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Mercedes and paint-stripping


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#201 Holger Merten

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 11:04

Good idea.

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#202 uechtel

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 21:42

Doesn´t the legend consist of a number of "separable" statements:

1. that the cars could not be brought under the weight limit by "conventional" methods

2. that the idea to scratch the paint was a novelty

3. that cars racing in silver was also a novelty

4. that the paint was indeed scratched

5. That the phrase "silver arrows" has its origin in this event


So while we are not able to prove or disprove statements 1 and 4 at the moment, at least 3 and 5 have already turned out to be not true, proven by facts. That makes it a credibility range of 0 to 60% for Neubauer...

So what about statement 2? It is not unusual to have legends composed of older tales. Do we have earlier stories?

#203 Henk

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 22:32

No talk about scratching, but a pre-Neubauer account of the paint/weight relationship was given by Caracciola.
(Caracciola & Weller, 1942, Rennen - Sieg - Rekorde!).

He mentioned that aluminium paint was being used, because with the traditional white racing colour the cars would be too heavy.

He called the cars “silver wolves”.

#204 Vitesse2

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 23:27

Originally posted by uechtel
Doesn´t the legend consist of a number of "separable" statements:

1. that the cars could not be brought under the weight limit by "conventional" methods

2. that the idea to scratch the paint was a novelty

3. that cars racing in silver was also a novelty

4. that the paint was indeed scratched

5. That the phrase "silver arrows" has its origin in this event


So while we are not able to prove or disprove statements 1 and 4 at the moment, at least 3 and 5 have already turned out to be not true, proven by facts. That makes it a credibility range of 0 to 60% for Neubauer...

So what about statement 2? It is not unusual to have legends composed of older tales. Do we have earlier stories?

From Robert Kelly's book "TT Pioneers", discussing the 1904 Gordon Bennett Trials:

"The first real problems arose at the weigh-in. This was conducted on the afternoon immediately before the trials .....

One of the event rules was that when car tanks were empty of fuel and water the cars should weigh no more than 1000kg. Tests in England had indicated that all vehicles had satisfied this requirement but now several encountered difficulties, notably the Weir-Darracqs which were towed to and from the weigh-in.

The English tests had been undertaken at the Automobile Club's headquarters in London several weeks earlier. However, despite the rush to build them in Scotland, the Weir-Darracqs had not been strictly ready for them. Hence their difficulties now.

To enable the cars to be checked by the club the Scottish manufacturers had arranged for a special overnight train to freight the unpainted cars south while mechanicians worked feverishly on them. On arrival in London they had appeared to be complete but according to rumour certain parts had to be switched from vehicle to vehicle to get the team through the club's scrutiny.

Given such problems it was possible that some weight difficulties may have been overlooked. One explanation was that in London the cars had been weighed with dry gearboxes and crank cases whereas oil had been added now; also the cars had built up excessive mud and grease during practising.

This proved to have some substance to it as after some careful scraping the Weir-Darracq managed to divest itself of some unwanted pounds. To meet the weight limit, however, more had to be done. The question was: What?

.......

In the Weir-Darracq camp mechanicians struggled to reduce the weight of Rawlinson's and Edmond's cars. Gearboxes and greasepots were emptied of oil: name plates, silencers, bonnets, various brackets and strengthening cords from the suspension springs were removed. A smaller and therefore lighter petrol tank was fitted to Edmond's car which seemed to have the greatest difficulty in satisfying the weight requirements but even then his Weir-Darracq was still six pounds overweight. To enable him to fulfil event requirements officials finally granted him a concessionary allowance of that amount for grease which he claimed could not be removed."

Lord Montagu's book on the GBT also says that Campbell Muir's Wolseley had to sacrifice its front wings and mentions other equipment jettisoned from the Weir-Darracqs. He cites an article in the April 1956 issue of "Vintage and Thoroughbred Car" which claims one of the Weirs started with no rear brake shoes (most likely Hemery's).

From the detail given, I'm pretty sure that Mr Kelly has gleaned his information from local press reports - he cites a number of local papers in his sources in addition to the obvious ones.

But overall, we have several of the elements which make up the paint-scraping myth: unpainted cars, definite mention of "scraping" (although not what was scraped - mud and grease certainly, but what else?), a frantic overnight rush to finish (the starting order even had to be changed because the Weir-Darracqs were late) and even the final weight discrepancy - 6 pounds is about 2.7 kilos!

#205 Michael Müller

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 18:42

Well, well....!
I believe it doesn’t make much sense to repeat all the arguments brought on table already, which by the way never had been introduced as prove but only as indices. So let’s throw in something new...!

