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1939 European Championship


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#301 VAR1016

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Posted 01 July 2002 - 15:48

Originally posted by Vitesse2


Probably on the strength of his 1938 drives at Pau and Nurburgring, when he made the Delahaye look a half-decent car. But Mercedes offered tests to many drivers, accepting very few. And why extraordinary? With hindsight, there was a war coming, but then they didn't know. And like most professionals, Dreyfus would have probably given his eye teeth to drive for what was then the best team in the world. They employed very few non-Germans - only Seaman, Chiron and Fagioli IIRC - so for a non-German driver to even be offered a test would be seen as an honour.




Yes but Dreyfus was a Jew!

VAR1016 :smoking:

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#302 David McKinney

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Posted 01 July 2002 - 16:09

Originally posted by Vitesse2
They employed very few non-Germans - only Seaman, Chiron and Fagioli IIRC

Kautz, Zehender....

#303 Doug Nye

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Posted 01 July 2002 - 18:16

Concerning motor racing fraternity attitudes towards racing motor-cyclists - the antis' attitudes always told one far more about them, than about the motor-cyclists they sometimes quite openly despised. True, many motor-cyclists came from a working class blue-collar background. Yet racing motorists of genuine stature - for example Dick Seaman and John Cobb - openly held racing motor-cyclists in very high regard indeed, and Cobb of course employed Charlie Dodson as co-driver from time to time. Fairey Aviation test pilot Chris Staniland - a superb racing driver - was also a superb racing motor-cyclist. Post WW2 the situation was less egalitarian - with the officer class knobs going motor racing while the non-commissioned ranks went motor-cycling, with a few hugely notable exceptions, perhaps headed by the truly great Les Graham, a much-decorated wartime RAF officer. Les Graham was killed at the bottom of Bray Hill on the Isle of Man TT course when the forks failed on his works machine. His son Stuart later became a TT winner in his own right, on both two wheels and four.

Sorry pardon - this is off the point...

DCN

#304 VAR1016

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Posted 01 July 2002 - 20:08

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Concerning motor racing fraternity attitudes towards racing motor-cyclists - the antis' attitudes always told one far more about them, than about the motor-cyclists they sometimes quite openly despised. True, many motor-cyclists came from a working class blue-collar background. Yet racing motorists of genuine stature - for example Dick Seaman and John Cobb - openly held racing motor-cyclists in very high regard indeed, and Cobb of course employed Charlie Dodson as co-driver from time to time. Fairey Aviation test pilot Chris Staniland - a superb racing driver - was also a superb racing motor-cyclist. Post WW2 the situation was less egalitarian - with the officer class knobs going motor racing while the non-commissioned ranks went motor-cycling, with a few hugely notable exceptions, perhaps headed by the truly great Les Graham, a much-decorated wartime RAF officer. Les Graham was killed at the bottom of Bray Hill on the Isle of Man TT course when the forks failed on his works machine. His son Stuart later became a TT winner in his own right, on both two wheels and four.

Sorry pardon - this is off the point...

DCN

Yes, Chris Nixon in "Mon Amie Mate" refers to the difficulties poor Geoff Duke endured when he drove for Aston Martin. More off the point I am afraid!

VAR1016 :smoking:

#305 Holger Merten

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Posted 02 July 2002 - 13:48

Just had a look at the MB History Site.

They are talking about the European championship from 1935, but not about the year 1939.

Try, and have a look.

[URL=http://www.daimlerchrysler.de/classic/rennsportgeschichte/silberpfeil/content.htm]

#306 dretceterini

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Posted 02 July 2002 - 13:58

Even more off the point..

My dad was a Jew too...and a panel beater pre-war for MB...that's why he emigrated to Switzerland, met my mom who was Italian and sort of a socialist..

They got married in Geneva...where I was born in 1947...

Stu

#307 dretceterini

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Posted 02 July 2002 - 14:04

To answer your question:

No, Dreyfus never did get a test drive...My father told me this 45 years ago...they were both Jewish and became fast friends at the ring..

Stu

#308 Vitesse2

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Posted 02 July 2002 - 14:22

Your search for European Champion found 0 of 41751 documents.
0 are displayed on this page sorted by relevance.
Servers searched:
DaimlerChrysler, Careers, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Sterling, Freightliner, American LaFrance, Plymouth, Setra, Powertrain, EvoBus, Mercedes-Benz Lenkungen GmbH, debis, DASA, Adtranz



:

Similar result for Europameister ....

#309 dretceterini

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Posted 02 July 2002 - 14:28

Maybe this will help someone:

I'm sure this is all connected to Dr.Porsche, Karl Abarth/Cisitalia, and Lurani's getting them "back" from the Nazis after WW2. My mom was a distant cousin of Lurani (3rd or 4th), and maybe somehow my dad was even involved!

This is TOTAL speculation on my part, but my dad WAS part of the Mercedes team, and my mom WAS related to Lurani...

...If only my dad had ever said anything about it, but he was a very private and quiet man. Our last name was anglisised when we moved from Switzerland to England in 1950 or 1951, and I don't know what the original last name ever REALLY was...

My father's anglisised name was Jerome Schaller, but it could have easilly been something like Skoller.

