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What happened to Wilhelm Werner 1874 ? 19??


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#1 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 06:09

Wilhelm Werner was born April 23, 1874 at Grossgarsch near Heilbronn, Germany. Since 1895 he worked as mechanic with DMG in Cannstadt. In 1902 he raced for American millionaire Clarence Gray Dinsmore until the end of 1905 when he gave up racing for employment in 1906 as top driver for Kaiser Wilhelm II, whom he served for the next 12 years.

What ever happened to Wilhelm Werner? When did he die?

Known racing record of Wilhelm Werner
1998, August 27-28: South-Tyrol Touring Trial, 2nd in Daimler
1901, March 25: Nice-Salon-Nice, 1st place in Mercedes 35 HP
1901, March 28: Nice Flying Kilometer Sprint, 1st in class, in Mercedes 35 HP
1901, March 29: La Turbie Climb, 1st in Mercedes 35 HP
1901, June 27-29: Paris-Berlin, 14th place in Mercedes 35 HP
1902, April 7: La Turbie Climb, 3rd in Mercedes-Simplex 40 hp
1902, June 26-29: Paris-Vienna, DNF in Mercedes-Simplex 40 hp
1902, August 31: Frankfurt Circuit Race, 1st in Mercedes-Simplex 40 hp
1902, September 7: Semmering Climb, 1st in Mercedes-Simplex 40 hp
1903, April 1: La Turbie Climb, 2nd in Mercedes ?
1903, May 24: Paris-Madrid, DNF in Mercedes 90 hp
1904, June 17: Gordon Bennett, 11th Mercedes 90 hp
1904, ????1000 Mile Irish Trial, 2nd in Mercedes ?
1904, October 8: Vanderbilt Cup Race, DNF in Mercedes 90 hp
1905, July 5: Gordon Bennett, 5th in Mercedes 120 hp
1905, August 12-13: Bleichenröder-Rennen, 2nd in Mercedes ?
1905, August 12: Forstenrieder Park, 3rd in Mercedes ?
1905, August 13: Kesselberg Climb, 2nd in Mercedes ?

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#2 robert dick

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 13:26

In addition to the aforementioned infos :

In 1897 Wilhelm Werner moved from Cannstatt to Vienna, where he worked for Emil Jellinek and cared for the Jellinek car park : a Daimler “Riemenwagen” (the belt driven curiosity) and a 2-cylinder Phönix, a Benz, a Léon Bollée “voiturette”, a further small car from Ménard and a V-4 Mors. In 1898 Hermann Braun too moved to Vienna to help him.
In March 1899 Werner drove the 4.9-litre Phönix of Dr. Pascal (= Henri de Rothschild) in the touring car race between Nice and Magagnosc, finishing second behind Jellinek’s 4.9-litre.
Beginning in 1900, Werner cared for the car park of Baron Alfred Springer in Vienna.
In Spring of 1901 Werner drove again Henri de Rothschild’s car in Nice. In the race to Berlin he was at the wheel of William Turner Dannat’s Mercedes, an improved 35 HP (bore 118 instead of 116 mm, compression ratio 4,5/1).
In1902, after Baron Springer fell ill, Werner drove for Clarence Gray Dinsmore and the Frankfurt banker Robert Katzenstein, his first races for Dinsmore being a kilometer-sprint in Deauville, then the hill climb to the Semmering.
In 1903 Werner drove a Sixty in the meeting of Nice, an Eighty (called either 80 HP, or 80/90 HP or 90 HP, in any case 175/140 mm) in the race to Madrid. With Braun he prepared Jenatzy’s Bennett winning car. In 1903 Werner was not accepted as “Gentleman driver” in the German Club, hence not allowed to be Bennett driver.
In 1904 Werner drove the newest Ninety (called eihter 90 or 95 HP, 165/140 mm) in Nice, and a Ninety Austro-Mercedes manufactured in Wiener-Neustadt in the Bennett and Vanderbilt Cup.
In 1905 Werner drove the newest 125 HP (175/146 mm) in the Bennett Cup, his last great race. Dinsmore died in November 1905. Werner cared for Kaiser Wilhelm’s car park.
After WWI he worked in the Berlin Mercedes agency, died sometime around 1940 in his native village (I have the exact date somewhere in the catacombs of my house – I’ll come back tomorrow).



