Classic cars, defined by the human hand

Prototype Parade No. 85 | Model Maker February 1959 | Drawn & Described by Walkden Fisher

Maserati 250F

M ASERATI'S announcement of their sudden decision to withdraw from all racing on economic grounds at the close of the 1957 season was received with widespread regret by followers of motor sport. The thoroughbred machines produced by this famous Italian concern have been regarded with affection and respect for years on the world's circuits, and it was therefore fitting that 1957 should provide them with their first World Championship laurels after a long period of ceaseless endeavour.

Juan Fangio, the Scuderia's No. 1 driver, and former five times holder of the World Drivers' Championship, drove the greatest race of his career during the 1957 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. His epic battle against the rival Ferraris of Mike Hawthorn and the late Peter Collins will long be remembered by all who were privileged to witness this stirring race. Fangio, in a 250F/ 1957 Maserati, was set the seemingly impossible task of winning back more than a minute in 11 laps (154 miles) from the Ferraris, after an enforced pit stop for fuel and tyres. His mastery of the situation and the car had the watching thousands on tenterhooks as gradually, inexorably, the snarling red Maserati crept ever nearer to the Ferraris lap by lap until, on the penultimate circuit, he swept by into the lead, finally to cross the line 3.6 seconds ahead of Hawthorn's Ferrari

Maserati 250F side view

After the firm's withdrawal from racing, the majority of cars were sold to private owners, and the independent organisation of the Scuderia Centro-Sud having purchased some of them, they continued to keep the Maserati flag flying in most of the big international events during 1958.

The well tried six cylinder engine of the Maserati had not been changed fundamentally since its inception in 1954. At the end of the 1956 season it was realised that it was getting past its prime and reaching the limit of its horsepower. Therefore, considerable efforts were made in developing its reliability and tuning it for working on a nitro-methane/alcohol fuel mixture for 1957.

The overall weight of the 250F/ 1957 was reduced and the brakes were improved, thus providing extra acceleration. The Scuderia commenced the season with three new cars as a basis and the 1957 chassis followed the normal Maserati principles of being a tubular space frame. However, the sizes of the tubing were drastically reduced, and vital junctions reinforced with very small tubing forming struts across the corners between main tubes. This new frame proved a great improvement, both structurally and from the point of view of weight.

Maserati 250F cutaway drawing

New riveted alloy fuel and oil tanks were incorporated in the new cars, and the fuel tank has the semblance of a headrest, a holding down strap passing through the front of this rest, under the padded rim. The worm and sector steering box is mounted on the chassis behind the engine; thus insulated from engine vibrations, the steering is lighter and smoother. Similar to the 1956 cars, the five speed gearbox rear axle unit was made standard for 1957, as were the suspensions at front and back. These latter assemblies comprise, at the front, unequal length double wishbones and coil springs with Houdaille vane type shock absorbers and anti roll bar. At the rear, the de Dion tube is positioned in front of the gearbox/axle assembly and located by a central sliding guide and two forward facing radius rods at each end to the chassis frame. Springing is by a transverse roll free leaf spring mounted above the axle assembly —plus Houdaille shock absorbers.

On the brakes, the alloy air deflector plates on the outside of the drums were discarded and slightly larger and wider brakes were built, with stiffer alloy drums and shrunk in liners.

The basic design of the engine remained unchanged. Of 2,494 c.c. capacity, its twin overhead camshafts are gear driven from the front of the crankshaft and operate two inclined valves through adjustable fingers. Each cylinder is equipped with two 14 mm. sparking plugs fired by twin magnetos and the unit develops about 270 b.h.p. at 7,400 r.p.m. Carburation is provided by three horizontal double choke Webers enclosed in an aluminium box and fed with air via a long forward facing side scoop on the radiator cowling.

A characteristic of the 250F/ 1957 Maserati is its long and shapely radiator cowl and profile views of the cars accentuate their excellent design. In fact these splendid machines can truly be regarded as one of the classic racing cars in Grand Prix history, and as such, are an object lesson in straightforward racing car design, ranking with the straight eight Bugatti and 2.9 litre "monoposto" Alfa-Romeo of a past era.