My mothers name was Lillian Davis, as her father was a Jew...I have no idea where her mother was originally from in Italy (but she claimed the Milan area as her home), nor what my grandmother or grandfathers last names were on either side of the equasion..

My brother's son will be the last of the line, should he not have any children...I have only stepchildren, and my sister's children have their fathers last name...

Stu

#310 Vitesse2

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Posted 04 July 2002 - 19:27

Getting back on topic ....

In "Racing the Silver Arrows" Lang repeats his statement that he was leading the European Championship going into the Swiss GP. He also adds that "standing between me and victory was - Caracciola". Now this is palpable nonsense, since Muller was leading under both scoring systems for the European Championship. However, I don't think we have ever established the interim positions in the German Championship, or even exactly which events were counted towards it. Lang won the German Mountain Championship in 1939, but Caracciola was declared German overall Champion.

Presumably it would include the Eifelrennen, the German GP and various hillclimbs. But might it have encompassed races OUTSIDE Germany too? We know there was to be a Vienna GP (by then Austria was of course part of the Greater German Reich), so that would presumably have counted as well, had it taken place But what if the Swiss and/or Zurich GPs were to count too? In which case Lang's statement might make more sense if his memory was at fault in some way ....

And it certainly seems to have been in other ways; the quotes are all from Racing the Silver Arrows:

"... if I could win the Swiss GP I would make sure of the title" - only under certain circumstances. A win under the minus system made no difference if Muller completed 8 laps of the final. Under the plus system even a win meant that he needed Muller to finish fourth or lower to clinch the title.

"The starting grid for the final was arranged by alternating cars from each heat - the fastest car from the 3-litre heat next to the fastest from the 1500cc heat, and so on. Caracciola and I were therefore on the front row with Farina between us in the Alfa." Er - no! Not unless the published grids are very wrong. The front row was Lang - Caracciola - von Brauchitsch. Row 2 was Nuvolari - Hartmann. Row 3 Farina - Stuck - Biondetti. Row 4 Muller - Hasse. Etc. etc. Farina had a very good start and was quickly up to second in the wet, chasing Lang hard until the rain stopped and Caracciola was finally able to get past the Alfa.

I am of the opinion that Lang's memory of the exact events was at fault and that over time, he had rearranged events in his head to fit what he remembered as the truth. Consider this passage from "Racing the Silver Arrows":

"Now I was getting signals from the pit that my team mate [Caracciola] was catching me. For some reason my wife, Lydia, was in the pits that day - normally she never watched from there - and she heard Neubauer say 'Now we have to slow Lang a little bit.' Then I saw a sight I had never seen before - Neubauer standing by the track giving me a 'slow' signal and Lydia standing behind him, urging me to go faster! I knew immediately what was going on, so I speeded up, keeping Caracciola about five seconds behind me until the end.

Afterwards he was quite angry. 'Why were you going so fast?' he said. 'I would never have passed you.'
'Listen Caracciola,' I replied, 'it's better to be on the safe side!'"

By the time this occurred, the rain had stopped and Mercedes were sitting 1-2-3, with Lang leading Caracciola and von Brauchitsch. Muller was making his way up to fourth place, but Neubauer would have known that providing none of his three leading cars retired the Championship was now a straight fight between Lang and Caracciola: whichever of them won the race was champion. And presumably Frau Lang was just as aware of it!

I suspect also that von Brauchitsch was ordered to act as tail-gunner. He was not in a position to win either the race or the title, but he had been over a second a lap quicker than Caracciola and a second slower than Lang in practice. Yet in the final he could only run third, averaging two seconds a lap slower than Lang. Was he ordered to slow down and block Muller's progress?

So what went on in Neubauer's head? He would have known that Muller was now unbeatable under the minus system but there was still all to play for under the plus system - a Mercedes driver would be champion, and he could choose which one! So - who to go for: the upstart or the aristocrat? Lang or Caracciola? Lang would surely have more chances of titles, Caracciola maybe not. Lang had blotted his copybook at the German GP, even if he had subsequently been proved right - yes; it had to be Rudi again!

So - Caracciola was angry with reason: he was the chosen one, but Lang had spoiled the plan. And here's where Lang's memory played tricks:

"Afterwards he was quite angry. 'Why were you going so fast?' he said. 'I would never have passed you.'"

This does not tie in with Lang's previous assertion that "standing between me and victory was - Caracciola". Caracciola only comes into the equation once it is clear that Muller is no longer a threat. And why would Caracciola have said that? It makes no sense, especially as he was matching or exceeding Lang's pace in the latter part of the race. Why press on when you are a minute ahead of the next driver if not to catch and pass the man in front of you?

What I think he might have said was -

'Listen Caracciola,' I replied, 'it's better to be on the safe side - I had no idea where Muller was."

'Muller? He didn't matter - Manfred was dealing with him! By racing me you have cost me a fourth European Championship.'

#311 David J Jones

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Posted 11 July 2002 - 14:42

Vitesse

Been away for a while but I enjoyed the content of the last post and can quite perceive the situation appertaining to the Swiss GP scenarios.

I believe that M-B would have been banking on the plus system whilst A-U would back the minus system.
However I am not absolutely certain which one Huhnlein opted for in the end although it has similarities to the plus system.

