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1921 Avus-Rennen - the first? complete English account


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#1 Paul Taylor

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 14:25

I'm pretty proud to present this, since it's been about two years in the making (with some considerable gaps)

 

I've scoured dozens of German, Austrian and French sources to give the most complete and accurate picture of the inaugural 1921 Avus race meeting. Much of the text is based heavily on translations of the original German newspapers, so it retains its original flavour and excitement, but it has been adapted a little to correct for inaccuracies, misspellings of driver names and to get rid of some of the old-fashioned language and propaganda you find in these things.

 

The race reports are for the most part a lap-by-lap account and since I have the lap-charts, I've been able to cross-reference what happened and when, refining the details even further.

 

Finally I've been hunting around online, purchased a few original documents and collected nearly 100 photos from the meeting. I've had to identify most of them myself, since agencies like Getty have photos from other years labelled as 1921. Hope it's something you will all enjoy.

 

http://www.the-fastl...-races-at-avus/


Edited by Paul Taylor, 07 January 2019 - 14:34.


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#2 Eric Dunsdon

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 14:40

Brilliant!. Thanks for posting. :).



#3 Sterzo

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 15:17

Have had a quick skim - looks fantastic. Will evict my family so I can read properly.



#4 ensign14

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 15:37

And the rarity of an abandoned race because everyone retired.  :drunk:



#5 Paul Parker

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 17:28

Wunderbar.

 

Many thanks.



#6 Claudio Navonne

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 16:22

Thanks Paul!

#7 Paul Taylor

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 21:42

You're welcome guys. I'm glad it's been so well-received!

#8 Kvadrat

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:29

Paul, what the point calling the meeting AVUS-Rennen all the way if it never was called so? Some time ago I also made research on these first races and it was real waste of time until I realised I should search for Grunevald, not AVUS.



#9 Paul Taylor

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:48

Paul, what the point calling the meeting AVUS-Rennen all the way if it never was called so? Some time ago I also made research on these first races and it was real waste of time until I realised I should search for Grunevald, not AVUS.

 

1. Because 'Avus Rennen' translates to "Avus Races" in English, which is what they were.

2. You proved a point there - no one will know to search for 'Grunewald Automobilrennen'. However, I stated very early in the article that it was officially called that.

 

If after writing 6000 words, that's the only criticism I have to face then that's fine  :wave:



#10 Kvadrat

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 07:33

That's how errors spread wide so we have to spend a lot of time to correct them. You had a chance to bring people the knowledge by repeating again and again correct name. Instead you use just what people expect.



#11 Rob Ryder

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 07:35

That's how errors spread wide so we have to spend a lot of time to correct them. You had a chance to bring people the knowledge by repeating again and again correct name. Instead you use just what people expect.

 

Nice to see you giving fellow forum members the support they deserve :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :down:



#12 Charlieman

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 11:32

About the fuel, quoting the article: "Engines were fuelled with benzene..."

 

Benzin is potentially the German word for three things in English:

1. Petroleum spirit or gasoline (pump petrol);

2. The chemical compound benzene, C6H6;

3. Automobile fuel (also known as Benzole) distilled from coal or tar containing a high percentage of benzene and toluene, with a higher calorific and octane value than pump petrol.

 

My guess is that the cars ran on pump petrol.

 

Article quote: "Minimum weight was to be achieved without fenders, lights, spare parts/tyres, fuel and lubricants and driver/passenger."

 

A special place in hell should be reserved for rule makers who specify that a car has to be stripped and drained for the weighing process.



#13 Simon Davis

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 13:39

May I add a note of congratulation to Paul for publicly sharing the fruits of his exhaustive research. I know he placed a lot of effort into untangling the details of a race that was not necessarily reported at the time in the way that we take for granted today. I feel he has infused his article with a wonderful sense of atmosphere that makes me wish I was there. Thank you, Paul.

 

Simon.



#14 Ristin

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 21:16

That's how errors spread wide so we have to spend a lot of time to correct them. You had a chance to bring people the knowledge by repeating again and again correct name. Instead you use just what people expect.


I have not yet read the article. But I thing Kvadrat raised a legitimate point. I felt the same when I read the OP's "explanation". Sorry, but retrospectively changing the name of a race for better convenience and broader public appeal certainly raises a few eyebrows. And isn't TNF the perfect place to discuss this question and the different approaches in a calm and friendly way? No need for sarcastic remarks.

Edited by Ristin, 11 January 2019 - 21:28.


#15 Vitesse2

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 21:55

Vladimir has of course approached the question in his usual researcher's way, seeking the truth.

 

However, as his post makes clear, a neophyte would search for Avus 1921, not Grunewald. And Paul's article also makes clear in the second paragraph that the actual name of the first event was Grunewald Automobilrennen. Subsequent meetings were generally known as Avusrennen.

 

So I would suggest that adding a sentence explaining that would make sense and satisfy both points of view.



#16 Paul Taylor

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 23:47

That's how errors spread wide so we have to spend a lot of time to correct them. You had a chance to bring people the knowledge by repeating again and again correct name. Instead you use just what people expect.

 

Actually...

 

On the race programme's front cover: "Programm zu den Automobilrennen"

Prager Tagblatt (18 Sep 1921): "Berliner Automobilrennen"

Sport Tagblatt (23 Sep 1921): "Die Berliner Autorennen"

Berliner Volks-Zeitung (25 Sep 1921): "Die Autorennen im Grunewald"

And my favourite of all, the Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung (27 Sep 1921, p61 and p64): "Avus-Rennen"

 

Thanks.



#17 kyle936

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Posted 31 January 2019 - 14:26

Paul might well know about this but in case he doesn't (and I thought others would also find it interesting) - the proposed renovation of Avus's grandstands, targeted for the racetrack's centenary in 2021:

 

https://www.theguard...ide-grandstands

 

I read it just a few weeks before Paul started this thread but couldn't remember where I'd seen it.