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German Formula 1 drivers in the 1950's


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#1 William Hunt

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 23:53

I would like to know more on the German drivers who participated every year at the German GP in Nürburgring.
As a consequence of World War 2 German drivers were not wanted in Formula 1 or other main race events so they raced little outside Germany.
But Germany did have a F2 & F3 championship in the 1950's and during the German GP many would participate in the F1 event there.

How good were some of them?

Theo Hellfrich seemed like he was a pretty good driver, Wolfgang Seidel seemed very good too.

Edgar Barth was the most known of the bunch I guess

 

Willy Krakau wo entered the race in '52 was a member of the German rowing team at the Olympics in 1936.

Alfred Brudes won many hillclimbs before WW2.

But I would like to know more about those '50s German drivers, which ones were talented?

 

And I'm not talking about the more well known drivers like Hans Herrmann, Karl Kling, Hans Stuck Hermann Lang or Paul Pietsch who also did GP racing.

 

I am specifically interested in finding more about the German drivers who entered at the Nürburgring in the Formula 2 period of F1 ('52-'53), since Germany had an F2 championship in those days it was easy for them to enter.


Edited by William Hunt, 18 July 2017 - 00:57.


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#2 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 04:53

I would like to know more on the German drivers who participated every year at the German GP in Nürburgring.
As a consequence of World War 2 German drivers were not wanted in Formula 1 or other main race events so they raced little outside Germany.

And I'm not talking about the more well known drivers like Hans Stuck


It was nothing to do with not being wanted, it was economic. Germany was in ruins, literally, and it took decades for the Countries (East and West) to recover, arguably East didn't until reunification.
So to have the budget to go racing round Europe just wasn't there.

Obviously that wasn't just exclusive to Germany. Remember too, travel back then wasn't as easy as it is now and so on

P.S. Hans Stuck was Austrian, not German.

There will be few people here who could quantify how good these people were due to time lapsing since but Toni Ulmen and Willi Heeks always gave me the impression, bith reading about them and peer reviews as being more than capable of doing well, given the right car.

#3 Michael Ferner

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:45

P.S. Hans Stuck was Austrian, not German.


:confused:

#4 William Hunt

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 11:22

If you look at the wikipedia page of Hans Stuck, it says 'Germans were banned from (international) racing and I also have several books claiming there was a ban on international racing for Germans.
I however don't believe that, Richard Jenkins explanation that the reason was economic is far more logical and it also what I always thought to be a more likely reason.
If there was a ban they would not be having a German Grand Prix. Also Mercedes started entering Le Mans early 1950s already.

 

The wikipedia page of Hans Stuck states that Stuck got an Austrian passport after world war 2 so he could get around the German race ban. Maybe their was a ban in the 1940's right after WW2 but by the 1950's I really don't believe that.

Stuck was a German born in Poland (Warsaw) who obtained Austrian nationality afer WW2.

Maybe there was a ban in 1946-1948 because the war was still so fresh but in the 50's I would doubt that


Edited by William Hunt, 18 July 2017 - 11:41.


#5 William Hunt

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 11:24

I can imagine this driver getting an international race ban in the '50s considering his last name :)
https://en.wikipedia...iki/Kurt_Adolff



#6 uechtel

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 12:13

Stuck was German, but raced with Austrian license after the war, because German drivers were not allowed to start internationally before 1950. The reason for that is quite simple, as after 1945 all the former Nazi organisations were of course dissolved and under Allied governance (divided into the four occupation zones) it was impossible (and initially also not allowed) to found new clubs or organisations on "interzone" level. This ended only with the foundation of the new "FRG" state, comprising of the three "Western" Zones (US, British and France) in 1949. This allowed to found the national Automobile Clubs again (AvD and ADAC) and then these two needed some time to fight each other for national representation in the FIA. When this was sorted out Germany became FIA member again in 1950 which meant, that from this time onward Germans could now start abroad again and also foregin drivers could now attend events in Germany. In contrast, Austria, being one of the Nazi 'victims' was recognised and represented in the FIA right from the beginning. Stuck held double nationality since the thirties, so he was the only German who could race outside the country in 1948/49.

 

In the meantime racing in Germany had restarted more or less totally separated from the rest of the world. The first events in 1946 were still of quite provisorial character, the first really 'proper' race being Hockenheim in spring 1947. Nevertheless it was hoped that one day the country would be taken up into the international community again and so in general adopted the international regulations (with only some pragmatical exceptions). For example with the 2 litre BMW engine at hand this did fit very well into the new Formula 2 regulations which had been introduced by the FIA for 1948. That is the reason why virtually all top level races were run according to F2 regulations, which the included also the first official German Grand Prix after the war in 1950 (thereby giving away its World Championship event status). In 1951 the first proper Formula 1 Grand Prix was held, but with only one German driver too far back in the field and no German car at the start the organisers were probably very happy about the FIA decision to run the World Championship in 1952 and 1953 with Formula 2 cars. This gave German drivers the opportunity to take part in a WC event even if they would have to rely on quite outadated and sometimes still very provisional machinery. For example many of them did 'promote' their Veritas RS two-seater sportcars two Formula 2 after the 2 litre sports car category was not carried out any more in 1953.

 

For the Eastern zone things lasted even longer. The GDR was founded a little bit later in 1949, but of course not recognized by the countries of the Western hemisphere. Also the West German clubs did what they could to keep out the East Germans from FIA, so the East german drivers were only indirectly represented via the Western clubs (who claimed to represent the whole Germany of course). But with some national agreements it was possible for East German drivers to take part in events in the west (with special permission of their goverment to make clear that they would not emigrate completely) while also West german drivers were usually very much welcome to start in the East for propaganda reasons. This was the reason why some of the GDR drivers were able to take even part in the 1952 and 1953 German Grand Prix, while only in 1956 the GDR achieved full FIA membership and thus could enter the national racing team ('Rennkollektiv') to events in Montlhery and Monza.

 

In general, one can put the drivers perhaps into two or three categories. On one hand the more or less 'professionals', being put together by the established pre-war stars Lang, Stuck, Pietsch, Caracciola, and Brauchitsch with some post-war newcomers like Kling, Ulmen, Rieß, and Herrmann, who were soon also signed into the Mercedes driver pool. Barth may be regarded as a special case as he was member (and most promising talent) of the GDR´s racing team. With no option to continue after the team´s retreat in 1957 he made the step to move over to the West and to sign up with the Porsche factory team.

 

Then you would have some 'semi-professionals' like maybe Bechem (aka "Nacke"), Helfrich, Niedermayr or Heeks, who usually did well but for some reason or the other did not achieve their international breakthrough. And finally of course you also found the real 'amateurs' (maybe to call them 'gentlemen drivers' even if they did not always earn their money in 'gentleman-like' business...), who were there for pure fun (and maybe to get also some starting money) and whose biographies sometimes have remained still very much obscure up until into our time.


Edited by uechtel, 18 July 2017 - 12:15.


#7 William Hunt

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 12:20

Is there a website where we can look at the results of German F2 & German F3 from the (early) 1950s?
Maybe the Formula 2 site that is currently down had those results on them but I'm not sure if it had German F2 from early '50s, don't think so



#8 uechtel

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 12:25

Yes it had... (even from 1948) :well:


Edited by uechtel, 18 July 2017 - 12:25.


#9 Charlieman

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 12:54

The first events in 1946 were still of quite provisorial character, the first really 'proper' race being Hockenheim in spring 1947.

Provisorial? It's an English word but well done. It's the first time I've read it. And thanks for the explanation about driver licences and German club qualifications.

 

BMW F2 engines and Bristol F2 engines? Did any of the post-war developers ever meet? 

 

Regarding the German marque Porsche, the founder was born in Bohemia when it was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. He wasn't a native Austrian or German by birth.

 

Hans Ledwinka, the engineer behind a brilliant team at Tatra in Czechoslovakia, was born in Austria.

 

Thus one of the most famous German car designers wasn't German or Austrian, but Czech. And the most famous designer of Czech cars was an Austrian.



#10 Michael Ferner

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 13:01

... and Ettore Bugatti, one of the most famous French designers, was a German born in Italy.  ;)

#11 Charlieman

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 13:09

Alec Issigonis was a Greek. Perhaps we are wandering too far.



#12 William Hunt

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 13:28

did Veritas (or other brands) enter factory cars in German sportscars & German F2 in the 1940's and 1950's? Or where all Veritas cars private?
Was Toni Ulmen a factory driver?