Did you know that “Männer, Frauen und Motoren” was not the first book written by Alfred Neubauer? No? Me too – until recently when Bernhard Völker from Stuttgart came over with some highly interesting scans.

The book’s title is “Heute lacht man darüber”, which can be translated as “Today we’re laughing about that”, and was published in 1951:
http://www.axos.nl/r...-Titelblatt.jpg
Was this really written by “that” Alfred Neubauer? Yes, compare the signature:
http://www.axos.nl/r...nterschrift.jpg

The book – or better booklet – is about motorsport history seen with the eyes of 1951, Neubauer is telling stories from the past, which today (1951) may look rather funny or obscure. One of the topics had been the old weight formulas, that from the 30’s, and also that from the the “stone age”:

http://www.axos.nl/r...Lacht-Text1.jpg
http://www.axos.nl/r...Lacht-Text2.jpg

I’ll try a translation, which is somewhat difficult as the German used by Neubauer is rather oldfashioned.


Oh – these weight formulas!

If one studies the race formulas of the first races of the world one will find out that the tasks presented by the automobile clubs to the automobile industry included the following major items:

The weight, given as maximum or minimum figures, the cylinder volume, and the fuel consumption.

Very often formulas had been used which limited the weight of the vehicle, and the last of such formulas existed from 1934-1937, the so-called 750-kg-race formula, by which the maximum dry weight of the vehicle, meaning without water, fuel, oil and tyres, was not allowed to exceed the 750 kg limit. The amateur could merely imagine which hard-to-master constructive job comes along with such a simple weight limit. Basically the constructor has to calculate the weight of each of the various vehicle parts already during construction, in order not to be faced with major problems lateron. Already the fixing of weights of engine and chassis are of enormous importance. It may happen e.g. that the constructor requires too much weight for his engine, with the effect that a too powerful engine sits in a weak chassis, while in the opposite case the chassis – roughly spoken – is developed into a “truck chassis”.

Before every departure to a race the vehicles therefore had been weighed on a gauged scale, and with asking eyes team manager, engineers, and technicians awaited the verdict of the weighmaster at race site, which led to a smile when one was under the maximum limit, but to long faces when the car was found to be 1 or 1.5 kilos above the allowed limit. Of course sometimes there had been disputes about the accuracy of the weighbridge, but with gauged weightstones it was possible to prove that old weighbridges due to torn and worn bearings had been unable to show the relatively low weights accurately.

That as early as 1906 there had been already corresponding difficulties, is reflected by a funny series of articles written by J. Miral in “L’Auto”:

“Some instructive examples show how sometimes it was only possible to bring the vehicle to the required weight by some small amusing cheats. In accordance with the regulations a race car is allowed to weigh max 1000 kgs, and by adding the 7 kgs for the magneto machine, max 1007 kgs. This is common knowledge. However, there are some who believe the fixing of a weight limit is ridiculous and foolish, and who refer to facts which we don’t want to discuss here, as also the Sporting Commission of the ACF obviously actually is ready to think about a modification of the regulations in this point. We only would like to narrate some anecdotes, which all had their origin in the constraint to adapt this regulation. When a race car leaves the workshop it is normally some kilograms below the weight limit. This is actually self-evident, if one considers that the manufacturer of a car, in which he laid down all his hopes, has calculated every single part and piece down to the milligram. And normally this remains unchanged till the first race of the season. But then things are changing. An axle must be changed, the gear box or the differential requires reinforcement, and so it happens that the car either just reaches the weight limit, or even exceeds it by 1 or 2 kilograms. How often had we seen these unfortunate vehicles coming to the weighbridge with their weight being 1009, 1011, 1013 kgs! May the driver find a way how he solves the problem. His car is allowed to weigh 1007 kgs – over and out! Normally in such cases the engine cover is sacrificed. But sometimes even that is not enough. So away with the rudimentary floor to which the driver rests his feet on, and to which the brave mechanic cowers; away with everything which may be dispensable, the weight limit must be kept, so all considerateness is thrown over board! Very often now some amusing incidents happen. So 2 or 3 years ago a driver – who’s name I do not remember – was forced to scrape the whole paintwork from his car in order to save 1 or 2 kilograms. A rather painstaking piece of work, but what else should that poor guy do? Everything else had been removed already!”



So....!?
The paint scraping story did not happen in 1934 but as early as 1903 or 1904?? Victim unknown, but reported by J. Miral in “L’Auto” in 1906, and quoted by Neubauer in 1951?!

And “re-invented” 8 years later....!

#206 uechtel

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 20:35

Michael, a response as perfect as expected ;)

Now I think there is really not much left over from that legend. All what is left is, that there may have indeed been a weight problem at some time, but...

