MERCEDES-BENZ versus AUTO-UNION. SOME OF THE GREATEST RACING EVER, AS A PRELUDE TO WAR

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MERCEDES-BENZ versus AUTO-UNION. SOME OF THE GREATEST RACING EVER, AS A PRELUDE TO WAR

The year 1934 saw the introduction of the new International Formula, which stipulated a maximum weight limit of 750 kg. for G.P. cars, with their wheels in ph.ce, but without tyres, fu l, oil or water, and imposed minimum body dimensions of 850 x250 mm, at the seat. The A.I.A.C.R. thus hoped that engiae sizc would be restricted to something around V-litres, and dangerous maxima of l50 m.p.h., then being reached by leading G.P. cars, materially reduced. It is now history that the science of metallurgy and the etilry into racing of German as we ll Italian State-aided teams had just the reverse effect to that intended. but the formula nev…rtheless 17c-untitled in for.‘e until 1987. When it became known that Germany would have cars in the field, rumour ran riot. Herr Hitler was said to have decreed that only German drivers could handle the new cars, but others reported Nuyolari to have visited Stuttgart. Auto-Union were rumoured to have built 3.2-litre rear-engined ears designed by Dr. Porsche, referred to either as Porschwagon or P-wagens, and, they said, Stuck, I,einingen, Momberger and Sebastian had been urgently called to Nurburg for tests without even being aware that the cars existed. By January it was known that M.ereedes-Benz would race ight 2.9-litre cars, and had picked Fagif di, von Brattehitseh, Heinle and Bernet as drivers, and that the AutoUnion V.:aim would be Stuck, Sebastian, and Prince Lein iitg There was much comment on Luigi Pagioli’s inclusion in the Mercedes team, in view of the intense wave of nationalism that was sweeping Germany. We did not then realise what a specialised job driving these ears was. The Auto-Unions were tested over the Milan-Varese autostrada, being reported to reach at least 155 m.p.h., at Avus and at Monza. On March 6th, much sensation was stirred up when the first car constructed was taken back to Avus, and, driven by Stuck, set up a new World’s Hour Record, watched by ex-Crown Prince Willie. The car had to be heavily braked to negotiate the turns at the end of the straights, but reaching about 165 m.p.h. on these straights, the Anto-tnion averaged 134,608 m.p.h. This lieat Eyston’s record set up at Nlontlheqy with the Panhard by .90 m.p.h. and the World’s 100 miii. s and 200 kilos reconls, also held 1 1vston, were broken, tile former at 131..46 m.p.h. In the April issue, MOTOR SPORT was able to give a description of the INIcree’…des-Benz cars, and announce the dtivers as Fagioli, Caracciola, Brauchitsch, Henne, Brosehek kind Bernet. Pagioli was only expected to deputise for ” Caratsch ” until he was fully recovered from a recent accident. Heinle held the World’s Motor-cycle Speed Record for BM W., BrOSChek Won a class race in 1928 with a Horch at Nurburg, and r ci in:d long-distance trials succ(ss(s Wi Vanderer. Mercedes had carried out tests on the MilanVarese road as Avus was ice-bound, and Alfred Neubauer was said to be quite satisfied. At the Berlin Motor Show, at the celebration of the Gottlieb Daimler

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