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Mercedes Benz W154 (merged)


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#51 raoul leDuke

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 08:26

It was the late Terry Cohn, who was well known in classic and historic vehicle circles. There were many rumors at the time that the car had not only been sold to Terry but also to a syndicate in Switzerland. Aside from the steering wheel I think he also received a truck full of old Tatra truck parts! Still not worth the million pounds.

Further rumors surfaced about the car being secretly restored by Mercedes Benz and that it was to appear for sale at some major auction, I can't remember off hand which. Terry got a court injuction issued but the car never appeared.

Terry was the father of Amanda Stretton. Terry wanted her to learn to race so hired Martin to teach her. He might have got a little more then he paid for.

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#52 Gary C

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 09:26

ten years later, the car still hasn't appeared, ANYWHERE, EVER! (BTW, I reckon Mercedes have it........)

#53 Peter Morley

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 10:27

Originally posted by Gary C
ten years later, the car still hasn't appeared, ANYWHERE, EVER! (BTW, I reckon Mercedes have it........)


RM advertised the W154 some (maybe 5 ish) years ago - there were photos of it in their adverts.

I came across the following details:

Chassis number 15, second last car built, 1939 specification e.g. W154/163 with different suspension and two stage supercharger.
Rebuilt by Mercedes Classic car division.

Apparently the lawyers sorted the ownership situation out and TC's claim was resolved, so any potential purchaser did not have to worry about an ownership dispute.

It was offered to some of the most likely potential owners and presumably found a new home.

#54 Gary C

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 12:48

I must have blinked and missed that, Peter. Excellent info.

#55 GIGLEUX

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 13:29

Here is what Simon Moore wrote in Classic and Sportscar, May 1987 issue:

"During the second half of 1945, a Rumanian engineer called Joska Roman found two W154 on the docks at a Black Sea port, all jumbled up with scrap being shipped back to Russia. He acquired them and took them home to Cluj in the western part of the country. He found that one was complete except for tyres, and the other less so. He fitted truck tyres to the complete car and ran in a hillclimb; unfortunately he crashed heavily due to lack of proper adhesion from the rear tyres in the wet, and the car caught fire. He was badly injured and was in hospital for over a year.
Although not able to work due to his injuries, Roman got in touch with Mercedes-Benz and this correspondence continued for over 20 years. He rebuilt one car with an H type engine and got it running, and then started on the second car, having to copy some bodyworks parts to replace the ones damaged in the accident.
Early in 1964 a man named Gene Jackson from Wisconsin heard about the two cars in Rumania through contacts in Stuttgart. Following the article in the March Road & Track, Jackson contacted Dick Merritt. Correspondance then started with Rumania but Merritt tired of the seemingly endless governement negotiations and passed the file of correspondence on to various dealers. Rob Box was one, and actually drove the complete car down the road in Cluj in 1968.
Finally, in 1971, Dr Georg Ott of Munich, acting on behalf of Dieter Holterbosch of New York, obtained the complete car from Rumania. It was shipped to Stuttgart early in 1972 where some minor work was carried out to get the engine running, but not up to racing revs. It did not have wheels when it left Rumania, but Mercedes made up new wheels centers and Borrani built new wire wheels. Dunlop supplied the tyres, and the car was shipped to New York in the autumn of 1972. Then the car was sold to Joel Finn in 1980 and he has had the engine rebuilt so that it now appears at occasional vintage events in the USA.
A number of other people have visited Clij since 1971 hoping to buy the parts making up the other car, but it is unlikely that they will be sold in the immediate future.".

#56 David Birchall

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 15:23

I recall Finn sitting in his car at the Monterey Historics sometime in the eighties with a rod sticking out of the side of the block-I've never seen a bloke look so dejected :(

#57 f1steveuk

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 16:05

OT i know, but.........

Anyone know the history of Bernie's W25?

#58 alansart

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 16:09

Originally posted by f1steveuk
OT i know, but.........

Anyone know the history of Bernie's W25?


Is this the new one he's ordered from Tom Wheatcroft?

#59 f1steveuk

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 16:29

No, the pukka one he's had for a few years, wonder why he'd want another??

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#60 Bruce_Williams

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 16:45

I thought Bernie had a W125? Are W25's being made.