#13 uechtel

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 13:51

Maybe good examples that the concept of nationalities is already outdated since quite a while...  ;)

 

Provisorial? It's an English word but well done. It's the first time I've read it. And thanks for the explanation about driver licences and German club qualifications.

 

Maybe I just missed a "c" inside, and also as English is not my native language I do my best to come as close as possible.

 

 

BMW F2 engines and Bristol F2 engines? Did any of the post-war developers ever meet? 

 

 

When BMW, being one of the backbones of the German empire´s war production, was 'unoperative' after the war there were some efforts to continue their automobile (and in particular sports car) heritage. You had former employees like Schleicher, setting up a successful workshop specialised on tuning of th 328 engine, Loof founding the Veritas company to fill the grids in germany with his sports and racing cars and a few others. You had the former BMW plant at Eisenach who was in fact the first German automobile factory to start over production of a 'new' model again (the BMW 340, even using the original brand before they were forced by legal action to rename the factory to 'EMW'). And you had the Frazer Nash company, former license holder and exclusive importer of BMW cars for the British market. Immediately after the war they successfully claimed expiremental engines and design plans as 'war reparations' and brought them into a cooperation with the Bristol company, which then continued with development and production what now became the Bristol engine. This went as far as they even employed the  former BMW chief designer and 'father' of the 328 model, Fritz Fiedler. All those met also on the race tracks of course (if that was your question), for example in the German GP 1953 you had the Veritas Meteor of Heeks (with Veritas´ own self designed engine), some Veritas-BMW and BMW specials, probably with lots of Schleicher parts, the BMW/EMW/IFA/DAMW/AWE/whatever-it-was-called 'Rennkollektiv' car of Barth from Eisenach and not to forget also the Bristol engined Coopers of Alan Brown and Rodney Nuckey together with the also Bristol-engined AFM of now repatriated German again Hans Stuck...

 

 

 


Regarding the German marque Porsche, the founder was born in Bohemia when it was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. He wasn't a native Austrian or German by birth.

 

Hans Ledwinka, the engineer behind a brilliant team at Tatra in Czechoslovakia, was born in Austria.

 

Thus one of the most famous German car designers wasn't German or Austrian, but Czech. And the most famous designer of Czech cars was an Austrian.

 

Why shouldn´t have Porsche been native Austrian? In the old Austria-Hungarian empire there was a difference between 'citizenship' and 'nationality'. They had different 'nationalities' living together in one (or maybe in the Austro-Hungarian case two) countries. Porsche may have been born in Bohemia, but from his birth would have been Austrian citizen of German nationality (probably Sudete). Of Ledwinka I do not know whether he regarded himself of Czech (as the last name suggests) or Austrian/German (like his first name would suggest) nationality, but of course until 1918 Austrian citizen as well.



#14 uechtel

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 14:31

did Veritas (or other brands) enter factory cars in German sportscars & German F2 in the 1940's and 1950's? Or where all Veritas cars private?
Was Toni Ulmen a factory driver?

 

Questions, questions. The answer to this may be similar ambiguous as the question of nationalities in the Austro-Hungarian empire. It is probably very individual in every case.

 

Take for example Karl Kling. He was very close with the company but could not afford to buy his car from the factory, so he built it himself acoording to plans he got from Loof. Nevertheless throughout the 1948 season his car was operated like a works car (but always nominally entered privately like all of its sister cars). The car was even sent to Rheims to be driven by Eugene Chaboud into 3rd place in the Coupe des Petites Cylindrees under Ecurie Lutetia banner, which was of course also only a disguised works entry.

 

In 1948 Kling was accompanied by a number of what would probably best described as 'contracted customers', Ulmen, Roese, Glöckler etc.. It had been part of the Veritas 'business modell' to offer race-side maintenance including the pit crew for their customers (if they were paying for this). Only Georg 'Schorsch' Meier can perhaps be regarded as 'true' works driver as he had been one of the company founders and therefore could drive a car in possession of the factory.

 

Then in 1950 we saw the fomation of the "Ecurie Suisse", founded by four Swiss drivers who had also a special contract with Veritas and with Loof personally maintaining the cars at the race tracks. This did not prevent the company to mix up resources, parts, personnel and facilities with other semi-works customers (Lang, Pietsch, Kling), who still nominally raced under their own private entries.

 

Then of course you had also drivers who operated more independently. Klenk for example had bought together two Veritas cars (Kling´s former Meteor streamliner, now with new bodywork and also Ulmen´s Veritas Special) and the old Krakau BMW special to form a team of three cars for the 1953 season (drivers being Klenk himself, Erwin Bauer and Hans Herrmann).

 

Also 1953 saw a final effort to set up kind of a Veritas 'works' team around Kurt Adolff as driver. But then Adolff had the opportunity to buy himself into the cockpit of the Ferrari 500 woned by Rudi Fischer, so this ended up with Heeks taking the Formula 2 seat (with Adolff still driving his Veritas in the sports car class) before the 'factory' was finally closed down. Even Loof himself, when he appeared in one of his sports cars on the grid of the 1953 German GP (probably in a desparate effort aiming for the starting money) did this not under the factory banner, but under his private entry instead.



#15 Charlieman

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 15:00

Maybe I just missed a "c" inside, and also as English is not my native language I do my best to come as close as possible.

I did not intend to be nasty. Provisorial is a real word, honestly. (I don't have a clue what it means.)

 

This went as far as they even employed the  former BMW chief designer and 'father' of the 328 model, Fritz Fiedler. All those met also on the race tracks of course (if that was your question), for example in the German GP 1953...

 

Thanks.

 

Why shouldn´t have Porsche been native Austrian? 

 

Or a German?

 

OK, I know the answer.



#16 uechtel

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 08:48


I am specifically interested in finding more about the German drivers who entered at the Nürburgring in the Formula 2 period of F1 ('52-'53), since Germany had an F2 championship in those days it was easy for them to enter.

 

Ok, so perhaps as a starting point for further discussion I try with some brief summaries of what I can tell about them. Beginning in the orders of their starting numbers in 1952:

 

#121 Fritz Rieß, Veritas RS - BMW: Like many of his colleagues he was a successfull industrialist, but who combined money with talent. He started racing at a comparatively young age of 27. In 1949 he made an agreement with Herrmann Holbein to race his cars (the "HH 48" Formula 2 monoposto and the "HH 47" 2 litre sports car) and was quite competitive right from the beginning. In the following year he changed material for a brand-new AFM monoposto and a Veritas RS, which he both regularily entered (the national events usually comprised of separate races for different classes for Formula 2, Formula 3 and sports cars up to 1.1, 1.5 and 2.0 litres). He was immediately very successful and for this and the next two seasons became kind of an arch-rival for Toni Ulmen for the German championships in both classes. While in F2 Ulmen came out slightly more successful, Rieß could win three national F2 events (including the 1950 Schauinsland hillclimb) and eight sports car races) to win the 1950 and 1952 titles in the big sports car class. Besides that Rieß was also traveling around to events in Switzerland and Italy (perhaps combining racing with holiday trips), but usually stood no chance against the works Ferrari, Maserati or Gordini teams. In 1952 he was even invited into the Mercedes-Benz team for their reactivated works team and immediately drove to overall victory at Le Mans as partner of Hermann Lang. He was of course also member of the Mercedes crew at their home debut during the weekend of the German Grand Prix at the nurburgring, so his start with his old Veritas sports car in the Formula 2 Grand Prix may be regarded rather as some kind of distraction only. Nevertheless, in the event, he became best-placed German, which obviously tells a lot about how far the German privateers had fallen behind now. After this Mercedes did not appear at races in 1953 to prepare on their Formula 1 debut for 1954, so Rieß joined Karl Kling to driver for Alfa Romeo´s sports car team, but then gave up racing for personal reasons.



