THERE is something very stimulating about a record attack, which represents a carefully-planned achievement undertaken when car and driver are absolutely ready, and free from the ” ifs” and ” buts” of racing. Senile very remarkable records have recently been established, during the German record-week at the Frankfurt Autobahn. Rosemeyer took 5,0008,000 c.c. Class Records for the s.s. mile at 138.674 m.p.h., the flying kilometre at 252.47 m.p.h., and the flying mile at 252.45 m.p.h. He drove a 16-cylinder G.P. Auto-Union with faired nose, coveredin wheels and open cockpit. These speeds
are truly wonderful. Much has been made of 252 m.p.h. on a road. Actually the Autobahn probably provides an ideal surface for any speed attempt and the ” road ” factor only enters on short runs in regard to the twisting sections that have to be negotiated when getting up speed and in the fact that instant disaster would follow any deviation from the straight and narrow path, whereas on a beach there is more safety-area. Albeit, even then cars have run into the sea at these speeds, notably when the late Prank Lockhart was killed, after achieving 200 m.p.h. on 3 litres of Stutz, as detailed in MOTOR SPORT last year. Actually there are about six miles of straight on the Autobahn which is 25 ft. wide and of concrete surface. It is interesting that Auto-Union also went for Class C records (3-5 litres) al though they use bigger engines for racing. In this class Rosemeyer took the s.s. kilometre at 105.51.5 m.p.h., the s.s. mile at 123.966 m.p.h., the flying 5 kilos. at 215.089 m.p.h., the flying 10 kilos at 212.232 m.p.h., and the flying 10 Miles at 211.80 m.p.h. Later he took the flying kilo at 218.83 m.p.h., the mile at 219.51 m.p.h., and raised the other records to the figures quoted above, after doing slightly slower runs on the Monday. On the standing start Class B records the cars were doing over 200 m.p.h. at the end of the timed sections, So that the streamlined Avus Grand Prix car was actually faster than the short-chassis, specially-light AutoUnion. Later it had blower trouble. It does not seem greatly altered from racing form, but undoubtedly has a more highly tuned engine. The s.s. mile at 138.674 m.p.h. stands also as a world’s
record. To gain a conception of this performance imagine passing the stationary Auto-Union at nearly 139 m.p.h. and finding its radiator snout level with pa-mg at the end of a mile ! Mercedes-Benz brought out a 12cylinder three-speed twit-blower car With an almost totally-enclosed cockpit. The wheels are enclosed and the body lower than before.. The driver enters by a special wooden platform that is wheeled nil to the side of the car. At the time of writing, no records have been captured, but Caracciola has tried the
car and registered about 230 m.p.h. It has a new nose and a higher ground-clearance than formerly and appeared light on the steering when at speed. The instrument board contains a maximumrecording rev-counter.
Major A. T. G. Gardner ably upheld British prestige by taking Class G flying kilo at 148.73 m.p.h. and the flying mile at 148.72 m.p.h. in his M.G. Magnette, tuned by Robin Jackson. Later, trying for the magic 150 m.p.h., the supercharger seized, but Major Gardner was able to hold the car and pull up safely.
At the time of writing, Bobby Kohlrausch is preparing to attack Class H records with his Zoller-blown, rollerbearing M.G. Midget which has already done 140 m.p.h. and now has a special B.M.W. independently-sprung eh:ISMS frame.
Then, away at Utah, George Eyston has taken out the Rolls-Royce engined ” Thunderbolt ” and clocked 309 m.p.h. on one run while testing the timing apparatus. On his return run he experienced clutch trouble at about 810 m.p.h, but expects to make his proper attack soon and will probably hold the world’s mile and kilo records by the time these words appear in print—we would hazard a guess at between 320 and 330 m.p.h. Bad weather conditions have, up to now, interfered with Eyston’s attack on the 12-Hour Record with the front-drive ” Speed-of-the-Wind.”