At the end of the day we need to recognise - nevertheless - that we have no ratification outside of Germany in respect of a 'European' title.

Isn't it surprising that M-B don't refer to 1939 on their website?

#312 Holger Merten

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Posted 11 July 2002 - 14:56

David, not on their website,

but they published a big chronic in 1998, and there you can find under "the era of the silverarrows" the title for Lang.

So they refer to 1939 in their traditional department.

#313 kabouter

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Posted 11 July 2002 - 16:47

Mercedes-Benz also mention Lang's title in their magazine 'In aller Welt' in 1986 in an article on the racing history of MB:

...
Also the Grand Prix season 1939 brought big successes: Hermann Lang won the Grand Prix of Pau, Belgium and Switzerland, together with the Eifelrennen at the Nürburgring; Caracciola triumphed at the Grand Prix of Germany. Lang became European Champion.
...

#314 VAR1016

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Posted 11 July 2002 - 16:50

Originally posted by kabouter
Mercedes-Benz also mention Lang's title in their magazine 'In aller Welt' in 1986 in an article on the racing history of MB:

...
Also the Grand Prix season 1939 brought big successes: Hermann Lang won the Grand Prix of Pau, Belgium and Switzerland, together with the Eifelrennen at the Nürburgring; Caracciola triumphed at the Grand Prix of Germany. Lang became European Champion.
...


That's a lot of Grands Prix.

Are we certain that Lang was not champion? :drunk:


VAR1016 :smoking:

#315 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 11 July 2002 - 17:13

Originally posted by VAR1016
.....Are we certain that Lang was not champion?.....

Yes, I am certain he was not the official champion but I also read the entire thread and know all arguments. I would not say "we are certain" since members at TNF have opposing views.

#316 VAR1016

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Posted 11 July 2002 - 18:24

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
Yes, I am certain he was not the official champion but I also read the entire thread and know all arguments. I would not say "we are certain" since members at TNF have opposing views.


Quite so, and I take your point of course, but an impressive list of major wins nevertheless.

VAR1016 :smoking:

#317 Leif Snellman

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Posted 11 July 2002 - 20:09

Originally posted by Vitesse2
What I think he might have said was -

'Listen Caracciola,' I replied, 'it's better to be on the safe side - I had no idea where Muller was."

'Muller? He didn't matter - Manfred was dealing with him! By racing me you have cost me a fourth European Championship.'

To assist those who want to follow the arguments.
BOTH championship tables are now available on my website at
http://www.kolumbus....ellman/cha9.htm

#318 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 11 July 2002 - 20:36

Leif,
Written very dignified! :up:

#319 David J Jones

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Posted 12 July 2002 - 07:35

Leif

I agree with Hans - you have very diplomatically summarised the ending of the 1939 EC issue.

It is a mystery as you say that professional authorities and the racing authorities themselves cannot say anything about the issue.
However we must remember the frailties of the human species:

- It is easy to assume and not check facts
- It is also hard to subsequently admit one has been wrong

It is very difficult to determine the truth of what has been stated as the history of the years 1939 - 1949 - so I suppose we should not be surprised that we too. in the motor racing arena, have a mystery to sort out.

So we must now resume the search for that final piece of the puzzle - we will establish it in the end ................

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#320 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 13 July 2002 - 06:44

Originally posted by Michael Müller
Picking up the idea to contact some of the surviving drivers. Propose Hans contacts Mrs. Bärbel Henning, private secretary of Paul Pietsch, at henning@motorpresse.de (believe his German is still perfect even after that long time ...).

Here the e-mail.... but have not received an answer as of this day.

bhenning@motorpresse.de 07:03 AM 6/27/2002 5 1939 Europameister

To: bhenning@motorpresse.de
Subject: 1939 Europameister

Sehr geehrte Frau Henning,

Mein Name ist Hans Etzrodt, bin Deutscher, 64, und lebe in Hawaii. Ich bin ein Freizeit Historiker der alten Grand Prix Rennen (1895-1949). Ein anderer Historiker aus Holland verschaffte mir Ihre e-mail Adresse. Seit vielen Jahren schon versuche ich die bestehenden Widersprüche der 1939er Europameisterschaft aufzuklären. Vielleicht können Sie oder Herr Pietsch hier helfen oder eine Erklärung geben.

Es ist allgemein bekannt und wird akzeptiert, daß Hermann Lang (Mercedes-Benz) der Europameister 1939 war. Dies stimmt allerdings nicht mit der Wahrheit überein, denn die damalige A.I.A.C.R., Vorgänger der FIA (ab Februar 1946), hatte niemals einen Europameister bestimmt oder erklärt. Der Grund dafür ist sehr einfach. Da der Krieg am 1. September 1939 ausgebrochen war, konnten sich im folgenden Oktober die verschiedenen Landesvertreter der A.I.A.C.R. nicht in Paris treffen. So fiel diese Konferenz aus, wo der Europameister hätte bestimmt werden sollen. Deshalb und daraufhin erklärte im Dezember 1939 der damalige Präsident der O.N.S., Korpsführer Adolf Hühnlein (NSKK), Hermann Lang als den Europameister 1939. Die O.N.S., als nationales Organ, hatte jedoch keinerlei Berechtigung einen Europameister zu bestimmen.