#3 robert dick

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 13:38

I had my usual problems to insert the photos !

Posted Image

Photo 1 :
March 1901 – Meeting of Nice.
Wilhelm Werner at the volant of Henri de Rothschild’s Mercedes (116/140 mm, T-head); on the left Hermann Braun.
= = = = = = =

Posted Image

Photo 2 :
September 1902 - Semmering.
Wilhelm Werner at the wheel of the winning Mercedes-Simplex (118/150 mm, T-head), beside him his new employer Clarence Gray Dinsmore, behind him banker Robert Katzenstein.
= = = = = = =

Posted Image

Photo 3 :
April 1903 – Meeting of Nice.
Hermann Braun with his Mercedes Sixty (140/150 mm, i.o.e. one camshaft) on the Promenade des Anglais. On the left Wilhelm Werner and Otto Hieronimus. In the background a Gobron.
= = = = = = =

Posted Image

Photo 4 :
June 1904 - GB-Cup - Taunus.
The Austro-Mercedes (165/140 mm, i.o.e. two camshafts) of Wilhelm Werner. The piked helmet catered for free track.
= = = = = = =

Posted Image

Photo 5 :
July 1905 - GB-Cup - Auvergne.
Wilhelm Werner at work in the Mercedes (175/146 mm, i.o.e. two camshafts), in the middle of the Grand Tournant, in his last great race.

#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 13:51

That's great stuff, Robert, great stuff...

By the way, your error was to have 'http://' in the pic URL twice... you can go back and edit these out.

#5 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 17:38

Robert - you are a well of great information. You should really try to get you book published to make all your knowledge available to us. Thank you for the information that he lived into the forties. It always surprised me that the DMG paid relatively little attention to Werner's accomplishments. Regardless that he was sticking to their products only, he was not a “Mercedes Driver” because he was not one of their employees.

#6 Don Capps

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 20:06

WOW! Great stuff, Robert!! Thanks for sharing these great photos!!! I recalled the name from the Vanderbilt and "Gordon Bennett Cup" events, but I knew little else about him. Thank you, once again.

#7 robert dick

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Posted 07 January 2003 - 10:38

Wilhelm Werner died on 9 March 1947 in Großgartach (or Grossgartach, Kreis Heilbronn).
His title „im Dienste Kaiser Wilhelm II.“ was „Oberwagenführer“.

Concerning the racing record :
1902 Frankfurt = Internationales Bahnrennen Frankfurt am Main.
1904 1000 Mile Irish Trial = probably the 1903 Castlewellan Speed Trials (a few days after the Bennett Cup).
August 1905 events = Herkomer Fahrt and affiliated events.

Werner is one of these forgotten and completely underrated drivers. In the eyes of E. T. Stead, René de Knyff and... Fernand Gabriel, he was one of the best drivers of his time. Since he was only a mechanic and not a gentleman driver, it was very difficult for him to sit a the wheel of an unused first class car. He always had to prepare the car himself and then to drive it. And of course he was not invited to the gentleman driver’s banquets where the cars for the oncoming races were assigned.
Example of the payment : In 1904 the gentleman drivers Jenatzy, de Caters and Warden collected solely for the Bennett Cup start “one car of their own choice gratis”, for the victory an additional one, for second place a six-litre. Werner and Braun started gratuitously, drove during the whole season for an annual salary of 6000 Francs and had, in the case of a Cup victory, to be content with 10.000 Francs, with ten percent of the gentleman driver renumeration. In return the DMG took over their insurance and accomodation.

#8 robert dick

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Posted 07 January 2003 - 11:49

Some of Wilhelm Werner’s colleagues :

Hermann Braun :
was born in Cannstatt, on 18 December 1878 (I don’t know the date of death, in 1937 he still lived in Cannstatt as “invalider Pensionär”). Worked for Jellinek in Vienna, then for Theodor Dreher in Triest.

