Posts Tagged ‘Auto Union Type C’

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A parade of Auto Unions through the streets of Zwickau on November 7 1936, Auto Union’s home town to celebrate Bernd Rosemeyer’s 1936 European Championship victory…

The cars were built in the Horch factory located in the town. Bernd Rosemeyer drives the lead car with Hans Stuck, Ernest Von Delius and Rudolf Hasse in the cars behind.

After two years of Mercedes supremacy it was the turn of the mid-engined, 6 litre, 520bhp Type C V16 engined cars. Rosemeyer was the dominant driver winning 3 of the 4 championship rounds- the German, Swiss and Italian GP’s. Rudy Carracciola’s Mercedes W125, powered by a 600bhp 5.6 litre V12 in 1936 took the Monaco race. Rosemeyer also won the Eifelrennen and Coppa Acerbo non-championship events.

Mercedes would be back with a vengeance of course, but for now victory is sweet and to be celebrated…

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Rosemeyer’s German GP win 26 July 1936, Auto Union Type C (Getty)

Credit…

Imagno

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When I first saw this shot I had a chuckle at the Auto Union logo on the ‘brolly, merchandising and brand placement goes back so far, there is nothing new under the sun?!…

And then I wondered which car and where of course, and as is so often the case with the Getty Archive there are no useful details. It makes the detective work a challenge, there are obviously not a lot of hints in this shot!

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But I think it may be Bernd Rosemeyer’s victorious 1936 ADAC Eifelrennen winning Type C, 3 litre V16 engined car. The number fits, the photo was taken by a German agency and the exhaust pattern, two into one ‘drainpipe’ seems to fit with the limited number of shots I can see of Bernd that day. But all correspondence will of course be entered into.

Rosemeyer won the 13 June event from teammate Hans Stuck, the two 6 litre V16’s ahead of Antonio Brivio’s Alfa Romeo 12C 4.1 litre V12. Checkout the Kolumbus.com website, my favourite for this period, and their detailed race report, just scroll down to the race;

http://www.kolumbus.fi/leif.snellman/gp363.htm

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Rosemeyer, AU Type C, 1936 Eifelrennen (ullstein)

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Credits…

Ullstein Bild

Tailpiece…

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The 1937 Avus-Rennen is one of ‘those races meetings’ I suspect most of us would have rather liked to attend, these photos are of Hermann Lang’s Mercedes W25 during testing the week before on 22 May 1937…

His car is a 1936 speed record chassis rebuilt with a long wheelbase and the ‘standard’ 5.7 litre straight-8 fitted to the W125 GP cars that season.

The ‘final’ race of the meeting was the fastest race ever until the Monza 500 in 1958, Rosemeyer’s Auto Union fastest practice lap, 176.7mph and the fastest race lap, in two of the heats 171.74mph by Rosemeyer and Lang!

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Hermann Lang testing his Mercedes W25 modified 1936 speed record car the week before the 1937 race (ullstein bild)

The Germans didn’t race at Avus during 1936, they were rebuilding Berlins fastest circuit in the world into something even quicker with the addition of the ‘Nordschleife’ and massive ‘wall of death’ banking at 44 degrees. Avus was built in 1921 and used for racing until 1998 when it was absorbed fully into Germany’s road network as autobahn # 115.

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Rosemeyer and friends AU Type C (Max Ehlert)

The 1937 race was a Formula Libre event which 300000-400000 spectators attended, what a spectacle it must have been. Such was the level of national prestige involved the German teams went all out to win building special cars and testing them in three sessions before the meeting itself.

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Rosemeyer on the Avus banking, Auto Union Type C Streamliner, Hasse or von Delius in AU C Type then Seaman W125 (Ullstein Bild)

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AU’s were all Type C V16’s, 2 streamliners (Rosemeyer and Fagioli) and 2 open wheelers (von Delius and Hasse)

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Non German cars also rans! Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Tipo 12C-36 of Nuvolari, Brivio and Farina withdrawn before the race

Because of concerns about tyre life, such was the weight, speed of the cars and tyre technology of the day, the 30 May event was split into 2 heats of 7 laps and a final of 8 laps comprising the first 4 placegetters from each heat.

The heats were won by Rudy Caracciola and Manfred von Brauchitsch in ‘Benz W125 and W25K-DAB(5.6V12) respectively, the final by Hermann Lang’s Mercedes W25K-M125. All these cars were ‘Stromlinien’ (Streamliners), single-seaters with all-enveloping bodywork.

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Caracciola this side in Mercedes W125 and Rosemeyer Auto Union Type C (Ullstein Bild)

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Rosemeyer #31 and von Delius AU Type C’s

Kolumbus.f1 has a well researched, detailed account of this meeting, click here to read it, just scroll down the page, there are a couple of other events before you get to Avus;

http://www.kolumbus.fi/leif.snellman/gp372.htm

During practice for the meeting Lang’s car, with wheel covers fitted was doing 390kmh when trapped air under the car ‘lifted the front wheels from the ground, luckily the driver kept calm and finally managed to bring the wheels back down’…the wheel covers were removed for the race!