Nach dem damaligen Punktsystem, das seit 1935 in Kraft war und nicht geändert wurde, wäre nämlich dann H.P. Müller (Auto Union) Europameister geworden. Ich habe dazu verschiedene Quellen in alten Zeitschriften, die beweisen, daß nach dem letzten Rennen der 1939er Meisterschaft -Grand Prix der Schweiz- der 1939er Europameister überhaupt noch gar nicht bekannt war sondern es gab nur Vermutungen: entweder Müller, Lang oder Caracciola. Die A.I.A.C.R. wollte dies jedoch am "grünen Tisch" in ihrer Oktober-Konferenz ausarbeiten, da sich die verschiedenen Länder nicht einigen konnten, welches Punktsystem angewendet werden sollte; das Plus- oder Minuspunktsystem. Aber dazu kam es ja dann nicht mehr.

Paul Pietsch fuhr ja auch in diesem 1939er Grand Prix der Schweiz mit, in einem kleinen Maserati, wo er aber schon nach drei Runden mit Motorproblemen aufgeben mußte. Ich dachte, daß sich vielleicht Herr Pietsch an diese Situation noch erinnern könnte oder darüber Bescheid weis.

Abschließend sollen Sie wissen, daß ich alle meine Behauptungen mit Artikeln aus Zeitschriften belegen kann und auch ein Quellenverzeichnis aufstellen kann. Ich habe auch darüber im Internet geschrieben, aber allerdings alles auf englisch. Falls Sie oder Herr Pietsch Interesse haben mehr darüber zu erfahren, kann ich verschiedenes für Sie übersetzen oder Sie können hier selber nachlesen, allerdings auf englisch:
http://www.atlasf1.c...47&pagenumber=1
http://www.kolumbus....ellman/gpw0.htm (Bitte klicken Sie bei "List Guidelines" und gehen Sie dann bis zur "European Championship".

Für Ihre Hilfe bin ich Ihnen sehr dankbar.

Beste Grüße und Aloha aus Hawaii,

Hans Etzrodt

#321 Vitesse2

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Posted 16 July 2002 - 22:02

Leif: thanks for the name check :blush:

In the past, I have rather ignored another British magazine, since I had found it lacking on the 1935 problem. However, at the suggestion of one of the Beaulieu librarians, I investigated "The Light Car" today. Here's what I found:

August 18th 1939, page 425
A Misleading Championship?

Cancellation of the Italian GP rather upsets the European Championship. This is decided only on the results of the Belgian, French, German, Italian and Swiss Grands Prix, and now that the Italian event is out of it we have only the Swiss GP to come.

Until that race is won it is too early to pass a final opinion, but at the moment there seems every chance of the championship producing a rather peculiar result.

Up to the present Lang has easily and unquestionably been the most successful driver this year in GP racing. He has won the Pau, Eifel and Belgian Grands Prix - all Formula events - and has, into the bargain, a win to his credit in the remarkable Tripoli race when Mercedes sent the Italians into a flat spin by producing their 1500cc model. Against this, Muller can lay claim only to a win in the French GP and a "second" in the German GP.

Yet Muller now leads on points with 17 to his credit and Lang shares second place with Caracciola with 12 points apiece. Next in order come Meier and Sommer (each 8) and then von Brauchitsch and Hasse (each 7).

A better scheme would obviously be to retain the same marking scale (10 for a win, 6, 5, 4 and 3 for the next four places respectively and 1 for starting), but to include all Formula events in the contest.


September 1st 1939, page 485

Hermann Lang, brilliant Mercedes pilot, will, it seems, be European champion for 1939 - which is as it should be. The only thing that could happen which might disturb this result would be for the Italians to hold their GP - which has already been declared off but would count for the championship if held.

Lang's total points to date are 22, and Muller runs him very close with 21, followed by Caracciola with 18.

Lang's record this season is five wins and two retirements in seven races - an astonishing performance. His wins were in the Pau, Tripoli (1500cc), Eifel, Spa and Berne races, and his retirements at Rheims and in the German GP. In addition he annexed the record for the Grossglockner hill-climb a week or two back.


So, still not a definitive declaration, but another source from August confirming the plus scoring system. I have searched yet again, but can still find no reference to the CSI meeting at the French GP - I'm certain there must be another source for this apart from O Volante: my guess would be a French magazine ....

#322 David J Jones

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Posted 17 July 2002 - 11:09

Vitesse

Interesting.

However - all we have is press talk - perhaps from a M-B source or similar Continental source. We know for certain the AIACR did not meet so there is no way Lang can be accepted as the 1939 European Champion.

Unless that is you wish to accept the Nazi appointment made by Huhnlein.

Unfortunate but it cannot be made correct no matter how many newspaper or magazine articles we now turn up........

#323 Vitesse2

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Posted 17 July 2002 - 22:13

Originally posted by David J Jones
Vitesse

Interesting.

However - all we have is press talk - perhaps from a M-B source or similar Continental source. We know for certain the AIACR did not meet so there is no way Lang can be accepted as the 1939 European Champion.

Unless that is you wish to accept the Nazi appointment made by Huhnlein.

Unfortunate but it cannot be made correct no matter how many newspaper or magazine articles we now turn up........