#61 Peter Morley

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 16:46

Originally posted by f1steveuk
OT i know, but.........

Anyone know the history of Bernie's W25?


Does he have a W25?

I think he has the W125 that Colin Crabbe had - there is a photo of it being tested recently at Brands somewhere in this forum?

The Motorsport article says he has ordered the first Wheatcroft W125, I also wonder why he wants a 2nd one - hopefully we will see it in action rather than risk the original?
Or could it simply be to make sure he has a set of spare parts?

#62 f1steveuk

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 16:56

Now I am struggling with my memory! I recall a W125 testing at Brands, but I am sure alongside the other stuff in the warehouse was a W25 with an enclosed cockpit. I'm not at home so I can't check my paperwork, but I am fairly convinced..........

#63 Doug Nye

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 20:09

Originally posted by Peter Morley
Chassis number 15, second last car built, 1939 specification e.g. W154/163 with different suspension and two stage supercharger.
Rebuilt by Mercedes Classic car division.

Apparently the lawyers sorted the ownership situation out and TC's claim was resolved, so any potential purchaser did not have to worry about an ownership dispute.


The car was acquired eventually by The Collier Collection in Naples, Florida. It embodies the ultimate pre-war specification of the W154, including the ultimate engine spec. Apart from the tail - damaged in Roman's fiery accident in Rumania, it really retains largely original body panels, as well as chassis, running gear, etc.

DCN

#64 Ameridacusa

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 11:26

..two missing W 154's from the 30's ! I was involved with Terri Cohn in the 80's to find and deliver the second Mercedes W154 from Romania. Pit crew chief Roman was given responsibility to hide the two race cars in Romania before Hitlers rampage began in '39. Met in England with Teri to discuss strategy on shipping the "national treasure"..[sic ]..out of Romania as containerized spare truck parts among 19 forty foot containers of dismantled heavy duty trucks to the USA.! One container was waylaid and lost in Switzerland.! I was there.! I think I know what happened.! Anybody want to share this adventure?

#65 Tim Murray

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 12:02

We discussed this in an earlier thread:

Mercedes-Benz W154 in Romania

but it sounds as though you have some fascinating new information to add. :wave:

#66 Sharman

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 13:12

..two missing W 154's from the 30's ! I was involved with Terri Cohn in the 80's to find and deliver the second Mercedes W154 from Romania. Pit crew chief Roman was given responsibility to hide the two race cars in Romania before Hitlers rampage began in '39. Met in England with Teri to discuss strategy on shipping the "national treasure"..[sic ]..out of Romania as containerized spare truck parts among 19 forty foot containers of dismantled heavy duty trucks to the USA.! One container was waylaid and lost in Switzerland.! I was there.! I think I know what happened.! Anybody want to share this adventure?

I'm based in France. Have wheels will travel!!!

#67 Peter Morley

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 15:29

..two missing W 154's from the 30's ! I was involved with Terri Cohn in the 80's to find and deliver the second Mercedes W154 from Romania. Pit crew chief Roman was given responsibility to hide the two race cars in Romania before Hitlers rampage began in '39. Met in England with Teri to discuss strategy on shipping the "national treasure"..[sic ]..out of Romania as containerized spare truck parts among 19 forty foot containers of dismantled heavy duty trucks to the USA.! One container was waylaid and lost in Switzerland.! I was there.! I think I know what happened.! Anybody want to share this adventure?


Would love to know more about this story.

The story that we are aware of is:
Roman has two W154s, one of them (car 7, chassis number 189437/7) ends up with Joel Finn in the 1980s - and presumably passed onto Mr Samsung (Lee Kun-hee) from Korea and following his legal problems finds a new owner quite recently.
The other one (car 15, chassis number 189445/15) was rolled by Roman and caught fire, around 2006 Roman's son seemingly sold the remains to two different people (Terry Cohn & a Swiss gentleman), after the legal mess was sorted it ends up in the Collier collection.

I remember talking to someone who was involved in purchasing an Auto-Union from behind the iron curtain - his main involvement being to drive the E-type that was being exchanged for the Auto-Union to Eastern europe, the unusual feature of this particular E-type that made it valuable enough to be of interest were the gold bars that were fitted in the sills...

All the stories surrounding the post war rescue of the silver arrows are extremely interesting and usually just as good as any spy movie.

