ANUMBER of books have been published lately in England dealing with races, racing drivers and their .careers. ” Das Autobuch ” is a review of motor sport M Germany, and covers in addition to racing such matters as reliability trials and what is termed ” Kraftfahrgelandesport,” which may be rendered as ” cross-country racing.” As the foreword points out, it is produced at a time wuen Herr Hitler and his government have given important encouragement to the motoring industry. Apart from that, however, motor racing has a tremendous following in Germany at the present time, and last year there were 200,000 spectators at the Avus 1. rack, 100,000 at the Nurburg Ring and 50,000 at the Freiburg Hillclimb.
The reading matter in” Das Autobuch is set out in a series of articles in two or three pages, an arrangement which makes it easy to find the subject in which one is interested. No Englisii version is at present avadable.
Sir Malcolm Campbell, as the fastest motor-driver in the world, has the place of honour at the beginning of the book with a picture of the ” Blue Bird ” in course of construction and some details of her performance. Ernst Henne, the motor-cycle World’s Record holder, tells how he came to record-breaking, and it is interesting to know that he is now a member of the ANtercedes Team.
Dr. Porsche, the . designer of the new Auto Union racing car traces the stages of racing car development from the days of the maximtun weight limit to those Of the limited cylinder capacity. There was a free formula after the War, and tyre limitations kept down the speeds, but these are now unproved to such an extent that a maximum weight limit of 750 kg. is once more in force. Fortunately the tyres have not been included in the weight limit, Dr. Porsche continues, but even so the present day racing car is so fast that only picked drivers can handle them.
own suggestion is for a race in which the cheapest and fastest method of carrying a given weight from A to B wins. The ” F” wagen costing sonic £7,000 is rather far removed from this ideal.
Unfortunately the book was published before any details of the ” ” Wagen could be released, but there is a photograph of the Benz ” Dropcar,” a streamlined rear-engined car which was the forerunner of the present design. Dr. Porsche prophesies a considerable use of two-stroke engines during the coming year. Burggaller’s principal contribution is an article on racing practise in which the beginner is advised to perfect his driving in reliability trials and so forth, going through the sports car stage until he is fit
A BOOK REVIEW.
2utobuch By HANS STUCK and E. G. BURGALLER.
to take the wheel of a ” Rennwagen.” Every detail, front the differing advantages of road and rail transport for racing mita, to the colour of plug points in an engine running on a weak mixture, are dealt with. This thoroughness is not surprising, for after being demobilised from Richthofen’s famous air-squadron, Burgaller started a motor-driving school in Berlin. He has now been raised to the supreme height of an expert witness, as he remarks dryly, but he is too modest to discuss his racing successes. As the winner of the European Hill Climb Championship in 1930, Hans Stuck is well qualified to write on ” CornerTechnique.” The successful driver, he says, must have a good eye, good training and needs plenty of practise. Every driver must develop his own style, as Stuck found after a series of spills when trying to emulate Masetti and Heuffer. ” Snaky bends,” may be often taken flatOut, ” but not the first time,” while sharp corners may be taken correctly either in a gradual sweep, or with an abrupt swing over of the wheel. These evolutions are illustrated with diagrams, and there are also some hints to spectators as where not
to stand at a corner, remarks which speak of :practical experience. His most thrilling drive, it appears, was not during the course of a race, but a raid
over the St. Bernard Pass to Turin to fetch some serum for a dying child. Caraeciola remembers with some emotion averaging 55 m.p.h. over the mountain roads between Stuttgart and Munich to deliver a Mercedes to Herr Hitler.
Biographies of the leading German drivers form an interesting feature. Caracciola„ who in spite of his Italian surname was born in Germany, began his racing career on a Fafnir, but from 1923 has been employed by the Mercedes Company and a consistent winner on their cars. Leiningen, who belonged to a younger branch of his princely family emigrated to America and worked for a
time at the Chrysler works, then with the money he earned in this way returned to Germany and bought a Bugatti. His successes have gained him a place in the Auto Union team with Stuck and
Sebastian. The latter, it will be remembered, drove the winning Mercedes with Caraceiola in 1931. Women drivers, racing managers, racing signals, the Nurburg Ring, the 2,000 kilometre drive, all these and many other subjects are dealt with individually. Short notes on all the world’s racing drivers, and also ” Our Dead,” a chapter devoted to the many fine sportsmen who have lost their lives when engaged in the pursuit of their sport. Additional point is given to this by a black-edged inset recording the fatal day at Monza last year. In lighter vein are such subjects as the Superstitions of Drivers, in which Earl Howe’s umbrella figures, varied
racing experiences of German drivers, and the character of the ” Meisters ” as showu by their handwriting. The concluding 90 pages of ” Das Autobucla ” is devoted to a list of the principal races and hill-climbs, in many cases accompanied by plans of the circuits. The usual list of World’s Records is given, and finally the racing successes in international events of a number of German drivers. This latter part of the book is the more useful to English readers since it is printed in Latin type instead of the Gothic employed in the
descriptive sections. The illustrations are well-produced and cover racing and. motoring generally in all parts of the world. “Das Autobuch ” is published by Drei MaSken Verlag, A.G., Berlin, N.24,
Friedrichstrasse 129, and costs 4.80 marks (about eight shillings). It is a welcome addition to the motoring sportsman’s bookshelf.