Originally posted by Henk
No talk about scratching, but a pre-Neubauer account of the paint/weight relationship was given by Caracciola.
(Caracciola & Weller, 1942, Rennen - Sieg - Rekorde!).

He mentioned that aluminium paint was being used, because with the traditional white racing colour the cars would be too heavy.

He called the cars “silver wolves”.


...seems to be rather closer to the truth. To me this sounds, that the switch to silver may be even deliberately planned by the factory - following the Auto Union example - but certainly not scratched from the cars in the night before the race!

From the rest you can watch the build up of a modern legend and it is interesting to see, how others, knowing the truth, but nevertheless joining in to their own benefit.

#207 Michael Müller

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 21:28

Originally posted by uechtel
All what is left is, that there may have indeed been a weight problem at some time...

Offical weight of the 3 W25 taken during scrutineering at Montlhery, which was the next GP after the Eifelrennen:
- 737
- 739.5
- 739
Amazing that within such a short time the perfectionists from Untertürkheim found another 10 kgs of reducable weight....! :cool:

#208 Vitesse2

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 01:27

Originally posted by Michael Müller

Offical weight of the 3 W25 taken during scrutineering at Montlhery, which was the next GP after the Eifelrennen:
- 737
- 739.5
- 739
Amazing that within such a short time the perfectionists from Untertürkheim found another 10 kgs of reducable weight....! :cool:

Amazing indeed ;)

I don't have copies I can quote, but IIRC the British press was full of technical reports on the new German cars (and ISTR Jean-Maurice Gigleux posting some very detailed tech drawings (from l'Auto?)). As Norman Smith recounts in "Case History":

... details of the competing cars were eagerly sought, and as up until then both Mercedes and Auto Union were unknown quantities, the 'weigh in' after practice ended was a godsend to the technical press, for it was obvious .... that both of the Fatherland's new products must possess many new and startling features.

While acknowledging that the Eifelrennen was - in comparison to Le Grand Prix - a minor event, it seems inconceivable to me that rumours of a weight problem for the Mercedes Benz would not have reached the ears of one or more of Sammy Davis, Rodney Walkerley, Maurice Henry, Lawrence Pomeroy or Charles Faroux ....

#209 Pavel Lifintsev

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 15:11

A truly curious story concerning the 1904 Gordon Bennett Cup appears in Eberhard Reuß' book "70 Jahre Großer Preis von Deutschland" (1997).

Here is the original German text:

"Der Sieger des vorjährigen Gordon-Bennett-Rennens galt wieder als Favorit, doch bereits vor dem Rennen hätten Jenatzy und die Daimler-Verantwortlichen beinahe kapitulieren müssen. Die Stadt Frankfurt hatte eigens eine neue Stadtwaage angeschafft, alle Fahrzeuge des Gordon-Bennett-Rennens mußten vorfahren, doch ausgerechnet Jenatzys Mercedes scheiterte und übertraf das Limit von 1000 kg um zwei Kilo! Bei Daimler in Cannstadt gingen die Waagen offensichtlich anders, eine Erfahrung, die sich 30 Jahre später am Nürburgring bestätigen sollte und zur Geburtsstunde der Silberpfeile wurde, weiß zumindest die Rennlegende zu berichten. Anno 1904 war nicht mit dem Abschmirgeln weißer Rennfarbe zu gewinnen, Camille Jentazy entschloss sich vielmehr, die Sitzpolster seines Mercedes zu entfernen. Jetzt brachte der Wagen beim Nachwiegen zulässige 999,5 kg, doch laut Reglement mußte das Gefährt im Rennen "die zur unbedingten Sicherheit und notwendigen Bequemlichkeit des Fahrers unerläßlichen Einrichtungen" aufweisen, also auch über Sitzpolster verfügen, urteilte die Rennkomission und drohte schon mit Disqualifikation, als Jenatzy seinen langen Staubmantel hob und der Jury sein Hinterteil präsentierte. Richtig, "Barbarossa" hatte sich kurzerhand ein Sitzkissen auf seinen Hosenboden geschnallt..."

And here is my [very rough] translation:

"The winner of last year's Gordon Bennett race was considered to be the favorite again, yet Jenatzy and Daimler people nearly capitulated before the race even started. The city of Frankfurt has intentionally acquired the new weighing machine, which should have been passed by all participating cars. Surprisingly Jenatzy's Mercedes failed this test, exceeding the 1000 kg limit by two kilograms! The Daimler's weigh-scales in Cannstadt obviously acted in some other way – the same will happen 30 years later at the Nürburgring, when the Silver Arrows were born (at least the legend says so). There was nothing to win with scratching the white paint in 1904; instead Camille Jenatzy decided to take off the seat pads of his Mercedes. Now the car weighed acceptable 999,5 kg, but according to the regulations all cars should have had "necessary features for driver's safety and comfort" during the race, including the seat pads too. So the officials were about to disqualify Jenatzy, as he rose up skirts of his lenghty dust-coat and showed his back to the race committee. Exactly, "the Barbarossa" attached the seat pad right to his trousers..."