#68 Doug Nye

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 12:49

I remember Terry Cohn - father of Amanda Stretton - very well indeed as he lived locally. Joska Roman was not, so far as I am aware, anything to do with the pre-war Mercedes-Benz team. He was instead a Rumanian enthusiast who merely 'got lucky' around 1950. Two W154/39 cars had been abandoned in the Black Sea port of Costanza in 1945, and had then been consigned to a junkyard in nearby Braila, where Roman "adopted them" and took them back to his home in Cluj-Napoca. And yes, I would be absolutely fascinated to hear more of the story as recalled above. It must have been really exciting.

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 14 October 2011 - 13:12.


#69 Allan Lupton

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 13:18

Do I not remember a television programme about this - following someone, perhaps Terry, as he dealt with all sorts of expensive con-men?

#70 Ralf Pickel

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 13:39

All also remember a short piece on German TV news about the court case (against MB?).
They were very astonished showing Mr. Cohn arriving (at Stuttgart?) on theroad with his, of course, well known, trusty Alfa Monza complete with trailer hitch. And, I hope I am not wrong there, I also seem to recall that it was snowing or (at least) heavily raining.
What a character !

#71 jj2728

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 21:10

Figured I'd add a bit of colour to the thread. Hope noone minds. Indy 1948.

Posted Image

Copyright JAG

#72 Gary C

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 23:50

'Do I not remember a television programme about this'
Yep, 'In Search Of The Silver Arrows', I think. Produced by HRH Prince Edward's production company, Ardent Productions, I think.

#73 David McKinney

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 06:21

I think I've got it on VCR somewhere (recorded off-air)

Fairly sure our Doug Nye was a participant

Fascinating programme, anyway

#74 Alan Cox

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 09:07

'In Search Of The Silver Arrows', I think. Produced by HRH Prince Edward's production company, Ardent Productions, I think.

Indeed: http://ftvdb.bfi.org...ft/title/547907
Like David, I still have it on video. It was/is excellent. The nearest Terry got to 'his' GP Mercedes was sitting in one of M-B's cars in the paddock before one of the early Festivals of Speed.

#75 Alan Cox

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 11:14

A fascinating tale, Doug. It's a real shame that you weren't involved in the programme.

#76 Doug Nye

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 11:49

Hmmm - I expected one of you to say you still have the programme and I WAS in it. :eek:

DCN

#77 Ted Walker

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 15:00

I have a video of the programme Doug. I will try and find it .

#78 Simon Thomas

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 15:05

..two missing W 154's from the 30's ! I was involved with Terri Cohn in the 80's to find and deliver the second Mercedes W154 from Romania. Pit crew chief Roman was given responsibility to hide the two race cars in Romania before Hitlers rampage began in '39. Met in England with Teri to discuss strategy on shipping the "national treasure"..[sic ]..out of Romania as containerized spare truck parts among 19 forty foot containers of dismantled heavy duty trucks to the USA.! One container was waylaid and lost in Switzerland.! I was there.! I think I know what happened.! Anybody want to share this adventure?

Should this thread be titled "Hitler's missing twin babies"? Did Mercedes not hide cars in pairs as with the Romanian ones? Was The Tommy Lee car not also one of a pair?
Simon Thomas

#79 Doug Nye

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 16:51

Should this thread be titled "Hitler's missing twin babies"? Did Mercedes not hide cars in pairs as with the Romanian ones? Was The Tommy Lee car not also one of a pair?
Simon Thomas


That car came from Prague - I believe - in what was then Czechslovakia, its twin surviving today in the National Technical Museum...after a couple of years off on display amongst the Donington Collection. But if Ameridacusa is still out there it would be fascinating to hear his recollections as offered.

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 16 October 2011 - 16:54.


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#80 alfa8c

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 09:14

That car came from Prague - I believe - in what was then Czechslovakia, its twin surviving today in the National Technical Museum...after a couple of years off on display amongst the Donington Collection. But if Ameridacusa is still out there it would be fascinating to hear his recollections as offered.