#17 uechtel

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 08:49

#122 Theo Helfrich, Veritas RS - BMW: Since 1949 he was one of the regular sports car drivers with his Veritas RS. In spite of being usually among the frontrunners he stood a little bit in the shadow of the top drivers (Ulmen, Riess). And some good results were also spoiled by mechanical failures. His first career highlight was a victory in the sports car race at Hockenheim in 1950, which was followed by a number of class wins in East Germany (Dessau 1959, Leipzig 1951, Rostock 1952). Like Rieß he was invited into the Mercedes sports car team in 1952 to partner Helmut Niedermayr for second place at Le Mans (behind the winning Mercedes of Lang / Rieß) and to complete the team´s domination show at their home Grand Prix, finishing fourth behind his three team collleagues. This drive was probably also the reason why on this occasion he entered his Veritas not in the sports car class as usual, but rather in the Formula 2 category to take part in a round of the World Championship instead. Then in 1953 this exception turned into normality when the 2 litre sports car class was no longer carried out in German events. Still driving his original Veritas RS 'pontoon', at the end of a curious season he found himself as German Formula 2 champion without having won a single race! But the rules were, that in races open for 'international' drivers the points would be distibuted among the best-placed West-Germans only (thereby excluding also Edgar Barth from East Germany, who otherwise would have taken decisive points from Helfrich´s score). So Helfrich´s results - 7th place at the Eifelrennen, 3rd place on the Avus, 12th place in the German Grand Prix and finally a 9th place at the Schauinsland hilclimb - were good enough for 14 points in the championship, one point ahead of the new rising star Hans Herrmann. And still in the same month of August 1953 his season was even further crowned by a class victory (and third overall) in the 1.5 l class of the Nürburging 1000 km race, driving for the Borgward factory team together with Adolf Brudes and Karl Günther Bechem. Finally in 1954, when Formula 2 had been abaondoned, Helfrich switched to Formula 3 racing in a Cooper, interrupted by a single Formula 1 start at the German Grand Prix in a rather hopeless effort with Hans Klenk´s old Veritas Meteor.



#18 uechtel

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 08:51

#123 Willi Heeks, AFM "Model 1950" - BMW: Willi Heeks, born in 1922 and owner of a transport company, started automobile racing in 1949 when he took over the assets of former AFM customer Emil "Teddy" Vorster, a 'midget' racer and a 1100cc sports car. He became Formula 2 driver in 1950 when he replaced the supercharged 750cc engine of the 'midget' with the common 2 litre BMW 328 engine and drove it to a surprise victory in the very first race at Hockenheim. Albeit there had been only two competitors they were no others than Fritz Rieß and Toni Ulmen, the two top drivers of that era! But in the following races his performance suffered from a series of retirements until at the end of the season he could gain another win at Dessau, but this with only comparatively weak East German competition. In 1951 he had again a fine third place in the Eifelrennen, but no further top results. So for 1952 he ordered a new car from Alex von Falkenhausen´s AFM workshop (for which some parts had to be taken from the old car). Nevertheless still with the BMW engine under the bonnet this was not really a match for the international competitors, so he had to be content with a couple of second places on East German soil (Halle and Sachsenring). Besides that Heeks was also invited as reserve driver to Mercedes´ successful Le Mans team. 1953 saw him joining a new team called "Ecurie Nürburgring", which was a desperate attempt by Ernst Loof, runner of the already ailing Veritas-Nürburgring company and already legendary race car "guru", and backed by some German "motorsport idealists" to finally come to success with a completely re-engineered version of the Veritas Meteor Formula 2 car. But like its predecessors this was also pursued by technical unreliability and the company´s limited resources. So by the time when the Veritas-Nürburgring company finally had to close in late summer, Heeks did not have a single countable result.

 

More to follow...



#19 uechtel

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 11:40

#124 Helmut Niedermayr, AFM "Model 1950" - BMW (but in entry list with a "Veritas Meteor"):  salesman based at Berlin with its special occupation status, Niedermayr was like a traveller between the worlds in motorsport, starting his career with an East German built BMW special in 1949. Like the fashion of the time the car was a so-called "Intertype", which meant it was an open-wheel two-seater with detachable headlights and fenders, which meant that in principle it could be used for double purpose, as a sports car as well as in Formula 2 races. Nevertheless 1950 saw him taking part only in sports car races in both parts of the divided country with the highlights being 2nd places in the Schauinsland hillclimb, at the Solitude and at the East German Sachsenring together with a couple of wins in the comparatively minor East German events at Halle and the Sternberg hillclimb. In that year Niedermayr was also the driver, who made the first test runs on the Avus track after the war to demonstrate its suitability for taking up racing in his home town again. For 1951 he had his car uprated with a new Veritas Meteor engine replacing the BMW 328 under the bonnet but obviously the increase of performance was not good enough to get  really remarkable results. Anyway he must have impressed Mercedes-Benz team director Neubauer enough to invite him into the Le Mans team for 1952, where together with Theo Helfrich he finished second behind his team colleagues Lang / Rieß. About the same time he was also very busy on national level, taking over the AFM single seater of Fritz Rieß for Formula 2 races. Nevertheless it was the old Meteor-engined BMW special which made him the tragic figure of Germany´s worst motorsport catastrophy when it broke a wheel driving "flat-out" at the ultra-fast Grenzlandring and slid into the spectators with 13 people killed and further 42 injured. Nevertheless Niedermayr himself came out with only comparatively light injuries and was able to continue his career as co-founder of the Berlin-based racing team "Renngemeinschaft Berlin-Halensee", driving Porsche Specials in sports car events with some success until 1954, together with a single Formula 1 appearance in Hans Klenk´s rather outdated Veritas Meteor streamliner on his "home ground" at the Avus race.



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#20 uechtel

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 08:09

#125 Toni Ulmen, Veritas RS - BMW: The most successful in race victories and championship titles of all German drivers of the immediate post-war era the Düsseldorf-resident car dealer Toni Ulmen had been born in 1906 and had already gained some success in motorcycle racing from 1925 onward. After the war he started his career on four wheels, driving a BMW 328 in the very first circuit race at Karlsruhe in 1946. He continued with the car throughout 1947, coming to his first win in the sports car race at Hamburg at the end of the season. In 1948 he became one of the first customers to race a Veritas RS sports car, but in that season there was no way around Karl Kling, who won all the races of the newly introduced championship. Only at the non-championship race at Nurenberg, where Kling did not take part, Ulmen was able to add another victory to his record. But his score would soon to be much more increased, as in 1949 - while Kling still remained the dominant driver in the sports car class - Ulmen now usually appeared with two Veritas pontoons at the events to now take part additionally in the Formula 2 category, winning the championship with victories at Hockenheim and on the Nürbrugring as well as on the non-championship races at the Munich-Riem airfield, the Grenzlandring, the Solitude and at the circuit of the autobahn junction at Cologne. Here he was also able to finally beat Kling in once in the sports car race of the same event to which he could add another sports car victory at the first race on the East German Sachsenring. For 1950 Ulmen had converted one of his Veritas pontoons into a 'proper' open-wheel central-seat monoposto to renew his attack on the German Formula 2 championship, while also continuing with the other RS in the sports car class. But while his former rival Kling had more or less taken himself out of the championship with the decision to switch to the new, but awfully unreliable Veritas Meteor Formula 2 car, Ulmen found his new main opponent in Fritz Rieß, who would remain Ulmen´s arch-rival more or less for the next three seasons. In the sports car class Ulmen did not get anywhere that season, but despite achieving no wins in Formula 2 either (against two victories of Rieß), he still managed to defend his title. This may look undeserved, but Ulmen´s fourth place in the German Grand Prix, was counted like a win, as he had been the first of the local drivers at the finish and also the only one, who had not been completely outclassed by the international guests. Nevertheless for 1951 he had his monoposto built back into a two seater, but still with "open wheels" covered only by motorcycle-style fenders, so that he could use it both in sports car and formula 2 races on the more twisty circuits, while for the high speed tracks like Hockenheim, the Avus or the Grenzlandring he could also still use the other Veritas pontoon 'streamliner'. So with wins at Hockenheim, the Schauinsland and the Grenzlandring he could keep Rieß behind him in the sports car championship this year, while in the Formula 2 class they both were beaten by Pietsch by a single point only. 1952 saw another close battle of the two rivals for the sports car title, with this time Rieß being the lucky one (with equal points but more wins), while Ulmen got his consolation, gaining his third Formula 2 title in his last year as an active driver.



#21 ensign14

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 09:13

There's a film in all this somewhere...