I didn't find any mention of this story in other sources, so it's up to you to decide if it's all true or fake.

#210 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 19:17

According to Lord Montagu in his book The Gordon Bennett Races, the overweight Mercédès cars "were obliged to shed the wicker shields fitted over their thin copper petrol tanks . . . "

#211 duby

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 13:44

well , it took me allmost 2 hours to read all of this great thread .

one of the best i read in TNF !!!



i born to belive that some of the stories that we learn are not suppose to be broken...
but as a i grwon older and started to love history...well some stories are must be broken .



duby

#212 DeLoreanF1

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 18:01

Great post. I enjoy this too much.

Regards.

#213 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 17:12

Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung (Berlin) #9 from March 2, 1906 contains an elaborate 3-page article The weighing and weight reduction of racecars. About paint removal the story told the following:

“The last and most desperate way to lighten a racecar consists however by scratching off the paint, a procedure that demands as much time as patience and skill.

“Out of weight considerations the painting of the cars is kept to a minimum anyway. However, a onetime paint coat of a racecar weighs about 3 kg [in 1905]. Since most vehicles are being painted once again just before the weighing, a cautious scraping of all exterior parts of the car can gain about 3 ½ to 4 kg – a heavy burden in such cases where a few hundred gram mean a gain.

“Certainly, one or the other reader of this report, who had not had the opportunity to witness the preparations for a great race, will think of all this as exaggeration and will doubtfully shake the head.

“But I can assure, that I report here facts only. I myself have observed at last year’s French Elimination Race in the Auvergne, which unbelievable effort had to be made especially by the Clement drivers to reach the required weight. Their cars were normally15 to 18 kg too heavy when present at the weighing place already at 10 in the morning. It required the restless activity of the entire racing team of the house to bring those excellently and solidly built vehicles to the [required] weight of 1007 kg.”

#214 DeLoreanF1

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 22:14

I want to give a public gratefulness to Michael Müller for his help and support in a matter about this topic, that if it is achieved I´ll share with you.

#215 Aspelund

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 11:08

Looking for something completely different, I found this photo today:

http://homepage.uibk...79/image520.jpg

It's caption says: "Avusrennen 1934, "Entladen der P. Wagen"
Scan vom Negativ" Photographer is said to be Heinz von Perckhammer.

Page, from which I found it, is here: http://homepage.uibk...0179/Fotos.html

But this is not Auto Union P-wagen, it's Mercedes. Looks like W25. But: silver W25 in 1934 Avus? Or is it 1934?

Can someone shed more light? I'm sorry, if this photo has been allready discussed here.

Tarmo

#216 Michael Müller

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 12:13

Highly interesting photo, never seen it before!
Indeed it is a W25, and without any doubt painted silver.
Although I have a lot of photos from the 1934 AVUS-Rennen the background gives not enough details for comparisons.

I have contacted the owner of the website already for more details if available.

#217 Aspelund

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 14:05

The mystery word at the back seems to be end of word "Continetal". If you look at the picture of Avus here, advertisment on the left seems to be using same letter type.

http://weblog.bezemb.../31-45/avus.jpg

Tarmo

#218 Michael Müller

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 15:04

Correct!

Posted Image

This is one of the other cars tested in the week before the 1934 AVUS-race with MvB at the wheel. Clearly one of the 2 prototypes, and most probably painted in white.
3 cars had been present at Berlin, one of the prototypes and 2 newer cars. It seems that the prototype was still painted white, whereas the newer cars had been silver already. This would also explain that Caracciola in his book talks about a white car, whereas a period press article about the test ride of von Brauchitsch says silver.

#219 DeLoreanF1

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 21:10

Hi,

Finally Mr. Harvey T. Rowe (co-author of "Mäner, Frauen und Motoren") gave me an interview. This page is for spanish readers, but I include the original text in english:

http://www.deloreanf...cuments/hmm.htm

Thanks again Michael Müller

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#220 Pavel Lifintsev

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 16:45

I think it may be of some interest. (Read text!) Screenshot made from Media Portal for DC employees.

Posted Image

And another never previously seen picture (well, at least by me). Caption says it shows preparation before the start of Eifelrennen.

