Jump to content


Photo

Mercedes W196


  • Please log in to reply
61 replies to this topic

#1 SpitfireJEJ

SpitfireJEJ
  • Member

  • 42 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 23 November 2007 - 15:10

Two questions concerning the Mercedes Streamliner from 1954/55. Firstly, was there a smooth underpan on the body to assist with the streamlining? Secondly, I have read that the car had an unusual gearchange pattern which was apparently disliked by Stirling Moss. Precisely what was the pattern?

Advertisement

#2 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 23 November 2007 - 15:36

Do you mean the Benz W196? Certainly had a "belly pan", but I doubt it was anything like smooth. Dunno about the gearchange problems Moss may have had?

#3 Gary Davies

Gary Davies
  • Member

  • 2,099 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 24 November 2007 - 08:28

Originally posted by SpitfireJEJ Secondly, I have read that the car had an unusual gearchange pattern which was apparently disliked by Stirling Moss. Precisely what was the pattern? [/B]


It was simply 'back to front' from what Moss had been used to. That is 1st, 3rd and 5th were backward and 2nd and 4th were forward. He also found it to be a difficult and heavy gearchange.

#4 DOHC

DOHC
  • Member

  • 11,891 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 24 November 2007 - 14:35

Originally posted by fines
Do you mean the Benz W196? Certainly had a "belly pan", but I doubt it was anything like smooth. Dunno about the gearchange problems Moss may have had?


I am not so sure about the belly pan. I have checked the literature I have available, but there is no mention of whether the car had a belly pan or not. However, some years ago CMC in Germany started selling an 1:18 model of the W196 Monoposto. And the CMC models are quite well regarded for accuracy. Anyway, their model of the W196 Monoposto has no floor pan, see e.g.

http://www.motorspor...com/CMC196.html

Of course, I am well aware that this doesn't count as proof, and that TNF people would probably frown on an argument based on (painstakingly developed) replicas. Nevertheless, I would be quite surprised if CMC hadn't researched this issue.

#5 HDonaldCapps

HDonaldCapps
  • Member

  • 2,482 posts
  • Joined: April 05

Posted 24 November 2007 - 15:57

When I was at the Classic Center at Fellbach in July, they had an open W196 in the prep shop and it did not have a "belly pan." Likewise, after looking through the materials I have on hand, I found nothing to confirm that there was something as you suggest.

#6 Gary Davies

Gary Davies
  • Member

  • 2,099 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 25 November 2007 - 02:48

HDonaldCapps' sig
God gave us memory so that we could have roses in December. -- J.M. Barrie


Aha! Proof positive that neither God nor J.M. Barrie was an Antipodean chap!

Taken 5 minutes ago, on the very cusp of December, in our garden! ;) ;) :)

Posted Image

#7 jcbc3

jcbc3
  • Member

  • 5,159 posts
  • Joined: November 04

Posted 25 November 2007 - 09:19

Originally posted by DOHC


I am not so sure about the belly pan. I have checked the literature I have available, but there is no mention of whether the car had a belly pan or not. However, some years ago CMC in Germany started selling an 1:18 model of the W196 Monoposto. And the CMC models are quite well regarded for accuracy. Anyway, their model of the W196 Monoposto has no floor pan, see e.g.

http://www.motorspor...com/CMC196.html

Of course, I am well ware that this doesn't count as proof, and that TNF people would probably frown on an argument based on (painstakingly developed) replicas. Nevertheless, I would be quite surprised if CMC hadn't researched this issue.


But he specifically asked for the streamliner version.

http://www.ddavid.co...s/mercedes4.jpg

I have tried to look it up from the modellors sites and have come up empty until now.

#8 DOHC

DOHC
  • Member

  • 11,891 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 25 November 2007 - 18:20

Originally posted by jcbc3
But he specifically asked for the streamliner version.


Yes, I know, but given that the Streamliner appeared first (in Reims, France), and that it was claimed (in most narratives) that for slower and tighter circuits it was necessary to see the front wheels, one wouldn't really guess that all they stripped off was the wheel fairings? If the streamlining was important also under the belly, it could easily have been kept. BTW, the open-wheel Monoposto had a narrower track as well, right?

#9 HDonaldCapps

HDonaldCapps
  • Member

  • 2,482 posts
  • Joined: April 05

Posted 25 November 2007 - 18:49

Originally posted by jcbc3
But he specifically asked for the streamliner version.


The underside view of the model reflects the same view that I get looking at the photograph I took in July.