Sixteen inch wire spoke centre lock wheels with alloy rims are fitted front and rear, the front tyres being 5.50 in., and the rear, 7.00 in. Alternatively, as shown on the plan, 17 in. wheels were sometimes fitted at the rear with 7.00 in. tyres.

Wheelbase: 7 ft. 6 in. Track : front 4 ft. 4 in.; Rear : 4 ft. 2 in.

Model Maker

Maserati 250F

Maserati 250 f technical drawings
Car Model

Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage

Maserati tipo 61 Birdcage technical drawings

All Scale Plans Package | Car Model, July 1964 | Plans by Jose Rodriguez Jr.

Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage

IF THERE EVER WAS a car that deserved the name, it's this one. The Birdcage's construction is indeed reminiscent of what you usually find a canary or a parakeet living in. Instead, in this cage, you find such "birds" as Carroll Shelby, Dan Gurney, Walt Hansgen, Stirling Moss, Masten Gregory, and Rodger Ward — or maybe we should say you found such drivers in it when the Birdcage was new and hot and making news, around 1960.

There were actually two Birdcages, types 60 and 61, and it is the 61 for which plans are shown here. (The 60 was a 2-liter car; the 61 a 3-liter).

The Maser had no frame as we know it today. Instead, it consisted of a huge number of thin chrome molybdenum tubes, 3/4" tubes' forming the main members, diagonally braced by smaller tubes about 1/2" diameter. (If you are really interested in seeing a detailed drawing of the frame of this car, you can find one in the April, 1960 issue of SPORTS CARS ILLUSTRATED — now CAR AND DRIVER — on page 51.

Maserati Tipo 61 cutaway drawing

The Maserati Tipo 61 had a 4-cylinder engine that developed 240 hp at 6500 rpm on ordinary gasoline. The car's weight was a fantastically light 1260 lbs. dry, which accounted in large part for the spectacular performance it was capable of.

The Birdcage races in the E/Modified division and you can be sure it will do well for you!

Model Car and Track

Maserati 5000 GT

Maserati 5 litre GT technical drawings

Scale Plan Series #8 | Model Car & Track December 1964 | By Jonathan Thompson

Maserati 5000 GT

M aseratis have always been popular with slot racing enthusiasts; such well known examples as the Tipo 60/61 "Birdcage" and the Tipo 151 prototype GT coupe come immediately to mind. Neither car was by any means beautiful, but their characteristically brutal lines suggested power and were instantly recognizable on a miniature track, retaining their individuality in reduced scale.

This month's scale plan features still another such car from Modena — the 1964 5-liter prototype coupe commissioned and raced by Maserati France. Making its debut, hardly finished, in the April Le Mans trials, the unpainted monster was immediately cited for its ugliness, but in fact its lines were probably more efficient than those of any rival and could be justified on this point alone. Not having been sorted out before the trials, the Maserati was at a distinct disadvantage, particularly with respect to high speed handling problems. Nevertheless, the car recorded the fourth fastest lap of the trials, 3 min. 56.1 sec.

The body was notable for an extremely long, low nose, and a barrel-shaped tail with a small rear window within the concave rear portion instead of in the roof, which did not slope enough to permit any view to the rear. Altogether, the car was more reminiscent of the 4.5-liter coupe driven by Stirling Moss at Le Mans in 1957 than of its immediate predecessor, the 1962 Tipo 151. The new 5-liter car is based on the 4-liter 151, and appears to have the same basic multi tube frame and suspension, with corresponding dimensions. The engine is of course much more powerful; the 4941cc fuel injection V8 puts out 420 b.h.p., 60 more than that of the 151 and 80 more than its production counterpart, the 5000 GT.