#22 uechtel

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 14:22

#126 Adolf Brudes, Veritas Monoposto ("Orley Speciale") - BMW: Veteran driver Adolf Brudes could already look back on a long career in automobile racing, being for example member of the successful NSKK/BMW-team at Brescia in 1940. Besides that he had also driven a Bugatti and his own BMW 328 sports car, in which he appeared again immediately after the war, for example in the very obscure "Interzone" race, which was carried out during the 1948 siege on a chaussee in Berlin! In 1949 Brudes  seemingly was involved in the development of some new high performance cars produced by the East German BMW factory at Eisenach, among them for example the impressive looking "S1" streamliner, in which Brudes won the very first East German race, held on a special high-speed part of the Dessau autobahn. Around that time Brudes had also already come into connection with a Russian-American driver, who named himself occasionally 'Alexander Orley', but also appeared under names like 'Aleander/Alexandre Todd', 'Victor Alexander' etc. and who was also in partnership with Zora Arkus-Duntov (of later 'Corvette' fame). In 1949 Orley had bought one of the early Formula 2 monoposto prototypes from the Veritas company, but which was still fitted with a conventional BMW 328 engine as the company´s new 'Meteor' engine was not yet available. While initially Orley drove the car himself in international events (disguised as 'Orley Speciale' probably to hide its German origin), from 1950 onward he also gave it occasionally to Brudes to drive it in Formula 2 races in Germany. Brudes´ first drive in the car at the Schauinsland hillclimb, where he finished in a quite impressive fourth place in his class, beaten only by the top stars of the time, Rieß, Stuck and Ulmen. After thi it lasted until the Eifelrennen of 1952 before Brudes reappeared again in the car, followed by his start in the German Grand Prix, but ending in retirements on both occasions. In the meantime Brudes had already started working for the Borgward factory (for example doing a record drive in 1951 with their 'Goliath' three-wheeler) and became a regular works driver when the company decided to compete in the 1.5 litre sports car category from 1952 onward.



#23 7MGTEsup

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 15:40

I did not intend to be nasty. Provisorial is a real word, honestly. (I don't have a clue what it means.)

 

 

Provisional means temporary or not permanent.


Edited by 7MGTEsup, 02 August 2017 - 15:42.


#24 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 19:29

This is brilliant, Uetchel, thank you.

#25 Michael Ferner

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 19:58

Yes, many thanks for sharing your thoughts! :up:

#26 Paul Taylor

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 03:02

Is there a website where we can look at the results of German F2 & German F3 from the (early) 1950s?
Maybe the Formula 2 site that is currently down had those results on them but I'm not sure if it had German F2 from early '50s, don't think so

 

It did:
http://www.the-fastl.../F250_Index.htm



#27 uechtel

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 11:15

#127 Paul Pietsch, Veritas Meteor:  Not in particular one of the Silver Arrows heroes, but a well established Grand prix driver before the war, in 1946 Pietsch founded the automobile magazine "Das Auto" together with his partners Ernst Troeltsch and Joseph Hummel. This obviously kept him busy enough to keep him away from active racing until in 1950, when he took over Hummel´s Veritas RS sports car to immediately win the first race at the Eifelrennen and also the German championship in the 1.5 litre sports car category. During the season he also revived his connections to Maserati to become the first German driver after the war to appear in a current Formula 1 car, taking the overall win at the Schauinsland hillclimb. He had also ordered one of the new Veritas Meteor Formula 2 cars, which was delivered to him just in the last moment to take part in practise for the German Grand Prix. Nevertheless he was fastest of the local drivers and the only German to start from the front row. But in the race he could not avoid the general Veritas disaster, when his Meteor like all of its six sister cars was taken out of action early by mechanical failure. In spite of this disappointment Pietsch should remain the only trustful German driver to stay with Veritas throughout the years, after the company´s bancruptcy and re-foundation by Loof at the Nürburgring. This paid out for him already in 1951 when he could achieve the marque´s greatest success by winning the Eifelrennen, which was now an international event open for foreign drivers (but in the absence of the annonced Ferrari team). This win helped him also much to just snap the German Formula 2 championship by just one point from the noses of Rieß and Ulmen and the honour for him could not have been higher, when he was invited to drive for Alfa Romeo in his home Grand Prix. But then, perhaps being too excited, he spoiled it all with an accident in the race, which obviously did have some effect on his reputation and perhaps also on his morale. Nevertheless he carried on in the 1952 season, with his Meteor being somewhat 'much modernized' by Loof, but which did not prevent him from the usual Meteor 'fate' in the German Grand Prix, retiring with gearbox damage in the first lap). Also a final coup, having his monoposto fitted with a very special streamliner bodywork with a fully-closed 'cabin' for the Avus circuit, turned into tragic, when during practise the car got out of control on the banking, resulting in a heavy accident.



#28 uechtel

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 15:28

#128 Hans Klenk, Klenk/Veritas Meteor: Born in 1919 Klenk was representant of the younger 'post-war' generation of drivers. Having started to fly glider airplanes at the age of 11 he then started studies of airplane and automobile technology in Munich before he became fighter piolt in the war. After the war he founded his own engineering bureau and was involved in the construction of some BMW-based sportscars, among them Helmut Polensky´s "Monopol", Germany´s very first Formula 2 car. In 1951 he made his first race appearances in Formula 2 when he bought the Veritas Meteor Streamliner from Karl Kling (who was too busy now involved in the Mercedes works team). But Klenk was not too happy with the bulky and unreliable car, which was only reasonably competitive on the high speed circuits, so a fourth place on the Grenzlandring was his best result of the year. To get things better in 1952 he reappeared in the car with two different bodyworks to choose from. So he could still use the streamliner on the high speed tracks like Avus or the Grenzlandring and a new conventional open wheel body for twisty and demanding 'road' circuits like the Nürburgring. Nevertheless it lasted until to the Grenzlandring and Avus races at the end of the season before he could get top results with two second places. In the meantime he was now also active for the Mercedes work team as co-driver of Kling at Le Mans, the Targa Florio and the Carrera Panamericana. This Mexican race was of course the event in which he was taken up into Mercedes-Benz 'walhalla' of legends, when a vulture crashed through the windscreen of their car. But despite that incident they proceeded to overall victory, fitting bars in front of the window to protect them from further 'intruders'. Besides that Klenk was also credited in one of Neubauer´s stories as the inventor of the rallye 'prayor books' containing detailed notes about the track to be read by the co-driver, but there seems to be at least a predecessor to him in person of Argentinian Adolfo Schwelm, about whom there are reports, that he had done the same already in the 1950 Mille Miglia. But back to Klenk, who over the winter 1952/53 had added two further cars to his stable. The one was the double purpose Formula 2 / sports car Veritas Special in which Toni Ulmen had won the 1951 German sports car championship, while the other one was the similar, but yet much older BMW special of Willi Krakau. He gave both cars to newcomer drivers Hans Herrmann and Ernst Lautenschlager, while he himelf continued with the Veritas Meteor, which he had also re-worked over the winter, and drove it to another fine 2nd place at the Avus. At this event he was also surprisingly appearing in one of the 1.5 l Borgward sports cars (given that he was still contracted to Mercedes-Benz), which he drove to his first "own" victory. But shortly after this his career was suddenly ended by a heavy crash during test drives for Mercedes. Klenk could never fully recover from his injuries, but stayed connected to motorsport as chief of the Continental tyres factory´s racing service.



#29 uechtel

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 18:51

#129 Josef Peters, Veritas RS - BMW: About him I do not know much. He lived at Düsseldorf and was perhaps a friend of well-known driver Ralph Roese, who died in a road accident in 1950. Peters took over Roese´s orphaned Veritas RS sports car and later did the same with a similar car, in which Josef Hackenberg had a fatal accident in the Eifelrennen 1952. As a driver Peters would be probably characterised as steady but not too quick, at least by looking at his results, while he is rarely mentioned in the narratives of the contemporary reports. He appeared very regularly to the races in West and East Germany, normally in the sports car class, but occasionally also in Formula 2 (especially after he had obtained the second car) and while usually behind the top drivers he had a solid finishing record, with even a number of 2nd and 3rd places in 1951 and 1952. But the real outstanding result of his career was still to come, in 1953, when he started in the Nürburgring 1000 km race as partner of Seidel in the already antiquated Veritas. All of the superior Maseratis in their class dropped out and so Seidel/Peters came to a very surprising victory in the 2.0 litre class, even if they were two laps behind the 1.5 litre Borgward of Bechem/Helfrich!



