AVUS must surely be one of the maddest, baddest, and most feared of all race tracks, and that's without even considering the political nature of the races held there in the immediate pre-war period. The physical nature of the track, combined with some fearful machinery, meant that Mercedes driver Hermann Lang's average race speed of about 276 km/h (171 mph) made the 1937 GP at the AVUS the fastest road race in history for nearly five decades.
The Automobil-Verkehrs-und Übungsstraße ('Automobile traffic and training road'), used a section of public autobahn to provide two parallel straights of around six miles in length, joined at the southern end by a simple hairpin. Towards the end of the lap, however, the Nordkurve provided an altogether more fearsome turnaround. Here the drivers were faced with a huge, sweeping corner, banked at a massive 43°. Approached at high speed, this brick built, 180° 'wall of death' had absolutely no perimeter barriers at all.
In 1959, the shortened track hosted it's first and last world championship Formula One race. Jean Behra was killed in a supporting sports car race after he lost control on the banking and flew over the edge.