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Mercedes and paint-stripping


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#651 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 09:55

If an article was to be written, would a magazine like Autosport be receptive to running a story that debunks the myth?


It the sort of story far more attuned to Motor Sport or Vintage Motorsport rather than Autosport. Indeed, Autosport would be one of the last places I would expect it to appear, this not being the sort of thing that would be best rendered within the few words that would be allocated, to say nothing of having to be written for their target audience.

Actually, there is an "article" that has been written, but given the yawning lack of interest when it was suggested to several publications, it is still sitting on the shelf.




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#652 B Squared

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 13:28

Actually, there is an "article" that has been written, but given the yawning lack of interest when it was suggested to several publications, it is still sitting on the shelf.


Possibly now the time is right to re-introduce the "article" to these publications, being that Mercedes have brought the subject to the forefront. Brian

#653 Rob

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 14:12

It the sort of story far more attuned to Motor Sport or Vintage Motorsport rather than Autosport. Indeed, Autosport would be one of the last places I would expect it to appear, this not being the sort of thing that would be best rendered within the few words that would be allocated, to say nothing of having to be written for their target audience.


I only suggested Autosport because it is more mainstream and would get the message out to more people. Now that we have a Mercedes works team again, Autosport might be interested in looking at their heritage.

#654 Doug Nye

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 15:50

Posted Image


Upon delivery for the 1934 EifelRennen the three new works team W25s - seen here at the team's Forsthaus HQ for the Nurburgring events - were in unpainted, bare metal 'pre-stripped' finish, as immediately apparent from the large-size rendition of this image. No 21 was what became the 'spare car', notionally listed for Caracciola in the EifelRennen but unraced in his enforced absence since he was still convalescing after injury and illness combined. Note the fared rearview mirrors, absent in the alleged 'white W25' photo(s) at the Nurburgring. I have found no other instance of a W25 numbered '21' appearing at the Nurburgring in period - which alone identifies this shot as having been taken at the Eifel race, 1934.

This pic - as published at the start of this legend's 'noisy period' a few years ago by the Süddeutsche Zeitung - has been posted here previously, by Dr Ernst, and I have to admit it bothers me, if what one hears and reads is true, that factions within the wider world of M-B now seem set upon seeking to perpetuate the paint-scraping myth by colourful interpretation of inferior-quality photography in face of the evidence provided by this kind of high-quality contemporary evidence. Note the white-painted rear wheel on the right-hand W25 here. Either a steel-rim wheel protectively painted or (just possibly) a wheel left in white while the car to which it is attached has just been entirely stripped of paint - i.e. at some juncture prior to this EifelRennen trip.

I understand from Joseph that this photograph was taken by race mechanic Reichle, one of Caracciola's crew (as previously mentioned in this thread). This appears to have been the ONLY shot he took - or kept - from the 1934 EifelRennen, whereas his album included a number taken at the subsequent German GP meeting. Either Reichle had no time to take more than this one shot at the Eifel race because he was hard at work, or quite probably he and his fellow Caracciola-car team-mates were sent home after it had been decided (as early as Wednesday afternoon) that Caracciola would not be driving that weekend. Were the cars sprayed white, then scraped back to bare metal again, over the 48 hours or so subsequent to this photo? I would not have thought so. It does NOT make racing sense. And Neubauer was a racer...as were the majority predominantly ex-Benz engineers responsible for the W25s' design, production and deployment.

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 27 January 2010 - 20:18.


#655 Holger Merten

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 21:31

Eugen Reichele, MB race mechanic said in an interview with german classic car magazin Motor Klassik in 1994 that the cars were never painted white, and they they could drive in silver without any problems.

I have to add the the there is a term in the regulations of the 1934 Eifelrennen, that you couldn't no remove the numbers on the cars you have received after the training sessions and which were fixed the day before the race. If, and I say if MB would have scratched off the paint during the night, they bought cars to the starting grid without numbers! Unfortunately we never saw a picture of this embarassing situation.

And how would Reichle get this picture with silver cars and numbers on the body?



#656 Otto Grabe

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 06:58

Eugen Reichele, MB race mechanic said in an interview with german classic car magazin Motor Klassik in 1994 that the cars were never painted white...


If I remember right this interview, Reichle was the (or one of) man to paint the numbers on the cars. There is a picture in the article.

#657 Rob

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 14:08

There is an article in this week's Autosport which debunks the myth.

I'm slightly shocked, I must say! But pleased.

#658 D-Type

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 14:57

There is an article in this week's Autosport which debunks the myth.

I'm slightly shocked, I must say! But pleased.

So, someone from Autosport must lurk on here (or drink with someone who does?)

#659 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 17:54

There is an article in this week's Autosport which debunks the myth.

I'm slightly shocked, I must say! But pleased.



