A German smokescreen

Auto-unions have been in the news recently. It was disappointing that the one which we hoped would be raced at the VSCC Donington Meeting did not appear, but Tom Wheatcroft took his 1939 A-U out of his Museum of Historic Racing Cars for it to be photographed on the Melbourne loop of the circuit, with Rosemeyer’s son holding the Trophy with which his famous father was presented after he had won the 1937 Donington GP for Auto Union.

This recalls a true or false story. It has been said that when testing for the 1938 GP season A-U put four dummy exhaust stubs on their new car to make Mercedes-Benz think they were using a last year’s V16 engine, whereas they had anew V12 in the car. Which was swallowed by all the journalists and experts present. But somehow, had Jenks been there, I can hear his saying “Bod, no smoke came from four of those exhaust stubs!”