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#1 Hugo Boecker

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 13:49

Auto Union Star Search

They searched and found a SUPERSTAR !!

In the years 1934 to 1939 held a socalled „Rennfahrer Schule" at the Nürburgring and in most of the years some drivers became a second chance at Monza. They tested drivers for their famous Racing cars. The drivers had to do some lap on the Betonschleife and than some timed laps on the famous Nordschleife. The reward was contract as junior driver. Doing so they found a real superstar Bernd Rosemeyer ans some stars like Müller, Hasse, Pietsch and Delius. But were do the candidates come from, why were they selected? At all the were 29 pupils. Here is a list and my knowledge about them.

My main source are:
the book: GRAND PRIX REPORT AUTO-UNION 1934-1939
von Peter Kirchberg, Motorbuch Verlag ISBN 3-87943-876-5
Web seite : The Golden Era of Grand Prix racing
www.kolumbus.fi/leif.snellman/main.htm

Test Dates:
Nürburgring 24th/25th October 1934
Nürburgring 2nd - 11th November 1935
Nürburgring 5th - 8th October 1936
Nürburgring 10th -14th May 1938

Walter Bäumer
candidate 1936 17.10.1908 - 29.6.1941 (History Status wellknown)
a famos midget racer with Austin later on a Mercedes worksdriver and 1940 Mille Miglia winner with BMW. So he can connected to all three main German racing team in the 30’s!

Ulrich Bigalke
candidate 35 selected 38 1.7.1910 - 12.8.1940 (History Status few)
He was involwed in the Auto Union team and resposible for PR and travel. In 1934 he started the 2000 KM Deutschlandfahrt with a FIAT 1100 and won a gold medal. Did touring car races and Rallyes (Zuverlässigkeitsfahrten)

Adolf Brudes
candidate 1936 15.10.1899 - 5.11.1986 (History Status known)
he started on a Bugatti and was a wellknown Voiturette racer in Germany. After the war a Borgward worksdriver. There is already a tread in the Nostalgie Forum.
http://forums.atlasf...ighlight=Brudes

Ernst von Delius
selected 1935 29.3.1912 - 26.7.1937 (History Status wellknown)
Sucsesfull Sportscardriver on DKW and Zoller two-stroke cars drove a ERA in 1935 German GP died at the Nürburgring


Arthur Geiss
candidate 1935 (History Status few)
He was motorcycle racer DKW but feels himself not comfortable in racingcars and ended the test by himself

Hahn
candidate 1934 & 35 (History Status zero)
In 1935 he crashed on the Betonschleife no informations of the outcome of the accident.

Fritz Huschke von Hanstein
candidate 38 1911 -1996 (History Status known)
Adler and Hanomag worksdriver, 1940 Mille Miglia winner with Bäumer BMW 328, after the war he became Porsche racedirector.

Rudolf Hasse
selected 1935 30.5.1906 - 12.8.1942 (History Status wellknown)
was a successful longdistance driver with Adler. Winner of the Coupe de Roi in Spa 1934. Won Spa Grand Prix in 1937. Died on the Eastern Front in 1942.

Rudolf Heydel
selected 1935 ??? - 4.2.1936 (History Status very few)
He seens to be a company member, crashed during the 1936 tests at Monza. A motorsport might have been? Seems to be really fast in the 1935 test (11:11,3 against Delius 11:20,0) equal to Delius with less experiance than „Ernstchen"

Hans Karmann
candidate 1934 ??? (History Status few)
he was from Fulda,and was German sidecar hillclilb champion up to 600 with a Hercules and 3rd in the roadracing championship up to 250 ccm with a DKW motorcycle. Auto-Union Teammember


P.Kirchberg candidate 1934 ??? (History Status very few)
Motorcycle racer 1934 DKW Team member, raced in up to 1000 ccm class. He was from Chemnitz. Any relation with the author (born 1934) of the book ???

Ewald Kluge
selected in 1938 1909 - (History Status known)
DKW Team Member won 11 Motorcycle Grand Prix in1937 to 1939 became European Champion in 1938 and 39 in the 250 class. Had a junior driver status but never raced because the Auto Union decided that he has to focus on the motorcycle European Championship.

Bobby Kohlrausch
candidate 1938 9.3.1904 - 12.8.1953 (History Status wellknown)
sucsessful Midget Racer MG there is a thread already talking about him on the Nostalgie Forum. He died of a heartstroke in 1953.
http://www.mgcc.de/data/kurindex.pdf
http://forums.atlasf...ight=Kohlrausch

Krämer
candidate 1934 ??? (History Status Zero)
????????

Otto Ley
candidate 1934 1903 - (History Status known)
DKW Team Member 1931 German Champion on the road and hills with Triumph 350 and 500 Motorcycles did the same again in 1933 with Norton since 1934 DKW Teammember and Champion Winner of the German GP in 1934 since 1936 he raced for BMW and won several races.

Ernst Loof
candidate 1935 4.7.1907 - 3.3.1956 (History Status wellknown)
successful pre war motorcycle racer German Champion in 1931, 1932, 1933 , 1934 on hills and road. After the war he was a leading force behind the Veritas project. He started in the German Grand Prix 1953 so he is one of the few drivers who drove the pre war silver arrows and raced again after the war in world championship.

Karl von Michel-Tüssling
candidate 34 ??? (History Status very few)
he startet with Bugatti and Austro Daimler Sportcars. He was involved in the Zoller two stroke history in Sommer 1934 he brought the Zoller of the fatal-crashed Baron von Münchhausen and started in the Freiburg Hillclimd (No.235)

Herrmann Paul Müller
selected 1936 21.11.1909 - 30.12.1975 (History Status wellknown)
successful motor cycle racer Grand Prix winner on 2 and four wheels, European Champion 1939 (or not as discusse in this forum) 1955 Motorcycle World Champion he Big John is not the only one.

Paul Pietsch
selected 1934 20.6.1911 (History Status wellknown)
raced since 1932 first in the PiLeSi Bugatti team and than with Alfa Romeo Monza. Was an accepted driver when he was invented and he could get a contract even without this test. Mercedes was interested too, but his friendship with Hans Stuck decieded for Auto Union. He admidst that this was his great mistake. He had a troubled year with Auto Union, made a one year break and became Maserati worksdriver and privat entrant. Leading German GP with (CTL in 39 came 3rd. The war cancelled his start with a 1,5 lioter Mercedes in 1940. After the war he became German Champion with Veritas and his job as publisher of Auto Motor Sport prevented him a 3rd time for a Mercedes start this time with the 300SL. At the Nürburgring 1951 he started with an Alfetta, but crashed. Surly a topic for what might have been if he accepted the 1935 offer !!

BERND ROSEMEYER
selected 1934 14.10.1909 -28.1.1938 MEGA SUPERSTAR
nothing to add greatest of all !!!

Scheef
candidate 1934 ??? (History Status Zero)
In 1922 a Paul Scheef started the Targa Florio with a works Mercedes and came 20th. The same man with Daimler History at Auto Union ?

Paul Schweder
candiate 1936 30.6.1901 - (History Status very few)
successful longdistance driver In 1935 he put in some 1100ccm worldrecords. Became a motorsportjournalist after the war

Hans Simons
candidate 1934 & 1935 ??? - 194? (History Status very few)
raced since 1927 first with OM, DKW and Bugatti, class winner in the 28 German GP, member of the PiLeSi Team. Retiered from the Sport at the end of 1935. He died during the war.
Note : there was a DKW Motorcycle GP-Team member in 1938 called Karl Simons any relation or is he the Simons they tested ?


Hans Soenius
candidate 1934 19.5.1901 - (History Status very few)
very successesful motorcycler in the 20’s and 30’s 1925 3times German ADAC Champion, 1927 German Champion up to 500ccm 1928 and 1929 German 500 champion with BMW 1930 and 1931 Champion with 250ccm Imperia and his 9th championship he scord in the 1000 ccm class with NSU. Crashed heaviely at Schottenring on 16th July in 1936 and ended his career.

Oscar Steinbach
candidate 1936 ??? (History Status very few)
NSU motorcycle racer raced German Championship 1934 and in Grand Prix 1936.

Rudolf Steinweg
candidate 1934 1888 - 2.11.1935 (History Status known)
raced since the 20’s with Amilcar und even the 1.5 NSU and switched then to Bugattis.

Trägner
candidate 1934 ??? (History Status Zero)
raced since

Walfried Winkler
candidate 1938 17.3.1904 - (History Status very few)
Motorcycle, raced since 1924 In 1926 he was contracted as a worksdriver by DKW was German champion several times , he was imprisond after the war till 1949 and raced again in German races (East and West)

Erwin Zimmermann
candidate 1938 ??? (History Status Zero)
he was a sidecar motorcycle rider.

Can anyone of you bring some more informations of all these drivers?

So long,

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#2 Holger Merten

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 15:30

Fritz Trägner works member, is very well known under us AU fans as a member of the Werkspsortabteilung. I investigated a lot in his carrer and his way. He was the man who drove the mystery Typ 650 (Sokol) after the war.


Search TNF and the archiv here and look for my posts about him. I have many pictures of this guy. I will complete the rest, if there will be more time to do so. Sorry, but by the moment I have a lot of wooooooorkkk.

#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 20:57

Another who was invited, but declined, was Whitney Straight.

#4 Hugo Boecker

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 21:19

Originally posted by Vitesse2
Another who was invited, but declined, was Whitney Straight.


Great , never heard of it what was the year?

#5 Brun

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 21:59

Originally posted by Holger Merten
Fritz Trägner works member, is very well known under us AU fans as a member of the Werkspsortabteilung. I investigated a lot in his carrer and his way. He was the man who drove the mystery Typ 650 (Sokol) after the war.


Search TNF and the archiv here and look for my posts about him. I have many pictures of this guy. I will complete the rest, if there will be more time to do so. Sorry, but by the moment I have a lot of wooooooorkkk.


Same here :-)

#6 Vitesse2

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 21:59

Originally posted by Hugo Boecker


Great , never heard of it what was the year?


1936, at the point of his retirement from racing. AU also approached Seaman at that time, but he was already committed to testing for MB - the previous year Dick had apparently tried to negotiate the purchase of an Auto Union but the deal fell through (if there ever was a deal).

#7 GIGLEUX

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 22:39

Whitney Straight decision to retire was announced at the beginning of 1935, his last race being, as far as I know, in South Africa, the Border 100 at East London on December 27th 1934. He won the
race with his 8 CM Maserati (3011).

#8 eukie

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 07:37

Paul Schweder
candiate 1936 30.6.1901 - (History Status very few)
successful longdistance driver In 1935 he put in some 1100ccm worldrecords. Became a motorsportjournalist after the war


He worked as a journalist before the war, too. And after the war, he still did some record-runs - and wasn`t he the long-time ADAC press officer and also a track commentator?

#9 Doug Nye

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 08:10

I believe Bert Hadley was also invited to test-drive for Auto Union, receiving a letter from Dr Feuereissen. I remember Bert starting to tell us this story one day during a Shelsley Walsh hill-climb, while we stood under the trees on the impossibly steep hill - deafened by cars making their runs two or three yards away. Sadly we were with a leading VSCC member at the time who owned one of the various great cars which Bert in his heyday had so admired. He would listen only briefly to Bert's slow development of a modest reminiscence before repeatedly breaking in to tell us how he found HIS car today, and what work HE had had to do to it to improve its reliability and performance. Despite my prompting, Bert evidently found this very wearing - and probably insulting though he was far too polite to complain - and within a few minutes the oyster had closed-up again, concealing that particular pearl - as far as I was concerned - forever...

I believe he said that he had showed the invitation to Lord Austin, his employer, and asked what he should do, and I believe that the old boy with the peculiar teeth and associated speech impediment told him to bide his time.... "There's going to be trouble Hadley, you mark my words...".

DCN



#10 Holger Merten

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 08:27

An impressing long list, Hugo posted. Which shows, how hard it was for AU to pick out the stars out of the professionals.
Only Rosemeyer, Hasse, Müller, Pietsch got the chance to get teammembers. And don't forget Heydel.

#11 eukie

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 08:54

Walter Bäumer
candidate 1936 17.10.1908 - 29.6.1941 (History Status wellknown)
a famos midget racer with Austin later on a Mercedes worksdriver and 1940 Mille Miglia winner with BMW. So he can connected to all three main German racing team in the 30’s!


Don`t discount the Adler works effort ...

#12 Holger Merten

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 08:58

I won't Eukie, but he didn't get team member of the AU team. I think there are many great names in Hugo’s list, but after all tests only four drivers survived for the real world of racing. I think it's the same for MB. Lang and Seaman were the new team members, okay Kautz who changed to AU team later on.

#13 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 09:04

This really makes you think about how different things were then compared to today...

No packed racing calendars with multitudes of minor formulae for aspiring GP drivers to show their stuff. No real way to know if privateers in old Bugattis were really shining or just had a good car... I guess this was the best way to go about finding the talent at the time.

#14 Macca

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 10:05

DCN:

Sadly we were with a leading VSCC member at the time who owned one of the various great cars which Bert in his heyday had so admired. He would listen only briefly to Bert's slow development of a modest reminiscence before repeatedly breaking in to tell us how he found HIS car today, and what work HE had had to do to it to improve its reliability and performance.





Says it all about the VSCC; half the threads on 10/10ths seem to get hijacked into their social chit-chat.


PWM

#15 David McKinney

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 11:33

The VSCC has about 7000 members
We're not all like that :lol:

#16 Holger Merten

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 20:10

What about the AU descisions of 1933 for the first season?

Hans Stuck
Alfrid Momberger
Prinz zu Leinigen


If you start with a team, you need successful drivers to run competitve. Stuck, that's okay for me. Momberger? He was later manager of the rally-dept. And von Leinigen? There are rumours HJ von Morgen should be part of the team for 1934. But how should he, after he died in 1932, before AU decided to race.

#17 David McKinney

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 20:41

If you sat down in the middle of 1933 and drew up a list of the top dozen or so drivers in the world, you would have only one German, Caracciola, and he was - at that time - not expected to race again. Only a handful of others had even driven in Grands Prix over the previous few years, and the most experienced of them (Otto Merz, Christian Werner, H J von Morgen and Huldreich Heusser) were dead. Others were "unproven": Stuck was better known as a hillclimb ace than a circuit racer, and the likes of von Brauchitsch, Pietsch and Burggaller lacked broad racing experience. August Momberger and Prince zu Leiningen would also have been on the list, but both had retired from racing some years before. Their agreement to return to the sport no doubt helped Auto Union out of a hole - and hastened the Nachwuchsfahrer [sp?] policy subsequently adopted by both German teams.

#18 uechtel

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 20:46

Momberger was quite successful on the national level in the twenties (for example won 1924 and 1925 Taunus "Voiturette" races for NSU)

#19 Wolf

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 20:52

Holger, You may be right. On the other hand, successful drivers do not particularly like 'unknown quantities' (which a new team inevitably is). Didn't Fangio, when approached by Neubauer to drive for Merc, want 'reassurance' car won't be a lemon?

David- no need for that [sp?] part...;) :up:

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#20 Hugo Boecker

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 21:46

Originally posted by uechtel
Momberger was quite successful on the national level in the twenties (for example won 1924 and 1925 Taunus "Voiturette" races for NSU)


Momberg showed also some good results with the Mercedes SSK
1929 3rd German GP ---- Class winner at Schauinsland 3rd overall Monza GP Heatwinner and 3rd overall. In 1930 he retiered due to finacial problems. Bad times in Germany. So only a few drivers in Germany had an international reputation.

Caracchiola as mentioned
Stuck top hillclimber
Brauchitsch suprised winner of AVUS Grand Prix
Leiningen Bugatti Voiturette
Burgaller Bugatti Voiturette
Pietsch Alfa Hillclimbs and GP races but considered too young (?)

and a lot of national private Bugatti entrants. So the choidse was very limited .

so long

#21 David McKinney

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 04:52

Leiningen and Burggaller had both raced larger Bugattis as well as voiturettes, but my earlier point stands

#22 Hugo Boecker

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 08:38

There is already a tread on THF abaut Rudolf Heyel. The infos David provided of the 1935 starsearch are very interesting.


http://forums.atlasf...ighlight=Heydel


so long

#23 angst

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 09:46

Originally posted by Hugo Boecker
There is already a tread on THF abaut Rudolf Heyel. The infos David provided of the 1935 starsearch are very interesting.


http://forums.atlasf...ighlight=Heydel


so long


Very, very good info. Why was the full article never published? Is it ever likely to be?

#24 David McKinney

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 10:34

It was done with a view to submission to Motor Sport but its compilation coincided with one of their changes of leadership. I had already submitted one other feature and ideas for three or four others, and nothing happened... They would also no doubt have raised objections on the grounds that the story would have been to difficult to illustrate

#25 angst

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Posted 27 May 2004 - 21:12

Originally posted by David McKinney
It was done with a view to submission to Motor Sport but its compilation coincided with one of their changes of leadership. I had already submitted one other feature and ideas for three or four others, and nothing happened... They would also no doubt have raised objections on the grounds that the story would have been to difficult to illustrate


It's a shame that a magazine supposedly for those interested in , particularly, the history of the sport seems so disinerested in that history....

Are you in negotiation with anyone else? Is it likely to appear anywhere else? (perhaps on Atlasf1?)

#26 David McKinney

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 05:09

Not likely
There was still a lot of work to do to complete it

#27 Holger Merten

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 13:39

Originally posted by Hugo Boecker
A
Trägner
candidate 1934 ??? (History Status Zero)
raced since


Fritz Trägner was driver in the AU Werkssportabteilung founded in 1935 in Zwickau under the lead of the former Auto Union GP Car driver August Momberger. Here I show some pictures, that show the way of Trägner.

1. Internationale Alpenfahrt 1936.
Posted Image
This picture shows Fritz Trägner steering the DKW Schwebeklase Beside Trägner stands Adolf Hühnlein, but without his uniform, impossible for him to wear the uniformin Switzerland


2. 3-Tage Mittelgebirgsfahrt 1937.
Posted Image
The picture shows Fritz Trägner steering the DKW Sonderklasse over a difficult track.

3. Testdrives on the easterm german autobahn, ca. 1952
Posted Image
After the war Fritz Trägner was involved in the development of the Typ 650, here a picture of one of the testdrives with the 2L-V12-engined car, a successor of the Auto Union GP cars in 1951/52. Fritz brother was head of the development of the car, which was produced for the Russians. The story is well documented on TNF and on 8W.

4. The ZVA (Zentrale Versuchsanstalt) of Auto Union in the 30s
Posted Image
Some facts about the „ Zentrale Versuchsanstalt “ (ZVA) - Central Laboratory. It opened in 1936 in Chemnitz. Here Auto Union concentrated the whole R&D for Audi; DKW, Horch and Wanderer. The people developed strong programmes and rules for Auto Union to develop a car (and bikes). After 1945 the R&D wasn’t closed. Now the Russians used that concentrated know-how at the „Zentrale Versuchsanstalt“ for example to develop the Typ 650 (Sokol). Don't forget, the pre-war Auto Union Silver Arrows were developed in the Racing Dept., which was located in the Horch-plant in Zwickau.

#28 Holger Merten

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 10:25

And if I'm not totally incorrect, this picture shows Fritz Trägner doing a job for the Werksportabteilung (Rallye/Longdistances-dept. of the Auto Union.) Here he is waiting 2nd from right beside the car.
Posted Image

#29 Vitesse2

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 09:33

I believe Bert Hadley was also invited to test-drive for Auto Union, receiving a letter from Dr Feuereissen.

DCN

I know it's unlikely, but do you know when this was supposed to have been, Doug? In late 37/early 38 it was rumoured that Charlie Dodson had been invited, but nothing seemingly came of that either.


#30 Holger Merten

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 11:32

:eek:

As you could imagine, please more information about that....?!

#31 Vitesse2

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 12:32

It was the lead item in the "Rumblings" column in Motor Sport, February 1938. That would presumably mean that the story had appeared either in the weeklies or Speed some time in January.

#32 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 07:19

A bit off topic , sorry , does any of you know if Auto Union prewar had any fuel contracts ? And who was it ?