.... UNLESS the Portuguese source's assertion that least a provisional decision was taken can be confirmed by others.

David: we know for certain that the CSI did not meet in October and that the spring 1940 meeting was abandoned. However, we have neither confirmation nor contradiction regarding a meeting at Reims, where, you will recall, the provisional decision was allegedly taken to adopt the plus scoring system. The O Volante and Light Car reports were published almost simultaneously - it seems to me highly unlikely that one is copying the other, therefore that points towards a common source, which might, as you point out, perhaps be German in origin. Memory may be failing me here, but as far as I can recall we have so far uncovered no interim points tables (for either scoring system) before these two almost identical reports. O Volante tells us that the Belgian delegate had been instructed to examine scoring systems at the end of 1938: what we do not know is how long he was given to report! Perhaps it was always the intention of the CSI to meet at Reims to resolve this issue - the French GP took place just a fortnight after the Belgian race and by that time it was clear that the European Championship was already half over; but in the colder light of October 1938, it would have been expected to be only two-fifths complete. Even if the Italians had expected to have Monza rebuilt by September 1939, they were already planning to (in effect) sabotage the championship by running their GP for Voiturettes. IIRC the CSI used to meet four times per year, therefore they might have instructed the Belgians to report back to the spring meeting so that all interested parties could be provided with adequate information to enable them to take a provisional decision at Reims in the summer.
These points tables only appear after the German GP, which may be significant (or not!) - four or five weeks after the French race, but also in the run-up to what was then known to be the final event, the Swiss GP.

#324 David J Jones

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Posted 18 July 2002 - 05:48

Vitesse

Everything you quote is resonable but only conjecture.

However - being a cold water merchant - I have to add even if there were a provisional decision, it has no effect since it was not ratified. We have no evidence of this and until it can be provided there cannot - in my opinion at least - be any validity in the M-B / Lang claim.

I would expect both and their lobbyists to have been pushing strongly for the plus system to be adopted but at the moment the only thing we can say with some degree of certainty is that it wasn't.

#325 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 18 July 2002 - 07:47

Vitesse,
Thank you. I found your contribution from the ”The Light Car” August 18th 1939, page 425, A Misleading Championship? truly relevant. What you have found, proved to me that other articles about our topic might be hidden somewhere else. As long as you remain the only Hunter on the British Isles to find additional references, good luck to you while you are snooping through those book cases. The good thing in such an endeavor is that you will find other interesting items. So, don't give up. :)

#326 David J Jones

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Posted 18 July 2002 - 14:24

Hans / Vitesse

I guess you have put a finger on my problem here - I am not looking for newspaper or periodical articles. Rather I am after the original documentation which I believe will have existed and been in someones hands from 1945 onwards................

#327 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 18 July 2002 - 17:53

David,
In your search - have you found anything relevant yet during the last year? If so, cold you please remind me of it. :)

#328 David J Jones

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Posted 18 July 2002 - 19:23

Hans

Nothing yet.

I am a newcomer to researching - it is rather like detective work I guess. In this case though the evidence is buried deep..................

Perhaps some would prefer for it not to come to light..........

All I have turned up so far is a copy of a German paper obituary for Huhnlein

As soon as I discover something though you will be the first to know.

#329 Racer.Demon

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Posted 21 August 2002 - 22:36

I am posting on behalf of my friend Brun, who at this moment is sifting through dozens of files from the Auto Union archives in Chemnitz, all of which are publicly accessible. His main concern is the mystery AU "E-Type"/Sokol/DAMW but on my specific instructions he is also digging out some files on the 1939 championship. Tonight he sent me a short overview of what he found so far. It's very interesting.

The official name of the file is "Auto Union AG, Sächsisches Staatsarchiv Chemnitz, AU file nr. 7886,
'Europameisterschaft 1939' " and it deals with the new proposed points system of July 1939.

The short version of the new rules is as follows: to be awarded the European Championship a driver had to at least have won one race and scored a second place in another race and also have the highest number of points. This applies to a championship comprising of five GPs. In case more GPs were included in the title race, the champion had to at least win two races.

In 1939 five races were originally part of the championship: Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. The points system was as follows: 1 point for every starter, 10 points for the winner, 6 for second place, 5 for third, 4 for fourth, 3 for fifth. These are the basic scoring opportunities. A driver only scores points when he finishes the race in the car he started. In case of sharing a car with a team mate he get three-quarters, half or one-quarter of the above points, according to the number of laps he actually drove in the car. Also, a points tie would lead to no championship being awarded.

The German words: "Der Titel Europameister steht nur demjenigen Fahrer zu, der die meiste Punktzahl erworben hat und der bei den 5 Grossen Preisen einmal Sieger und einmal Zweiter war. Im falle einer Punktgleichheit wird der Titel Meister nicht verliehen. Für den Fall dass mehr als 5 Veranstaltungen - wie im vergangenen Jahr - zu Grunde gelegt werden, müsste der Meister Sieger zweier Grosser Preise sein."