Did they think to entitle the article, "Mercedes Bends History"?


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#660 jsfernst

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 22:01

Awaiting a photo of the Mercedes team with paint scrapers in hand. :rotfl:

So am I but no luck so far.

#661 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 22:51

:lol: :up: I like your style...

DCN

#662 jsfernst

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 23:00

Well, not sure if this is the proper place to have this discussion -- or that there are many who even want to have this discussion, but let me start with stating unequivocally that I cannot in any way, shape or agree with this statement: "All the good research has been done and there are no more hard questions left." On the contrary, I feel that we have yet to even begin to scratch the surface when it comes to the history of automobile racing. There are no end of questions and issues and topics which cry out to be given their due with proper research as well as considered thought and discussion.

Nor do I find myself in agreement with this statement: "The Nostalgia Forum has become a victim of its own success." I am not sure that it really has been a success in many ways even if successful in some areas. If anything, TNF is less a "a victim of its own success" and more a victim of its own complacency and a general lack of attention for items smacking of "academic" or "scholarly" interest. Indeed, I would suggest that reaching back to the very beginning of TNF back in November of 1999, that about seventy-five percent -- at least -- of the threads and their contents could disappear with no loss being suffered to The Record of the history of automobile racing.

Having said that, however, it should be noted that is merely the nature of the beast known as an internet forum. That as much as "only" twenty-five percent might be deemed worthy of retention is a remarkably high percentage, an extraordinary percentage when you think about. A worthy reflection on the many valuable and priceless contributions that have been made to this enterprise. One need only to examine the annual listing of the doctoral dissertations in history to grasp this idea.

It is not, of course, all doom and gloom despite an inclination to view things through the "half empty" portion of the glass. Fortunately, there are those who continue to plug away and enrich us with the fruits of their research and considered thoughts.

While La nostalgie n'est plus qu'elle était ("Nostalgia Isn't What It Used To Be") seems to be taken as some form of perjorative by some, that is also an appropriate thought because in some ways TNF must be considered as a success -- even if a qualified one -- simply because it has changed the idea, the notion, the whole concept, of how an internet forum can make real contributions to the discussion of various topics and subjects related to an area of history which might otherwise never get their moment of consideration before a broader audience, if you will.

I do not spare myself from any of my criticisms voiced above. I often have problems treating this as anything but just another internet forum, simply one that happens to have a lot more history on it than others. Worse of all, I have allowed myself to become discouraged when topic or subjects I find interesting seem to sink like a stone when the lack of interest expressed is such as to be almost sad at times. Also, like others, a certain complacency has set in: why bother? no one cares? just make the usual inane remarks on the bubba threads and save your brain cells for your other work.... Indeed, it is often more a case of just marking time here until something else comes along that is more aligned with my original -- and obviously misplaced -- aspirations for TNF.

At any rate, this is one of the very best examples of TNF living up to its promise and doing what I hoped it would do. However, there are still many other topics, some related to this one, still needing attention....

Don’s post has been in the back of my mind for some time and now, after a recent exchange I had with Doug, I think I know why.
The quality of this thread depends a lot on how we deal with history or at least with a story history has left us behind. The most thought provoking post to me was Tony Kaye’s somewhere on page six because he was looking for a story line and the logic behind the story. This set me off thinking about the incident at the Eifelrace and no matter what it is, true, false, or a figment of imagination, it is or would be a story of imminent failure.
Myths usually are about extreme human efforts or they glorify specific traits representative of desirable or undesirable human activities. No matter, the incident at the Eifelrace hardly qualifies. Maybe two cars were painted white, turned out to be overweight and had to be scraped clean, again. Big deal, one would think; yet a big enough deal to keep us posting for 18 pages.
The first half of the story has not been discussed much: Why would anyone want to paint the cars white in the first place? The second part of the story has been massively dismissed. Here I would like to suggest that we have lost sight of the story itself under all the evidence and opinions which have been exchanged. Thus this: I think the story is a bad one in the first place and Doug says as much when wanting to save Neubauer’s reputation as a “racer” in his last post. It would have made a lot of sense to forget the whole story.
Yet, in 1955 Ernst Rosemann brings it up. I assume he did it because he wanted to enlarge his reputation as an insider and maybe he had a hunch that people would look at the story from a very different angle as indeed they did: People did not think that the paint scraping bit was a perfectly silly because unnecessarily self-inflicted incident. To the contrary: the story was (well, almost) as good as Ulysses` wooden horse; what a clever thing to do!
Thanks to this forum I think to have gotten a much better grip of the story and the way we deal with history.
Oh, having said this and looking at the story from this angle: Would or could anyone make it up? I don’t think so.


#663 David McKinney

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 07:37

I've been following this thread closely since it started, and have no wish to do it all again now. But the answers to a couple of questions you ask are, I'm sure, buried in there somewhere

Why would anyone want to paint the cars white in the first place?

