 (Getty)

After Rosemeyer’s death he returned to the Auto Union team from which he had not long before been fired! He raced post-war with little success having obtained Austrian citizenship to do so.

His son, Hans Joachim Stuck became a rather handy racer as well…

Click here for an interesting story on Stuck Senior; http://8w.forix.com/stuck.html

Credits…

Getty Images

Tailpiece: Auto Union ‘Tempo’ V16 Boat…

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(Ullstein Bild)

Always interested in record breaking, Stuck took this craft to a speed of 81 or 82.5kmh on the Scharmuetzelsee in 1937. He set a new under 800Kg record with the craft which was powered by an Auto Union Type B V16 engine. It was built to Audi and Stuck’s order in Klaus Engelbrecht’s boatyard on the River Dahme, Berlin.

Tempo was sunk post-war, having survived the ravages of the conflict. After a bombing raid on 1 March 1943 the car was moved from Berlin to Southern Germany where is was less likely to be hit by allied bombing missions. It was wrecked when a joy-riding occupying forces officer lost control of the craft which sank to the bottom of a Bavarian Lake complete with V16 engine. The skipper survived!

Finito…

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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.

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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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Luigi Fagioli’s Mercedes W25B attacks Bernd Rosemeyer’s Auto Union Type B whilst being pelted by rocks on the course covered with them…

The race was help on 22 September 1935 in the Gipuzkoa, Basque region of Northern Spain, Mercedes finished first to third; Caracciola from Fagioli and von Brauchitsch. All drove the 4.3 litre straight-8 engined car. Rosemeyer was 5th in the V16 5.6 litre mid-engined Auto Union.

Caracciola won the European Championship that year with 3 wins of 5 Championship rounds, his other triumphs at Spa and Bremgarten, Switzerland.

Credit…

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