The text is the internal AU translation in German of an original French document published by the Royal Automobile Club de Belgique, Brussels, on 18 July 1939 (between the French and German GP), and is called Projet d'attribution de points permettant de designer le "champion europeen des conducteurs" pour l'annee 1939. The original French text: "Le titre de champion européen des conducteurs ne peut être attribué que si le conducteur ayant obtenu le plus de points a été classé une fois premier et une fois second sur les cinq grandes-epreuves de 1939." So this is the system already known as the one devised by RACB sports president Langlois. But it's also the most telling document on the 1939 championship that is in this particular AU file.

Of course the word "projet" is the important one here, as it means it was a mere proposal. The mid-July date seems significant too - when exactly was the Italian GP cancelled?

The blurry status of the new points system is confirmed by a hugely interesting telegramme also found by Brun in the AU archives. It was sent on August 19 (on the eve of the Swiss GP!) from the NSKK in Berlin to AU boss Feuereißen in Berne. It reads thus:

= Dr feuereisen bellevue pallace bern =
Da verschiedene ansichten ueber europameisterschaftwertung haben wir
entscheidung ueber europameisterschaft bis zur herbstsitzung vertagen
lassen = kraftfahrsport berlin +


Translated:

To Dr Feuereissen at the Bellevue Palace in Berne. Since there are varying viewpoints regarding the European Championship points system we have postponed the decision on the European Championship until the autumn meeting. Motorsports department Berlin.

This means that either points system wasn't ratified as the autumn meeting (they are probably referring to the annual AIACR congress in October) never took place.

Another thing that's intriguing in the RACB points system is that possibly a point was given to every starter with the 10-6-5-4-3 system coming on top of that. That would mean that Lang and Müller would have finished equal on 24 points after the Swiss GP, after which that other strange regulation would seem to apply: that no champion will be appointed. Not only would this be an elegant solution to our problem but it would also fit with the headline in Automobil-Revue straight after the Bremgarten race that "Der Meister ist unbekannt!"

Then again, the 23-points mystery remains and the idea doesn't fit in with the intermediate points in the O Volante or Les Sports reports. Furthermore, the Automobil-Revue headline could also point to the points decision being put forward on the weekend, as is proven by the telegramme to Feuereissen. So it's probably four translations (from French to German to Brun's Dutch to my English!) confusing this particular issue. Back to the typo theory then?

Anyway, three cheers for Brun! :clap: :clap: :clap:

And there's more to come...

#330 Vitesse2

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Posted 21 August 2002 - 22:53

THE MISSING LINK!!!

At the risk of sounding trite - I told you so!! :)

Mattijs - please convey my regards and thanks to Brun. When he told me he was going to Chemnitz I could only hope .....

:clap: :clap: :clap:

#331 Don Capps

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Posted 21 August 2002 - 23:31

Very interesting stuff indeed! Kick over enough rocks and peer into enough nooks and crannies and eventally you being to find things..... :up:

#332 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 22 August 2002 - 01:05

Originally posted by Racer.Demon
.....But it's also the most telling document on the 1939 championship that is in this particular AU file.....

Good work Mattijs. My thanks also to Brun.
Your contribution is also the only document because the rest of our information consists only of clippings from magazines or books.

I am now more optimistic that we may find more in this latest source. If Brun can locate a file about correspondence (Briefwechsel) with the ONS or NSKK, he may discover what really had happened. This of course applies only, if Auto Union documented their discussion with the ONS/NSKK about how the outcome of the 1939 European Championship was settled between Auto Union and Daimler-Benz. But the chance that this was documented seems very remote. In this regard I consider the Mercedes-Benz Archive to be a totally hopeless case since neither Chris Nixon or Karl Ludvigsen ever came up with information from Stuttgart.

More, but from another angle and another source, will hopefully arrive next month. :)

#333 Leif Snellman

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Posted 22 August 2002 - 06:55

Good job Brun and Mattijs! :clap: :clap: :clap:


Also, a points tie would lead to no championship being awarded.

... and when applying the rules to 1982 then Rosberg isn't champion cause he has only one victory and Pironi and Watson are on equal points so... sorry, F1 fans. No champion! Better luck next year!

#334 quintin cloud

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Posted 22 August 2002 - 08:19

Well that changes the picture quite a bit, well done Mattijs. My thanks also to Brun as well :up: :up:

#335 Breadmaster

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Posted 22 August 2002 - 09:36

Well done! :up:

#336 Leif Snellman

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Posted 22 August 2002 - 12:40

Originally posted by Racer.Demon
Another thing that's intriguing in the RACB points system is that possibly a point was given to every starter with the 10-6-5-4-3 system coming on top of that. That would mean that Lang and Müller would have finished equal on 24 points after the Swiss GP, after which that other strange regulation would seem to apply: that no champion will be appointed. Not only would this be an elegant solution to our problem but it would also fit with the headline in Automobil-Revue straight after the Bremgarten race that "Der Meister ist unbekannt!"

Sorry, Mattijs. It doesn't fit in as Automobil-Revue also included the tables:
Here is the complete article (I hope you don't mind Hans) :
Posted Image

#337 quintin cloud

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Posted 22 August 2002 - 13:07

:clap: :clap: :up:

#338 Vitesse2

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Posted 22 August 2002 - 13:43

Mattijs: as you point out, this may be losing (or gaining) something in the translation. I assume Brun will be able to provide us with the complete original French text? French and English are the current official languages of the FIA, but I'm not sure of the situation re the AIACR - its origins would suggest that French might be the only official language, in which case it would be extremely important that the French text were available, even if it defines only a "projet" - we've seen earlier in this thread how convoluted German and English can be: French is no better!