Because that was Germany's national racing colour, and a requirement of the international rules. I think it was only after both AU and MB appeared in silver in 1934 that silver became an acceptable alternative

Would or could anyone make it up?

Answer is that it's a good story! Some writers do that sort of thing - not changing important truths, but throwing in an embellishment to brighten up the story. And there is the precedent - buried somewhere in the thread - of something similar actually happening earlier in history



#664 ensign14

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 09:58

It's not as if Neubauer didn't have previous for making stuff up...

#665 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 10:00

Because that was Germany's national racing colour, and a requirement of the international rules. I think it was only after both AU and MB appeared in silver in 1934 that silver became an acceptable alternative

But there is a precedent for silver MBs, David. It is known that von Brauchitsch's "Flying Cucumber" SSKL streamliner was silver in previous years at the Avus. Of course, we don't know (or do we?) what the regs for those races said. Were they run under AIACR rules or AvD ones which might not have specified International colours? As the Avusrennen appeared on the CSI's International calendar, I'd have thought the former.

Answer is that it's a good story! Some writers do that sort of thing - not changing important truths, but throwing in an embellishment to brighten up the story. And there is the precedent - buried somewhere in the thread - of something similar actually happening earlier in history

The thought did occur to me last night that Neubauer and Rosemann might have cooked the whole thing up some time in the early 50s over a couple of steins at the Oktoberfest :drunk:


#666 jsfernst

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 19:50

But there is a precedent for silver MBs, David. It is known that von Brauchitsch's "Flying Cucumber" SSKL streamliner was silver in previous years at the Avus. Of course, we don't know (or do we?) what the regs for those races said. Were they run under AIACR rules or AvD ones which might not have specified International colours? As the Avusrennen appeared on the CSI's International calendar, I'd have thought the former.

The thought did occur to me last night that Neubauer and Rosemann might have cooked the whole thing up some time in the early 50s over a couple of steins at the Oktoberfest :drunk:

The Oktoberfest would imply Munich; I'd bet on the Cannstatter Wasen half a mile away from his office.

Edited by jsfernst, 29 January 2010 - 19:52.


#667 Rob

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 21:40

During qualifying for the Bahrain GP on the BBC, there was a feature on Mercedes-Benz.

Jake Humphrey presented the paint scraping story as fact. Can't say I'm surprised, but I wish the Beeb had at least checked the facts first.

#668 Holger Merten

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 22:11

Ohhh, no doubt about it. Norbert Haug presented the story as a fact in German TV, when they presented the not prepared cars four weeks ago. That's why they needed this Zoltan Glass picture. To tell the truth. Paint scratching marketing gag I would say.

Just can cry, that a company like Mercedes needs to use such tricks.

#669 West3

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 00:40

News Flash!

A recent search of Mercedes factory photographic archives has revealed previously undiscovered, conclusive proof of the birth of the "Silver Arrows"... :stoned:


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#670 David McKinney

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 06:53

:lol: :lol: :lol:

#671 Rob

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 16:13

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"At the 1934 Eifelrennen, Mercedes-Benz turned up in bare metal. At scrutineering, it was pointed out that the cars were not painted in the German racing colours. In a flash of inspiration, team manager Alfred Neubauer suggested that the mechanics coat the cars in white paint, thus beginning the White Elephants legend..."

#672 Option1

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 17:19

Just to say this thread is one of the reasons I love TNF!

Neil

#673 Michael Müller

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 22:14

( so says historian Dr. Ernst)

Within the department "Communications" Dr. Josef Ernst is in charge for the Public Relation of the Heritage Department. And that's exactly what you are discussing here - PR!

As some of you may know I invested a lot of research work into this topic already years ago, and latest when Eberhard Reuss discovered the fact that the Eifelrennen was Formula Libre the file for me is closed. Everything what needs to be said has been said, I'm not in the mood to repeat it over and over again.

I would have cancelled my subscription of "Mercedes Motor Klassik", but I get it automatically together with a club membership, so since that article in question I dump it unread in our recycling paper basket.


#674 Cardenas

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 11:32

historicracing.com todays facebook update is about Luigi fagioli, read it here


1934 Eifelrennen part:


"The next race, the Eifelrennen, gave the team a taste of what was to come. This race is famous as the birthplace of the Silver Arrows legend. However Alfred Neubauer's explanation in his book "Männer, Frauen und Motoren", stating that the cars were stripped of their paint to get below the 750 kg weight limit was incorrect, since the 1934 race was run to Formula Libre regulations and there were no weight limits. "




:clap: :)

Edited by Cardenas, 26 May 2010 - 11:32.


#675 David McKinney

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 14:09

That'll be because historicracing.com is run by a TNFer :up: