Jump to content


Photo

Auto Unions in the Soviet Union


  • Please log in to reply
143 replies to this topic

#101 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 6,013 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 08 February 2011 - 16:50

What colour were the Auto-Unions' numbers? I think they would normally be red but it is possible that British organisers insisted on black, as they did in 1954/55. This could explain the repainting.

Advertisement

#102 Derwent Motorsport

Derwent Motorsport
  • Member

  • 452 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 08 February 2011 - 17:31

The "Scottish" car I think was once featured in one of the main classic mags years ago. Does it still exist and has it every been seen by anyone who would know what it really was?
Is it worthy of a topic of it's own?

#103 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 08 February 2011 - 17:43

Is it worthy of a topic of it's own?

I don't think it's worthy of discussion at all :)


#104 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 24,025 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 08 February 2011 - 17:47

What colour were the Auto-Unions' numbers? I think they would normally be red but it is possible that British organisers insisted on black, as they did in 1954/55. This could explain the repainting.

I've never seen colour pictures of the 1937 cars, but the Mercedes carried red numbers in 1938.

#105 Cardenas

Cardenas
  • Member

  • 59 posts
  • Joined: March 10

Posted 08 February 2011 - 18:47

some days ago I posted this video in the youtube finds thread.


At the end of the video you can see race footage in colour from 1937.



Auto union numbers were red.

#106 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 6,013 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 08 February 2011 - 19:16

some days ago I posted this video in the youtube finds thread.


At the end of the video you can see race footage in colour from 1937.



Auto union numbers were red.

As they should be, of course. I can't see the video (iPad); does it show Donington?

#107 Pavel Lifintsev

Pavel Lifintsev
  • Member

  • 143 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 08 February 2011 - 19:20

Google can make it :wave:
1937 Donington

Posted Image

Posted Image

#108 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 6,013 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 08 February 2011 - 19:25

Thanks. Another theory bites the dust.

#109 Pavel Lifintsev

Pavel Lifintsev
  • Member

  • 143 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 08 February 2011 - 19:34

I forgot to mention that these are stills from George Monkhouse footage. As DCN once pointed out their copyrights are owned by the Spitzley Collection.

#110 Otto Grabe

Otto Grabe
  • Member

  • 58 posts
  • Joined: June 04

Posted 08 February 2011 - 20:02

QUOTE (simonlewisbooks @ Feb 8 2011, 10:38) *
Two different cars?

Yes indeed. However, WB in his report of the meeting (as reproduced in the Motor Sport Book of Donington) noted that during one of the practice sessions 'Auto Union had blanked off their radiators considerably, I noticed.' So, as David says, Simon's first photo above could well show a training car during practice (which would explain the lack of spectators), with blanked radiator and the number in the higher location, which would match the photo of the car in the garage.


I also think of two different cars. I've got a practice shot showing a jumping Rosemeyer in casual wear (shirt, tie and slipover) in a car as described by WB and including the high five (but without the additional air intake on the right suspension cover one can see clearly on the race photos).

#111 jj2728

jj2728
  • Member

  • 2,777 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 08 February 2011 - 22:36

I'm also of the opinion that it's 2 different cars. Don't have the reference handy, but how many cars did AU show up with in 1937?

#112 simonlewisbooks

simonlewisbooks
  • Member

  • 2,118 posts
  • Joined: January 02

Posted 09 February 2011 - 09:54

I don't think it's worthy of discussion at all :)


But it would be nice to see photos of it, if anyone knows of any?
I can't find anything via Google
Was it C&S or MOTOR SPORT who ran a small feature on the car some years ago when the story came out? Did they run a photo ?

Edited by simonlewisbooks, 09 February 2011 - 10:06.


#113 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 09 February 2011 - 10:15

Pretty sure it was MotorSport and pretty sure they ran one or more photos
Can't remember when, though - five years ago?

#114 Tim Murray

Tim Murray
  • Member

  • 14,288 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 09 February 2011 - 12:24

The article, with photos, appeared in the July 2001 issue of Motor Sport, and was discussed in this earlier thread:

Auto Union P-Wagen “found” in Scotland!?!?

#115 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 09 February 2011 - 13:17

Can't remember when, though - five years ago?

My friends and I (same age) have worked oiut if we think something happened five years ago, it was ten :lol:

#116 Nanni Dietrich

Nanni Dietrich
  • Member

  • 1,237 posts
  • Joined: February 04

Posted 09 February 2011 - 15:40

1946 Gorky fatal crash 09.06.1946 Type D 38/39 760--
Posted Image


According to different sources, including this thread
http://forums.autosp...mp;#entry253227
the accident which claimed the lives of 18 people, occurred on 09 June 1948, instead of 1946.

Can you confirm the date?
Do you know other informations about this sad accident?

#117 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,328 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 09 February 2011 - 21:52

The article, with photos, appeared in the July 2001 issue of Motor Sport, and was discussed in this earlier thread:

Auto Union P-Wagen “found” in Scotland!?!?


I told the editor at the time that the story was BS, the feature was a travesty and MS should never have given it space because the thing was not real. They had been suckered in. He insisted that running the story "was still valid" - at which I glazed over. This was in my opinion a most unfortunate lapse on his part, because he was otherwise very knowledgeable, heart in the right place and by all accounts a good bloke. Pity really, but it shows how a misdescribed project can have far reaching collateral damage.

DCN

#118 Dennis Hockenbury

Dennis Hockenbury
  • Member

  • 656 posts
  • Joined: April 03

Posted 10 February 2011 - 03:11

I confess that I had forgotten about the P-Wagen in Scotland. Perhaps for all the right reasons, though I wonder what became of the car/full scale model.

#119 elansprint72

elansprint72
  • Member

  • 3,340 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 10 February 2011 - 09:35

I confess that I had forgotten about the P-Wagen in Scotland. Perhaps for all the right reasons, though I wonder what became of the car/full scale model.


Last I heard it was being treated for death-watch beetle.

Advertisement

#120 Derwent Motorsport

Derwent Motorsport
  • Member

  • 452 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 10 February 2011 - 11:28

Reading the other thread it would seem the "Scottish" replica was bought by Bernie and used as the basis of a full restoration by C&G, authorised by Audi.
I seem to rememember the car was in some fishing village north of Aberdeen? Is Terry Wright still with us I wonder? He seemed to have been involved in a few "interesting" projects!!!

#121 Tim Murray

Tim Murray
  • Member

  • 14,288 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 10 February 2011 - 12:36

The story of Bernie's Auto Union continues here:

Bernie's Auto Union

#122 Pavel Lifintsev

Pavel Lifintsev
  • Member

  • 143 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 13 February 2011 - 08:49

Me and Alexey had to remove some pictures from our posts upon request of a guy who loaned them to us.
However I hope to find substitutes for them as soon as possible.

#123 Egor

Egor
  • Member

  • 47 posts
  • Joined: December 10

Posted 15 February 2011 - 16:38

Pavel, thank you very much!

After you have done great work I have one question remains. Why Alexandrov wrote all since he wrote? Would not have been foreseen, all deny it?

I tried to ask him that question, but he did not respond to it.

Edited by Egor, 15 February 2011 - 16:38.


#124 Alexey Rogachev

Alexey Rogachev
  • Member

  • 835 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 16 February 2011 - 07:13

Well, I think his aim was by no means an unbiassed and accurate research. Most probably he only wanted to gain third-rate popularity, a sort of the Moon hoax.

#125 Egor

Egor
  • Member

  • 47 posts
  • Joined: December 10

Posted 18 February 2011 - 07:07

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

#126 Ralf Pickel

Ralf Pickel
  • Member

  • 491 posts
  • Joined: December 05

Posted 18 February 2011 - 09:08

Again - great shots.
Is it the C/D hillclimb car ?