With a weight of 2395 lb., the performance of the car can be imagined. It was claimed that the car reached 200 m.p.h. on the autostrada between Modena and Bologna in tests following the Le Mans trials, but the car unfortunately went off the road during a workout at Monza. suffering body and chassis damage at the rear and injuring the driver, Andre Simon. However, both car and driver were mended in time for the 24-hour race. Co-driven by Maurice Trintignant, the Maserati got off to a slow start but worked its may up to 7th by the third hour. By the fifth hour it had moved into 3rd place among the fastest Ferraris; this challenge unfortunately came to an end shortly before midnight, when the generator gave up, in addition to gearbox trouble. The performance was not without honor, however, for the Maserati had recorded a very creditable 3 min. 55.7 sec lap as well as the fastest maximum speed on the Mulsanne straight, 192.6 m.p.h.

Thus the contours of body were vindicated, although still not winning any beauty prizes. The small rear window used in April was replaced by a larger two piece affair, the upper section admitting light to the interior if not actually increasing rear vision. The tunnel effect was at least eliminated. The car was finished in red, with blue and white stripes running the length of the body. The number (2) appeared in black on white discs situated on the right side of the hood, the sides of both front fenders, and the right rear deck. The traditional Maserati trident emblem appeared on both fenders behind the numbers, along with BP decals, the same two devices being applied at the rear on the right side of the concave portion.

The same car ran in the Rheims 12 hour event in July with no apparent changes, except that it carried the number 3. The Maserati was 7th at the end of the first hour, 6th at the end of the second hour, and seemed to be capable of even higher positions, but misfiring caused numerous pit stops before the car was finally withdrawn at the eighth hour. With Rheims the last important event of 1964 admitting prototypes, the impressive French sponsored Maserati will have to wait until next year to do better. It will be interesting to see what changes are made to the car; most needed are modifications to the suspension to make it more stable, plus a better electrical system.

SPECIFICATIONS: Engine, fuel-injected four overhead camshaft V8, 94 x 89mm, 4941cc, 420 b.h.p. at approximately 7000 r.p.m. Multi-tube chassis. Front suspen- sion, independent by double wishbones, coil springs, and telescopic shock absorbers. Rear suspension, De Dion with upper and lower radius rods, vertical coil .springs, and supplementary horizontal coil springs. Five-speed ZF gear-box in unit with ZF limited slip differential. Girling disc brakes outboard all around. Fuel capacity 30.6 gallons, Weight (official Le Mans figure) 2395 lb. Wheels, center-lock Borrani wire. Tires, Dunlop racing, 6.00 x 15 front, 7.00 .t 15 rear. DIMENSIONS: Wheelbase 91.0 inches. Front track 49.5 inches. Rear track 50.5 inches. Length 151.3 inches. Front overhang 31.0 inches. Rear overhang 29.3 inches. Width 61.5 inches. Height 39.9 inches.

Model Cars

Matra MS10

Matra MS10 blueprints

Prototype Parade No. 293 | Model Cars February 1969 | Drawn by Roger Taylor, described by John Wood

Matra MS10

T HE South African Grand Prix in January 1968, saw the beginning of the 'French Revolution' in formula one motor racing. Almost twenty years had passed since a French car had presented a serious challenge in a Grand Epreuve, so, it was natural that the French motoring press should go into raptures when Jackie Stewart drove a chopped about Matra formula two car into the lead of that race from a front row starting grid position.

Although Stewart retired, with a fault in the British Cosworth engine, the dawn of the new age in French motor racing was seen to be breaking. Less that a year later, in the Mexican Grand Prix, Stewart came within an ace of winning the World Championship in the French car, restoring some of France's former glories. Although the M.S. 10 is entered by Ken Tyrell's Matra International Team, it is in all but name a works entry, indeed it had many of the works developments before they were fitted to the works Matra cars.

The car Stewart drove in South Africa, the Matra M.S.9, was the prototype of the car he used for the rest of the World Championship series, the Matra M.S.10. This car first appeared in the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch in March of last year. It uses almost the same chassis as the Matra M.S.11 (described in Model Cars, October 1968), the main difference being that the monocoque behind the cockpit is chopped off, and a space frame to carry the Cosworth V8 is substituted. The suspension of the two cars is almost identical, double wishbones and an Armstrong coil spring damper unit is used at the front, while at the rear a lower reversed wishbone, top link and the ubiquitous Armstrong damper unit is employed. Six spoke Matra designed 15 in. wheels carrying 9 in. wide Dunlop tyres at the front and 12 in. wide tyres at the rear hold the M.S.10 on the road, buried in the wheels are Girling disc brakes using Ferodo linings.