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Tyre technician checks out the Continental ‘slick’, big challenge keeping tyres up to these big, heavy, powerful cars. Lang’s car as per text (Ullstein Bild)

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von Delius 6 litre V16 being gently warmed up, what awesome cars

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Hermann Lang’s winning Benz W25K

Down the decades the role of ‘aerodynamic guinea pig’ has not always been conducive to drivers attainment of retirement age, Bernd Rosemeyer’s fatal Auto Union speed record attempt on 28 January 1938 an ‘in period’ case in point…

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Caracciola’s W125 Benz, Avus 1937 (Ullstein Bild)

Checkout this Avus ’37 Footage…

Etcetera…

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Caratch during testing, Northcurve Benz W125 (ullstein bild)

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Fagioli’s AU Streamliner Type C

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Love this shot for the contrast between Langs leading Streamliner W25 ahead o Dick Seaman’s openwheeler W125 ‘normal’ GP car

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Avus, Fagioli Auto Union during practice 27 May 1937 (Imagno)

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von Brauchisch’ big Benz 1936 W25 with 700bhp DAB V12 and Lang 1936 LWB speed record W25 5.7 litre Straight-8 ahead of one of von Delius or Hasse AU Type C open-wheeler 6 litre V16 (Heritage Images)

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Caratch and arch-rival Bernd, Avus ’37 (ullstein bild)

Credits…

All images not attributed by Ullstein Bild, Heinrich Hoffman, Imagno, Max Ehlert, Heritage Images, Kolumbus F1

Tailpiece: Stromlinien on display, place undisclosed 1937, am interested to know if any of you can pick the venue…

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(Heinrich Hoffman)

 

 

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(Sydney Morning Herald)

I wrote a long article about Peter Whitehead’s successful 1938 ‘Australian Tour’ which culminated in his ERA R10B, Bathurst, AGP win on 18 April, here he is enjoying a ‘cleanser’ at the races duration, click here to read it;

https://primotipo.com/2015/04/16/peter-whitehead-in-australia-era-r10b-1938/

This piece is a ‘photographic update’ of the earlier tome. It’s interesting the way photos sometimes ‘pop up’, in this case as a result of someone clearing out a house and finding a cache of photos of a man who was clearly a Whitehead fan ‘in period’.

Most of the shots were posted on an antiquarian website with a blog devoted to identifying unknown objects, via that medium they found the primotipo article above. Go figure the ways of this internet world! The photo’s existence 80 years later is indicative of just how much general press interest there was in Whitehead’s visit with the ‘fastest car to come to Australia’ at the time .

I received the assistance of a ‘panel of expert mates’ to ID the shots, many thanks to racers/fettlers/historians/enthusiasts John Medley, Patrick Ryan and Greg Smith for their ‘smarts’! Mind you there was not a unanimous view on all of the shots, opinions from others welcome.

ERA Australia Shots…

PW either during the 1938 AGP, Bathurst or at Rob Roy, Christmas Hills, Victoria. Whitehead ran with number 1 at both events, won both and set course records. Bathurst expert Medley says its Mount Panorama and Melburnian Rob Roy regular Pat Ryan’s vote is for the Clintons Road, Christmas Hills short ‘climb.

As you will see Whitehead is sans any form of head protection, not even the vestigial ‘cotton bonnet’ of the day; mad given Bathurst’s surface.

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(Sydney Morning Herald)

The next 3 shots are of Whitehead going down the long Conrod Straight ahead of (ID Stephen Dalton) Barney Dentry’s #14 Riley. It would have been pretty wild, flat out in that ERA without helmet atop the gravel surface pinging past the gum-trees close by at around 150mph.

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(Dave Sullivan Album)

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Two shots ago but cropped closer to the cars; Whitehead and Dentry down Conrod (Dave Sullivan Album)

Refuelling R10B with fuel and topping up the radiator at Bathurst. Crew member Kenneth Maxwell at left.

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(Sydney Morning Herald)

UK ERA R10B shots…

Start of the 1937 Donington GP, 2 October 1937 won by Bernd Rosemeyers #5 Auto Union Type C from the #3 von Brauchitsch and #1 Caracciola Mercedes W125’s

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#2 Lang DNF gets the jump at the start in his W125 Benz from #4 MB Seaman DNF, #1 MB Caracciola #5 AU Rosemeyer and #3 von Brauchitsch MB on the outside. The next group comprises the 2 AU’s of Hasse 5th and Muller 4th. #8 are the Mays and #16 Whitehead ERA B Types both DNF (The Autocar)

The next photo is of Peter Whitehead leading Dick Seaman’s famous Delage at Donington during the Junior Car Club 200 Mile race and Andre Cup on 29 August, Seaman won the event in 15S8 Delage from the earl Howe and D Briault/Keith Evans ERA B Types.

The race was contested by a mix of 1500cc Voiturettes and Grand Prix cars; mainly Alfa Tipo B/Monza and Bugatti T51’s.

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(The Autocar)

The Walker/Whitehead ERA leads the Seaman Delage at Donington in 1936, date unknown.

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(The Autocar)

Hector Dobb’s Riley leads the Whitehead/Walker ERA R10B at Brooklands.

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The Walker/Whitehead ERA ahead of a Bugatti, MG K3, MG NE at Brooklands

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Credits…

Thanks again to John Medley, Patrick Ryan and Greg Smith for your period knowledge

Dave Dempsey and antiquers.com, Dave Warner Album on ‘The Nostalgia Form’ via Terry Walker

Tailpiece: ERA ‘Peter Partners’ Walker left, and Whitehead celebrating a race win, by Walker perhaps? at Donington in 1936…

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(The Autocar)