Perhaps I missed something along the way, but I have never seen any photographs that I can recall of a W196 streamliner with a body pan.

#10 Allan Lupton

Allan Lupton
  • Member

  • 3,100 posts
  • Joined: March 06

Posted 25 November 2007 - 18:50

Originally posted by DOHC


Yes, I know, but given that the Streamliner appeared first (in Reims, France), and that it was claimed (in most narratives) that for slower and tighter circuits it was necessary to see the front wheels, one wouldn't really guess that all they stripped off was the wheel fairings? If the streamlining was important also under the belly, it could easily have been kept. BTW, the open-wheel Monoposto had a narrower track as well, right?


The body was completely different, not just "wheel fairings" so it is quite possible that the open-wheeler had no undertray and the streamliner did. Once you'd exposed the wheels the aerodynamics were so compromised that it may have been thought better to let some air out under the car (as some did in those days).

#11 Tom MacMillan

Tom MacMillan
  • Member

  • 50 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 25 November 2007 - 19:20

This is the pic from CMC's website.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Saves me unloading my model from it's CMC Blue Wonder transporter!

And rest assured their models are VERY accurate.

#12 Rob Miller

Rob Miller
  • Member

  • 200 posts
  • Joined: October 04

Posted 25 November 2007 - 22:51

Amazing!

After 53 years we finally find out that the handling problems at Siverstone were down to wheel alinement. :)

#13 DOHC

DOHC
  • Member

  • 11,891 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 26 November 2007 - 15:37

Ah, that settles it! :up:

#14 Alexander M

Alexander M
  • Member

  • 101 posts
  • Joined: December 08

Posted 08 January 2009 - 19:37

Hello everyone!

Some time ago I've found this version of a streamlined Mercedes-Benz W196, as said to be Moss' test car in Monza in 1955. Some other sources say Stuck had also tested several aerodynamic layouts during 1955 Monza practice. What I'd like to know is are there any photographs of those versions? I think Brumm company had to have something as an example when making their scale model.

'Mercedes-Benz W196C 1955 Monza test, Stirling Moss'

http://www.carmodel....jIwMDEnLCAnMCcp
http://www.minichamp...1B-Mercedes.jpg

P.S. I hope this is a right thread to place this question.

Thanks,
Alexander.

#15 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 3,275 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 08 January 2009 - 20:29

I'd be able to look at the example of W196 Streamliner in the Indy Museum the next time I'm down there, if deemed necessary.

Brian

#16 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 54,421 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 08 January 2009 - 20:36

Originally posted by Alexander M
Some time ago I've found this version of a streamlined Mercedes-Benz W196, as said to be Moss' test car in Monza in 1955. Some other sources say Stuck had also tested several aerodynamic layouts during 1955 Monza practice.....


Without digging into my books, which is hard because they aren't here...

My recollection is that Moss decided he'd like a streamliner for the Monza race, one was put on the ultra-rapid transporter and taken to Italy so he could have it.

This indicates to me that Moss didn't have a streamlined 'test car' at Monza, rather a streamlined race car... and that it's unlikely that Stuck had an aero car to play with. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard of Stuck's name being associated with the W196s.

#17 Alexander M

Alexander M
  • Member

  • 101 posts
  • Joined: December 08

Posted 08 January 2009 - 20:58

According to the information I have, Moss indeed drove a W196 streamliner during the race, but it was a car with a 'normal' nose, not with the one like this model has. Also, that car carried starting number 16, not 20.

http://www.grandprix...italy_01_bc.jpg

Minichamps site has a photo of the same W196 car (I've posted it in my previous message), but there it's said to be a record attempt car, though also Moss and also '55 Monza.

Here is one more picture of a scale model:

http://www.stock1.it.../pics/R281B.jpg

#18 SWB

SWB
  • Member

  • 239 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 08 January 2009 - 22:17

My recollection is that Moss decided he'd like a streamliner for the Monza race, one was put on the ultra-rapid transporter and taken to Italy so he could have it.



Hardly likely since Mercedes turned up at Monza with eight cars, two of which were short wheelbase streamliners, two long wheelbase streamliners, and one medium wheelbase streamliner. Its barely feasible Moss wanted yet another variant to choose from. I don't know which car Moss drove, Fangio drove a long wheelbase version, but I presume Moss had a different type as there was an alternative style of vent on the cowl ahead of the windscreen.

Steve

#19 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 54,421 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 08 January 2009 - 22:31

For a certainty Moss had a fresh car freighted in...

