The last Silver Arrows driver, Paul Pietsch, has died at the age of 100. Recruited by Auto Union in 1935 after promising drives in his own Bugatti and Alfa Romeo, Pietsch became team-mate to the legendary Bernd Rosemeyer, but perhaps his greatest moment came in 1939 when in a Maserati 8CTF he briely led the German Grand Prix.
He eventually finished third behind Caracciola’s Mercedes and Müller’s Auto Union, but it was a momentary satisfaction to head the Auto Union team that he famously left after his wife had an affair with team-mate Achille Varzi.
That split damaged what might have been a fine career; without a drive for 1936, he returned in private Maseratis for 1937 and ’38 (6CM, above) before joining the works squad the following year. Although the troublesome 8CTF brought him little glory, he was to have joined Mercedes for 1940 if not for the war.
Although he made three GP starts after 1950, his larger legacy is the major motoring publishing house he founded in 1946, which produces the respected Auto Motor und Sport magazine, among many titles.