#30 MCS

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 19:02

Wonderful posts, uechtel :up:



#31 uechtel

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 14:54

#130 "Bernhard Nacke" (Karl-Günther Bechem), Holbein HH48 - BMW: Nürburgring, 20th August 1950, first international German GP after the war, and in front of a crowd of hundreds thousands spectators, excited for the main event to see their new post-war silver arrows to compete against the international elite, in the supporting sports car race they watch an unknown newcomer with an old BMW 328 production model finishing in second place. Karl-Günther Bechem was born in 1921 into an industrialist family, his father owning a steel factory. But unlike other descendants from wealthy families he would not give any support to his son for such useless activities like motor racing, so Bechem had to make full use of his 'organisational' talent to get his hands on an old BMW 328 with standard-production 80 hp engine. Inspired by his immediate success at the Nürburgring, for 1951 Bechem took over the remains of the AFM Formula 2 car in which Karl Gommann had had his fatal accident at the Grenzlandring, and had it rebuilt in two-seater configuration as a Barchetta-style sports car. With this he campaigned the 1951 season, but had to wait until the race at Nuremberg in September before he could take his first victory laurels. But with all the publicity he now could no longer hide his activities from his father, who still did not want his family name to be connected with motor racing. So being creative as ever, for 1952 Bechem had his driver´s license registered under the pseudonym 'Bernhard Nacke', thereby still confusing some of the motor sport databases up tp our time. And alongside the AFM sports car he also bought the HH 48 monoposto, which had been one of Germany´s first two Formula 2 cars in 1948. This now opened him the opportunity to double start during the race weekends, which - even if he could not expect too much performance of the old single seater - at least meant some good additional starting money to his racing funds. In 1953 he would develop this trick even into perfection when, having sold the uncompetitive mosoposto to Sweden, he had ordered an additional replacement body for his AFM. So with only a couple of screws to unfix he could easily exchange the car´s 'identity' to collect double starting money from the race organisers. Having succeeded his father in the management of the factory Bechem did no longer have to race under false name now and was even invited to test drives for Mercedes. But while Neubauer did not offer him a contract, Carl Borgward, whose company was delivered with steel from Bechem´s factory, offered him a deal drive for his sports car team. Bechem rewarded this by winning the 1.5 litre class in the 1953 1000 km race at the Nürburgring (with Brudes and Helfrich as co-drivers) and a win in the 1954 Eifelrennen. But at the end of the season he had a heavy crash in the Carrera Panamericana and with all the publicity around this incident he decided better to step back a little bit from top level motorsport and to concentrating on running the family´s factory instead. But Bechem would not have been Bechem if he had rejected the offer of Eberhard Mahle (from the well-known piston company) to race his DKW Formula Junior in 1959 and so he had to revive the identity of 'Bernhard Nacke' a last time again before he had finally to promise his wife to quit racing.     



#32 ensign14

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 17:04

#127 Paul Pietsch

 

But then, perhaps being too excited, he spoiled it all with an accident in the race, which obviously did have some effect on his reputation and perhaps also on his morale.

 

Someone - Jenks? - wrote that Alfa Romeo recruited Pietsch as he knew the Ring backwards, which was fitting as that's how he left it...



#33 uechtel

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 08:27

Good saying. But in the literature that is available to me the story is told like that Lang had been intended originally as driver. Pietsch had been entered with the Plate Maserati and drove that car during first practise. But Lang had rejected the drive so Alfa decided to let Pietsch, Chiron, Sanesi and Daetwylere to battle it out for the free cockpit, with Pietsch being the fastest. Do his defense he would have had only three practise laps altogether to get familiar with the car, which was a very different thing to what he could drive otherwise. So he was a bit in the dilemma to have to perform like expected from an Alfa pilot without knowing the car´s limits. 


Edited by uechtel, 05 August 2017 - 08:30.


#34 uechtel

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 17:54

#131 Ludwig Fischer, AFM "Model 1949" - BMW: Ludwig Fischer is certainly among the most, hmm, controversial personalities of German post-war motor racing. Resident at Bad Reichenhall, a German town surrounded from three sides by the Austrian border, and just being sentenced for custom irregularities in some obscure cross-border trades, he turned up in the motorsport world in October 1950 driving a Denzel (Austria´s answer to Porsche in converting the Volkswagen into a spors car) at the Gaisberg mountain and on the Salzburg-Liefering autobahn circuit, both sites not too far from his home. Pictures from the latter event suggest, that already here he may have had some trouble to keep the car in the correct direction, a trademark that he somewhat would keep for most of his career. But another characteristic of him was never to blame himself for anything, claiming that it had been a deliberate braking manoeuvre (to avoid losing speed by using the brake pedal) and so, inspired by his own performance, in 1951 he grasped the chance which offered to him in the shape of Alex von Falkenhausen´s old but faithful first AFM Formula 2 monoposto. This was the very car in which Hans Stuck had achieved a lot of publicity in and outside of Germany in 1949 before he obtained his new Küchen-engined successor, and which was then in 1950 driven by Manfred von Brauchitsch in his luckless-as-ever effort to revive his career as well. Fischer used the race at the Munich-Riem airport for a "test ride" in the orphaned car and obviously was content enough to come to a deal with Falkenhausen, in spite of having been disqualified from fifth (and last place out of seven starters) because of using outside assistance. Obviously full of enthusiasm, for just his second Formula 2 race he joined Pietsch and Stuck to make the journey to Genua for the international "Christoph Columbus memorial" Grand Prix, where he indeed lasted up to the 23rd lap as the last of the three Germans in that race. Back home he did a double start in the Eifelrennen, qualifying the AFM 21st (and last) to retire on the first lap in the Formula 2 race, with an additional dnf with the Denzel in the 1100 cc sports car class. Fischer then did also start at the Schauinsland hillclimb, where he drove with a broken hand after he had set the Denzel against a rock during practise, followed by a dns at the Sachsenring where he blamed the blocked brakes of his AFM for yet another practise crash. But unimpressed by this he carried on into 1952, usually appearing in Austrian and East German events, where he was obviously more welcome to present the spectators his proper 'Grand Prix car' than to the higher demands of the race organisers in West Germany. These obviously made an exception to accept everybody to the German Grand Prix, albeit under the condition of having to show a certain practise performance to be allowed into the race, which three of the local drivers failed to do - among them of course Ludwig Fischer. In the meantime, to add to his misfortunes, at the Sella Nevea hillclimb in Italy he hade made use of a rock that happened to get in his way to end the life of the Denzel and when he appeared with the AFM at the Maloja hillclimb in Switzerland the press reports explicitely regretted the "miserable state" of the formerly proud car in which Stuck still held the track record from his drive in 1949. In 1953 Fischer went into further trouble when he made a visit to Chimay to which he did not have a permission by the ONS (national German motorsport board), and to make things even worse in the race he was accused to having interfered with "B. Bira", which gave the ONS (perhaps not unwelcome) reason to seize his license until after the upcoming German Grand Prix. For Fischer conspirative acts like this against him were of course no reason to give in, neither when he wrote endless letters to the institutions fighting against yet another suspension when he had come into collision with Porsche´s team director Huschke von Hanstein in the first corner of the airfield race at Zeltweg / Austria in 1958. Of course Fischer did regard this situation just the other way round and accused the authorities to be in a conspiracy with Hanstein against him. All this and other injustices he had to suffer he finally worked up in his self published autobiography (of a very unconventional style in type-written layout with hand-written side notes), which came out in 1966 and in which he also claimed to have been the real inventor of Formula Junior racing...



#35 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 19:14

#131 Ludwig Fischer, AFM "Model 1949" - BMW: Ludwig Fischer is certainly among the most, hmm, controversial personalities of German post-war motor racing. Resident at Bad Reichenhall, a German town surrounded from three sides by the Austrian border, and just being sentenced for custom irregularities in some obscure cross-border trades, he turned up in the motorsport world in October 1950 driving a Denzel (Austria´s answer to Porsche in converting the Volkswagen into a spors car) at the Gaisberg mountain and on the Salzburg-Liefering autobahn circuit, both sites not too far from his home. Pictures from the latter event suggest, that already here he may have had some trouble to keep the car in the correct direction, a trademark that he somewhat would keep for most of his career. But another characteristic of him was never to blame himself for anything, claiming that it had been a deliberate braking manoeuvre (to avoid losing speed by using the brake pedal) and so, inspired by his own performance, in 1951 he grasped the chance which offered to him in the shape of Alex von Falkenhausen´s old but faithful first AFM Formula 2 monoposto. This was the very car in which Hans Stuck had achieved a lot of publicity in and outside of Germany in 1949 before he obtained his new Küchen-engined successor, and which was then in 1950 driven by Manfred von Brauchitsch in his luckless-as-ever effort to revive his career as well. Fischer used the race at the Munich-Riem airport for a "test ride" in the orphaned car and obviously was content enough to come to a deal with Falkenhausen, in spite of having been disqualified from fifth (and last place out of seven starters) because of using outside assistance. Obviously full of enthusiasm, for just his second Formula 2 race he joined Pietsch and Stuck to make the journey to Genua for the international "Christoph Columbus memorial" Grand Prix, where he indeed lasted up to the 23rd lap as the last of the three Germans in that race. Back home he did a double start in the Eifelrennen, qualifying the AFM 21st (and last) to retire on the first lap in the Formula 2 race, with an additional dnf with the Denzel in the 1100 cc sports car class. Fischer then did also start at the Schauinsland hillclimb, where he drove with a broken hand after he had set the Denzel against a rock during practise, followed by a dns at the Sachsenring where he blamed the blocked brakes of his AFM for yet another practise crash. But unimpressed by this he carried on into 1952, usually appearing in Austrian and East German events, where he was obviously more welcome to present the spectators his proper 'Grand Prix car' than to the higher demands of the race organisers in West Germany. These obviously made an exception to accept everybody to the German Grand Prix, albeit under the condition of having to show a certain practise performance to be allowed into the race, which three of the local drivers failed to do - among them of course Ludwig Fischer. In the meantime, to add to his misfortunes, at the Sella Nevea hillclimb in Italy he hade made use of a rock that happened to get in his way to end the life of the Denzel and when he appeared with the AFM at the Maloja hillclimb in Switzerland the press reports explicitely regretted the "miserable state" of the formerly proud car in which Stuck still held the track record from his drive in 1949. In 1953 Fischer went into further trouble when he made a visit to Chimay to which he did not have a permission by the ONS (national German motorsport board), and to make things even worse in the race he was accused to having interfered with "B. Bira", which gave the ONS (perhaps not unwelcome) reason to seize his license until after the upcoming German Grand Prix. For Fischer conspirative acts like this against him were of course no reason to give in, neither when he wrote endless letters to the institutions fighting against yet another suspension when he had come into collision with Porsche´s team director Huschke von Hanstein in the first corner of the airfield race at Zeltweg / Austria in 1958. Of course Fischer did regard this situation just the other way round and accused the authorities to be in a conspiracy with Hanstein against him. All this and other injustices he had to suffer he finally worked up in his self published autobiography (of a very unconventional style in type-written layout with hand-written side notes), which came out in 1966 and in which he also claimed to have been the real inventor of Formula Junior racing...