Theodor Dreher :
was born in Schwechat near Vienna, on 27 August 1874. Industrialist. Donor of the Semmering challenge trophy. Died in an automobil accident on 23 April 1914.

Otto Hieronimus (two “i”s, no “y” as often quoted) :
born in Cologne (Köln am Rhein), on 26 July 1879. Apprenticeship at Benz & Cie between 1 July 1896 and 30 September 1898. Technical school in Hildburghausen. Worked in Vienna. Died in the practice of the Ries hillclimb on 8 May 1922, driving a 6-cylinder Steyr.

Pierre de Caters :
born in Antwerpen, on 25 December 1875. Died in Paris, on 25 March 1944.

Marius Barbarou (no “x”) :
born in Moissac (Tarn et Garonne), on 28 October 1876. Apprenticeship in Paris under Gustave Chauveau and Aimé Witz. Exhibited his first design, a V-2 engine with operated in- and outlet valves at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle. At the end of 1900 technical director of Adophe Clément’s bureau d’études. Between October 1902 and May 1904 technical director at Benz/Mannheim. Between June 1904 and March 1914 at Delaunay-Belleville. Beginning in April 1914 at Lorraine-Dietrich.

Otto Salzer :
born in Möglingen (Württemberg), on 4 April 1874. Began to work for the DMG as locksmith on 5 October 1896. Beginning on 1 January 1900 he was responsible for the assembly of the racing cars and prototypes. Died in Obertürkheim, on 7 January 1944.

Franz Heim :
born in Wiesbaden, on 4 July 1882. Began his apprenticeship at Benz/Mannheim on 12 April 1897. Riding mechanic of Hémery and Hanriot. Died in 1926.

Fritz Erle :
born in Mannheim, on 12 November 1875. Began to work for Benz as locksmith, on 3 March 1894. Technical school in Ilmenau/Thüringen. Took part in the 1896 Paris-Marseille race with Eugen Benz. Director of the Benz racing department in 1907. After WWI director of the Berlin Benz agency, untill 1935. Died in Mannheim, on 20 November 1957.

Willy Poege :
born in Chemnitz, on 2 December 1869. Director of the “Electricitäts Actien Gesellschaft, vormals Hermann Poege/Chemnitz”. Died on 12 May 1914 after a heart attack.

Victor Hémery :
born in Le Mans, on 18 November 1876. Between 1895 and 1900 worked at Léon Bollée. From 1900 till 1906 director of the test department at Darracq. Died in Le Mans, on 8 September 1950.

René Hanriot :
born in Voute (Haute-Seine), in 1876. Originally Champagne maker.

Louis Wagner :
born in Pré-Saint-Gervais near Paris, on 5 February 1882. In the Fifties lost a leg due to diabetes. Director of Montlhéry. Died in Montlhéry, on 13 March 1960.

Christian Lautenschlager :
born in Magstadt (near Böblingen), on 13 April 1877. Died in Fellbach, on 3 January 1954.

#9 fines

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Posted 07 January 2003 - 15:56

Superb info! Thanks once again, Robert! :) :) :)

#10 Holger Merten

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Posted 07 January 2003 - 16:53

Wow robert, great photo, many info's. :clap:


By the way, that's all the result of your bookproject?

#11 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 07 January 2003 - 20:02

Robert – thank you for sharing all this wonderful knowledge with us. It is so much more than I had asked for, 's rather elaborate stuff not to be found in available literature. Besides Braunbeck’s Sport-Lexikon what other sources do you utilize to assemble your detailed reports?

#12 fines

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Posted 07 January 2003 - 20:18

Robert, I have Sep 9 as death date for Hémery, can't recall the source, though - are you confident of yours?

Also, you say that Fritz Erle took part in Paris-Marseille 1896 with Eugen Benz (presumably as riding mech) - I have no record for that, although my list of drivers is complete but for one Peugeot (#45) and one Léon Bollée "Voiturette" (#23). Did Benz use a nom de course for one of the French Benz entries? I have the following:
  • #24 Triouleyre: ? Valentin (possibly entrant for #49 Paris-Rouen 1894)
  • #25 Triouleyre: ? Estève
  • #29 Maison Parisienne: ? Guyonnet (also #38 Paris-Dieppe 1897 and #66 Paris-Amsterdam 1898, possibly #22 Paris-Trouville 1897 and #70 Marseille-Nice 1898 [? Guyennet on De Dion-Bouton])
  • #30 Maison Parisienne: ? Labouré (also #32 Paris-Dieppe 1897, #44 Marseille-Nice 1898 and #48 Nice-Marseille 1900)
  • #33 Fisson: ? Ferté

And, finally (:)), do you have first names for the following drivers?

  • Doriot (many good placings for Peugeot)
  • Kraeutler or Kroeutler (ditto, winner Lille-Calais 1898 and Berlin-Aachen 1900)
  • Thum (Benz, 5th Paris-Bordeaux 1895, 2nd Berlin-Potsdam 1898, said to hail from Mannheim)
  • Merkel (Panhard & Levassor, 2nd Paris-Marseille 1896)
  • d'Hostingue (Panhard & Levassor, riding mech to Levassor, took over in Paris-Marseille 1896 for 3rd)
  • Pary (De Dion-Bouton/André Michelin, 6th Marseille-Nice 1897 and Léon Bollée, 1st in class Paris-Marseille 1896, possibly also Panhard & Levassor, Paris-Amsterdam 1898 [J. Parit or Parix])
  • Mouchan (Landry & Beyroux, 6th Paris-Trouville 1897)
  • G. Leys (many placings for Panhard & Levassor, winner Course de Perigueux 1898)
  • Breuil or Preuil (Peugeot and/or Panhard & Levassor, 3rd Paris-Bordeaux 1898)
  • Balacéano or Balaceano (Panhard & Levassor, 5th Paris-Bordeaux 1898)
  • E. Adam (Panhard & Levassor, 6th Paris-Amsterdam 1898)
  • Baron de Turckheim or Turkheim or Türckheim (many placings for De Dietrich)
  • Georges (Peugeot, 6th Nice-Castellane and Bordeaux-Biarritz 1899)
  • Archambault (Panhard & Levassor, 4th Paris-Bordeaux 1899)
  • Debraye ("Antony", many good placings for Mors, winner Paris-Saint Malo and Paris-Trouville 1899)
  • Pinson (many placings for Panhard & Levassor)
  • Boileau de Castelnau (Amédée Bollée fils, 5th Tour de France 1899)

Or maybe Hans can help here? :cat:

#13 Racer.Demon

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Posted 07 January 2003 - 20:19

Now how about something on namesake Christian Werner, as I received the following question by e-mail from Vermont:

Dear Sirs,

I am extremely interested in any information or pictures of Christian
Werner. My name is Christian Kerner, and my father and mother named me
after the famous driver who is my great uncle. My fathers mother maiden
name was Emma Werner. If you guys are interested I have a photo of his car
and pictures from his funeral. I can scan them in and send them to you. It
is hard finding english information on him, maybe I should pick up
german...lol

Of course, anyone willing to match his knowledge with Christian K's pictures is welcome to publish the result on 8W.

#14 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 08 January 2003 - 01:48

Mattijs - I told you that I am working on his story for you. If you are in a hurry and you want to ask at TNF, it is probably much better, because it takes another burden off my back.

But PLEEEESE !!!! DO NOT START ANOTHER THREAD IN THIS ONE! We have such a fine and clean thread going here, let's not mess it up with other topics. Please start a new thread on Christian.

#15 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 08 January 2003 - 03:47

Originally posted by fines
.....do you have first names for the following drivers?......

  • Kraeutler or Kroeutler (ditto, winner Lille-Calais 1898 and Berlin-Aachen 1900)
    Kräutler
  • Thum (Benz, 5th Paris-Bordeaux 1895, 2nd Berlin-Potsdam 1898, said to hail from Mannheim)
    Johannes Thum. * April 13, 1869 in Königsfeld, Black Forest, † July 2, 1904
  • Baron de Turckheim or Turkheim or Türckheim (many placings for De Dietrich)
    Baron Adrien de Türkheim


#16 Racer.Demon

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Posted 08 January 2003 - 07:13

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
Mattijs - I told you that I am working on his story for you. If you are in a hurry and you want to ask at TNF, it is probably much better, because it takes another burden off my back.

But PLEEEESE !!!! DO NOT START ANOTHER THREAD IN THIS ONE! We have such a fine and clean thread going here, let's not mess it up with other topics. Please start a new thread on Christian.


Apologies, Hans. Just got another message from Christian K. so I thought it wouldn't hurt asking around. But you're right, this would warrant a fresh thread - won't mess about here any longer. :blush:

#17 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 08 January 2003 - 07:34

I have started a new thread on Christian Werner to avoid expected confusion and the possibility of mixing up the Werners. I have produced a brief abstract about Christian, still unfinished but presentable. The racing record is incomplete because I ran out of time after having spent several hours on this project alone.

#18 robert dick

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Posted 08 January 2003 - 11:21

Sources : mixture of contemporary press and Mercedes archives.

Fritz Erle in 1896 Paris-Marseille : Info comes from a personal letter of Erle to Alfred Neubauer. I don’t have the entry list in mind. We have to check whether Eugen Benz really took part in the race and his possible nom de course.

Hémery death date : Letter of the ACF to Neubauer.

Concerning the accuracy of these personal letters : I have a letter of Erle to Neubauer describing the production of the racing and record Benz. I think Erle wrote it from memory. One third is not correct.
These personal letters, sometimes written 40 years after the events, have to be handled with care.

= = = =

Book : Datas on the drivers and the races constitute a large part of the book, perhaps half of the content, but also the engineering, the technical evolution and the men behind the cars. I hope that the younger generation will accept these dinosaurs as real racing cars when their technical side is brought to light.
I have just received a refusal from Bertelsmann. Of course this is the largest publisher in Germany, absolutely not specialised in the subject. But the interest was much higher than in the case of smaller specialised publishers who are not able to appreciate whether the content is valuable or not, and decline it immediately. In any case I am translating it into English, or rough English.

= = = =

Doriot = Auguste Doriot, the engineer colleague of Louis Rigoulot at Peugeot, later the”D” of DFP.

Turckheim/Turkheim/Türkheim = I have Adrien de Turckheim (with “ck”), director of the Lunéville railway department of De Dietrich and later, with the Bollée and Turcat licences, of the automobile department (production in Lunéville and Argenteuil); nephew of Adrien de Dietrich; and original member of the ACF.

Boileau de Castelnau = probably Baron Emmanuel Boileau de Castelnau, famous alpinist.

#19 robert dick

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Posted 08 January 2003 - 13:36

Some notes on the Mercedes racers of the Werner period :

1903 :
designation 80, 80/90 or 90 HP; bore/stroke 170/140 mm; i.o.e. operated via one low mounted/left side camshaft; interrupter cam spindel/lower right side operating via thin vertical rods the wipe contacts of the low tension ignition; 95 HP at 1200/min; scroll clutch; 4-speed box; chain drive; wheelbase 260 cm, track 145 cm; tyres 910x90 front, 920x120 rear (de Caters prefered smaller tyres, 870x90 front, 880x120 rear).

Six cars have been built, delivered in April/May 1903, all of them took part in the Paris – Madrid race :
no. 1 = # 36 driven by Hieronimus; owned by Richard von Stern; sold to Andrew Fletscher, driven by Fletscher in the 1904 Circuit des Ardennes.
no. 2 = # 34 driven by Henri Degrais; owned by Henri de Rothschild; sold to Léopolde of Belgium.
no. 3 = # 39 driven by Köhler; owned by Charley Lehmann; sold to Willie Vanderbilt; exhibited at the 1903 Paris Salon; records in Daytona/February 1904.
no. 4 = # 27 driven by Pierre de Caters; owned by de Caters.
no. 5 = # 86 driven by Camille Jenatzy; owned by Jenatzy.
no. 6 = # 14 driven by Wilhelm Werner; owned by Dinsmore; sold to William Gould Brokaw/New York.