DCN


Cars were indeed stored in pairs with all oil, water and fuel lines removed - and lovely tapered wooden bungs inserted into the holes. Two were still at Stuttgart and two in Berlin in 1945. Others were moved east away from Allied bombing - but towards the advancing Russians. Tommy Lee and Prague Museum car were one pair, another pair supposedly in Poland (one now at Schlumpf) and the two with Joska Roman. First westerner to spot the Joska Roman ones in Cluj was Antione Raffaelli - see pages 71-74 of "Memoirs of a Bugatti Hunter". Someone who has an organised set of Classic & SportsCar could remind us of a story by Simon Moore in that magazine many years ago which told the story and listed engine numbers (both H and K series).

#81 Tim Murray

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:26

The histories of the various W154 chassis were discussed in some detail in this earlier thread dating from 2003:

Mercedes Benz 1938 W154

where this listing was posted, gleaned from Historic Race & Rally magazine:

Here is information derived from Our Doug and Yves Kaltenbach which appeared in the late, sorely missed Historic Race & Rally Issues 3 and 4:

Mercedes W154 chassis log
Chassis no. werks nr. Kommission Nr.
W154/1 189 431 275 828
W154/2 189 432 275 829
W154/3 189 433 275 830
W154/4 189 434 275 831
W154/5 189 435 275 832
W154/6 189 436 275 833
W154/7 189 437 275 834
W154/8 189 438 275 835
W154/9 189 439 275 836
W154/10 189 440 275 937
W154/11 189 441 275 838
W154/12 189 442 275 839
W154/13 189 443 275 840
W154/14 189 444 275 841
W154/15 189 445 275 842
W154/16 189 443

Mercedes W154 race log

1938 Pau
W154/2 M154/H4 Caracciola
W154/5 M154/H6 Lang

1938 Tripoli
W154/9 M154/H9 Caracciola
W154/8 M154/H8 von Brauchitsch
W154/2 M154/H4 Lang
W154/5 M154/H6 & H7 training
W154/11 M154/H11 training

1938 France
W154/10 M154/H10 Caracciola
W154/4 M154/H12 von Brauchitsch
W154/2 M154/H11 Lang used M154/H6 in training
W154/5 M154/H7 training

1938 Germany
W154/10 M154/H10 Caracciola
W154/4 M154/H12 von Brauchitsch
W154/2 M154/H4 Lang
W154/7 M154/H11 Seaman
W154/1 M154/H2 training
W154/14 M154/H7 training
W154/8 M154/H8 reserve

1938 Coppa Ciano
W154/14 M154/H3 Caracciola
W154/9 M154/H13 Lang
W154/5 M154/H5 von Brauchitsch
W154/10 M154/H10 training

1938 Coppa Acerbo
W154/8 M154/H8 Caracciola
W154/2 M154/H7 Lang
W154/4 M154/H12 von Brauchitsch
W154/10 M154/H10 training

1938 Switzerland
W154/5 M154/H2 von Brauchitsch
W154/14 M154/H14 Caracciola
W154/6 M154/H5 Lang used M154/H13 in training
W154/7 M154/H2 Seaman
W154/10 M154/H10 training

1938 Italy
W154/6 M154/H10 von Brauchitsch used M154/H2 in training
W154/14 M154/H11 Caracciola
W154/12 M154/H3 Seaman
W154/9 M154/H14 Lang
W154/1 M154/H18 training

1938 Donington
W154/10 M154/H6 Baumer
W154/6 M154/H5 von Brauchitsch
W154/4 M154/H18 Lang used M154/H15 in training
W154/7 M154/H9 Seaman
W154/12 M154/H2 training

1939 Pau
W154/9 M154/H16 Caracciola
W154/5 M154/H6 von Brauchitsch
W154/7 M154/H17 Lang
W154/10 M154/H15 training

1939 Eifelrennen
W154/10 M154/H6 Caracciola
W154/9 M163/K2 von Brauchitsch
W154/7 M154/H17 Lang
W154/5 M154/H19 Seaman
W154/6 M154/H15 Hartmann
W154/11 M154/H20 reserve

1939 Belgium
W154/10 M154/H20 Caracciola
W154/7 M154/H15 Lang used M154/H19 in training
W154/9 M163/K2 von Brauchitsch
W154/5 M154/H14 Seaman
W154/6 M154/H16 reserve

1939 France
W154/6 M154/H17 Caracciola used M163/K3 in training
W154/9 M154/11 von Brauchitsch
W154/8 M154/H6 Lang
W154/1 M154/H15 training
W154/10 M154/H6 training