Matra MS10 cutaway drawing

The M.S.10 is powered by the Cosworth Ford D.F.V. engine which has proved victorious in eighteen out of the last nineteen formula one races; enough has been written about this engine to fill a five year diary, and I hope readers will forgive me if I skip the engine description. The 420 b.h.p. produced by the D.F.V. is transmitted through a Hewland F.G.500 gearbox, this 'box is almost universally used in Grand Prix racing nowadays, indeed all but the McLaren, B.R.M. and Ferrari teams use it. The Italian G.P. was the first race in which Matra International ran two cars, Johnny Servoz-Gavin was recalled to drive '02, while Stewart drove '01, which is his favourite chassis. Jackie Stewart retired while dicing for the lead with eventual race winner Denny Hulme, but Servoz drove a fine race to finish in second place.

From Italy the 'circus' moved to Canada, for the Canadian G.P. held on the beautiful St. Jovite circuit in Quebec. The two car team was again run, both cars being in identical trim to that of their last outing. Stewart finished in fifth place in the race, despite having a pit stop to change a broken wishbone, while Servoz spun off due to a burst tyre while contesting fourth place.

A couple of days before the American G.P. at Watkins Glen, the next race on the calendar, M.S.10-01's chassis had burst into flames, so all Stewart's running gear was transferred to the other chassis. The new body as shown in the inset drawing was used for this race, otherwise the car was unchanged visually, however, all the titanium suspension parts were replaced by steel ones after the wishbone failure at St. Jovite. Jackie drove a beautifully controlled race at the Glen leading for every lap, and crossing the line 20 secs. ahead of Graham Hill. This victory left the World Championship very much in the balance, with everything depending on the last race, the Mexican Grand Prix, held in Mexico City.

Stewart retained M.S.10-02 for this last race and Servoz-Gavin came back into the team to drive '01. Both cars were unchanged since their last outings, and all the care imaginable was being lavished on the car Stewart was to drive. During practice wider front elevators were fitted to Stewart's car; however, Jackie could manage no better than seventh fastest practice time with them fitted, they were, however, left on for the race. Graham Hill had three points more than Stewart at the beginning of the race, so Jackie had to finish at least one place ahead of Graham to win the Championship. At the drop of the starting flag Hill went off into the lead with Stewart right on his tail. Jackie shadowed Graham until the fifth lap when he took the lead; however, after four laps Graham retook it. The pair continued in this order, except when Jo Siffert passed them both and then dropped back, until the 50th lap when Stewart began to drop back with fuel starvation. In the race's remaining fifteen laps Jackie dropped back to seventh place — a sad end to his challenge for the Championship, which was, of course, won by Graham Hill. Almost unnoticed in this excitement was Johnny Servoz-Gavin's retirement with engine trouble.

Second in the World Championship wasn't such a bad result, considering that it was the first season for both the car and the team. This year should see a much more serious challenge from the all French Matra Elf Team whose backing up of the Matra International Team should be much stronger than last year's when their cars were not really competitive. This can only lead to a more successful season for both teams.

Vital statistics, Matra M.S.10 Cosworth V8 Track: Front 4 ft. 6.78 in. (Monza) or 4 ft. 8 in. (else-where); Rear varied between 4 ft. 10 in. and 5 ft. Wheelbase: 7 ft. 11 in. Tyres: Front 23½ in. 0/A diameter by 9 in. wide; Rear 25½ in. 0/A diameter by 12 in. wide. Wheels: 15 in. Matra six spoke cast magnesium.

Car Model

McLaren Elva Mk1

McLaren Elva Mk1 technical drawings

All Scale Plans Package | Car Model June 1965 | Plans by Jim Ison & Text by Oscar Kovaleski

McLaren Elva Mk1

THE CAR WE'RE TALKING about this issue is a combination of the brains, skill, experience and ingenuity of Bruce McLaren, Wally Willmitt, Tyler Alexander, Ted Mayer and a few others who've made contributions from time to time.

