A Czech Merc

Sir

In the summer I visited the National Technical Museum in Prague, Czechoslovakia where one of the cars on display was a 1939 Mercedes-Benz W163 Grand Prix car.

An elderly man in overalls, who appeared to be in some official capacity in the museum, said that it had last raced in Tripoli in 1939. However as this race was for 1 1/2-litre cars I think it unlikely. He lifted the bonnet and there was a V12 engine and two superchargers under it. He also said that the driver's seat was original, and it certainly looked as though this was the case. He said that the car had spent many years in Stettin in Poland, and had also spent one year in England. The condition of it was somewhat tatty, the paintwork was flaking and was a yellowish colour, suggesting that it was silver many years ago. There were many dents in the bodywork but it appeared to be complete. The tyre sizes were 700 x 19 rear and 5.50 x 19 front. It had pride of place in the museum being in the centre of the main floor.

Would you have any information on this car and know if it has been to England, and if so how has it come to be in a Czech museum? The museum itself is situated in Kosteini Street which is to the rear of the Expo 58 restaurant, (a well known landmark in Prague) and is well worth a visit as there are not only cars but aeroplanes, motor cycles, bicycles, models, cameras and many such like things.

Like one of your letter writers in the September issue I saw Fangio win the 1956 Grand Prix and Ascari win in 1952 in the days when one could enter the paddock and see the cars in detail as another of your readers mentions, but as you say on page 997, some of us live largely in the past.

Although not a bike fanatic it was nice to see Chain Chatter return to MOTOR SPORT after so many years. When I was introduced to it over forty years ago I was told that it was the best magazine. It still is.

GH Bell,

Emsworth, Hants.