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Two-seat W125?


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#1 Duncan64

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Posted 09 July 2022 - 14:09

In his book, 'A Race with Love and Death', Richard Williams mentions that a two-seat Mercedes W125 had been created (circa 1937?) so that Rudi Uhlenhaut could observe its track behavior; the car subsequently took notable guests (including Neubauer and Erica Popp) around the Nurburgring. It's the first I have heard of this: does anyone have any more detail or a photo maybe?

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#2 PayasYouRace

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Posted 09 July 2022 - 14:26

Was it tandem or side by side seating.?



#3 chdphd

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Posted 09 July 2022 - 15:23

Is this it?

 

Via http://blog.axisofov...mpspart-ii.html

 

3706153968_b3c3cd818d_b.jpg



#4 Vitesse2

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Posted 09 July 2022 - 15:43

That's the one.



#5 Duncan64

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Posted 09 July 2022 - 15:52

Nice one; I take it that this chassis is now restored as a monoposto?

#6 Vitesse2

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Posted 09 July 2022 - 16:27

The 'joy rides' were both before and after the 1939 Eifelrennen, when it was used as a camera car for a publicity film featuring both MB and AU cars and drivers, which is sometimes represented as real in-race footage. In 'Dick and George', one of Seaman's letters to Monkhouse mentions that Müller ran over some camera equipment at one point and that Nuvolari managed to spin and stall his car on the return road from the Betonschleife short testing circuit, causing the others to have to do ‘some very serious tiller winding in order to avoid ramming him!’

 

DCN may be able to confirm, but I assume the structure was removed and the normal tail restored at some time between 1939 and its reuse in 1962 for Bill Mason's film - as the photograph shows, it has only a smallish fuel tank below the 'pillion seat' rather than the normal large one which sat behind the driver. Would be interesting to know whether the one used in 1962 was the original or a recreation!

 

https://group-media....tml?oid=7426937



#7 arttidesco

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Posted 09 July 2022 - 20:16

Interesting to note the passenger appears well strapped in/on, many years before it became a habit for drivers to be strapped in a similar fashion.



#8 10kDA

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Posted 09 July 2022 - 20:19

That looks like way more fun than the thing Mario drives.



#9 Michael Ferner

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Posted 09 July 2022 - 20:42

Interesting to note the passenger appears well strapped in/on, many years before it became a habit for drivers to be strapped in a similar fashion.

 

I assume the picture shows the sixties version of the car.



#10 Vitesse2

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Posted 09 July 2022 - 20:44

Interesting to note the passenger appears well strapped in/on, many years before it became a habit for drivers to be strapped in a similar fashion.

Like Michael, I think that's probably a picture of it being tested before the Bill Mason film - the background doesn't look like the Ring and the seatbelts have a modern look to them. Driver and passenger are both wearing identical helmets, which look like 1950s style biker 'pots' - compare action photos of (for example) Geoff Duke.



#11 Nick Planas

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Posted 10 July 2022 - 08:11

Well that looks to me like a good instant weight loss programme - well it would work for me anyway!



#12 Bloggsworth

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Posted 10 July 2022 - 08:30

I can't imagine that they would have learned anything useful as both the weight distribution and C of G would have born little relation to normal.


Edited by Bloggsworth, 10 July 2022 - 16:23.


#13 JoBo

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Posted 10 July 2022 - 09:34

But there are no photos existing that shows the car in 1939.....?



#14 Roger Clark

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Posted 10 July 2022 - 09:38

In his book, 'A Race with Love and Death', Richard Williams mentions that a two-seat Mercedes W125 had been created (circa 1937?) so that Rudi Uhlenhaut could observe its track behavior; the car subsequently took notable guests (including Neubauer and Erica Popp) around the Nurburgring. It's the first I have heard of this: does anyone have any more detail or a photo maybe?

I wonder why Uhlenhaut wanted to observe the car's behaviour in this way when he could drive the car himself.



#15 D-Type

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Posted 10 July 2022 - 10:07

I wonder why Uhlenhaut wanted to observe the car's behaviour in this way when he could drive the car himself.

Fair point.  Perhaps the car was such a handful that he had to keep his eyes on the road.

Going back to post #2, did the 1937 regulations still include the minimum body width clause?  If so, might it have been dide by side seating?