The power plant is a Traco built and tuned aluminum Olds engine that cranks out some 350 horse power. While that's a respectable figure, don't forget that they're spotting Hall's Chapparal and Mecom's Hussein some 200 to 300 ponies so the record the car piled up in its first year of competition is even more impressive.

For example —and a pretty good one it is too— while still new and untried, the car broke the lap record at Mosport no less than 6 times! And finished 3rd in the race overall, even with mechanical problems. At Riverside, Bruce won the qualifying race and earned the pole position. He led for two laps, until a water hose split and he had to retire.

I took off the measurements of the car at Roger Penske's shop, right after the bright red and silver paint job was put on. Tyler and Wally were there, preparing the car for the Nassau race. They said that competition was going to be tough to beat and that Nassau was a course for big cars. Right on all counts! Penske won in a Chapparal. Bruce ONLY finished 2nd! And if you don't think ONLY 2nd means something at Nassau, you don't know that race!

The brain trust that runs the car has done surprisingly well, especially in view of their previous experience, which was almost entirely with light Formula cars, GP cars and light sports cars. Perhaps that background explains the design —a 1200 lb. undersized V-8 cleverly designed and raced by the Bruce McLaren Racing Team.

McLaren Elva Mk1 Box art

Builders who want to add a model of this game little car will find these plans useful. Follow the measurements, and let's see who can do the best job.

Inside word from Team Manager Ted Mayer is that the new cars will have larger brakes, 15" front wheels 8" wide and 15" wheels 10" wide in the rear. All of which means the new cars will be even wider than the plans show. My guess is at least 6".

Give you any ideas?

You might be making a model of the year's big winner, you never know. 1965 will be an interesting year in this class as more cars are built for it. It appears that big American V-8's are the answer, but Ferrari isn't giving up. Ol' Enzo is building bigger engines, refusing to go the American route. Lola intends to produce a rear engine sports car for V-8, and redoubtable Jack Brabham has one partially completed. Don't sell the Lotus 30 short either. They've learned a lot and the design may have been two years ahead of its time. This may be the year!

Car Model

McLaren MkII

McLaren Mk2 technical drawings

All Scale Plans | Car Model October 1967 | Drawn & Described by David Windsor

McLaren MkII

T HE WORST HARD luck story of last year has to be the failure of the McLaren Elva works team in the Can-Am series. The highest place was Bruce's second in the last round on November 13 at the Stardust Raceway. Actually, Bruce finished third in the series overall and results, five to Lola and one to Chaparral, do not reflect the struggle between the various marques. For in practice, the times of these cars were always very close and the pole position often went to whoever had his car set up perfectly for that particular track.

However, the closeness of the racing was due in my opinion to the very style of Group 7 with their large capacity mundane motors. The only advantage a team could gain was in gimmics and aerodynamics. Subsequently, the form of racing under discussion has been stopped in England and Europe in favour of the more technically challenging Formula II. The philosophy which lay behind Group 7 was the same as that which basically gave the drive and energy to the Ford onslaught at LeMans. Their defeat at Daytona has already put the writing on the wall for any "racing car" using an enlarged saloon engine.

Still, while it lasted, Group 7 provided Britain with an excellent export market. One of the companies fortunate to be producing a high quality chassis. at the time was McLaren in cooperation with Elva. At the beginning of 1966, McLaren had orders for 35 cars to be completed by the start of the Can-Am series, owing to success the year before with works Is, and later IIs, as well.

Most of the cars produced were sent to America but the works ran two over here. The leading private owner was David Prophet with his silver and gold model. Young Chris Amon has driven his works car so well that now he has been bought up by Ferrari.

The car first really captured my imagination when I was covering the August bank holiday meeting at Brands for Model Cars. Standing on the inside of Druids hairpin as Surtees/Amon blipped their way round was an exhilarating experience While other journals praised John Surtees, I felt that the truly significant thing was that he had won by such a small amount, a testament to the McLaren and Amon's driving.