Posted Image
© DaimlerChrysler AG

#221 Michael Müller

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 18:01

"Up to this day, however, no documents or pictures of this incident have been found.

:lol:

Pure bullshit about the Auto Unions! The cars had been silver already one week before at the AVUS, and also during the earlier record runs.

#222 Wolf

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 18:21

Michael- I believe that quoted statement is about paint scratching: I don't think I've seen a photo of it...

#223 Michael Müller

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 23:22

Originally posted by Wolf
I believe that quoted statement is about paint scratching

Of course it is...!

The most bureaucratic company in the world, with an archive of international fame, they even can find back toilet paper consumption reports from pre-war times, and nothing at all about one of the most famous incidents in motorsport history??

Neubauer issued reports for the board after each race, so did he forgot to mention this...? Shame on him!

#224 Frank Verplanken

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 00:47

Originally posted by Michael Müller
The most bureaucratic company in the world, with an archive of international fame, they even can find back toilet paper consumption reports from pre-war times, and nothing at all about one of the most famous incidents in motorsport history?? Neubauer issued reports for the board after each race, so did he forgot to mention this...? Shame on him!

This rightful remark brought this thought in my mind : is there any chances that the switch from the classical white to the silver colour was dicted by the Nazi state and/or the ONS ? There was a certain spirit of "national revolution" in Hitler's plans and maybe that was just a way of cutting with the past Germany he was not too found of ? I would understand MB for instance not, if I may say, scratching too much the surface of the legend on this matter if they are certain to find under it one of the evidences of their submission to the nazis. Taking this speculation one step further, one could imagine Auto Union obeying the orders right from the start - hence the Avus appearance in silver - while Daimler-Benz would have been maybe more reluctant, waiting for a clash with the authorities at the Eifel-Rennen to finally comply with orders ?
Ultra wild guess I agree :)

#225 Wolf

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 01:14

Frank- I've brought up similar theory a while back in this thread. Namely, that 'authorities' wanted silver because of the appearance (more dramatic, and they were after that) so they used A-U as a test mule to see how AIACR reacted, and if no protests were made to have M-B switch too...

#226 Frank Verplanken

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 01:30

Sorry Wolf I had missed that one. I only read the latest thinking I was up to date with this great thread - I was not ! Your theory makes sense to me. I find strange the lack of contemporary reports - not on the paint stripping episode itself - but just on the fact that German cars now ran in silver colours, period. French cars switching from blue to gold overnight would have made noise wouldn't it - whatever the reason behind the change. So maybe the loud AIACR silence over this betrayed their complacency towards the new order of things ?
Anybody knows if the colour rule for nations applied in motorcycle racing ? If yes was there a change from white so silver at the same period for the German bikes ?

#227 Michael Müller

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 08:32

I don't think that there was something like an order or official change of colour. The Zoller voiturettes which first appeared at the AVUS and then also at the Eifelrennen had been painted white, and also other German cars like e.g. Burggaller's Bugatti and the Austins of Kohlrausch and Bäumer had been white. The same for sports cars, all internationally raced 328 BMWs had been white, with the exception of the Mille Miglia 1940.

Fact is that the press didn't found the new silver colour important enough to mention it in the Eifelrennen reports. So obviously it was no surprise and everybody expected it. The same at the AVUS-Rennen one week earlier, the Auto Unions simply had been silver, nothing written about "new", "colour change", or "surprisingly". However, on the other side the press found worthwile to mention the green colour of Kohlrausch's Magic Midget, which could not be changed because the car had only just arrived from England.

I don't think that there was ever an official change of colour. It has been said here already that white is the heraldic alternative for silver (as yellow is for gold), so probably an official change was not necessary at all. And not to forget - von Brauchitsch's SSKL was silver already at the AVUS-Rennen in 1932 and 1933.

3 Mercedes W25 had been entered (and finally withdrawn) for the AVUS-Rennen 1934, at least one was painted silver, and another one white. Whether the 3rd one was white or silver is unknown. When the team left for Berlin the intention was to participate in the race, so it was not a pure test session where colour was unimportant. It seems that the decision for silver was taken here already, but not as a "must". There had been 2 prototypes, of which at least one was still painted white, and for Berlin they found it not important to change the colour. At the Nürburgring this car was not present as only 2 cars had been entered (Caracciola as the AVUS tests showed was not fully recovered yet). Somewhere I have the list of chassis numbers for these races, if I remember correct for the Eifelrennen #3 and #4 had been used with #2 as reserve.

#228 Lifew12

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 18:34

A riveting discussion. Thanks to all for the info - reading Eyston and Lyndon's "Motor Racing and Record Breaking" at the moment, which has dove-tailed in nicely with the MB- Auto Union stuff.