De Cater’s and Jenatzy’s cars nearly completey burnt out in the famous factory fire. The Werner/Dinsmore racer could be rebuilt, while the first three racers were not in Cannstatt during the fire. They were not entered in the Bennett race, because too heavy, the Irish pesage being too severe in comparison to the Madrid race.
= = = = = =

1904 :
designation 95 HP; 165/140 mm; i.o.e. via two low mounted camshafts, left/standing exhaust + magneto + water pump, right via pushrods + rockers/hanging inlet + wipe contacts of the low tension ignition; 98 HP at 1150/min, 105 HP at 1380/min; frame unchanged.

15 cars have been built :
no. 1 = March 1904 – driven by Braun in the Bennett Cup; owned by Henri de Rothschild.
no. 2 = March 1904 – driven by John B. Warden; owned by Warden.
no. 3 = March 1904 – driven by Jenatzy; owned by Dinsmore.
no. 4 = June 1904 – driven by de Caters; owned by de Caters.
no. 5 = June 1904 – driven by Werner; owned by Jellinek secretary Ferdinand Spiegel (with red tonneau body).
no. 6 = July 1904 – Luigi Storero/Turin.
no. 7 = July 1904 – Willie Vanderbilt.
no. 8 = September 1904 – Harmsworth/London.
no. 9 = October 1904 – Vincenzo Florio/Palermo.
no. 10 = November 1904 – exhibited at the Paris Salon.
no. 11 = November 1904 – Sultan of Jahore/London/Wellington Court/Knightsbridge; built in Wiener-Neustadt, tyres 910x90 front and 920x120 rear.
no. 12 = November 1904 - ? – red racing body.
no. 13 = December 1904 – Rittergutsbesitzer (= castle owner) Kees; with Truffault dampers.
no. 14 = December 1904 – Prince Alexis Orloff/Paris/no. 47, Rue Saint-Dominique; tyres 920x120 front and huge 1000x150 rear.
no. 15 = January 1905 – Exhibition Berlin; then Hutton/London.
= = = = = = = =

1905 :
designation 125 HP; 175/146 mm, some later cars 175/150 mm and 185/150 mm; 125 HP at 1300/min; wheelbase 290 cm, some cars 292 cm, track 140 cm; tyres 870x90 front, 880x120 rear.

12 cars :
no. 1 = April 1905 – driven by Jenatzy in the 1905 Bennett Cup; owned by Vincenzo Florio; driven by Florio in the 1906 GP; driven by Salzer in the 1906 Circuit des Ardennes.
no. 2 = April 1905 – driven by Braun in the 1905 Bennett Cup; owned by Dinsmore; in 1906 sold to Marieaux; driven by Marieaux in the 1906 GP.
no. 3 = April 1905 – driven by Werner in the 1905 Bennett Cup; owned by Henri de Rothschild.
no. 4 = April 1905 – driven by de Caters in 1905 Bennett Cup; owned by de Caters; in 1906 sold to Harvey du Cros.
no. 5 = April 1905 – driven by Hieronimus in the 1905 Bennett Cup; owned by Robert W. Graves.
no. 6 = June 1905 – built in Wiener-Neustadt, delivered directly to Clermont-Ferrand, driven by Burton in the 1905 Bennett Cup and (with Jenatzy) in the 1906 GP; driven by Salzer in the practice for the 1906 Circuit des Ardennes; took part in the Semmering hill climb 1906; in 1907 sold to Camaracescu/Bukarest.
no. 7 = August 1905 – Foxhall Keene – bore/stroke 175/150 mm.
no. 8 = July 1905 – de Caters.
no. 9 = August 1905 – driven by John B. Warden in the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup; owned by Warden.
no. 10 = September 1905 – owned by Alberto Santos-Dumont; driven by E. T. Stead in the Salon (South of France) speed trials.
no. 11 = October 1905 – delivered to Charley Lehmann/Paris – exhibited at the Salon/Paris.
no. 12 = November 1905 – Demartini/Rome.

Note :
The 1904 Mercedes racer was the last one (except the 6-cylinder prototype) in which Wilhelm Maybach was involved. Maybach fell ill in the middle of 1904, retired and took the waters for one year. His assistant Josef Brauner was alone responsible for the 1905 design (used more or less unchanged in 1906).