Ralf

#127 JoBo

JoBo
  • Member

  • 176 posts
  • Joined: June 10

Posted 18 February 2011 - 14:09

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

Jessus - what did they do with this great machinery....? What a waste of technology, history and value!

JoBo

#128 Alexey Rogachev

Alexey Rogachev
  • Member

  • 835 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 18 February 2011 - 19:45

Again - great shots.
Is it the C/D hillclimb car ?

Ralf

Quite right, this is the one that was owned by AAK club from Riga and later sold to the Audi museum. The first photo seems to be taken somewhere in the backyard of the Bikernieki racing circuit.

#129 Holger Merten

Holger Merten
  • Member

  • 1,836 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 19 February 2011 - 19:39

Jessus - what did they do with this great machinery....? What a waste of technology, history and value!

JoBo


Lord help them. They don't know what they do.


#130 Jonas

Jonas
  • Member

  • 221 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 20 February 2011 - 09:19

Jessus - what did they do with this great machinery....? What a waste of technology, history and value!

JoBo

Well... they saved it! So I think that your remark is not quite justified.
If you look at the overall fate of the Auto-Unions in the Soviet Union, my sentiments are very much aligned with your comment.
But in reference to the pictures shown here, which show (to my knowledge) the people involved in saving the only complete, as raced, Auto-Union from the scrapyard, I am a lot more inclined to display some considerable amount of gratitude!

Lord help them. They don't know what they do.

Maybe not. But thanks to them we can still admire one of the greatest preserved pre-war racing machines.

#131 Holger Merten

Holger Merten
  • Member

  • 1,836 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 24 February 2011 - 14:33

Well... they saved it! So I think that your remark is not quite justified.
If you look at the overall fate of the Auto-Unions in the Soviet Union, my sentiments are very much aligned with your comment.
But in reference to the pictures shown here, which show (to my knowledge) the people involved in saving the only complete, as raced, Auto-Union from the scrapyard, I am a lot more inclined to display some considerable amount of gratitude!


Maybe not. But thanks to them we can still admire one of the greatest preserved pre-war racing machines.


Correct, they saved it. But what the hell happened to all the others? And why did they end in the middle of nowhere? Nothing seems to be left.


#132 ianselva

ianselva
  • Member

  • 249 posts
  • Joined: December 05

Posted 25 February 2011 - 09:36

Correct, they saved it. But what the hell happened to all the others? And why did they end in the middle of nowhere? Nothing seems to be left.

Why should you expect them to saved ? They were only old outdated racing cars at the time, and pretty low on most peoples list of priorities, when they had just gone through a massive invasion of their country.


#133 Option1

Option1
  • Member

  • 13,094 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 25 February 2011 - 19:31

Yeh, I must admit that to suggest people in countries as devastated as Europe was at the time should focus on some recently out-dated racing cars seems somewhat harsh at best.

Neil

#134 JoBo

JoBo
  • Member

  • 176 posts
  • Joined: June 10

Posted 25 February 2011 - 23:39

Why should you expect them to saved ? They were only old outdated racing cars at the time, and pretty low on most peoples list of priorities, when they had just gone through a massive invasion of their country.


They might have been outdated at that time. But it was far "high tech" to the normal Russian standarts of that time! Only for this they should normally saved those cars. They also saved Hitler`s uniform, and that was VERY "outdated" then......

JoBo

Edited by JoBo, 25 February 2011 - 23:40.


#135 Pavel Lifintsev

Pavel Lifintsev
  • Member

  • 143 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 06 March 2011 - 13:09

Here is finally the last part of the trilogy.
Luckily we got kind permission to use some great pictures from Dmitriy Dashko archive. Without them these texts wouldn't be illustrated so well.

Auto Unions as donors for Soviet racing cars – truth or myth?

