1939/40 Auto Union 1.5 litre
Posted 14 October 2000 - 18:04
THis is presumably the one referred to by Doug Nye. The caption says: " THe de Dionrear suspension of the AWElaid bare, showing the one-piece tubelocated by an A-bracket and wishbones, th latter coupled to longitudinal torsion bars. THe main frame ends in front of the axle assembly and the tapered box-sectioon extensions are merely to carry the bodywork and undertray. note the circular spare wheel mounting.
THe second picture shows the 6 cylinder engine with the camshaft covers removed, showing the gear-driven overhead camshafts,
THe third shows the car with the body panels removed "showing the diminutive size of te chassis, the ducted radiator and the ducted wings over the front wheels.
One car failed to qualify at Monza, the other retired.
On August 5th, the cars appeared again at the nurburgring, in a support race for the German GP. this was definitely a 1.5 litre race. THey entered four cars driven by Barth, Rosenhammer, Thiel and Binner, the same drivers as appeared at monza. Barth in particular went very well, being second in practice,less than a second behind Moss in a work Maserati. He retired after battling with Hans Hermann's Porsche for the lead.
THey raced again at the Avusrennen on 16th September. THe race was won by von Trips in a Porsche, but I don't know how well the AWEs fared. This picture shows two AWEs sandwiching Brabhams Cooper at the South turn THe leading AWE is driven by rosenhammer
[p][Edited by Roger Clark on 10-14-2000]
Posted 14 October 2000 - 18:07
12-cilinder, diam.62mmx55, 1992cub.cm, compression ratio-15.5, valves-2OHC, 4 one-camera vertical carburetors Solex-32, max moment 16,4kgs/m at 4000rpm.
Car dimensions: 632 kg (790kg with water,oil & fuel). Mass distribution - front wheels-46%, rear-54%. Fuel tank-150 Liter. Length - 3800, width - 1500, Height - 1250, gap from the road -125, base -2250, front wheels rat - 1240, rear wheels - 1250, wheels 5,50-17(front), 6,50-17(rear).
Transmission: 2-disk, diameter-85mm, in oil bassin, gearbox- 5-speed with sinchronization on 2-5 speeds, main transmission- hypoid with intermediary number 4,15 or 4,583.
N.B. All this were published in Russian Motorsport magazine "AMS" (AutoMotorSport) , where I have worked at that time, in 1993, Number 4. This edition was monthly magazine published by 'Za Rul'em' publishing (Translated into English as: "At the steering wheel"). The pics of "1952 Moscow Champ. start" was reproduced from the tiny book "Skorost'nije avtomobili
P.S. To compare engines A-U versus Sokol. 2OHC versus 2 heads with 3 'upper' distribution shafts. To compare tramission: A-U main gearbox body was made from silumin vs magnesium alloy.
P.P.S. There is a book of Peter Kirchberg "Grand Prix report Auto-Union 1934-1939". First published in DDR in 1984. There the author declared that Sokol's engine was enlarged Auto-Union Type E engine. So. He was not right!!! The A-U TypeE engine was (as I may say so) 60 degrees, and Sokol's - 65 degrees. Then distances from cil-to cil.: 76 (A-U) vs 84 (Sokol). And et cetera...
On my opinion the Auto-Union desision was better, but when we talk about the Sokol we have to say that this was the car from the same stable (the same breed) but made by less masterful hands (and brains).
And... sorry for cumbersome technical explanations...
Posted 14 October 2000 - 21:05
Auto Union origin
Tony, I discovered this item yesterday as well. Don, if you have the 'Skulduggery' column from the October 1986 'Classic and Sportscar' magazine you will be able to view it as well. Perhaps this is a major clue as to validating if the Wheatcroft car is indeed an Auto Union.
Searching through more back numbers of Classic & Sportscar, I came across two further items on the "Sokol" by Doug Nye.
In the first he refers to "a mission to Germany" by Sir Roy Feddon "as Special Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Aircraft Production." (With a title like that you have to believe his findings!) This had been reported in The Motor dated October 3 1945 and had been passed to Doug Nye by David Burgess-Wise. Sir Roy had "a long talk with Dr. Richard Bruhn, the Auto Union director, who said that they had completed construction of a team of 1 1/2 litre racing cars and claimed that in tests they had given good results.... The cars were stored in a garage in a suburb of Chemnitz.…...up to the middle of June (1945) and could have been taken away by any British representatives who were interested, but the Red army took control of the area only a few days before Sir Roy appeared in Germany, and since then nothing has been heard of the cars….."
Then, it would tie in with the comment on Don's recent posting...
...but I can tell you this, I have met someone who has driven the 1.5-litre Auto Union!
He is Paul Thiel who drove for the EMW works team in the 1950s.
I believe that the key to it being a DAMW design is in the unusual design of the de Dion rear suspension mounting.
This had a centrally mounted 'A' bracket that, in conjunction with the lower torsion bar links, located the de Dion tube both laterally and longitudinally. This was a most unusual design, as it lacked the more conventional method of keeping the wheels parallel - radius arms between each hub back to the chassis. As such it differed totally in comparison to the Auto Union D type layout.
This unusual mounting was similar to that seen on pre war
BMW 328 vehicles, as well as been used on the Veritas racing cars that were built by Ernst Loof post war. this is not unusual as Loof used to work for BMW and the Veritas was based on the BMW.