I seem to recollect that it was after he tried Fangio's car. The Design and Behavior of the Racing Car has fuller details.

Advertisement

#20 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 6,081 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 08 January 2009 - 23:07

Originally posted by Ray Bell
For a certainty Moss had a fresh car freighted in...

I seem to recollect that it was after he tried Fangio's car. The Design and Behavior of the Racing Car has fuller details.

You're quite right. Moss says that in private testing before the event they decided that the medium wheel base streamlined car was the best compromise. It later became clear that the long wheel base streamliner was better. A new car was built for him and rushed to Monza in two days. This for the last race of the cars' career when the championship was already won.

Interestingly, Michael Riedner's W196 history doesn't mention this, but says that two long wheelbase streamliners (among others) were taken to Monza.

#21 David M. Woodhouse

David M. Woodhouse
  • Member

  • 125 posts
  • Joined: May 08

Posted 09 January 2009 - 04:02

To further clarify the gearchange pattern comment by Vanwall in post #3: IIRC the pattern was 1st in the rear left position, then 2nd straight forward in the front left slot. 3rd is then back, across the gate to the right and into the rear center slot. 4th is straight forward to the front center slot. 5th again is back, across the gate to the right and to the right rear slot. Reverse, with lockout occupied the forward right position.

This makes the 2-3, and 4-5 gear change awkward to those of us used to changing up across the gate by pushing forward and away (right hand gear change). The late Dean Batchelor told me that he drove a W196 in Germany while editor of Road & Track magazine, and was unable to get used to the backwards pattern in the time allotted.

The pattern was not unique to Mercedes-Benz. Bugatti GP cars from Brescia through Type 51 had the identical layout for their four forward speeds.

And then there is the weird pattern on P3 Alfas and Bugatti Royales, not to mention the reversed left to right pattern foisted off on Pegaso owners.

Woody

#22 SWB

SWB
  • Member

  • 239 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 09 January 2009 - 09:09

Yes, I'm wrong. I should have cross referenced more.

According to Mr Nye's 'Stirling Moss, My Career, My Cars' the panic at Mercedes was caused when they arrived at Monza to find the track smoothed out in many places since their testing at the end of August. This left them with only one new long wb car that worked best, so they built two new chassis frames which were sent to Monza on the high-speed transporter. I don't know if chassis frames should be taken literally, but you couldn't fit two cars on the transporter? They arrived at the end of the second official practice day. Moss ended up with a long chassis car but clothed in 1954 bodywork. I'd love to know (if anybody has the knowledge) how many practice sessions/days there were in the Monza GP race programme just to get some perspective on the time they may have needed to build up these chassis (if the 'chassis' weren't ready built car/s).

#23 Odseybod

Odseybod
  • Member

  • 1,139 posts
  • Joined: January 08

Posted 09 January 2009 - 09:29

Originally posted by David M. Woodhouse
The pattern was not unique to Mercedes-Benz. Bugatti GP cars from Brescia through Type 51 had the identical layout for their four forward speeds.

And then there is the weird pattern on P3 Alfas and Bugatti Royales, not to mention the reversed left to right pattern foisted off on Pegaso owners.

Woody


Just for completeness, the RHD version of the prosaic mid-60s Simca 1300/1500 had the same gearchange pattern, though again with only four ratios to be confused about.

#24 D-Type

D-Type
  • Member

  • 8,138 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 09 January 2009 - 13:01

Originally posted by Alexander M
Hello everyone!

Some time ago I've found this version of a streamlined Mercedes-Benz W196, as said to be Moss' test car in Monza in 1955. Some other sources say Stuck had also tested several aerodynamic layouts during 1955 Monza practice. What I'd like to know is are there any photographs of those versions? I think Brumm company had to have something as an example when making their scale model.

'Mercedes-Benz W196C 1955 Monza test, Stirling Moss'

http://www.carmodel....jIwMDEnLCAnMCcp
http://www.minichamp...1B-Mercedes.jpg

P.S. I hope this is a right thread to place this question.

Thanks,
Alexander.

Brumm are notorious for poor research. They model something but not necessarily what they say it is. So take their description with a pinch of salt.

Examples -
Numbering a 1961 sharknose Ferrari as Monza but using what appears to be the Monaco air intakes.
Taking a 1956-57 Vanwall, putting an air scoop on the bonnet and numbering it as Moss's 1958 Portuguese GP car.
Putting 722 on their standard 300SLR with a totally wrong screen for the Mille Miglia car.