Oh, that's where Alexandrov's imagination ran really wild. True, he had some reasons for supposing Nikitin's special to be a rebuilt AU – first, similar appearance and second, the fact that several Silver Arrows landed up in Kharkov. But everything else is mostly his idle speculations and false conclusions based on hearsay evidence.

I start with the Roots blowers, allegedly removed from AUs and fitted into the racing Pobedas. Alexandrov clearly considers this story to be very important as he described it in a sole chapter! It has to be recalled that his theory relies merely on recollections of former GAZ engineer Mikhail Makeyev (page 147): "For 1951 we built the new car with drop-shaped body. It had four-cylinder engine with Roots supercharger of Auto Union origin". Curiously enough, in Oldtimer-Markt article (page 14) these same words are put into mouth of Boris Grekov, GAZ test driver who had nothing to do with motorsport. Moreover, he (or is it author?) talks about "various parts" and not only blower, and then mentions Moskvich-based racecars, of which he hadn't a clue.

Those inconsistent accounts made me believe that Makeyev was simply misquoted. Yet it had to be proved. So I went to Nizhniy Novgorod to visit GAZ museum and see memoirs of employees which Alexandrov referred to. He only "forgot" to tell that they were collected and recorded in 1985 by Lev Shugurov. It didn't surprise me tough. But I was really stunned when I found out that the quote on page 147 is correct! So Alexandrov didn't lie. Nevertheless he didn't bother to check his findings. Instead he creatively pushed his theory further – shifted action into 1950, "fitted" three more works Pobedas with AU blowers and declared that officials "shut their eyes" to the rules infringement because "there were no other competitors in that class" (page 148), thus nobody complained.

What a crap! In 1950 race there were about thirty cars in Pobeda category. Three of them indeed were equipped with supercharged engines, but none of the GAZ works team!

Still what's with the 1951 car? Single picture of its engine could either confirm or disprove the hypothesis. And I found it in GAZ archives! Here we can see the engine being installed into the car.

Posted Image
Photo: Nikolai Dobrovolskiy / GAZ works archive

Black cylinder with roller is an alternator. The blower (also belt driven from crankshaft) seats on the other side of engine block, together with two carburetors, so we don't see it well. But it seems to have no fins and besides that AU superchargers were gear driven. Where was it taken from then? Shugurov in one of his articles wrote that the blower was adopted from YaAZ M204 truck diesel. I can't say if it's true because all drawings of GAZ racing cars seem to be lost long ago. Fact is that this engine (copied from GMC 4-71) really had Roots blower so it was easily available and might well be the same thing.

Statement regarding AU steering wheels used on ZIL 112S sport cars doesn't hold water too. Alexandrov claims it in caption on page 197 and then repeats on page 200. His only argument is that picture. I have instead quite a few grounds for opposition. To start with, this shot can't be dated "end of the 1950s" as caption says – the first 112S was built in 1961, second chassis appeared in 1962. So it's actually July 1963, first round of USSR Championship. Surely something is wrong with a person who pretends to be an expert in Soviet motorsport? Next, the 1962 Avtomobilist yearbook includes an article on 112S written by Vasiliy Rodionov who designed it. He describes amongst other things the steering wheel "with spring spokes, wooden rim and leather upholstery". Who needs all these details if they simply removed it from an Auto Union? And who believes that they had to adapt the cockpit layout to a single available part? It would have looked like sewing a coat on a button! Finally, why those steering wheels waited for a chance so many years? After all there were no less than four sports cars built at ZIS/ZIL works in the 1950s...

Both ZIL 112S survived to this day. Later version is on display in Rigas Motormuzejs. The other chassis was heavily crashed in 1978, its remains were sold abroad. Now private collector from Sweden tries to restore the car. This is how their steering wheels look like today.