 

Brilliant post. Barely anything known other than the basics about him and this is just gold standard stuff to make a mere stat into a person.  :up:



#36 uechtel

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 19:59

I knew why I made that post a little bit longer...  ;)



#37 ensign14

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 22:01

By the way, uechtel - why "Bernhard Nacke"?  Is it a pun?  Or the name of a family friend?



#38 uechtel

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 23:06

Sorry, I have no idea. It sounds just like an unspectacular name to me. Maybe this was just the intention, but perhaps it could have had some meaning for Bechem, who knows. "Nacke" is quite close to the German words for 'neck' or 'naked', but this does not give me any association to Bechem.



#39 uechtel

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 05:00

#133 Willi Krakau, AFM "Model 1950" - BMW: He was one of the most competitive drivers in the immediate post-war years, but could never really produce the corresponding results. One of the reasons was obviously the unreliability of his material, with his car letting him down more than once while fighting with the leaders. But it may also have been because perhaps he did not concentrate on racing or maintenance of his car as much as his opponents, and, being a multi-talented sportsman, might have had other kinds of sports and competition in mind. He had already gained merits in disciplines like boxing, sailing, swimming, athletics, skiing (as ski teacher to the Greek Queen) and even as member of the 1936 German Olympic rowing team before he turned up with a virtually standard BMW 328 sports car at Hockenheim in 1947, the very first 'proper' race in Germany after the war. At the subsequent race at Schotten he already finished second, followed by a third place at the Hamburg City Park race, but of course the fields had been still very small in this first racing season. In 1948 he appeared again, now with an open-wheel "Intertype" BMW sports car special of East German origin. With this he immediately set best practise time at Schotten to beat even the all-dominant Kling, whith whom he had a close fight in the early stage of the race until the engine failed on the fourth lap. The picture would remain the same throughout most of the 1949 with Krakau in close fight with Kling at the Nürburgring, Schotten and the Nürburgring again (at Schotten a little bit too close), with the result of three wins for Kling and two retirements plus, finally, a second place finish at the Grand Prix of the Nürburgring for Krakau. When in 1950 Germany was represented in the FIA again, Krakau became in fact the first German driver to make use of the new freedom to travel to a foreign event for the Formula 2 Monza Grand Prix, while Stuck, who was also present with the AFM, was still racing under his Austrian license. The story tells that the organisers initially refused Krakau´s "Silver Arrow", so that he had to get it white with some washable paint, while on the other hand he was happy to be borrowed some Pirelli tyres. During the event Krakau did his best to represent Germany with a respectable fourth place in his heat, but then in the final event dropped out with another engine failure. Back home the car lasted for once in the Eifelrennen to another fine second place, followed by a third at the Solitude, but my impression is, that he was now dropping already slightly more towards the mid-fielders. Anyway, for what reason ever, he was not seen any more on a circuit until 1952, when he had formed an association together with Fritz Riess. At the Eifelrennen Riess had bought himself into the cockpit of a private Ferrari so that Krakau could drive the team´s AFM monoposto, while he handed his own special to von Hanstein. In the end none of them saw the finish line and after not even getting onto the grid at the subsequent German Grand Prix Krakau gave up racing to turn his attention towards skin diving and alpine climbing.
 



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#40 uechtel

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 06:02

#134 Harry Merkel, Krakau/Reif-BMW: Merkel was a Munich-based car dealer and journeyman driver. Trading with Dyna-Panhards he took part in one of them in the 1951 Mille Miglia together with his partner Gunzenhauser. A year later he repeated this, now with Fritz Kaspar to his side, and in a 750 cc Dyna-Veritas, which had been converted into a Barchetta-style sports car. He also tried to set foot into Formula 2 by hiring himself into the empty cockpit of Willi Krakau´s old BMW special for the German Grand Prix, but like the owner of his car in his AFM did not fulfill the qualifying requirements to get into the race. Meanwhile, in the early fifties a kind of racing community had obviously established at Munich around drivers like Fritz Kaspar, Josef Kulzer, Hans Roth, Ludwig Buchberger, Adolf Vianden, Kurt Zeller and others, and Merkel was also part of this group. In loose association members of this circle used to share cars among themselves and to travel to races in community, for example Merkel and Buchberger starting in the 1953 Mille Miglia and Merkel and Vianden in the Nürburgring 1000 km race in Buchberger´s Porsche 356. A preferred destiny for them was also nearby Austria, where competition was not too high and the organisers were still keen on presenting as many cars as possible to the crowds. Here Merkel could achieve some success in 1954, driving now an old VW-based special which had been uprated with a Porsche engine, and he used that also for a couple of starts in East Germany, to which, having been born at Leipzig, he still felt a special relationship. In his later years Merkel tried to set up a project of a racing series with Formula 3 cars powered by Opel Kadett engines in the Mid-Sixties before he then emigrated to Australia.



#41 uechtel

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 06:04

#135 Ernst Klodwig, Klodwig-BMW (BMW Eigenbau): Ernst Klodwig was a mechanic from Aschersleben in East Germany (near Dessau, not to be mismatched with Oschersleben) and started in motorcycle races together with his brother already in the 1920ies. When his brother died in an accident in 1929 he had to give up his career to care now for his father´s BMW garage, but continued to take part in some 'reliability trials'. In 1950 he reappeared with a home-built special to his "home race" on a section of the Dessau autobahn, which had been set up for the Silver Arrows speed record runs before the war. For his "Eigenbau" Klodwig had used mainly Volkswagen parts (which were easily available from Kübelwagen wrecks left over by the war), to which he added the typical BMW 328 engine. But unlike most of the other current Formula 2 cars he tied to former Auto Union tradition by installing the engine behind the cockpit. This is the reason why the car now is usually referred to as "Heck"-BMW, which just is the German word for "rear". With this car Klodwig would remain a regular participant in East German Formula 2 until 1953, whith his appearances characterised probably better by consistency than by sheer speed. But with usually only a handful of cars on the grids his finishing record reads yet quite impressive, with four 2nd places, three 3rds and only three mechanical failures out of 16 East German Formula 2 races altogether between 1950 and 1953. Besides this Klodwig was also one of only few East German drivers, who was regularily allowed to travel to the "international" events in West Germany, where of course with his rather amateur material he was virtually chanceless even against all the Veritas and AFMs of his fellow countrymen from the West. Nevertheless, after three certainly disappointing retirments in 1951 (Eifelrennen, Avus and Schuinsland hillclimb) he managed to reflect on his virtues for four consecutive finishes (German Grand Prix and Avus in 1952 and 1953 as well). After that there were no opprtunities any more to use the car in racing and in 1958 Klodwig emigrated to the West to take over an Auto Union workshop at Cochem at the Mosel river.



#42 ensign14

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 07:25

The rather brilliant Klodwig Special, at the Prototyp in Hamburg a couple of years ago...

