Re-reading the late George Monkhouse’s book Motor Racing with Mercedes Benz, which I regard as one of the best about this very evocative period of GP racing, I am again impressed by the journeys in his open vintage 4 1/2-litre Bentley of this great author and expert photographer.
Monkhouse, who had a top position at Kodak, persuaded the company to let him spend the latter part of 1937 with the German GP team, recording their racing and preparation. For those keen on photographic history, he took with him a Speed Graphic, Graflex, a Cine-Kodak, and Type II Retina equipment made within the sound of M-B’s racing engine test house in Stuttgart.
As for the Bentley, Monkhouse, who was helped in getting such a great record of the 1937 season of GP racing by his friend Dick Seaman, left England in July for the Niirburgring, meeting Seaman at Cologne, after which they covered the 50 miles to Adenau together. Incidentally, before the previous Eifelrennen GP Dick got up at Sam and after a few test laps in a new car brought from Stuttgart on a supercharged Mercedes service truck, which was followed by another lorry in case it broke down, he drove the W125 back to Adenau for breakfast, using a special police pass, against the oncoming traffic.
After a week with Seaman, Monkhouse drove to Stuttgart to see the M-B factory and receive his track passes from Neubauer’s assistant Wychodil, the Team Chief having already gone to Freiburg for the hill climb. Monkhouse drove the Bentley to Freiberg on the day before the event (which was attended by 100,000 spectators) via the Black Forest. After which he returned to Adenau where Seaman was recovering from his German GP accident, and they motored to the Nurburgring to lunch beneath the grandstand. Monkhouse then did the 500 miles to Lyons, but in a borrowed Mercedes saloon.
I suspect that the rest of his pilgrimage was done in the Mercedes but the BDC should be pleased that a Bentley had been used for part of the time. Does anyone know for how much of it?