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#20 Holger Merten

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Posted 08 January 2003 - 13:53

Robert thank's for this interesting material. :eek:

Really great. It's right, you can learn on TNF. Daily and post by post.

#21 robert dick

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Posted 08 January 2003 - 15:03

Posted Image

Haute Couture racer : The 95 HP (165/140 mm) Mercedes driven by Wilhelm Werner in the 1904 Bennett Cup later received a red tonneau body. The proud owner? Jellinek’s secretary Ferdinand Spiegel.

#22 fines

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Posted 08 January 2003 - 17:35

This is absolutely stunning info!!!! Thank you very much, Robert and Hans :) :) :) :)

Btw, Robert, so you are German? From where are you? I am from Bitburg in the wonderful (although VERRRRY cold atm) Eifel! :)

#23 robert dick

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Posted 10 January 2003 - 11:41

Eugen Benz and Fritz Erle/Paris – Marseille 1896 :
Did not find any contemporary confirmation that young Benz and Erle took part in the race. It is confirmed in some older internal Mercedes publications, but without exact indication of the car. It was either Maison Parisienne # 29 or # 30.
The usual pseudonym of Eugen Benz was Eugène.
= = = = = =
Some words about Josef Brauner :
born in Lettowitz/Moravia, on 24 December 1863. School in Brünn and Dresden. Between 1887 and 1889 designed steam engines at C. E. Rost & Co. in Dresden. Between 1889 and 1891 he worked for the Dresdner Gasmotoren-Fabrik Moritz Hille, then for Buss, Sombart & Co. in Magdeburg.
On 1 July 1895 Brauner began to work for the DMG, in Karlsruhe, under Wilhelm Lorenz. On 1 December 1895 the whole office moved to Cannstatt, where Brauner worked under Maybach, designing petrol engines for Schuckert, then the engines for the Riemenwagen, the later Phönix and the Mercedes. In May 1900 he was named office director. When Maybach began to be ill in 1903, Brauner took over the technical direction. He left the DMG on 28 March 1908.
In the recommandation letter, the DMG wrote that Brauner was single-handed responsible for all constructions between 1904 and 1908. Concerning the racing cars this is exaggerated. The two camshaft i.o.e. principle is originally due to Maybach, so that the 1904 racer can be granted to Maybach and Brauner. The 1905/06 racer stemmed from Brauner alone.
From 1907 on Paul Daimler and his favourite engineers Eugen Link and Karl Schnaitmann were responsible for the racers.
Later Brauner worked for the Bergmann Elektrische Werke AG in Berlin and until 1930, when he retired, for NAG.

In any case one hundred years of historiography raised Maybach on a level which is out of all proportion to the reality. Just four years ago Mercedes published a book about Maybach with the 1905 racer on the front page, exactly the racer in which he was not involved!

#24 karlcars

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Posted 10 January 2003 - 12:31

Great stuff, Robert, on these early machines, and good research. Let me know if you have problems finding a publisher. I assume you have my writings on these early cars -- for what they're worth? I found quite a bit new when I updated my book... If you don't have them I'll e-mail them to you.

Kepp it up! :clap:

#25 robert dick

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Posted 10 January 2003 - 15:02

Karl,
many thanks for the encouragements.
I have no publisher. In Germany the interest in this early era seems to be nonexistant. Hence I am translating the script into English (not good enough for publishing).
Your indispensable “Mercedes-Benz Racing Cars” is used by everybody, thus including me, as basis. I focussed the story on pre-WWI and added what I could find in the Mercedes archives and the contemporary press.
Not sure whether I have your updates (e-mail = rd@insocam.de).

#26 Doug Nye

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Posted 10 January 2003 - 18:38

Originally posted by karlcars
Great stuff, Robert, on these early machines, and good research. ...Keep it up! :clap:


Absolutely Hear! Hear!

DCN

#27 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 11 January 2003 - 00:02

Robert – again thank you very much. You made this thread what it’s now – worth five stars. :D
*****

#28 Marcor

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 21:44

At the moment my researchs are back to the first decade of the 20th century, so I can add something in those marvellous informations given by Hans or Robert.