 

16790876642_ec44e71ca3_c.jpg

 

16169655714_ab3c3e2afa_c.jpg



#43 uechtel

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 11:57

Yeah, very much original, obviously!



#44 Charlieman

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 12:42

#128 Hans Klenk, Klenk/Veritas Meteor

 

To get things better in 1952 he reappeared in the car with two different bodyworks to choose from. So he could still use the streamliner on the high speed tracks like Avus or the Grenzlandring and a new conventional open wheel body for twisty and demanding 'road' circuits like the Nürburgring.

So a German privateer determined that streamliners had limited utility before Mercedes-Benz, Connaught and Vanwall experimented?



#45 uechtel

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 23:01

Not even privateer, remember, Klenk was Mercedes-man at that time...

 

But streamliners had tradition in Germany, remember the Silver Arrows on the Avus in the 'Golden Era'. After the war, with the Veritas and other similar specials, there was initially some sort of streamline-fever, but soon also press comments appeared discrediting them as 'aerosauruses'. The motorsport community was like divided into two camps, While for example 'traditionalists' like Hermann Lang did clearly favourise the traditional open wheel 'monoposto' for the usual reasons, Kling was obviously pro-streamliner, disproving the critics by winning two consecutive German championships in the Veritas 'pontoon'. The same was in 1950 when Lang and Kling were both driving Veritas Meteors in Formula 2. Lang of course used a standard single seater, but Kling had again ordered this special streamliner bodywork. In the races it seems to have not mattered much, for at the twisty Solitude both had a close battle for the lead with the better end for Kling. On the other hand the streamliners were obviously also not that much in advantage on the high speed tracks, as for example on the Avus they were all beaten by Greifzu´s open wheeler, while Ulmen in the streamliner suffered from overheating tyres and brakes. For the W196, my assumption is, that Kling had had much influence in the decision to build them as streamliners.


Edited by uechtel, 07 August 2017 - 23:03.


#46 uechtel

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 08:57

A few more thoughts about streamlining. I think the whole thing is like a credo, even today. For every new model they celebrate its Cw-factor (hope it´s the correct expression in English), but this is always only half of the truth, as of course drag ist the product of this value and the frontal area. Means, if you get a better Cw by simply adding more 'shape' to a car you have nothing gained at all. But I get never information about this (the frontal area).

 

The same seems ta have been a little bit the case in those days. Looking at all the different shapes of 'streamliners' in the 1950ies I am not very sure whether they have really improved drag or not. And in many cases the bodies were placed over unaltered monoposto chassis, so it seemms, that mainly they filled the space between the wheels and the body with some panels. So I have the impression that in many cases the increase of frontal area must have been quite large and I doubt whether that is really compensated by the gain in the CW-Factor.

 

On the other hand I also see the arguments agaist streamliners a little bit the same. For example Silverstone 1954 the story is, that Fangio had problems to handel the car as he could not watch the wheels of the car in the corners. Now, could this have been really such a problem? There were for sure many more 'twisty' circuits in those days and a lot of other kinds of racing cars with covered wheels (sports prototypes etc) performed quite well on the Nürburgring for example. So may it have been simply that some drivers simply liked or disliked the streamliners, but with the really 'measurable' effect being perhaps much smaller?

 

So may there have been a conflict behind the curtain between Fangio and Kling about this question?



#47 D-Type

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 10:07

Regarding Silverstone 1954, remember that there was intermittent light rain and the circuit was partly wet and partly dry.  The Mercedes cars used 'Continental' tyres which did not perform as well or predictably in the wet as Pirellis or Dunlops.  Some say this was what gave Fangio his problems - not aerodynamic stability or not being able to see the wheels or the apex of the corner.



#48 uechtel

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 12:01

In the meantime, to complete 1952:

 

#136 Rudolf Krause, Krause/Reif-BMW: Having taken part in virtually all East German events between 1949 and 1954, the most experienced GDR driver of this era may also be regarded as one of the most rigorous. His driving style could be probably characterized as "straightforward" or "uncompromising" and together with his colleague Arthur Rosenhammer he was probably mainly responsible for the reputation of the East Germans´ rigorous driving. Krause, who had set up a garage business at his hometown Reichenbach in 1929, had already been racing as a privateer with some minor sucess before the war. When automobile racing in East Germany started over again at Dessau in 1949, he was among the pioneers with his antiquated BMW sports car. It was clear to him that he would need some more modern equipment to get competitive, so, with a lot of personal contribution, had ordered the construction of a BMW special by the Reif workshop, a former BMW distributor at Chemnitz, who had salvaged a respectable stock of spare parts over the war. The Reif-BMW, as the car was called, was very much a product in the fashion of its time: A tuned BMW 328 engined in a lowered BMW chassis and with a lightweight open wheel two seater body of so-called "Intertype" style, to be suitable for Formula 2 as well as sports car races. The car was ready in time to take part in the Sachsenring race in 1950, but still suffered from some teething problems. Krause had been able to sort these out and made a perfect start into the 1951 season with an early win at Halle. Nevertheless it would soon turn out that neither he nor his car were a real match for East German top driver Paul Greifzu with his likewise home-built special, while during the season also the cars of the much more professional state-owned "Rennkollektiv" team would also more and more into his way. It seems that, perhaps to compensate for his deficiencies, Krause started to drive somehwat over-ambitious, with the result of a couple of heavy shunts at Leipzig and Dresden. In particular at the latter event he was involved in one of the most famous and spectacular incidents from East Germany, when the top four drivers headed into a hairpin which left space for only one... Shortly afterwards Krause would again meet disappointment at his first participation on the West Berlin Avus track, where he dropped out very early while at the same time Greifzu drove to the most triumphant moment of his career. Also for the next races Krause would remain in Greifzu´s shadow with the exception of Bernau in 1952, when his opponent dropped out with clutch failure. The rest of his season then was marked by frequent mechanical failures, in particular at the German Grand Prix, with the Reif seemingly lacking some maintenance. In the meantime Greifzu had lost his life at Dessau and his widow was looking for a competent driver to continue to her husband´s heritage in the orphaned cockpit. Veteran driver Bobby Kohlrausch had achieved only disappointing results so from the race at Halle in 1953 Krause could finally put the old Reif-BMW aside (after a last swansong-victory at Chemnitz respectively Karl-Marx-Stadt early in the season) and take place in the cockpit of the Greifzu car. But success became not really so much better, as now new East German top star driver Edgar Barth in the Rennkollektiv 'works' car was absolutely dominant in this last official season of international Formula 2. Yet Krause could hope for another final chance for 1954, when the East German officials - regarding what machinery was available to their drivers - decided to extend the class for another year. Also because of permanent complaints of the privateer drivers - not least of the Krause - it was decided that the best "non-works" driver would always score full championship points, no matter whethere there were members of the "Rennkollektiv" ahead of him. But while Krause seemed to be settled champion already, in particular as Barth had now changed into the sports car class, they held another bad surprise in the bag - or better in the rules, as when the race at Dessau had to be cancelled because of the flooding of a river and also some other events did not meet the required number of starters to count for the championship, so according to the rules Krause had to be content with the title of 'Meister des Sports' (master of the sport) rather than proper 'champion', as there had not been a sufficient number of events to award the title! Finally, as a sidenote, up to now it is one of my favourite 'tests' for the various Formula 1 'encyclopaedias', 'databases' etc. to look up which entry data is given for Krause in the 1952 and 1953 German Grands Prix...                
 


Edited by uechtel, 08 August 2017 - 12:01.