#339 Racer.Demon

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Posted 22 August 2002 - 15:44

Originally posted by Leif Snellman

Sorry, Mattijs. It doesn't fit in as Automobil-Revue also included the tables


Leif, thanks for that. Very interesting to read the condemning remarks about the "absurd" situation. At least some of the people around in those days were sane.

Yes, it was too good (read: far-fetched) to be true, so put it down to a translation issue. And I am probably to blame!;)

Which leaves the telegramme (which message is fully confirmed by the article) and a full German translation of the original Belgian proposal. It's progressing.

Meanwhile, is the original 1940 Hühnlein text already known? Brun found that too. And some very interesting other facts on 1940 and the 1.5-litre E-type - but that's stuff for another thread. And Richard, you can say "I told you so" yet again...

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#340 Vitesse2

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Posted 22 August 2002 - 16:48

:D

Originally posted by Racer.Demon
Which leaves the telegramme (which message is fully confirmed by the article) and a full German translation of the original Belgian proposal. It's progressing.

:clap: :clap:

Originally posted by Racer.Demon
Meanwhile, is the original 1940 Hühnlein text already known?

NO!!! :eek:

Originally posted by Racer.Demon
Brun found that too.

:clap: :clap:

Originally posted by Racer.Demon
And some very interesting other facts on 1940 and the 1.5-litre E-type - but that's stuff for another thread. And Richard, you can say "I told you so" yet again...

:D :D

#341 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 22 August 2002 - 21:19

Originally posted by Racer.Demon
.....Yes, it was too good (read: far-fetched) to be true, so put it down to a translation issue. And I am probably to blame!.....

Mattijs,
I have become pretty proficient in translating from German to English. In case you want to take advantage of my free offer, send the copies as attachment with your mail to :)

#342 quintin cloud

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Posted 23 August 2002 - 06:24

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
Mattijs,
I have become pretty proficient in translating from German to English. In case you want to take advantage of my free offer, send the copies as attachment with your mail to :)


Hans is it possible to post the translation on the forum for those of us who can not read German :confused: :smoking:

#343 Brun

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Posted 23 August 2002 - 10:13

Just a quick post from Chemnitz. This is a part from the original Belgian text, July 18th. 1939.

Article 2
Mode d'attribution de points

Pour chacune des cinq manifestations citées, il sera attribué:

10 point: au conducteur classé premier
6 " : " " second
5 " : " " troisième
4 " : " " quatrième
3 " : " " cinguième
1 " : à tout autre conducteur ayant pris le départ

So, if I understand correctly, you get one point if you finish the race, 10 if you win it, 6 if you're second etc etc etc?

I'll scan and post the entire thing when I get home

Bye!

#344 Racer.Demon

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Posted 23 August 2002 - 11:14

Thanks Brun, that clears that matter up. I guess I was just reading my interpretation into it. Sorry!

And to continue: from what I gather from Brun's latest messages is that the 1939 file looks to be pretty complete, with no apparent date gaps. What's interesting is that, apparently, the mentioned "autumn meeting" was not the cancelled October AIACR meeting but the November 20 ONS meeting in Berlin, which did take place. Brun has found no other reference to the points issue between the Feuereissen telegramme and the ONS meeting, so we suspect this must have been the "Herbstsitzung".

Among those present were Neubauer, Eberan, Holzheuer (Continental tyres) and several Nazi bigwigs. The record of the meeting gives mention of the projected Italian race programme for 1940, discussions on allowing the non-Germanic Nuvolari to race for a German team, and problems with the raw materials supply to the tyre and car factories. The last paragraph is telling in its brevity:

Die ONS wird die Europameister 1939 bekanntgeben.

Lang MB Rennwagen
Kluge 250 ccm DKW-Motorrad
Fleischmann 350 ccm DKW-Motorrad
Serafini 500 ccm Gilera-Motorrad.


Other documents (Brun has copied most of them and will return with them next week - you'll have to be patient) point to the hypothesis that the ONS was simply fed up with the points debate and used its November meeting to appoint a champion. Brun also reveals that the AU archives leave the distinct impression that people in Chemnitz felt a clear lack of support from the Nazi officials, and that Mercedes was getting all the attention, money and supplies...

#345 Don Capps

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Posted 23 August 2002 - 12:16

We are finally getting to the place where many wanted to be some time ago: being able to work with the original documents and finally find our what is actually on record and what isn't. This also leads to a look at the usefulness of the secondary sources often cited.

One note on my part: apparently the 1939 Euro Championship was as big a boondoggle at the time as it was to be later when Hans and others really began to tackle this situation. Hopefully, there will be an effort at some time -- Leif's site? -- to collect all this data, raw and otherwise, so that it can be made avaialbe to future researchers. I would also suggest that this material be given to several of the research sites that work with folks like ourselves: perhaps one or two places in Europe, the IMRRC, and elsewhere. Indeed, one of those Missions Impossible that I have always meant to try to corral was capturing the nuggets brought to the surface by the hard work and research efforts of those here at TNF and distribute hard copies (paper & electrons on disc) to various research centers so that this information may live long after we are dust. Just a thought.