The link between these lies in the design and fabrication of the DAMW cars, for they relied on a lot of BMW 328 components, just as Loof's Veritas, Axel von Falkenhausen's AFM cars and other German 'Eigenbaus' did.
DAMW's other Formula 2 car, a front engined model, had a de Dion rear suspension layout the same as the Wheatcroft car i.e located by a centrally mounted A link. Given the unusual nature of this design, surely it is too much to be a coincidence?
As an aside this front engined car also had a BMW 328 engine, modified with twin OHC, in place of the original pushrod design. The Wheatcroft car also had twin OHC for each bank of cylinders. This differs from the original Auto Union E type project design of a 3 camshafts, with a single cam operating all of the inlet valves.
Could it be that this practice was also adapted to the RE car, as it was on all other DAMW cars?
We have some pretty conclusive information from Flicker on these cars but is there more to how and where they originated?
[*]With the Russian occupation of Zwickau and surrounding areas we know that several AU staff were detained there,as well as others who were probably happy to stay. It is highly probable that the AU E type project details went with them, perhaps surfacing and being resurected in 1946 by
this 'Autovello' outfit, thus bypassing the DAMW concern.
If this is the case, the car in question can not be a DAMW, but a Solkol.
Perhaps this also ties in with the number of Auto Union racers that have resurfaced from the Eastern block countries over the last decade. This is more than was first thought - perhaps more AU information, both materially as well as on paper, was lost to the Russians than is widely accepted.
[*] Doug Nye comments that the 'reserve' rear engined DAMW car spent some time in Russia, possibly for engine testing and refinement. Could this be the Sokol 650? In other words, was the car already in existence and was it merely pulled to bits, measured and scrutinized by the 'Autovello' concern, before being touted as a true Russian racing car?
If this is so, the Wheatcroft car is a DAMW, and not a Solkol.
Stuffed if I know ;) I was leaning towards the DAMW theory, based on the A frame mounting for the de Dion axle being common on the DAMW cars. But after Dons latest posting .......Interesting is it not?
Kirk[p][Edited by KzKiwi on 10-14-2000]
Posted 14 October 2000 - 22:18
I have read this through a couple of times and am not quite sure where we are. Have we established that the DAMW is the same as the Sokol? Or that the Donington car is the Sokol and not the DAMW? Or have I missed something? I saw that Kirk said there visual differences between the Sokol and the Donington car. Has anyone got any pictures of the DAMW? And/or the Donington car?
Just for completeness, here is what some of the historians said about the DAMW:
David Hodges (A-Z of Formula Racing Cars 1945-1990):
DAMW built another F2 car which derived from the Auto Union E Type planned for the 1.5-litre supercharged F1 due to come into force in 1941. Thus it had a rear-mounted unsupercharged V12 engine of 1995cc (62 x 56mm) fitted in a large-tube ladder frame with trailing arm and torsion bar front suspension, a de Dion rear axle sprung by torsion bars and located by lower wishbones and an A-bracket. The engine seems to have suffered from lubrication problems and, before they could be solved, the project was axed. Exactly how much of the car is pure Auto Union and how much was DAMW is still unknown. At least two were made and one is in the Donington Collection.
Mike Lawrence (Grand Prix Cars 1945-65):
The other D.A.M.W. F2 car is a matter of contention and some will argue it is not a D.A.M.W. at all but an Auto Union. This is a car currently in the Donington Collection which appears to have derived from the Auto Union E-Type, which was planned for the 1.5-litre super-charged Fl due to come into force in 1941. This advanced design has a rear-mounted unsupercharged V-12 engine of 1995cc (62 x 56 mm), which suggests both an Auto Union base to the design and also Formula 2. In other words, a post-war adaptation of a pre-war design.
The chassis follows Eberan von Eberhorst’s thinking with the Auto Union D-Type, i.e. a ladder-frame, trailing arm and torsion bar front suspension, a de Dion rear axle sprung by torsion bars and located by lower wishbones and a A-bracket, and near 50/50 weight distribution.
The engine appears to have suffered from lubrication problems and, before they could be solved, the rug was pulled out from beneath it. Exactly how much of this car is pure Auto Union and how much was D.A.M.W. (post-war but probably with ex-Auto Union engineers involved) is still a mystery, but two, at least, were made and they remain an intriguing ‘What if’.
Doug Nye (History of the Grand Prix Car 1945-65):
Meanwhile, even before the first front-engined F2 DAMW had emerged, the Eisenach plant’s enthusiastic engineers had been responsible for a mysterious but intriguing pair of cars which undoubtedly used pre-war Auto Union practice — and numerous surviving components — in their chassis design, working with the knowledge of the DAMW’s bureaucracy. These rear-engined cars followed the general design concept of the 1938-39 3-litre D-Type Auto Union but the engine employed was instead an unsupercharged V12 of 1995 cc, 62 mm x 56 mm.
Had the Second World War not intruded, Grand Prix racing would have been run to a new 1.5-litre maximum capacity supercharged Formula from 1941-43, and Auto Union’s design team at Chemnitz, not far from Eisenach, had been working on a 1500 cc V12 to suit. This post-war DAMW power unit was a different animal, following a broadly similar concept, but while one car was completed and tested it seems to have been damaged in an accident whereupon the project was shelved. A second chassis was virtually completed and it was left in storage for many years, before eventually entering the Donington Collection in England, for whom it was restored as a runner by Hall & Fowler of Folkingham, England, the author having driven it since.
I don't know who is borrowing from whom here, mind you!
BTW, Nye's book says that he is the Historical Consultant to the Donington Collection.
Posted 15 October 2000 - 05:02
And, does anyone (Don for an RVM perhaps?) have the time to assemble all of this evidence into some semblance of order.
Sorry Don, I just remembered all the other projects you have going.
But it does need to be put into some order. Reading through this thread over and over, trying to remember various bits of evidence, could scramble the brain.
Posted 15 October 2000 - 07:00
Extracts from Peter Kirchberg’s book Grand Prix Report AUTO UNION 1934-1939 published 1982 (in German).
In a notice regarding the 1941 racing car, Robert Eberan wrote on 9 September 1939 that after thorough discussions about front and rear engine layout, Director Werner decided on a car with rear engine – as before; but now 12 cylinders at 125 cc with 53 mm bore and 56 mm stroke, target 260 hp.
In a development progress report about the 1.5-liter racing engine, Robert Eberan wrote on 30 December 1940 that models for the crankcase and cylinder heads were in progress. Drawings for crankshaft, camshaft and compressor were still missing.
The 2-valve 125cc, 1-cylinder-research-engine had already completed many endurance tests and had progressed to 7000 rpm with a peak power of 200 hp/liter by December 1940. The 4-valve, 1-cylinder-research-engine, in comparison, was still under construction. The crankcase and rods were 75% completed, the crankshaft was at the Hirth Co. for toothing, whereas cylinder head, block and piston assembly were in house. The Solex carburetor was not yet ready.
Development of the fuel injection pump was completed. Engine tests were carried out on a 3-liter engine as study for the 1.5-liter engine, although development for the 3-liter type car itself had ceased. The performance of the 3-liter engine with injection system was already the same this early on as with carburetor, while development was under way for an improved acceleration pump. The injection engine promised to become a serious competitor to the carburetor type.
Peter Kirchberg: "In the post war years, in Chemnitz, by order and with help of the Soviet Occupation Forces, sprung up a 2-liter engine, which was designed to a large extent by using the existing 1,5-l-drawings; obviously a 2-liter-racing engine for the upcoming Formula 2. Of course, it had to be laid out as a suction engine, which resulted in very problematic inlet passages and cross sections. No details are known about the performance. The project was not pursued any further."[p][Edited by Hans Etzrodt on 10-15-2000]
Posted 15 October 2000 - 10:28
A Government department, DAMW, was established to co-ordinate production of all the items they (the DDR) could no longer get from the West, and to take control of several racing projects, which it based in Eisenach.
Among these were the SAG Intertypes and the Auto Union E type, a 1.5 litre V12 supercharged car intended for Grand Prix racing in 1941. An attempt was made to convert the engine to a naturally aspirated 2 litre unit for Formula Two, but lubrication problems got in the way. Later, a chassis was fitted with a tuned BMW 328 engine and tested by Thiel who told us that the cockpit was too small and the tail was prone to chase the front end. Theil recalls that there were several such cars. Donnington museum has one of them, while the others were scrapped.
This of course backs up what Don has already confirmed, probably from a different article hence the different wording. The comment about the oversteering characteristics made me stop and think about the location of the de Dion tube by a centrally positioned A bracket.
With regards to the comment about converting the engine to a naturally aspirated 2 litre unit, consider this extract from the previously mentioned Nye article from 'Classic and Sportscar' magazine.
from Rob Hall, one of the mechanics that assisted in the restoration of the Wheatcroft car
But the inlet manifolds are strange. You've got the four solexes down the vee, and each one stands off centre on a manifold feeding three cylinders, each carburettor and manifold in line alternating one to the right bank, one to the left. And because the carburettor choke is right above the feed to one cylinder the other two can't be fed as efficiently. It's as if the manifolds were designed originally for a supercharged engine....where the boost pressure would equalise it all.
And now, a quick note about the quality of workmanship on East German cars. A cutting that was attached to the EMW article I mentioned contained information on the Eisenacher oldtimer museum (aka Wartburg museum). This goes on to say the following
Star of the collection, though, has to be the EMW 1.5 litre sports racer. Dating from the early 50's, it's as clean and beautiful a racer as you'll find anywhere...Even more astonishing is what is apparent under the skin from a separate chassis on display: there's a sraight six twin cam engine... a large diameter, twin tube chassis...and a de Dion rear end. The workmanship is frankly crude, but you can see that the ideas were there, even if the execution left something to be desired.
To throw a 'curve ball' in here, Nye comments on the cars quality workmanship, even mentioning the "..beautifully machined A bracket." Could it be that there is more 'Auto Union' to this car than was first thought by the masses?
And where does this leave the Sovol? Maybe 'Autovello' got hold of one of the discarded DAMWs? Maybe the Soviets were given a chassis or two as payment (or part off) for their assistance with the two litre engine devlopments (if I interpret this portion correctly)?
So, are we any closer to unravelling the mystery yet. I think we are. For the time being though I am going back to bed!
Kirk[p][Edited by KzKiwi on 10-15-2000]
Posted 15 October 2000 - 13:24
I would suggest that anything constructed after 1945 can hardly be defined as an Auto-Union even if using parts and original design drawings. At best it can only be defined as a replica.