Back to the racing record of Wilhelm Werner, I can tell you some extra:
1904 Irish trials: as Robert Said it was rather in 1903. The Irish AC, after the Gordon Bennett race (July 2nd) organised some speed trials and hillclimb races in Ireland.
1)- speed trials at Phoenix Park, July 4th;
2)- hillclimb at Ballybannon (Henry Edmunds Cup) and speed trial from Clough to Ballybannon, July 7th
3)- Speed trials at Cork, July 10th;
4)- Hillclimb on the Killarney - Tralee road (Kenny County Council Cup), July 14th.

Werner, 60 HP Mercedes-Simplex was third in the hillclimb for the Henry Edmunds Trophy. (1st = E. Campbell Muir, 60 HP Mercedes, 2nd = Hon. C. S. Rolls, 80 HP Mors).

In 1904, at the Nice meeting, Mercedes was in force in the Heavy cars class with Werner, Jenatzy, Fletcher, Braun, Warden but was totally outclassed by the 100 HP Gobron-Brillié of Rigolly and Duray.
Werner was 3rd in the mile, 5th in the kilometre, 4th in the 2nd Rothschild Cup, 5th in the 3rd Rothschild Cup and 3rd in the Caters Cup.

And now a question about the 1903 edition of La Turbie. As you know, Zborowski had a fatal crash just after the start of his run. He was the 4th to compete after Werner (at 9 AM), Degrais and Hieronymus (sorry, I certainly mispell this name but my sources usually indicate the "Y"). The event was stopped after the crash, so were there really a winner ? Was it not simply cancelled ? The other speed trials at Nice were first banned then reported to April 7th (Coupes Rothschild).

#29 robert dick

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 09:18

1903 La Tubie :
The official statement written by Jacques Gondoin, the president of the Automobile Club de Nice, was that the race was stopped after the Zborowski accident and that Werner, Degrais and Hieronimus had been timed. It is not explicitly mentioned that this classification is invalid or cancelled. On the other hand the incomplete result was invalid according to the general ACF race regulations so that Gondoin simply did not consider necessary to mention it.

Hieronimus :
I have several letters written by him, all of them signed “Hieronimus” so that I think Hieronimus with “i” and no “y” is 100 % sure, despite the fact that the contemporary press always wrote his name with “y”.

#30 robert dick

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 08:05

La Turbie 1903 :
“La France Automobile”/1903 wrote :
“Les temps faits à La Turbie, avant l’accident qui fit arrêter l’épreuve, seront considérés comme records, et probablement définitifs puisque la course n’aura plus lieu. ”
= The times made at La Turbie, before the accident which stopped the event, will be considered as records, and probably definitive since the race will not be run again.

so that the times of
Hieronimus = 14’ 26” 4/5
Werner = 14’ 45” 4/5
and Degrais = 16’ 56” 2/5
could be used in advertisements/or for publicity. But of course Jellinek and his three drivers never used them.

= = = = =

Hieronimus with “i” :
The AAZ/Vienna/1922, volume I, no. 19/20, page 13 wrote :
“Otto Hieronimus verunglückte am 8. Mai 1922 beim Training für das Ries-Bergrennen tödlich.”
= Otto Hieronimus was killed in an accident on 8 May 1922 during practice for the Ries hillclimb.

#31 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 12:56

Posted Image
Wilhelm Werner (Mercedes) arrives at Turbie.



Posted Image
Count Eliot Zborowski's Mercedes at La Turbie on April 1, 1903. He had died instantly. Consequently the hill climb meeting
was stopped. No further events were held at La Turbie until six years later on March 28, 1909.

#32 robert dick

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Posted 16 December 2004 - 14:30

The photo of the Mercedes wreck shows the moment just before it was removed and loaded on a truck.
Really in a bad state - look at the steering wheel or what remains of it.

Zborowski had married Baroness de Stuers (née Margaret Carey, a granddaughter of William Backhouse Astor) on 7th March 1892, at Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on the very same day when she had got divorce from Alphonse de Stuers (a Belgian minister in Paris)!

After the accident, Zborowski's body was sent to Paris and placed in the Chapel of the American Church, in the Avenue d' Alma. Then the remains were sent to England for burial.