More, please.

#229 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 03:20

Originally posted by Michael Müller
...It has been said here already that white is the heraldic alternative for silver (as yellow is for gold), so probably an official change was not necessary at all. And not to forget - von Brauchitsch's SSKL was silver already at the AVUS-Rennen in 1932 and 1933....

Michael - von Brauchitsch's streamlined SSKL at the 1933 AVUS-Rennen was painted in white, same as that of Otto Merz. Someone must have scratched the silver off. ;)
Not only was his Mercedes white but the engine had also been reworked at Untertürkheim to deliver 300 hp at 3300 rpm. The extremely heavy car, 1800 kg race ready, showed some small body improvements, such as a refined tapered tail end and a continuous smooth undertray, rear wheel fairing discs and heavier wire wheels according to Karl Ludvigsen's research.

#230 Michael Müller

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 08:14

This is the car in 1933 (r/n 21). For me it's silver, I don't believe that white can create such mirror effect as can be seen on the headrest.

Posted Image

#231 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 20:08

After having been misled by statements that von Brauchitsch's 1933 car was white, I concede that his car must have retained its silver 1932 color judging by two other pictures I have found besides the one back shot posted above.

#232 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 00:25

Rodney Walkerley's "Grand Prix Racing 1934 -- 1939" was published around 1950. I happened to see it out of the corner of my eye today at the IMRRC. I skimmed it and could find nothing on the paint story; it would see that such a juicy story would would rate a mention of some sort.

Postscript. The revised edition of the Walkerley book (original January 1948 and the revided edition January 1950) apparently does not contain this story. I read it Friday evening and could not find any mention of this happening.

#233 scheivlak

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 23:32

Did anybody see the ZDF Nachtmagazin tonight?
I just zapped into it. There was a story about Alfred Neubauer inventing this story 24 years later as a myth. Busted by the ZDF by showing the original program of the race which didn't mention at all that it would be run according to the 750 kg formula - the 1934 original program only mentioned cubic capacity categories.
There was a short old interview fragment with Manfred von Brauchitsch as well.

#234 Vitesse2

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 08:44

I can't find a programme called "Nachtmagazin" on the ZDF website, nor anything to do with this story from yesterday.

Some of the ARD regions have programmes called "Nachtmagazin" though - question is, which one?

Whatever, it's an interesting suggestion - presumably their implication was that the Eifelrennen was actually run to Formule Libre rather than the GP Formula, so the 750kg limit was immaterial. I suppose that's not beyond the bounds of possibility, but ..... :

#235 scheivlak

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 10:29

Originally posted by Vitesse2
I can't find a programme called "Nachtmagazin" on the ZDF website, nor anything to do with this story from yesterday.

Some of the ARD regions have programmes called "Nachtmagazin" though - question is, which one?

Oops, you're right. It was the ARD!
Here's where the story can be found: http://www.tagesscha...6944998,00.html and click on "Mythos Silberpfeile"
Including a pic of silver cars before the practice sessions began. The report says that acccording to the rule book, changing livery would have meant disqualification!
It looks to have been Formula Libre indeed, with three cc classes.

#236 Vitesse2

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 11:05

Originally posted by Vitesse2


Whatever, it's an interesting suggestion - presumably their implication was that the Eifelrennen was actually run to Formule Libre rather than the GP Formula, so the 750kg limit was immaterial. I suppose that's not beyond the bounds of possibility, but ..... :

Pretty much on the money then ;)

Report by Eberhard Reuβ, so not exactly a bit of amateur research. And, rather than the programme, he appeared to be referring to the actual race regulations - these showed the standard German classes of the time - up to 800cc, up to 1500cc and over 1500cc. No apparent mention of a 750kg limit on the largest cars, implying Formule Libre as in 1929, 1931 and 1932. And - if I'm understanding it correctly - a regulation that the cars must be in the same condition in Training as in the race: ergo no paint-scratching otherwise they'd have been disqualified.

I couldn't make head or tail of what MvB was saying though :confused:

Could someone with a better ear for German maybe do a transcript and/or translation? I can help "polish" it in English if you feel yours isn't quite up to it.

#237 Michael Müller

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 15:49

Interesting theory, but not really backed by new facts...! Most of you know that I am researching this topic since years, and that my conclusion is that the paint-scratching story is indeed nonsens. One thing is correct - there is neither a photo nor a written report which mentions it. Not in the period press nor in the Daimler-benz archive.

To show the item "Classes" in the Ausschreibung (regulations) is a nice gimmick, but why didn't they also show the chapter with the technical requirements for each class? Every "Ausschreibung" includes such detailed specification, whether in 1934 or in 2007. And if there was no weight restriction, why are the cars put on a weighbridge??