#25 Alexander M

Alexander M
  • Member

  • 101 posts
  • Joined: December 08

Posted 09 January 2009 - 13:41

Well, that's a poor way to make their business :| But still, I believe, this 'flatnose' W196 could have existed?

#26 SWB

SWB
  • Member

  • 239 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 09 January 2009 - 17:40

But still, I believe, this 'flatnose' W196 could have existed?



The 'flatnose' is the one they tested at Monza at the end of August '55.


Steve

#27 Simon Davis

Simon Davis
  • Member

  • 242 posts
  • Joined: August 01

Posted 09 January 2009 - 19:52

Originally posted by SWB - I'd love to know (if anybody has the knowledge) how many practice sessions/days there were in the Monza GP race programme just to get some perspective on the time they may have needed to build up these chassis (if the 'chassis' weren't ready built car/s).


Mike Riedner in his W196 book suggests there were three days of practice during the Grand Prix meeting. Karl Ludvigsen confirms this in 'Quicksilver Century'. The new car arrived at Monza by mid-day Saturday (the third day of practice).

#28 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 6,081 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 09 January 2009 - 21:24

Originally posted by SWB


The 'flatnose' is the one they tested at Monza at the end of August '55.


Steve

Didn't they also try it in practice?

#29 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 6,081 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 09 January 2009 - 21:25

Originally posted by Simon Davis


Mike Riedner in his W196 book suggests there were three days of practice during the Grand Prix meeting. Karl Ludvigsen confirms this in 'Quicksilver Century'. The new car arrived at Monza by mid-day Saturday (the third day of practice).

Wasn't the first day on the banked circuit only?

#30 Alexander M

Alexander M
  • Member

  • 101 posts
  • Joined: December 08

Posted 10 January 2009 - 11:17

Originally posted by SWB


The 'flatnose' is the one they tested at Monza at the end of August '55.


Steve


Thank you, Steve!
Do you know about any photographs of a real car?

#31 SWB

SWB
  • Member

  • 239 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 10 January 2009 - 13:16

The only photo I can find that comes immediately to hand is on page 144 of the Riedner W196 book. Its a head on shot clearly showing the pop riveted extra piece on the nose, and the blank number roundel as found on the Brumm diecast model.

Steve

#32 Alexander M

Alexander M
  • Member

  • 101 posts
  • Joined: December 08

Posted 10 January 2009 - 16:20

Thank you again, Steve!

#33 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 6,081 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 10 January 2009 - 18:40

Originally posted by SWB
The only photo I can find that comes immediately to hand is on page 144 of the Riedner W196 book. Its a head on shot clearly showing the pop riveted extra piece on the nose, and the blank number roundel as found on the Brumm diecast model.

Steve

I think that picture is of official practice for the Grand Prix, rather than private testing in August. There is another car, not a Mercedes, visible in the background which supports this. They tried two noses during practice, welded up in the workshop lorry. Karl Ludvigsen's Quicksilver Century has a picture of Uhlenhaut driving a car with extended nose in the August tests.

#34 SWB

SWB
  • Member

  • 239 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 10 January 2009 - 22:17

Riedner says in the text, page 274,

"A variety of nose sections were tried on the streamlined car. One of these had a smaller radiator vent (reducing the flow of air, but which had an adverse effect on drag coefficient), another was low and sharp and intended to cleave the air better on the one hand, but also reduce the lift on the other. Both versions were discarded by the time official practice came around two and a half weeks later ".

My underlining.

So I take it the experiments were over at the end of August.

Steve

#35 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 6,081 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 11 January 2009 - 00:11

Originally posted by SWB
Riedner says in the text, page 274,

"A variety of nose sections were tried on the streamlined car. One of these had a smaller radiator vent (reducing the flow of air, but which had an adverse effect on drag coefficient), another was low and sharp and intended to cleave the air better on the one hand, but also reduce the lift on the other. Both versions were discarded by the time official practice came around two and a half weeks later ".

My underlining.

So I take it the experiments were over at the end of August.

Steve

Friday practice: "In an attempt to improve the handling of the medium length streamlined car on the banking, Mercedes-Benz built a long nose cowling on one of the cars this helping to keep the front wheels down"

Saturday practice: "The medium length streamlined car which had been fitted with the temporary nose cowling had yet another type fitted the aluminium sheet being welded in the workshop lorry and pop-riveted onto the existing body"


DSJ, Motor Sport October 1955

#36 Simon Davis

Simon Davis
  • Member

  • 242 posts
  • Joined: August 01

Posted 11 January 2009 - 20:15

Roger,

The existence of another car (ie, non-Mercedes) in the background of the photo in the Riedner book isn't necessarily proof that it relates to practice as opposed to the August test session. According to Riedner (page 272) the test session in August was attended by Ferrari and Maserati as well.