#16 Roger Clark

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Posted 10 July 2022 - 10:21

Bernd Rosemeyer once took Elly for a lap of the Nurburgring, sitting beside him in an Auto-Union.



#17 Vitesse2

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Posted 10 July 2022 - 10:49

Going back to post #2, did the 1937 regulations still include the minimum body width clause?  If so, might it have been dide by side seating?

Yes, 85cm minimum at the cockpit.



#18 Risil

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Posted 10 July 2022 - 11:41

I can't i,agine that they would have learned anything useful as both the weight distribution and C of G would have born little relation to normal.


Perhaps this was an early example of now familiar car handling dilemma where a car's problems only really became apparent when being driven to its limit by the race drivers. Or perhaps the car's handling was so bad that you could focus on keeping it on the road or on what the chassis and suspension were doing, but not both.

Centre of gravity wouldn't have been the same but Uhlenhaut would've weighed less than a full tank of fuel, which I believe the W125 also located behind the driver.

(I remember somebody touting a dubious benefit of the rear-engined Auto Unions, that whereas the Mercedes cars would go from very oversteery to understeery over the course of a stint as its fuel was consumed, the Auto Union with the lump in the back maintained consistent horrible oversteer at all times. Which of course talents like Rosemeyer and Nuvolari learned to live with.)

#19 Roger Clark

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Posted 10 July 2022 - 11:45

The 'joy rides' were both before and after the 1939 Eifelrennen, when it was used as a camera car for a publicity film featuring both MB and AU cars and drivers, which is sometimes represented as real in-race footage. In 'Dick and George', one of Seaman's letters to Monkhouse mentions that Müller ran over some camera equipment at one point and that Nuvolari managed to spin and stall his car on the return road from the Betonschleife short testing circuit, causing the others to have to do ‘some very serious tiller winding in order to avoid ramming him!’

 

DCN may be able to confirm, but I assume the structure was removed and the normal tail restored at some time between 1939 and its reuse in 1962 for Bill Mason's film - as the photograph shows, it has only a smallish fuel tank below the 'pillion seat' rather than the normal large one which sat behind the driver. Would be interesting to know whether the one used in 1962 was the original or a recreation!

 

https://group-media....tml?oid=7426937

Does "Dick and George" say that the W125 was used in filming at the Eifelrennen?  Seaman said in a letter that filming was done from another car but at 40mph.  I don't think he mentioned a W125.



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#20 Doug Nye

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Posted 10 July 2022 - 11:49

I am certain the photograph above is long postwar, and probably from 1959-62.  It looks as if the car is being run on the factory test track at Unterturkheim. 

 

DCN



#21 Roger Clark

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Posted 10 July 2022 - 16:28

When Hermann Lang drove the car at the Nurburgring in 1962 for Bill Mason’s film he wore a 1930s style linen helmet. However, the helmet in the photograph looks rather like the one he wore at the 1954 German Grand Prix. Could this be a practice run back at base before the ‘Ring?



#22 funformula

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Posted 10 July 2022 - 18:45

I am certain the photograph above is long postwar, and probably from 1959-62.  It looks as if the car is being run on the factory test track at Unterturkheim. 

 

DCN

 

I´m pretty sure the photo above is from the test track in Untertürkheim. As this was first used in 1957 you might be right in assuming the photo was taken between 1959-62

I ask myself from which point it might´ve been taken. The building with the stepped roof in the background appears to be the same as in this photo

 19374.jpg (1024×1014) (mercedes-fans.de)

but the roof is showing in the wrong direction.

I assumed at first that the row of trees mark the shore to the river Neckar which flows right beneath the test track but it may indeed be the trees separating the football training ground shown in this photo on the left side.

Werk-Untertuerkheim.jpeg (354×252) (autointell.de)

Now erase the two white tower block buildings that might be built at a later stage, then the building in the photo might match with the red step-roofed building right beside the test skid pad.


Edited by funformula, 10 July 2022 - 18:47.


#23 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 July 2022 - 23:40

It looks to me like a lot of major reconstruction has taken place since the photo was taken...

 

Looking at Google Earth there appears to be other buildings and new additions around that building, the trees in the background are gone and fresh buildings are there now. And there's an elevated roadway going past it all which would today be a part of the picture, while the museum building would be just out of frame.

 

Orientation for the photo is approximately North-East.