Posted Image

Posted Image

Some may say now "Hey, the tires are still on the cars!", but I believe they had been intelligent enough to weigh a set of tires separately and deduct it. But frankly spoken, I doubt that this kind if weighbridge was exactly enough to weigh to the kilo, normally they go to 10 kgs steps only, at least on the slips printed. And if really the W25 was 1 kg too heavy - what about wiping the bridge dry? For sure there's more than 1 litre of rain water on it....!

#238 scheivlak

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 20:03

Originally posted by Vitesse2


I couldn't make head or tail of what MvB was saying though :confused:

What I hear is something like: "Take half of half of half of this story, then you have the truth".

#239 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 21:32

Originally posted by Michael Müller
Posted Image

Some may say now "Hey, the tires are still on the cars!", but I believe they had been intelligent enough to weigh a set of tires separately and deduct it. But frankly spoken, I doubt that this kind if weighbridge was exactly enough to weigh to the kilo, normally they go to 10 kgs steps only, at least on the slips printed. And if really the W25 was 1 kg too heavy - what about wiping the bridge dry? For sure there's more than 1 litre of rain water on it....!


But how would they allow for the weight of the air in the tyres?

As for the water on the bridge, very good point!

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#240 Catalina Park

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 07:37

Originally posted by Ray Bell
As for the water on the bridge, very good point!

Not really. If they zero the weighbridge before driving the car on it will not matter about the water.
If they swept 1kg of water off the weighbridge then it would read -1kg when you remove the car. (If the weighbridge was that accurate)

#241 Michael Müller

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 08:17

I'm no specialist on this, but I doubt that zeroing in that period was possible.

#242 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 01:02

David Hodges in his book The FRENCH Grand Prix (publ. 1967) wrote that the 13 cars for the 1934 Grand Prix de l’ACF "were scrupulously weighted".
Alfa Romeo: ..............Chiron, 720.5 kg
Alfa Romeo: ................Varzi, 720.5 kg
Alfa Romeo: ...............Trossi, 720.5 kg
Auto Union: ................Stuck, 740.5 kg
Auto Union: .......Momberger, 738.5 kg
Bugatti: .................Nuvolari, 747 kg
Bugatti: ..................Benoist, 747 kg
Bugatti: .................Dreyfus, 749.5 kg
Maserati: ............Zehender, 735 kg
Maserati: .............Etancelin, 748.5 kg
Mercedes-Benz: ..Caracciola, 739.5 kg
Mercedes-Benz: Brauchitsch, 737 kg
Mercedes-Benz: ........Fagioli, 737 kg

So, why should the Nürburgring scale have been less accurate than that at the Montlhéry track?

When the Germans staged the Gordon Bennett in 1904, they were able to weigh every car very accurately.

#243 Michael Müller

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 14:53

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt So, why should the Nürburgring scale have been less accurate than that at the Montlhéry track?

Because we don't know which type of equipment was used at Montlhery....!

#244 karlcars

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 15:51

This debunking of the paint-scraping saga is the work of muckraking German author Eberhard Reuss, whose story about it was published in the Stuttgart paper yesterday.

I admit to feeling a complete and utter idiot over the issue of whether or not the Eifelrennen was run to the 1934 Grand Prix formula. Obviously if it wasn't, the paint-scraping story has no validity in relation to that race.

I also find the weights of the Mercedes cars as measured at the French GP as extremely compelling. Where was the urgency?

I don't want to say any more until I have a chance to look over the thread in more detail.

#245 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 20:41

Going on those French GP figures, they Mercedes had over 10kg up their sleeves... this would be way more than any paint scratching would save, wouldn't it?

#246 Vitesse2

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 21:08

Originally posted by karlcars

I admit to feeling a complete and utter idiot over the issue of whether or not the Eifelrennen was run to the 1934 Grand Prix formula. Obviously if it wasn't, the paint-scraping story has no validity in relation to that race.

Karl, you are not alone. Perhaps we have all missed the blindingly obvious all along - Roland King-Farlow's data shows the Eifelrennen as Formule Libre for every year in the 1930s except 1939: Hans tells me that Cohin also says the 1934 Eifelrennen was FL.

If you think about it, it makes sense: the Avusrennen was always Formule Libre too. So perhaps we can postulate that we have ADAC and its successor DDAC maintaining the "purity" of the Groβer Preis by ensuring it was the only German race run to the Formula?

Originally posted by karlcars
I also find the weights of the Mercedes cars as measured at the French GP as extremely compelling. Where was the urgency?