The car drawn here is the car which Amon drove in this event and in the Can-Am series as well. For the Brands meeting, Chevy five-litre motors were used and have been retained ever since, though earlier models had Oldsmobile units. Readers will probably note that Surtees used six litres but the McLaren has no steel parts in the chassis structure and is consequently a lot lighter.

The chassis is multitubular and the same basically as that in the IA. But the body was totally re-thought and the result is very sculptural, though not as sleek as the Lola Mk. III. Naturally, as a result of race experience, spoilers appear to counteract unwanted lift or instability.

The suspension is that of any modern monocoque GP car with twin wishbones at the front and two radius rods, transverse link and reversed wishbone at the rear. Armstrong shock absorbers are fitted, while the wheels are 15-inch cast magnesium with four spokes. They are 9-inches wide at the front and 11 at the back. Twelve inch discs are mounted outboard to stop the forward progress of the car.

Fifty gallons of fuel can be carried in the lower body sides, which on cars produced before July, 1966 were left the bare metal colour. The works cars first appeared at the end of 1965 with bright red bodies and silver sides as already mentioned. For the English season, they were sprayed a maroon colour and after the Silverstone International in April '66, they carried a white stripe across the nose.

At the Brands meet, they appeared in their new colours which they kept throughout the later races. They were once again red all over with cream flashes along the centre section body sides. Numbers varied, but in England they were always white on the body colour. As a final note, the McLarens were the only works teams to fit a full harness for their drivers, and a good thing too.

SPECIFICATIONS Wheelbase: 7 ft. 7½ in. Track (front) : 4 ft. 2 in. Track (rear): 4 ft. 3 in. Height to roll bar: 2 ft. 11 in. Tyre size: 9.50 x 15 (front) 12.00 x 15 (rear) Overall length: 12 ft. 4½ in. Overall width: 5 ft. 8 in.

Model Cars

McLaren M7A

McLaren M7A blueprints

Prototype Parade No. 273 | Model Cars June 1968 | Drawn & Described by R. W. Shingleton

McLaren M7A

D ESPITE a brilliant record as a manufacturer of Group 7 machinery, success as a constructor of Formula 1 cars has so far eluded Bruce McLaren. The first formula 1 McLaren was the 2B which appeared in 1966. This car featured monocoque construction using a material known as Mallite which gave an amazingly rigid chassis.

However, lack of a competitive engine prevented the 2B from being successful. As a stop gap to await the arrival of a competitive 3 litre engine the M4B was raced in the early part of 1967, this basically being a Formula 2 chassis powered by a 2 litre BRM V8. The M5A McLaren first appeared at the Canadian Grand Prix in 1967 powered by a V12 BRM engine and very nearly won on its first appearance. This car was raced for the remainder of the 1967 season and the first event of 1968.

As it appeared that the BRM V12 might be down on bhp in 1968 it was decided to take advantage of the availability of the Ford Cosworth V8 to use it to power the new McLaren — the M7A. This car features monocoque construction of the hip bath type with three steel bulkheads carrying the loads, while the rest of the monocoque is constructed of aluminium and magnesium panels. The Cosworth V8 forms an integral part of the chassis with the rear suspension mounted directly to the Hewland gearbox. The front suspension is outboard with two links attached to twin radius arms mounted on the central bulkhead. Rear suspension consists of a single top link with a bottom wishbone connected to two parallel radius arms. McLaren constructed magnesium wheels carrying Goodyear tyres are used with Lockheed brakes. The exhaust system is mounted low down as on the Lotus 49 and the McLaren carries a rear mounted oil cooler above the gearbox. The large oil tank mounted alongside the gearbox is an outstanding feature of the car. The body shape is fairly complex with two deep air extraction vents in the nose section.

McLaren M7A cutaway drawing

The first competition appearance of the M7A was at the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch on the 17th March. Two cars were entered, one for Bruce the other for 1967 World Champion Denny Hulme who has joined the McLaren team for the 1968 season. The cars were immaculately prepared, being finished in brilliant yellow orange with green tinted windscreens and black lettering as shown on the plans. Bruce McLaren's crash helmet is plain silver while Denny Hulme's is silver white with two black stripes. At the Race of Champions both drivers wore cream overalls, Denny wearing a face mask while Bruce had only a chin pad under his helmet strap. The exhaust systems were black as was the cockpit upholstery. Cam covers on the Cosworth engine were crackle black with the word FORD picked out in white. The roll bar was also black. Wheel rims were silver with black centres while the numbers were black on a white field.