Posted Image

Posted Image

I agree, at first sight one may easily confuse them with an AU wheel – comparable size, four spokes etc. However both ZIL steering wheels show a distinctive feature – eight circles around central lock, which can also be seen on period photos. Not a single Auto Union had anything like that. To finish with this I'd like to quote Swedish collector who replied upon Alexey's straight question: "Looking at the quality I feel it's not an AU wheel". Case closed.

Not a whit of truth offers another story that declares an Auto Union rev counter to be used in Zvezda-M-NAMI record car. The sole reason for Alexandrov to claim this sounds quite funny: "Back then tachometers weren't being manufactured in the USSR at all" (page 200). Well, for cars – definitely not, but in some industrial branches they were not uncommon. Still one picture is worth a thousand words, so have a look at the photo of Zvezda's dashboard below.

Posted Image
Source: Dmitriy Dashko archive

As one can notice the rev counter has nothing to do with VDO devices exploited in AU racing cars. What's more, the photo above and pictures on page 103 in the book come from the same source – internal NAMI report. Thus Alexandrov MUST have seen it! But he chose not to publish it, hence creating a new sensation.

One more silly tale can be found on page 160. I mean the (supposedly) quoted words of Georgiy Surguchev: "I studied its design [of the Rosemeyer's record streamliner] and carefully copied it for my own racing car". It's almost impossible to guess what car he's talking about because Surguchev was better known for his driving skills and fine tuning of Wartburg two-stroke engines. Probably Zvezda 500? Working for NAMI research institute he might have taken part in its development. But it was small rear (not mid!) engined car with motorcycle power plant (two-cylinder boxer, 494 ccm, 35 hp) and only vaguely resembled the Silver Arrows from Zwickau.

Posted Image

As to the spark plugs taken from V16 engine I would happily know the motives for Surguchev adjusting these more than 20 years old spare parts (great durability by the way!) and fitting them into his car, and later for some reason keeping them as a treasure for years. As you probably remember, Alexandrov didn't even manage to see them...

But probably the craziest things ever were told on the web. I quote just one of Alexandrov's sentences: "GAZ racing driver Metelev recalled... we cut Pirelli marks off the tyres with dental drilling machine". One has to imagine this! They cut Pirelli marks off... hmm, Continental tyres? And then fitted these 19" or 22" tyres to the 16" Pobeda rims? Bullshit! Mitelev (sic!) would have never said anything like that.

There were in fact some other rumours, fortunately not "revealed" in the book to add to the mayhem. E.g. that Yuriy Vishnyakov installed the AU gearbox into his 1965 Estonia 11-based special. It's quite easy to explain where it came out from: lots of people knew that he obtained from NAMI and brought to Leningrad one of the AU cars, presumably with streamlined bodywork. But this incredible hybrid hardly existed. Contemporary Za rulem magazine insists that initially Vishnyakov's car had no gearbox at all – powerful GAZ 13 engine (V8, 5526 ccm, 220 hp) balanced direct wheel drive. In 1966, as rules changed, it was replaced with bored-out GAZ 21 engine (in-line four, 2891 ccm, 120 hp) together with transmission built from Wartburg housing. Maybe it was made up of AU internals? I hold it for rather unlikely. After all German gearbox was destined to transfer much higher torque than modified stock engine could ever produce. Using it with that power plant would be like cracking a nut with sledgehammer.

I am therefore of the opinion that only two stories are worth to believe.
First of them is mentioned in Alexandrov's book on page 122. Originally it was told by Lev Shugurov in an article that appeared in MotorNews magazine, issue 5/1997:
"In the summer of 1959 our factory was preparing cars for USSR championship. I was recently recruited for design bureau concerned entirely with racing cars. Igor Alexandrovich Gladilin, my chief, took me to the workshop where two stripped Moskvich G2 stood. They were receiving new engines of the 407 type instead of the old 405. A question emerged immediately – how shall we adjust rev counters? There were no electronic tachometers back then, only mechanical.
– Where did you get these things? – I have never seen devices like that.
– We removed them from Auto Unions, – Gladilin explained. – Nothing else was available.
– From Auto Unions? And where are the cars themselves?
– We received them a few years ago when we just started creating racecars. It must have been in 1952. The cars were analyzed and then brought back to NAMI. We managed to make some useful things out of them. Look, our car has detachable steering wheel with ball catch – exactly like those Auto Unions. And pedal system – not identical but similar."
However this story also needs confirmation. Yet all I have currently is this single shot where one can recognize something similar to an AU tachometer. And it looks to be reversed since the area of maximum revs lies on the right and not on the left. But in this case all figures on the dial must appear upside down...