1939 Germany
W154/10 M154/H20 Caracciola
W154/6 M154/H17 von Brauchitsch
W154/7 M154/H9 Lang used M163/K1 in training
W154/4 M163/K2 Brendel
W154/1 M154/H15 training
W154/8 M154/H14 training

1939 Switzerland
W154/9 M163/K2 von Brauchitsch
W154/6 M154/H9 Hartmann
W154/10 M154/H20 Caracciola
W154/7 M163/K3 Lang used M163/K1 in training
W154/8 M163/K3 training also used M154/H15

1939 Yugoslavia
W154/8 M163/K1 Lang
W154/15 M154/H10 von Brauchitsch M154/H18 in reserve

------------------------------------------------------
Here are the Post-War appearance:

1947 Indianapolis
W154/9 M154/H9 Duke Nalon

1948 Indianapolis
W154/9 M154/H9 Duke Nalon

1951 Premio Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Costanera
W154/12 M163/K5 Lang
W154/11 M154/H19 Fangio
W154/16 M154/H14 Kling

1951 Premio Eva Peron, Costanera, Buenos Aires
W154/11 M154/H19 Fangio
W154/16 M154/H17 Kling
W154/12 M163/K5 Lang

----------------------------------------------

Disposition as of the end of 1992:

W154/6 M154/H6 -- Schlumpf
W154/7 M154/H10 -- Joska Roman, Joel Finn, Hans Thulin
W154/9 M154/H9 -- Neil Corner
W154/10 M154/H20 -- Prague
W154/11 M163/K4 & W154/12 M163/K6
W154/14 M154/H4 -- Desutsches Museum in 1938 trim
W154/15 -- Joska Roman
W154/16 M154/H17 -- Schlumpf

-----------------------------------

With apologies to Our Doug if I have copied any information incorrectly. Once again: Pity the poor historian...


I'm sure it would now be useful to revisit this data to see what can be updated with the new info from the past eight years.

#82 Peter Morley

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 15:19

Here's an interesting test of the Collier car, with some information on the other cars and a bit more detail on its Swiss excursion:

http://www.paulrusse...kOnTheTrack.pdf

It says the Neil Corner car (number 9) is the one that went to Samsung and is now back in Germany.

The other Roman car (number 7) that passed through Joel Finn's hands is now in the Arturo Keller collection in California.



#83 David McKinney

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 16:02

The 'Hitler's missing babies' thread has now been merged with two earlier threads on Mercedes W154s

#84 Roger Clark

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 15:22

The list of chassis numbers posted by Tim Murray above shows Seaman driving 154/7 at Donington in 1938. However, photographs show him in one of the short tail cars, indicating a large fuel tank over the driver's legs and a small tail tank. Quicksilver Century says he drove such a car. He also drove such a car at Monza, 154/12 according to the lists. It seems possible that Seaman drove 154/12 at Donington where it is listed as a training car.

#85 Doug Nye

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 21:47

I believe the cars could be rigged with alternative tank combinations so identifying individuals by short and longtail tank configuration would not apply. However, quite how the scuttle tank capacity could be changed significantly without altering its lengthwise space demand within the chassis I am not sure. Interesting point to check.

DCN

#86 Roger Clark

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 23:02

If the information in Quicksilver Century and the chassis numbers in Yves Kaltenberg's Automobile Historique article are to be believed...

At the end of 1938 all the existing cars were converted to the standard 1939 configuration. During 1938, cars were raced with short tail/large scuttle tank as follows:

Caracciola at Livorno, Berne and Monza, all W154/14. This car had a different frontal appearance from the other 1938 W154s
Lang at Berne, von Brauchitsch at Monza and Donington, all in W154/6
Seaman at Monza (W154/12) and Monza (W154/7?).

These were the only race appearances of 14, 6 and 12 in 1938. 7 also appeared at the German and Swiss GPs driven by Seaman in both cases. Seaman's car certainly had a long tail in the German GP and a short one at Donington.

So, if Seaman did drive 7 at Donington it was converted from a long tail configuration and it was the only car to which this was done during the season.

All this assumes that the sources listed above are generally correct, but it checks against photographs where I have been able to do so.