#37 Simon Davis

Simon Davis
  • Member

  • 242 posts
  • Joined: August 01

Posted 11 January 2009 - 20:21

'Quicksilver Century' has another picture of an experimental nose on page 358. This nose is totally different to the photos already mentioned. The photo carries the caption that Karl Kling tried the car at Monza but doesn't differentiate between the August test and practice.

#38 ZOOOM

ZOOOM
  • Member

  • 517 posts
  • Joined: April 08

Posted 22 January 2009 - 02:17

For what it's worth, I stopped by the Indy Museum on Monday afternoon and checked out the Merecdes W 196 they have on display. It does have a full bellypan...
ZOOOM

#39 D-Type

D-Type
  • Member

  • 8,138 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 22 January 2009 - 10:13

Originally posted by ZOOOM
For what it's worth, I stopped by the Indy Museum on Monday afternoon and checked out the Merecdes W 196 they have on display. It does have a full bellypan...
ZOOOM

Is it a streamliner or open wheeler? (I think it's a streamliner)

Advertisement

#40 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 3,275 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 22 January 2009 - 13:02

"Is it a streamliner or open wheeler? (I think it's a streamliner)" D-Type

Definitely a streamliner - ZOOOM, thanks for the info, I'm going to be at the Speedway on Saturday and was going to check the same thing.

Brian

#41 ZOOOM

ZOOOM
  • Member

  • 517 posts
  • Joined: April 08

Posted 22 January 2009 - 20:16

Unfortunately I was without my camera. It certainly does look like the model car pictures seen above.
The only thing I could really make out was the rear end caseing just like the model...
ZOOOM

#42 VWV

VWV
  • Member

  • 279 posts
  • Joined: March 02

Posted 21 March 2009 - 15:52

Originaly posted by SpitfireJEJ
Two questions concerning the Mercedes Streamliner from 1954/55. Firstly, was there a smooth underpan on the body to assist with the streamlining?



I was looking at the 2009 Amelia Island pictures at http://www.supercars...13/2002/13.html
and they have a pic of the W196 Streamliner belly pan that should answer this question.

Posted Image

#43 Alan Cox

Alan Cox
  • Member

  • 7,748 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 21 March 2009 - 16:41

Fantastic photo, VWV. It would appear to prove that CMC have got their replica just right.

Originally posted by Tom Macmillan
Posted Image



#44 oldtimer

oldtimer
  • Member

  • 1,291 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 22 March 2009 - 02:56

I suspect that the CMC models are based on cars in the MB museum. Thus, the Silver Arrow models have plush seats, the W125s have ventilated back plates on the brakes and carry 2 rear view mirrors, which you don't see in Monkhouse's photos.

#45 Ron B.

Ron B.
  • Member

  • 156 posts
  • Joined: March 09

Posted 22 March 2009 - 23:46

Just a point of interest it would have been an interesting ride with out the pan...like sitting on a mobile monkeybaar set.:D This is a W194,but it must be appreciated that there was no floor as a normal car would have.
Posted Image

#46 JtP1

JtP1
  • Member

  • 753 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 24 March 2009 - 21:32

Originally posted by Tom MacMillan
This is the pic from CMC's website.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Saves me unloading my model from it's CMC Blue Wonder transporter!

And rest assured their models are VERY accurate.


That's exactly as I remember the model I had in the 50s. The mere idea that the streamliner would not have have a smooth underpan does not make sense, when the non streamliner clearly has one and just about every other F1 car, if not all, of its day.

#47 Paolo

Paolo
  • Member

  • 1,673 posts
  • Joined: May 00

Posted 21 May 2010 - 10:51

A question about the open body version: why on earth it had an headlight?

#48 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 24,513 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 21 May 2010 - 11:04

That's an air intake, not a headlight. :)

#49 GIGLEUX

GIGLEUX
  • Member

  • 1,519 posts
  • Joined: April 03

Posted 21 May 2010 - 12:23

That's an air intake, not a headlight. :)


Are you sure Richard?

#50 RA Historian

RA Historian
  • Member

  • 3,437 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 21 May 2010 - 14:43

I agree with Vitesse. It feeds the intakes for the straight eight.
Tom