The Villeneuve of the Thirties

by Web Editor on 23rd February 2017

Bernd Rosemeyer, Hall of Fame nominee

Few motor racing battles have such enduring appeal as those between Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union. It was arguably the most courageous chapter in Grand Prix history, and Bernd Rosemeyer became its very essence
By Nigel Roebuck

Thirty years ago I wrote a column for Autosport about Bernd Rosemeyer, long dead before I was born, yet the figure of legend who first captured my imagination, triggering a life-long love affair with motor racing.

Soon afterwards, in the Zandvoort paddock, Murray Walker told me he had enjoyed the piece and had something he wished to give me. He then opened his case and handed me a single sheet of paper. When I took in what it was, I reeled.

At the time of Auto Union's participation in the South African Grand Prix in 1937, a prominent local cartoonist and illustrator named Jock Leyden did a pencil sketch of Rosemeyer, which he had the driver sign and subsequently gave to Graham Walker, Murray's celebrated father. Now, nearly half a century on, it was coming to me, and nothing in my collection of memorabilia stands higher in my affections.

Continue reading 'The Villeneuve of the Thirties' from the June 2013 issue

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