Posted Image

Second message comes from David Balter, who seems to have worked with Vladimir Nikitin. He told that there were in fact some AU parts used in the Kharkov record car. These were... (attention please) valve springs! Not much, yeah? Well, definitely not enough for a sensation.

Even if we take those stories as certain, setting the German cars apart to gain some spare parts is out of the question. Thus Alexandrov's statement on page 15 in Oldtimer-Markt that "four cars collected by GAZ almost completely became donors for Pobedas and other Soviet racing cars" is nothing but fantasy. Along with many other his claims.

What will be the conclusion? Were Auto Unions indeed "the first and long-lasting impulse that motorsport in the USSR received", as Alexandrov wrote on pages 97 and 185? Or, as Peter Kirchberg remarked on page 11 in the same book, "nothing was made out of them"? The truth as always lies somewhere in between. One thing is sure. We, Russians would have better left those cars in the mine where we discovered them. But there are so many "would" and "if only" in the world...

Edited by Pavel Lifintsev, 06 March 2011 - 13:28.


#136 Marticelli

Marticelli
  • Member

  • 281 posts
  • Joined: January 10

Posted 11 March 2011 - 18:04

According to a report in today's Daily Telegraph, Abba Kogan is selling his Auto Union. The published story makes interesting reading...

http://www.telegraph...pricey-car.html

Marticelli

#137 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 24,025 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 11 March 2011 - 18:08

According to a report in today's Daily Telegraph, Abba Kogan is selling his Auto Union. The published story makes interesting reading...

http://www.telegraph...pricey-car.html

Marticelli

I think you ought to check the date on that ;)

#138 Egor

Egor
  • Member

  • 47 posts
  • Joined: December 10

Posted 19 January 2012 - 14:25

New photos from Riga.

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

#139 Peter Morley

Peter Morley
  • Member

  • 1,894 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 19 January 2012 - 16:27

This seems to be a fairly accurate version of the story of the rediscovery of the Russian Auto Unions.
http://www.caranddri...es/auto-reunion

Advertisement

#140 wolf sun

wolf sun
  • Member

  • 483 posts
  • Joined: September 05

Posted 26 August 2012 - 22:43

This fourty-minute film from German news page 'Spiegel-Online' may not add many details to this topic (if at all), but it might still be worth a look. German language only...if anyone wants to have any part(s) of it translated, I'll be happy to help out, time permitting.

#141 atdoublep

atdoublep
  • New Member

  • 3 posts
  • Joined: March 13

Posted 20 March 2013 - 16:01

Hi, I am new here so don't judge hard, but just want to give some info.

Rescuer of C/D car passed away in March 10.
So in Riga Motormuseum we honored him!
R.I.P.

Posted Image

#142 cdrewett

cdrewett
  • Member

  • 361 posts
  • Joined: January 08

Posted 23 March 2013 - 16:22

some days ago I posted this video in the youtube finds thread.


At the end of the video you can see race footage in colour from 1937.



Auto union numbers were red.


Those were the days when TV programmes were aimed at an intelligent audience.

#143 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,164 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 23 March 2013 - 16:50

Really? Then why does it start with a statement that is blatantly nonsense?

#144 elansprint72

elansprint72
  • Member

  • 3,340 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 31 March 2013 - 21:36

Really? Then why does it start with a statement that is blatantly nonsense?


Which post are you referring to?