This does not in any way detract from the interesting topics in this thread but as far as I am concerned if an E-type Auto-Union did not physically exist in 1941 then the vehicle displayed is not what it is claimed to be.
Going back to a previous posting cocerning historic aircraft - collectors have had to be very careful about what comes out of the Eastern bloc as it is too easy to be taken for a ride
Awaiting further developments with anticipation..
Posted 16 October 2000 - 22:26
"...Not to far away was an Auto Union built in 1940 to race in a 1.5 litre supercharged form. The Second World War put paid to its chances and it never ran. Later, DAMW, the old BMW racing department at Eisenach rebuilt the car to run as a 2.litre V12."
(exacts from http://www.retroraci...uk/museum2.htm)
[p][Edited by Flicker on 10-24-2000]
Posted 17 October 2000 - 06:32
And not forgetting the Nuvolari, Rosemeyer and Seaman memorials either
i wonder what they would have made of this?
Posted 17 October 2000 - 18:26
from "Autos of Russia & USSR". Vol 1, by Lev M. Shugurov, Moscow, ILBI, 1993, ISBN 5874830049.
It's interesting to know, when... for the first time appeared so-called DAMW car... Who and where discover it?
It my humble opinion the DAMW & Sokol are the same car (cars). About visual differences between the Donington car and pics of "Sokol" I think that this happened after restoration efforts by Hall & Fowler of Folkingham.
Posted 17 October 2000 - 20:19
That aside, this is all crying out for some someone to organize it and place into a context...
Posted 18 October 2000 - 01:25
Damn right, I am!
Actually, I am leaving in the Summer of 2003 regardless of whether or not I get promoted, get selected to stay on (very likely since folks with my background are thin on the ground and it will be 2005 before we can actually 'grow' my replacement) or whatever. I am now over 30 years in the military and staying on simply because of my command and because I made the commitment to see some programs through. I am seriously looking forward to doing more of this and have an actual 'day job' as a Beltway Bandit and getting to be called 'Mister' instead of 'Colonel'....
Posted 18 October 2000 - 03:19
...Can't find it in my dictionary of clichés.
Posted 18 October 2000 - 04:55
As I approach retirement, these fine men & women are no longer blood-sucking, money-grabbing crooks, but members of a fine & noble profession....
Posted 21 October 2000 - 20:50
Originally posted by rainern (from 'The Arrows/Shadow relationship' thread.
The design was deemed to belong to Shadow and the court judged Arrows to have used drawings of Shadow copyright to produce the FA1.
Rainer / 8W
Funnily enough, I had been thinking about this situation recently and how it compares to the Auto Union E type VS DAMW/ Sokol 650 saga on the '1939 /40 Auto Union 1.5 litre' thread. Just goes to show that things were a lot different then. Did they have copyright laws 60 years ago?
Posted 22 October 2000 - 10:19
Posted 23 October 2000 - 22:04
I can recognise Hans Elzrodt's translation of the last paragraphs of p169 in his posting of 10-14-2000. However, there is a picture of an engine on p197 which bears some strong resemblance to the engine in the Sokol 650, as per the pictures posted by Flicker.
I can't even begin to translate the caption to the picture on p197. Is it talking about the 1.5l engine, or the 2l development?
This doesn't add to the thread, but it would make another part of the book meaningful, please and thank you Hans.
Posted 24 October 2000 - 15:10
Do you have any idea where I would be able to buy a copy of
"Autos of Russia & USSR". Vol 1, by Lev M. Shugurov, Moscow, ILBI, 1993, ISBN 5874830049? Also any other volumes?
Posted 24 October 2000 - 19:40
once more... hmm...
The easiest way (for me) to solve it... is to send you those books (2 volumes + 1 additional) directly by mail
But... have to warn you that those books is not only about sports&racing cars, but about all(!) autovehicles of pre-1917 & soviet era. (They are of usual size
and... I don't know how long usual postage will deliver they to "your another side of the Earth"
And the last, but not the least: they are written in Russian!
Posted 11 March 2002 - 17:07
Seek and ye shall find... That is a superb thread isn't it, and for me it brought back many memories of a confused and very frustrating period of research into the Donington car, which Tom Wheatcroft had paid through the nose for, and which he desperately wanted to be 'The E-Type Auto Union'.
I haven't had time to unearth and re-read my 'Classic & Sportscar' feature on this car but in the thread you have just directed me to one correspondent - aka 'KzKiwi' - wrote:
"After study and inspection of both the Wheatcroft car and AU E-type drawings and technical reports (von Eberhorst's 'Test report 307') Doug Nye concludes that the V12 engine in the car, as displayed at the Donnington Museum" - KzKiwi meant the Donington Museum, there are several Donningtons in the UK, rather more than the several Doningtons, but there are no double-Ns in the significant one - "...was clearly based either around a study of the Auto Union E-type project, or more probably, upon its actual drawings. Its construction, layout, bearing type and sizes, con-rod types and length all match pre and immediately post war details of the E-type engine." He (i.e. me - DCN) then goes on to say "..too many chassis parts are utterly identical to pre war AU to be coincidence. If those parts were not made by the old team pre war and survived the conflict, they were certainly made to AU's drawings and to an astonishlingly high standard which East Germany' immediate post war reputation does not suggest possible."
"Nye's summary of the car in question is as follows." While we cannot prove whether this fascinating mystery car is more post than pre war, more DAMW or EMW than Auto union, I am now convinced its chassis is at least 75 per cent AU practice and design, and in part possibly of pre war manufacture. Its engine certainly forms the mortal remains or descendant of the 1941 Auto Union E-type project..." "
I absolutely stand by that.
I should describe the circumstances of the time. Tom Wheatcroft had acquired Donington Park race circuit site at huge expense. He had built the museum there for his racing car collection - at huge expense. He had fought planners to secure re-opening of the track for racing - at huge expense. And for years he had been trying to secure an Auto Union for the collection - to star at Donington Park - regardless of expense. Then came the German approach - and he bought 'The E-Type Auto Union' - for a trailer truckload of munny.
No, I had not been consulted at any time - in any way - BEFORE he had concluded the purchase.
The first I knew of the deal was when Wheatie asked Jenks and I to go to Tilbury Docks to see his 'Auto Union' as it came through Customs. We went, we stood, we saw - and our jaws dropped.
While it was certainly AU-like - it wasn't any AU we had ever known of - and it CERTAINLY was not the mystical E-Type...
Anyway - restoration went ahead. And I eventually drove the car and wrote it up for 'Classic & Sportscar'.
I could not at that time declare to the world in print - for what my opinion might ever be worth - that this Donington car was definitely NOT the E-Type of 1941 since to do so would have been kicking a man I respect (the owner) in the orchestras... and truly denting what for him had long been a dream. But I could sail as close in print to letting people know what I considered to be the truth, had they the wit to read the piece and draw their own conclusions.
NO WAY was I about to publicise and promote the car for Tom as being an 'Auto Union' when all the evidence I had examined, including the hardware of the car itself, indicated that it was definitely NOT the E-Type per se, in the form in which that model had been recorded in every reference and liberated document that I - and Jenks - had ever seen. I
I had even telephoned Eberan von Eberhorst in Vienna and we had discussed the car in some detail. Much about the design was familiar to him...but after 1945 he had been otherwise engaged...in British industry...
Not least, of course, the fact that the 'Donington car's V12 engine had a 2-litre capacity and was unsupercharged, absolutely screamed postwar Formula 2...
Jenks and I both trowelled into any leads we could find.
Wheatie's vendor had gone to earth (!).
I spotted the front-engined DAMW lead - the IFA malarkey, Rennkollectiv, EMW etc all became factors in play.
I heard rumours of a car having been tested in East Germany - and involved in a fatal accident possibly during public road testing. There was the name of an engineer/driver I cannot just now recall having been the victim of this accident. (Incidentally there was also a big shunt in an early postwar Russian race or demo which claimed spectator's lives which allegedly involved a true Auto Union - possibly in Kharkov if not Moscow???? There's something to chase down????)
I did not find the Sokol lead, which is truly fascinating...and is I am sure the resolution of this story, as yes, those photographs undoubtedly show either the Donington car or its twin sister.
As quoted by 'KzKiwi', I ended up at the time of writing the 'C&SC' story, 100 per cent convinced that "While we cannot prove whether this fascinating mystery car is more post than pre war, more DAMW or EMW than Auto Union, I am now convinced its chassis is at least 75 per cent AU practice and design, and in part possibly of pre war manufacture. Its engine certainly forms the mortal remains or descendant of the 1941 Auto Union E-type project..."
The reason for my conclusion is abundantly obvious from the photos reproduced in your original thread - AU-type twin-tube frame, AU-type V12 engine, suspension and brake components which are either scaled-down pre-war AU designs or actually passed-on AU pre-war manufactured components.
The hardware simply drips AU design, manufacture and practise in many areas - and yet there is NO WAY that it is the never-completed 'E-Type Auto Union' which was going to be 1.5-litre supercharged as we know and would have been a simply different animal.
1940s East German industrial standards and material quality were very poor indeed compared to pre-war Saxon plant practise. In part the Soviet occupiers and their puppets seemed to ensure that recovering industry in that part of the world could pose no future threat to Russia...never mind to the west...
I drove the restored car quite extensively at Donington Park once it had been completed to running order. It was gutless but stable and handled rather well.
Don't worry yourselves over the puzzling body now worn by the car for that was a freelance 'near enough is close enough' Wheatie work based upon fuzzburger German magazine photo-copies by his panel basher John Cole, and it was made in their workshop at the Wheatcroft builder's yard in Wigston, Leicester.
I have always thought of the car as being VERY much more East German DAMW/Rennkollectiv than anything else - I stand by my riginal assessment that numerous GENUINE AU or AU design parts have been incorporated into it - and in general conversation I have ALWAYS, INVARIABLY corrected people who have described the Donington car as being 'The E-Type Auto Union' ... 'cos it ain't.
Is this clear?
Posted 12 March 2002 - 12:02
Thanks for your reply. I now understand fully what happened!
Posted 12 March 2002 - 12:25
I remember visiting the Donington museum 10 years ago, and seeing that Auto-Union sparked off my interest first in the pre-war Mercedes/Auto-Union battles, which then broadened out to racing history in general.
Strangely, I do remember coming away with the impression that this was Nuvolari's Donington winner, though I'm not sure if that was down to my own ignorance, or a misworded caption in the museum?
I must go down again soon and visit again - it's a great collection, and a peaceful place to while away an afternoon.
Posted 12 March 2002 - 13:49
Posted 14 March 2002 - 03:03
Originally posted by David J Jones
Thanks for your reply. I now understand fully what happened!
After re-reading this thread in the light of not only Doug's reply and a better view of it after taking a few steps back from the discussion, but as a result of not merely "looking" but "seeing," some of my comments seem to be based on very much on sand and not rock. Indeed, I think some of my comments are off-base.
Something happened at work today that led my second doubts to be "third doubts" about seeing what you want to see and forgetting to take a closer look and thinking a few moments before firing one down range.....
Posted 14 March 2002 - 05:02
Very heady stuff... Thanks
Posted 17 March 2002 - 00:56
Originally posted by Doug Nye
.....in general conversation I have ALWAYS, INVARIABLY corrected people who have described the Donington car as being 'The E-Type Auto Union' ... 'cos it ain't.
Is this clear?
It was clear to me on Oct 10, 2000 when I posted the following:
Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
If reputable historians like Doug Nye and Karl Ludvigsen say that the car in question is not an Auto Union (Typ E) and my findings arrive at the same result, then that is what I believe.
Any other speculation goes under wishful thinking. Unless proven to be correct.
Posted 17 March 2002 - 14:35
Thanks for that.
Posted 17 March 2002 - 18:22
I would guess that assumed 'guilt by association' has been the culprit here! The car is on display at Donington as an E Type Auto-Union which it isn't.
I am a newcomer to the histories of pre-war and early post war and rely on my memory of items I have read over the years. As mentioned in the thread I had read the racing car reviews by DSJ in the mid 50's and could not recall mention of the car or a prototype.
Having trecked to Donington to see an Auto-Union I felt under the circumstances I had to raise it as a topic............
Posted 14 April 2002 - 20:56
This is what came in from Germany:
It might take me some time but I do try to deliver eventually....
Posted 23 April 2002 - 21:38
One picture shows the Donington car on a test run in the 1950s. Exact date and time are unknown. The others show the car in a backyard near Leipzig, Germany, somewhere in the 1970s, shortly before it was confisquated by the DDR-government and sold to Donington.
Again, my apologies for the sudden intrusion - I just wanted to shed some more light on the car and will be back with more info soon, after I've found the time to introduce myself.
Posted 23 April 2002 - 22:55
Posted 24 April 2002 - 14:19
Anyway, somewhere back in the 1970s, Schröder receives a letter from an East-German acquaintance, who remains anonymous in the book. Schröder refers to him as ‘Mister Kiss’. Kiss wants to sell information. Schröder sends money and gets another letter, stating that Kiss holds an Auto Union in his backyard in Leipzig, Germany.
They wait until the annual trade fair in Leipzig, being a legitimate opportunity for West-Germans to go snooping around in the GDR. Schröder meets Kiss in Leipzig and takes the pictures posted before. He also recognizes the AU-style of the car, but does notice the differences, like the 2 litre engine, giving away it’s post-war construction date. Kiss goes on explaining how he found the car in a steel plant, only minutes away from being thrown into the shredder. He convinces the workers to melt his DKW instead, so that they can meet their daily bureaucratic quotum of shredded metal … then walks home, finds someone else with a car and returns with it, to tow the ‘E-type’ to his backyard.
Now, Schröder and Kiss agree on a sum of 320.000 Ostmarks, or 80.000 Deutschmarks, transferred some time after that in a true spy-like fashion on a bridge near the border. Schröder has its car, but it still sits behind the iron curtain, waiting patiently until both gentlemen have found a way to smuggle it out of East-Germany.
But the never manage to do so, as East-German government officials find out about the car. They visit Kiss and ask him to produce documents, proving he owns the E. Of course, he can’t. It is impounded on the spot. Kiss is compensated for his loss with a brandnew Lada stationwagon. The GDR must’ve sold it to Wheatcroft almost immediately, since Schröder spots the car in a copy of Autoweek magazine just two weeks after the confiscation.
There are far more exciting details to the story, but I’d just thought I’d keep it short.
Posted 24 April 2002 - 21:11
Posted 24 April 2002 - 21:40
Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
Martin Schröder, collaborator of Gianni Cancellieri and Cesare De Agostini in the book AUTO UNION Die großen Rennen 1934-39 shows five pictures of this car. He writes, that during 1977, this car appeared in the DDR as rolling chassis with 12-cylinder engine and shows a picture where the car is driven on a regular road.
The former racing driver H. Niedermayr had offered this car to several collectors as the 1.5-liter Auto Union GP car Typ E. It was then sold to Tom Wheatcroft. This may be the reason, why it is still shown in Donington as such a car.
Closer inspection revealed that the chassis consisted of Typ D parts and had close resemblance with the last edition of the Typ D. The front axle was identical with the last editions used on the Typ D. The space frame chassis itself looked like a shortened Typ D version. The brake drums were similar but had less cooling fins. But the rear axle was different, a simple execution of the De Dion type. Also the arrangement of the drive train was different than Auto Union: engine—transmission—rear axle. The V-12, 1991cc engine without compressor was designed for the Formula II from 1948-1952, but the production date is still unknown. Supposedly two cars were completed but were never entered in a race.
Would Brun's pictures be the same as those in the book mentioned by Hans? Probably yes.
So where does Niedermayr come in? If, according to Schröder, the car was sold on immediately after it was confiscated, there would have been hardly any time to test drive the car on the open road and offer the car to several collectors before selling it to Wheatcroft.
Any clues yet as to how the supposed second (or even third) car and the Sokol fit into the puzzle? It would seem illogical to me that a Russian-manufactured or developed car such as the Sokol would end up stored away in Leipzig as late as the seventies. Why on Earth would the Russians transport a car back to the GDR? So the EMW/DAMW F2 and the Sokol can't be the same, can they? What engine was in the Donington car when it was rediscovered? The Russian DOHC 65-degree engine that Flicker describes, or another, perhaps a 60-degree based on the original AU layout?
On another note: so now we have a Mr. Kiss next to a Dr. Ring...
Posted 24 April 2002 - 22:35
I remember the details as posted by Brun, which had been written in an contemporary article in a German classic car magazine, probably “Motor Klassik” or its predecessor “Automobil-Chronik”. The confiscation of the car corresponds to standard practice in the GDR, see also my earlier posting of March 2000 in this thread. I also think that my quote of the Ferrari v/s AutoUnion engine dates from this article, I remember that Schröder had the idea to smuggle the car into the West in bits and pieces, with the largest thing being the engine, and that he had the idea to bring in officially a broken Ferrari V12 as “spare part”, which 2 days later will be reexported - as AU of course! However, only faded memories, too long ago. It has to be said that the purchase of the car by Schröder was illegal as per GDR legislation, as was the payment, as it was strictly prohibited for private persons to do any business with the West. Indeed the car later was sold by this specialized export agency in East-Berlin for classic cars to somebody else, as we now know to Wheatcroft, and Schröder lost money and car.
Niedermayr most probably had nothing to do with the sale to Wheatcroft, as this finally was official state export business. May be Niedermayr is our “Mr. Kiss”, who offered the car not only to Schröder but also to others.
Posted 26 April 2002 - 22:53
As (Martin) Schröder states in the book, his mysterious Herr Kiss is not Niedermayer. Actually, the two men who visited him were Niedermayer and a certain Herr Gietl. They were the ones to ask him for his papers. They were also the ones who confiscated the car.
I suspect they already knew about the car and had offered it to several potential buyers. As soon as they had a deal with Wheatcroft, they went to Kiss and got the car from him, already knowing that he couldn't possibly show any papers.
Uechtel recently send me a picture, taken in the EMW works sometime in 1952 or '53. In the back, the rear of a car like this one is clearly visible. Especially when one enlarges the frame - the shape of the seat, the bodywork and the exhaust are quite distinctive and look identical to the Donington 'E'.
As Mattijs said, it seems very unlikely for the Russians to return a car. More likely they simply left one behind. It would fit the picture. Because not only did Kiss later come up with a pre-war 12-cylinder engine, which Schröder bought, smuggled out of the country in his Renault 4 and which was later built into Colin Crabbe's C-type. Also, there is a V16 engine on display in the August Horch Museum in Zwickau. I always thought it to be a replica. However, this afternoon, I received an e-mail from the curator, who told me that the engine is (a) an original pre-war Auto Union unit and (b) was a gift from the University of Dresden.
This story gets more exciting every day :-)))
Posted 23 June 2002 - 19:55
In a Memorandum from the university of vienna (1982) for Eberan you can read by the words of Eberan, that there was only a single cylinder construction but no car or engine.
Also Karl Heinz Edler and Wolfgang Roedinger wrote in 1956 in their book:"Die deutschen Rennfahrzeuge": "Auto Union planned to develop a car for 1940, but AU couldn't be finished becuse of the war." Page, 90 in the reprint Leipzig, 1990.
New Research in Eastern germany about the post war history of the "Zentrale Versuchsabteilung", in Chemnitz, not Zwickau (The former R&D Dept. of AU) says, that there were built two cars arround 1950 (Type 650) with a 12.Zyl. 2L Engine without Rootscompressor. Therefor they developed three engines with 150 HP@8000 R/min (without compressor). The russians forced that projekt in the "Zentrale Versuchsabteilung", with the old AU crew. They wanted to get as much AU-know-how, as possible -also other know how - out of them, who didn't went into the west.
So here are some names of this crew:
Engineconstruction: Walter Träger, former constructer AU
Gearboxconstruction: Adolf Hahn,
Lange and Pietzsch were responsible for the chassis
And Otto Seidan for the Design,
(they were all former working in Chemnitz at the "Zentrale Konstruktionsbüro"and his Boss A. Kordewahn
So as you know from some sources, we know that Mid-engined-Design of the 2Liter post war "AU" from the former AU Silverarrows and later also from the Cisitalia. The former AU Motocross driver Fritz Trägner made the first rollouts with that car first in front of the Zentrale Versuchsabteilung and later on German Autobahn near Chemnitz with max. Speed arround 180 km/h.
One of those two cars were first shown in a german oldtimer magazin in 1976, and the car was later sold to uk, were it was shown in Donington park. I don't know, if the second one exist any longer.
And I have a Design study from 1949 from Eisenach where can you see the Design of a car looking like an mid-sized racer, but with a fault, the study has a BMW Logo, and as we knwo the former BMW plant in Eisenach was later called EMW. May they planned to do some design for the EMW racecollectiv, which develloped a nice car in the end of the 40s/beginning of the 50s. But under the russion the whole construction of cars worked under pre-war rules, numbers, and systems of AU and was concentrated in Chemnitz. EMW was out of the race. But this is a another long thread.
