Research reveals interesting facts from the past. For instance, I have been wondering whether that great pre-war German racing driver, Rudi Caracciola, truly disliked aeroplanes and if so, why? When the Mercedes-Benz and Auto-Union teams came to England for that memorable 1937 Donington GP, all the Mercedes drivers flew into Croydon in a tri-motor Lufthansa Junkers — except Caracciola. He and Frau Caracciola arrived the next day, travelling by the boat-train, met at Victoria station by Mercedes-Benz representatives and Alan Hess for the BRDC.
But eight years earlier, when this famous driver came to Ireland and after a fabulous drive won the 1929 TT in a 38/250hp Mercedes-Benz, it was reported that, in the midst of a busy racing season, he had flown there immediately after competing in the Alpine Trial, accompanied by his wife and Madame Junek, herself a well-known racing driver, who wanted to see the race. And that being due to race at St Moritz, Caracciola and his party left Liverpool by train after the TT celebrations, and were met at Euston Station by Mr E C Kellaway of British Mercedes-Benz and Mr C R Chamberlaine of Gordon Watney Ltd, Mercedes-Benz agents They were presumably then driven to Croydon, as Caracciola flew back for this next engagement, where Rosenberger won and he was second, another Mercedes victory.
So what made Caracciola dislike flying in later days? If he did. Or was it that with this ever-increasing fame Daimler-Benz disliked him taking unnecessary risks, or perhaps: was that air-travel increased the insurance premiums? W B