In as much as this was the first time the new German cars had raced outside the Reich, it strikes me there was enormous interest in them. Certainly the British and French press devoted enormous amounts of coverage to them and - I'm going out on a limb here - perhaps they'd never been weighed before? Or at least by an AIACR scrutineer?

#247 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 23:03

Thanks to the IMRRC.... Here is some information from the "Offizielles Programm" for the "Internationales Eifelrennen 1934" to stir the pot....

RENNEN III.
a) Kraftwagen uber 1500 ccm, 15 Runden a 22,81 = 342,15 km

Start-Nr./ Name des Fahrers/ Marke/ ccm
1. Auto-Union A.-G. Fahrer: Hans Stuck, Auto-Union, ccm: 750 kg
2. Auto-Union A.-G. Fahrer: Prinz zu Leiningen, Auto-Union, ccm: 750 kg
3. Auto-Union A.-G. Fahrer: Momberger, Auto-Union, ccm: 750 kg
4. Widengreen, P.W., Alfa Romeo, ccm: 2600
5. Mlle. Helle Nice, Alfa Romeo, ccm: 2300
6. Scuderia Ferrari Fahrer: Chiron, L., Alfa Romeo, ccm:
7. Scuderia Ferrari Fahrer: Tadini, Alfa Romeo, ccm:
8. Pietsch, Paul, Alfa Romeo, ccm: 2600
9. Scuderia Siena Fahrer: Siena, Eug., Maserati, ccm: 3000
10. Scuderia Siena Fahrer: Minozzi, Alfa Romeo, ccm: 2300
11. Ruesch, Hans, Maserati, ccm: 3000
12. Steinweg, Rudolf, Bugatti, ccm: 1980
14. Hartmann, Laszlo, Bugatti, ccm: 2500
15. Gaupillat, Jean, Biugatti, ccm: 2300
16. Maag, Ulrich, Alfa Romeo, ccm: 2300
17. Penn-Hughes, Alfa Romeo, ccm: 2600
18. Stolze, Hellmut, Bugatti, ccm: 2300
19. Frankl, E.G., Bugatti, ccm: 2300
20. Daimler-Benz A.-G. Fahrer: Manfred von Brauchitsch, Merc.-Benz, ccm: 750 kg
21. Daimler-Benz A.-G. Fahrer: X, Merc.-Benz, ccm: 750 kg
22. Daimler-Benz A.-G. Fahrer: Fagioli, Luigi, Berc.-Benz, ccm: 750 kg
23. Hamilton, H.C., Maserati, ccm: 3000
24. Nuvolari, Maserati, ccm: 3000



#248 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 03:21

Originally posted by HDonaldCapps
Thanks to the IMRRC.... Here is some information from the "Offizielles Programm" for the "Internationales Eifelrennen 1934" to stir the pot....

RENNEN III.
a) Kraftwagen uber 1500 ccm, 15 Runden a 22,81 = 342,15 km

Start-Nr./ Name des Fahrers/ Marke/ ccm
1. Auto-Union A.-G. Fahrer: Hans Stuck, Auto-Union, ccm: 750 kg
2. Auto-Union A.-G. Fahrer: Prinz zu Leiningen, Auto-Union, ccm: 750 kg
3. Auto-Union A.-G. Fahrer: Momberger, Auto-Union, ccm: 750 kg
20. Daimler-Benz A.-G. Fahrer: Manfred von Brauchitsch, Merc.-Benz, ccm: 750 kg
21. Daimler-Benz A.-G. Fahrer: X, Merc.-Benz, ccm: 750 kg
22. Daimler-Benz A.-G. Fahrer: Fagioli, Luigi, Berc.-Benz, ccm: 750 kg

I think people misread the information given under the ccm-column. AFAIU the engine capacity was still considered a no-topic at that time but instead the organizer was told that these were cars to the new 750 kg formula and that is what the ONS had printed in that column. It did not necessarily mean the cars had to comply with the weight of not more than 750 kg.

Remember also that this was a Formula Libre race, therefore you had 3 different engine size classes.

#249 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 03:56

Can you propose a reason then, Hans, for the cars to be pictured on the weighbridge?

Could it be that within the race there was a class for the new International formula?

#250 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 04:28

Ray - it was often customary to also weigh the cars during scrutinizing, even when the race regulations did not prescribe a weight limit. And this started about 100 years ago. As the picture with the Mercedes on the scale shows, the car was weighted with its tires, which I interpret that they just took the weight in a customary manner. If they wanted to check the car for compliance with the 750 kg weight regulations, they would have had to weigh the car without tires. …and you can bet your sweet something on that Neubauer and von Brauchitsch, who are standing on the left of the car (can you see them?) would have insisted to weigh their car without tires as written in the regulations.