At any rate, an TNF Gold Star to Brun -- and with diamonds if he finds all the chassis, engine, and supercharger numbers for the AU cars to find in the vast gaps that exist in The Record....

#346 Brun

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Posted 23 August 2002 - 14:05

Thank you, I am truly honoured :blush:

About those numbers: most of them are in there, including what they spent on parts and labour. There are also extremely detailed records of the races and training sessions they had.

Right now, it is just too much and expensive to copy, so I`ll have to work step by step. I focussed on the 1939-1941 era and resisted copying the hotel reservations for the AU brass and drivers, for example. There´s a lot of pre-1939 stuff, though.

Just to give you an idea of how detailed some of the info is: a typical typ D training session would see an average fuel consumption of 90 litres on 100 kilometres, and 100 to 104 per 100 km litres when racing. Training and racing reports are per lap and driver, going on and on, page after page, with comments on how the car behaved, what the temperature and air pressure was, which plugs they used and when they changed them, etc etc etc. I have taken some notes that I can post here next week.

Anyone who can speak German can use the archive. Most of it has been transferred on microfilm, some are still paper records. Examining files is free, you just have to make a reservation a couple of days ahead. Copying costs money, though.

The people who work at the Saxonian State Archive are mostly volunteers and were extremely polite and helpful, obviously honoured that their small back-street bureau suddenly received so much attention from abroad. So thanks to them too, even if they probably don´t visit TNF.

#347 Vitesse2

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Posted 23 August 2002 - 14:16

Originally posted by Brun
.... resisted copying the hotel reservations for the AU brass and drivers, for example.


Wrong decision! :lol: Eoin Young was asking £40 for a photocopy of one of Nuvolari's expenses claims a while back! Perhaps you could finance the next trip that way .... :D

Originally posted by Brun
.... The people who work at the Saxonian State Archive are mostly volunteers and were extremely polite and helpful, obviously honoured that their small back-street bureau suddenly received so much attention from abroad. So thanks to them too, even if they probably don´t visit TNF.


I suspect that their lives may get a whole lot busier in the near future ..... :)

My congratulations Brun - a truly magnificent effort! :clap: :clap:

#348 Racer.Demon

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Posted 23 August 2002 - 14:37

Originally posted by Don Capps
Hopefully, there will be an effort at some time -- Leif's site? -- to collect all this data, raw and otherwise, so that it can be made avaialbe to future researchers.


Of course any of the existing sites (Golden Era, 8W, the new Etzrodt site?) - I guess with Leif's site being the obvious choice here - would be happy to accommodate the results of such an endeavour (Leif's brief overview of the issue on Golden Era is an excellent starting point) but let's wait until we truly have all our facts straight. For one, there is still no acceptable explanation for the 23-points mystery.

Then it's probably a matter of preventing a fight between the candidates wanting to be the author of such a ground-breaking piece of work... :lol:

And wouldn't the traditional press be interested?

#349 Don Capps

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Posted 23 August 2002 - 15:06

One of the reasons for spreading copies of the material around is that sometimes there are things that go unseen by us, but someone with the correct focus can pinpoint immediately. Regardless of how this falls out, this is perhaps the most intensive look at this topic that I am aware of, especially in an open discussion. 8W, Leif, & Hans are the obvious places to start with nominations for another place or two open to place copies of this material. One I suggest is the IMRRC fro those of us in North America -- that I can arrange this with few difficulties is one reason I suggest the IMRRC and another is that it is perhaps the best place at the moment to place such items simply because it is run like a university research library and understands the archives arena as well.

As for the traditional press.... :rolleyes: Motor Sport has failed to take the offer of this amazing tale at least twice. Here in America, I think the most promising journal is Vintage Motorsports, since this is right up their line. Unlike most journals, I have the feeling that they would devote sufficient space to this story since their market is not the usual short-attention-span-cannot- read-an-article-of-more-than-1500-words-nor-capable-of-being-able-to-handle-polysylabic-words sorts of folks.

However, this also lends itself well to a monograph -- from either the Society for Motor Racing History Press or perhaps the TNF Press? The pooling of research and the efforts of many have pushed this far beyond what might otherwise exist. I have the feeling that I know where Hans will be heading on his next trip to Deutschland....

#350 Doug Nye

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Posted 23 August 2002 - 16:45

Brun - I'm GREEN with envy..what a wonderful experience to sift through such material, even if at the arm's length of microfilm. Thank you so much for sharing as much as you have posted here.

One thing re Championship scoring:

You quoted :

"10 point: au conducteur classé premier
6 " : " " second
5 " : " " troisième
4 " : " " quatrième
3 " : " " cinguième
1 " : à tout autre conducteur ayant pris le départ

So, if I understand correctly, you get one point if you finish the race, 10 if you win it, 6 if you're second etc etc etc?

Not quite, the last line indicates that one point was awarded "to all drivers taking the START"!.

Anything to encourage a full grid...whatever happened to the traditional old cobbled-up start-money special, with pistons and rods removed just to stagger off the line trailing a banner of smoke and steam....

Again - GREAT job....

DCN