#49 uechtel

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 10:48

Now to the 1953 Grand Prix, starting with a real big-banger

 

#21 Hans Stuck, AFM "Model 1950" - Bristol: The senior of German post-war drivers, whose star as one of Auto Union Silver Arrows pilot had already seemed on the descent in the later 1930ies. But obviously he himself feeled different about this and experiences a second or maybe third summer of his career after the war. In this his gerat popularity helped him to always meet the right people to open doors where for others they remained locked. For example, from reading his autobiography, back in 1929/30 when he had won the European Mountain Championship for Austro Daimler, the Austrians rewarded him with some kind of nationality 'honoris causa'. To this he remembered after the war, when German drivers were without representation in the FIA and thus were not allowed to start outside their country. So, while resident in Grainau/Germany (albeit very close to the Austrian border) and always with German citzenship, Stuck took up negotiations with the Austrian clubs and authorities to get his door-opener to the world, the new Austria´s first racing license! Thus in 1947 he was able to join Piero Dusio´s Cisitalia 'circus', and he also took his little monoposto to Hockenheim to humiliate the supercharged pre-war Grand Prix monsters, that had somehow survived the war. Being also known as the 'Bergkönig' (mountain king) he drove the Cisitalia to a couple of successes in Swiss and Italian hillclimbs and also into a fine second place at the 1948 Voiturette race at Berne, but then in 1949 suddenly found himself without a drive again, when Dusio´s company had collapsed over the development costs of their Porsche-designed Tipo 360 Grand Prix car. he found salvation in person of Alexander von Falkenhausen, who at that time was trying to establish his AFM make as an alternative to Veritas in the race car business, and recognized the chance that offered to him to have his products promoted to an international audience by the popular Stuck. So while he could have made hopes himself for the German championship with his brand-new Formula 2 monoposto, Falkenhausen did not hesitate to entrust the car to Stuck for the participation in the Monza Grand Prix, one of the major Formula 2 races at that time. So, while disguised as Austrian, this was the first start of a German driver in a German-built car after the war, and notorious jump-starter Stuck did his best to attract attention, using the torque of his car´s BMW engine to shoot into the lead from all the suprised works Ferraris right at the start. In the following slipstream battle he could keep up with the leaders, before he fell behind due to mechanical problems to be finally classified seventh. Nevertheless it had been a promising start and back home Stuck underlined his honoric title as 'Bergkönig' to win the 'Mountain Grand Prix' at the Schauinsland and shortly after also the important Maloja hillclimb in Switzerland. On the circuits it went less fine, for - with the exception of a respectable fourth place at Lausanne and a somehwat surprising third on the highspeed Grenzlandring - Stuck´s car was usually plagued by mechanical failures, a prize all German teams had to pay for still being at least economically bound to second-hand materials. This was also the fate when he returned to Monza in 1950, where he gave another impressive show by winning his heat in front of nobody else than the great Juan Manuel Fangio, but then had to retire with bearing damage from the final. Trying to find a way out of the trap, Stuck came to terms with Richard Küchen, who had already produced motorcycle engines in the 1920ies and had set up a new factory at Ingolstadt in 1946. Following the 'multi-cylinder' fashion of the time Küchen had developed a V8 dohc engine, considered the lightest and most modern racing engine in Germany at the time. For this Stuck ordered another monoposto chassis from Falkenhausen and brought the new car to the Schauinsland hillclimb in 1950. A fourth place here foloowed by a third at the Solitude (behind the new Veritas Meteors of Kling and Lang) proved the car´s basic performance, but at the German Grand Prix Formula 2 race Stuck disappointed the expecting home crowd like alle the other German starters when he was disqualified for being push-started after he had had to stop because of the accelerator pedal had stuck. Similar problems happened to him at the Garda lake race and again at Marseilles early in 1951, where he together with von Falkenhausen (now in his own car again) was also the first German driver to start in a race in France after the war. It turned out, that while the V8 engine was powerful, it lacked from some basic design faults and neither Stuck nor Küchen did have the means and resources for a necessary development. So Stuck, who was also talking about having been victim of some sabotage acts in 1950, could only make some minor modifications, like a stronger battery and the exchange for the complicated-to-handle eight motorcycle carburetors by Weber double carburetors. So the 1951 season became again a sequence of ups and downs, with a third place at the Munich-Riem airfield followed by three retirmenets in a row on his already traditional trip to Italy (Monza, Genua, Caracalla), then a stroke of light again ( class win and 2nd overall at the Susa - Mt Cenis hillclimb and overall win at Aosta - San Bernardino), a probably little bit disappointing second to Pietsch at the Schauinsland, an unspectacular 8th at Erlen/Switzerland and then finally a very surprising outright win on the highspeed Grenzlandring, where the engine lasted despite in permanent full-throttle to keep Stuck´s open-wheel monoposto ahead of all the other streamliners in the race. Inspired by this and also by the promotion of Formula 2 to the highest motorsport level in 1952, Stuck seems to have even intensivated his international ambitions in 1952, so that he was hardly to be seen at home at all. Nevertheless his starts at Syracuse, Torino, Pau, Marseille, Berne (Swiss GP and World Championship round) more or less did all end with the same result - retirement (or in the case of Marseilles at the back of the result table), so from around mid-season he turned his attention back to his own real domain, the hillclimbs, where in the comparatively short runs reliability dod not count so much and he could play out the advantages of his car and engine, winning the Formula 2 classes at Chiusaforte - Sella Nevea and Aosta - San Bernardino. Interestingly, while still staying absent from the circuits in West Germany, he found a new playground for a while in the Easten part of the country, where he was clearly the big fish in the pond. Yet, around late summer he seemingly had enough from the AFM and the Küchen engine and was looking for something else to drive again. he came to a deal with Rudi Fischer, who ran two Ferraris under the Swiss Ecurie Espadon banner, to drive the team´s older V12 Ferrari in the Italian Grand Prix. Alas, the effort ended in non-qualification followed by a retirement at the Avus race and so Stuck had again to look for a new idea for 1953. He pulled the Küchen-AFM out of the garage again and made a trip to the Silverstone International Trophy, perhaps with his major interest in this journey being the purchase of a Bristol engine. As this had been basically a development from the BMW 328 it gave no problems to get it installed in the AFM chassis and with the British access to state-of-the-art parts and materials he certainly promised himself much better reliability. Nevertheless, the engine had already proved to be no real match to the Ferraris and Maseratis in 1952 when installed in the Cooper chassis, it probably still needed more maintenance than Stuck was able to give. Thus he retired from the Eifelrennen and very disappointingly also on the first lap of the German Grand Prix, and even on the East German circuits had now regularily to give way for Edgar Barth in the EMW works. Even worse, Stuck also obviously started to loose ground on the mountains, so after a final attempt at the Italian Grand Prix, where he ended up near the back of the classement, he finally saw the time to say farewell to the circuits and the car - to once again start over his career driving for BMW to become German hillclimb champion in 1960.



#50 uechtel

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 15:25

#22 Wolfgang Seidel, Veritas RS - BMW: Between the retreat of Mercedes-Benz after 1955 and Rolf Stommelen´s contract with Brabham for 1970 German drivers were quite under-represented in Formula 1. Of course there was Wolfgang von Trips, but even he had done only two and a half seasons for Ferrari before his death in 1961 and in 1961/62 the Porsche team rather relied on the services of two established foreign pilots with a few German drivers only as occasional backups. So Wolfgang Seidel was one of only two drivers (together with Hans Herrmann) who would hold up the German flag and at least try to get their foot into the Grand Prix Circus in those years. With the age of 25 Seidel was clearly representant of the young post-war generation of German drivers when he first appeared in a Veritas sports car at the Norisring in 1951. At that time in Germany there was a phenomenon to observe, that there had formed local groups of drivers in some 'hot-spot' areas, travelling jointly to the races. One such center was obviously Düsseldorf, home-town of Ulmen, Peters and also Seidel, who for this race was given the cockpit of Ulmen´s second car. Perhaps this had been intended as a test drive, because in 1952 Seidel would somehwat regularily appear in that very car, albeit in slightly modified shape. An early promising result was his second place in the sports car race of the 1952 German Grand Prix weekend, where finished behind Ulmen with Peters completing the Düsseldorf city championship in fifth place. Nevertheless the step into Formula 2 for 1953 was probably rather by necessity than by ambition, as, like for many of his Veritas and BMW colleagues, with the discontinuation of the 2 litre sports car class there was no other possibility left. Consequently in 1953 Seidel could not be expected to be a front runner in the old bulky car, but at least Seidel achieved a solid finishing record. But the great moment of his early career was to come at the Nürburgring 1000 km race, where a 2 litre class was still carried out. Co driving with Peters they brought the old Veritas RS home for a suprise class win (if only quite far behind the winners of the smaller 1.5 litre class), when all of the much faster works Maseratis retired. 1954, when now Formula 2 had been abandoned, too, he changed the Veritas for an OSCA to compete in the 1.5 litre sports car class, followed by a Porsche Spyder in 1955. In the following years he had some good results with the outstanding one being the victory at the 1959 Targa Florio together with Edgar Barth. In the meantime he also got the occasional Formula 1 drive in Maseratis of Scuderia Centro Sud without notable results. In the early 1960ies he tried to set up his own private Formula 1 team, but the effort came to a halt after the events at the German Grand Prix in 1962. There, he had missed the required number of five practise laps due to an engine failure of his Lotus and as a consequence was not allowed to start. When he complained publicly about this in his opinion unfairness in a press interview, claiming that he had set better lap times than some of the opponents, the National Motorsport Board reacted with full rigour, announcing that his license would be seized for lifetime. This was later revised into a two years ban, but nevertheless it was the end to his career.