So what we know from Cisitalia is, and I'm not a specialist, please correct me. Not a V-12 Engine, with 1500ccm with compressor, (385 HP@10600 R/min) butunfortunetly the car never raced (Hans Stuck should be the driver), the company was sold to argentina, befor the first start. But and that ist important, the car was constructed by Porsche in Stuttgart, were the former engineers from the P-Wagen project from 1933 were responsible for the cisitalia(Karl Rabe and Adolf Rosenbauer). And they innovated the car with a 4X4 construction.
So there are two concepts from two groups of engineers, who developped a post WW2 project hich depends on the tradition of the AU Silverarrows. But a 1.5 L cars wasn't built.
Posted 24 June 2002 - 03:22
Posted 27 June 2002 - 23:13
Originally posted by Holger Merten
There was never built a 1.5 L AU in 1940 or later.... So, holding the hands on the money AU wouldn't start the AU- E-Type project in the war and without knowing the rules.
But a 1.5 L cars wasn't built.
Holger: I wonder if perhaps you are not necessarily in possession of all the facts ....
Just before the outbreak of war, the British press was reporting that the 1.5 litre cars were already in existence:
The Motor August 8th 1939
So Auto Unions have something up their sleeves in the 1500cc class. Spy George (the Most Thrown-out Man in Europe) tells me that the little Auto Union(s) was (were) on trial at Nurburg Ring last week, but close secrecy is preserved and I don't know anything about them. I do know that they don't intend to lat anyone size the models up and that they won't race them until they have to.
Spy George was photographer Robert Fellowes.
The Autocar September 1st 1939
A new 1 1/2 litre Auto Union model is undergoing trials. Details are being kept secret, but it is generally believed that it will be very similar to existing Grand Prix machines of this make, with an engine at the rear, though there is some interesting talk about an experimental supercharged two-stroke.
We now jump to the October 3rd 1945 issue of the Motor, which featured an interview with Sir Roy Fedden. Fedden had been in Germany as Special Technical Adviser to the Minister of Aircraft Production, but had a life-long interest in cars and was a former technical director of Straker-Squire.
Sir Roy had
... a long talk with Dr Richard Bruhn, the Auto Union director, who said that they had completed construction of a team of 1.5 litre racing cars and claimed that in tests they had given very good results. The cars were stored in a garage in a suburb of Chemnitz and, according to Bruhn, they lay for a long time in the No Man's Land between the advancing British and Russian forces. He said that up to the middle of June they could have been taken away by any British representatives who were interested, but the Red Army took control only a few days before Sir Roy arrived in Germany, and since then nothing has been heard of the cars.
Posted 28 June 2002 - 08:32
Seems like an impossible thing to check. Does anyone know in which suburb these garages were? I could do some asking around when I'm there (next week) :-) Apart from that, maybe some digging through the Auto Union archives would be helpful. They're stored in the State Archive in Chemnitz and are publicly accessible, but the people there warned me that they're quite large.
Posted 28 June 2002 - 11:53
Very old people working for AU in the 30/40s told me, there where 18 cars, transported by train to Russia. Some people from former eastern Germany, (they were working in R&D in Chemnitz) told me, that they have seen 5 cars in Moscow (The R&D institute of Russian car production) in the late sixties, they were uncompleted or destroyed (May the communism party let play communism GP on mystery racetracks? I don't know? It's just a joke; I have no facts about it)
The only car, which really survived was the Riga Car (This famous C/D Type Hill climber). And the two cars from the karrassiks.
Interesting fact is, if there were AU 1. 5 L E-Types built, and they had survived, why was the later on produced (Type 650/Sokol/Donnigpark car) built up from parts of the D-Types and not the E-Types? May we have to compare the some parts of the car, with D-Type parts?
Posted 28 June 2002 - 12:21
Sorry it's only a link, but I can't get the pic to show in this post, even though it worked on preview. The front looks like a D-type, but the side bodywork is different. Is this a D-type hillclimb car, or something else? And can anyone identify the engine in the back? 3.0 litre or something else?
This is a link to a Russian website which has quite a bit on the AUs in Russia. I'm no expert on the doings of the 50s-70s and how much of this has already been seen or is known about here. My Russian is non-existent, so I've had to try to rely on auto-translation, some of which is as clear as mud. The first page is in German, but the onward links are in Russian. Beware, it's an unreliable site and often goes down. Even when available it's very slow to load. There are a number of pictures which are familiar, but others are not, at least to me - men obviously in Soviet uniform examining the cars (in Germany?). The Sokol is here too ....
Posted 28 June 2002 - 13:11
BTW: my browser didn't show this page correctly, I just found out that there are links to http://www.autonet.r...news/?newID=172 (171, 172, 173 and 174). Vitesse2, I assume that's what you're referring to? Somewhere on these pages, the Sokol 650 is mentioned. Right now a Russian-speaking coworker is hammering away a quick&dirty translation (say thank you thank you thank you, please)... more to follow
Posted 28 June 2002 - 13:13
You are right; it’s a hill-climbing car - the D-Type, with the smaller body, because the body has no fuel tanks beside the driver. There was only a fuel tank behind the driver. I explained that on another thread a few days before.
Can’t say anything about the engine have to compare it with some other pictures - the V 16 and the V 12 were constructed in different ways
Does anybody know when and where the picture was taken???
Posted 28 June 2002 - 13:23
And thanks! I have to get to work now - back tonight about 2230 CET