Bruce took pole position in practice and led for the entire distance to win with team mate Denny in third position. After this remarkable debut the M7A must be considered as a strong contender for World Championship honours this season and the immaculate orange cars from Colnbrook will be a welcome and colourful addition to the F 1 grids.

Specifications. Wheelbase 7ft. 9.6 ins. Track Front 4 ft. 8.5 ins. Track Rear 4ft. 8.5 ins.

Model Cars

Mercedes Benz Avus

Mercedes Benz Avus blueprints

Prototype Parade No. 216 | Model Cars May 1966 | Drawn & described by A. Russell Black

Mercedes Benz Avus

THE year 1936 was not what one might say a golden year for the Mercedes Benz Racing organisation since their immediate rivals, Auto Union, practically swept the boards, leaving Dr. Kissel and the design staff of Mercedes to hang their heads with shame at the end of the season.

However, it may be said that the year did not pass without bearing some fruit, although not in straight competition with other racing cars, but on the Frankfurt-Darmstadt Autobahn, where Caracciola took so many records that he had the officials worn out filling in forms for his claims. The car he used for these events was a specially built machine which had been developed from the racing experience gained on the track. The engine was a V 12 with a bore and stroke of 82 x 88 mm., exactly the same as the 1934 M25AB engine, but the output was practically double, being in fact 736 b.h.p. After its success on the Autobahn straights, where, by the way, speeds were in excess of 228 m.p.h., the car went into storage, or it appears to have, since nothing was heard of it again until a similar model appeared in 1937 for the Avus-Rennen held on the 30th May of that year.

This race was strictly a non-formula event, and it is obvious that Mercedes designers produced the car purely for this event, as such a design of car would have been completely unsuitable for any other type of track. The event was almost a speed event, and the course had a new `wall of death' styled banked curve, allowing extremely high speeds to be set, which indeed they were, as can be seen from the winner's average of 162.62 m.p.h. Mercedes entered five cars for the event. Three were of the streamlined shape and two standard cars made up the team. Two of the cars used the V12 engines of the previous year, but the remainder were fitted with the normal eight cylinder engine.

Von Brauchitsch and Zehender were driving the V 12 cars with Caracciola, Seaman and Lang sharing the others. Zehender put his car out of action during practice, leaving four cars for the final event. The race was run in two heats with Mercedes winning both in stupendous fashion, and it was naturally thought to be 'in the bag' for Mercedes in the final. However, things did not go quite as planned, and lap four saw both Caracciola and Rosemeyer with his Auto Union out after a fantastic start to the final. Von Brauchitsch followed Caracciola into the dead car pit with exactly the same complaint (rear axle trouble) and so it was left to Lang on his streamlined car, and Seaman on the standard model, to hold off the Auto Unions.

Seaman unfortunately lost a tread and so only Lang remained with two Auto Unions on his tail, but they remained there until Lang received the chequered flag, thus winning the race at the fantastic speed of 162 m.p.h., the fastest speed ever recorded, and in fact remained unchallenged until 1958, when Rathmann set up the amazing speed of 166.72 m.p.h. in the Monza 500 mile race. Perhaps the amazing fact is not the speed, but that it took twenty odd years to do it.

The Avus event is perhaps not a significant one in the history of motor racing, but perhaps in 1937 it was a great morale booster to Mercedes, who had just won the Tripoli event as well, thus starting the season with a bang. The V 12 engine came into its own in 3 litre form and the streamlined shape was retained only for record events. It might be interesting to note the great similarity in elevation shape of the Mercedes and Goldie Gardner record breaking MG that appeared on the scene just about the same time as the Mercedes. From the similarities, it would appear that both design teams saw the great advantage of an airfoil shape for ultimate speed events.