By Ed McDonough | Photos as credited
The concept of streamlining and streamliners has been around for countless decades, though it is difficult to find two people who agree on just what streamlining means. It has been used in reference to everything from small weapon-like implements to giant locomotives, aircraft and ships. The essential ingredient, however, has always been the quest to make something capable of high speed.
In motor sport, we perhaps learned more about streamlining, and its limits, when knowledge increased about aerodynamics in general. Modern motor racing has invested billions in aerodynamics which has turned out to be a far more sophisticated field of study than streamlining. The issues have become far more complex than just going fast and top speed. In many ways, streamlining has become irrelevant in understanding aerodynamics…we would hardly call many contemporary racing machines ‘streamlined’.
Streamlining, as a developing semi-science, was about reducing air resistance. From the 1930s to the 1950s there was an obsession in the railway world about reducing resistance, culminating in the ‘bullet trains’. That obsession spread to aircraft and automobiles, partly because it had economic and performance benefits, and partly because it became fashionable. Competition swimmers were, and are, equally obsessed with being streamlined to reduce friction against water so they can increase speed. Swimsuits, swim hats, and body shapes have all changed in the pursuit of the more streamlined swimmer. Buses, cars, bicycles, forms of water transport and even diners followed suit. In the burgeoning world of high speed automobile adventures, streamlining became an end in itself.
In the car world, production vehicles of many types were streamlined…everything from the 1910 A.L.F.A. 40/60HP, the Tatra T77, the VW Beetle, the Saab 92, the Chrysler Airflow to the recent Honda Insight hybrid car have had a go at using streamlining. The Romanian Persu of 1922 had a remarkably low drag coefficient of 0.22. Record breakers pioneered attempts at producing huge strides with machines such as the Bluebird, Blue Flame, Goldenrod, JCB Dieselmax and the Thrust SSC. In both sports car and grand prix racing, many companies and special builders focussed specifically on streamlining to gain advantage.
Before WWII, Mercedes-Benz, Auto-Union and Maserati with its 4CL built effective streamlined versions of their race cars. Post-war, Vanwall, Brabham, Cooper and Protos all had special versions for circuits where high speed was essential. Of all of these, however, Mercedes was the manufacturer which took streamlining most seriously and worked at it from the 1930s through the 1950s, and indeed to the present day in production cars. Of all the memorable products of that long effort, one stands out. That is the 1954 W196 Grand Prix car which became the W196 Streamliner…Projekt W196R. Though this car symbolises for many what a real streamliner should look like, it was nevertheless not a major competition success. Through the mists of time, though, that doesn’t seem to matter a lot. People loved and remember that fabulous shape when it first was unveiled in 1954 and soared to an amazing win in its first race at Reims in France.
Mercedes – The Early Days of Streamlining
By the time that Adolf Hitler was supporting two German manufacturers in motor racing in 1933, Auto Union and Daimler-Benz, the latter company had already been in motor sport for a quarter of a century. But 1934 signalled a change in the racing world and a new formula came into existence. The Mercedes-Benz SSK and SSKL series had been racing well in the Formula Libre 1920s, and there was even a streamlined version with von Brauchitsch’s SSKL designed by Fachsenfeld. But the W06 series were large and heavy with seven-litre engines that were technologically outdated. The new formula called for a maximum weight of 750 kilograms and the company designed a car to that weight restriction with an engine half the size of its predecessor…the new W25. There would be a premium on shaping a car that could perform well on some of the faster circuits with this restrictive formula. But the Benz heritage had already included clever thinking on the early aerodynamics of the Blitzen Benz and the 1923 Tropfenwagen.
Thus the W25 appeared for the race at Avus in 1934 with a body design aimed at succeeding at the very high speed Berlin venue, though at this stage the streamlining was fairly conservative. Various problems in practice led the team to withdraw from it s first race, but it won only a few weeks later at the Nurburgring. It was at this race that the white paint was scraped from the W25 to save some weight, lending strength to the story that this was the birth of the Silver Arrow. However, it seems that Manfred von Brauchitsch ran a car a few years earlier which he dubbed the ‘Silber Pfeil’. Nevertheless the title stuck after the race at the Ring.
During this period Mercedes-Benz put considerable effort into building cars for national and international record attempts, and used the eight-cylinder, four valves per cylinder W25 as the basis for these attempts. Record breaking, using public autobahn and autostrada was a widely recognised sporting activity in the pre-war years, and a great deal of publicity for manufacturers resulted from the attempts. The knowledge and development ideas from racing and record breaking filtered across the various efforts so progress in one area was deployed into another.
The cars received a vast amount of attention because it was in fact only in Germany that there was a real public interest in streamlining and the whole concept of reducing drag. As Setright says, this idea fired the public and governmental imaginations, partly because Germany had fabulous new autobahnen where it was possible to drive at very high speeds, and this was a great temptation as fuel was becoming a valuable commodity, and the ability to drive fast without wasting fuel was considered an achievement.
The 1934 record cars used the 3360 cc supercharged engine which was producing 430 bhp and achieving 318 kilometers per hour, some 200 mph. By 1936 a four stroke twin supercharged engine with twelve cylinders appeared. This had a capacity of 5577 cc and now produced 616 bhp, reaching a top speed of 372 kph, or over 230 mph. This was still the basic W25 but with a very different engine. Rudolf Caracciola made numerous record runs during 1936 with this car and information was fed back into the development of the 1937 grand prix car.
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In 1937, there were more stunning battles between Mercedes and Auto-Union. Four of the W125 12-cylinder cars went to Tripoli for Lang, Seaman, Caracciola and von Brauchitsch and Auto-Union countered with five rear engine cars, all C-Types for Stuck, Hasse, Fagioli, Rosemeyer and von Delius. Lang’s W125 led home four Auto-Unions followed by three more silver cars, and only von Brauchitsch managed to retire a German machine. The Alfa Romeos and Maseratis trailed in their wake.
Three weeks later came the Avusrennen on Berlin’s famed banked track, and in practice cars were running 170 mph laps! As this race was not run to the 750 Kilogram formula, a number of special cars were entered, two streamlined Auto-Unions for Rosemeyer and Fagioli, and three W125s with fully enclosed bodywork for Caracciola, Lang and von Brauchitsch, the latter also having a new development 12-cylinder engine. The Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeo team decided it was not worth going, so only two Maseratis would try to keep the Germans in sight. Caracciola and Rosemeyer finished the first heat a fraction of a second apart, with von Brauchitsch’s Mercedes leading Hasse in the second heat. Von Brauchitsch averaged 160 mph in the streamlined W125, and spectators couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
In the final, both Caracciola and von Brauchitsch had rear axle failure in the first few laps and it was left to Hermann Lang to take the victory in his streamlined Mercedes, raising the average speed to 162 mph and setting fastest lap at 168 mph.
The rivalry between the two German teams continued to increase, and even as war in Europe drew inexorably closer, greater efforts were made by each manufacturer to beat the other. Mussolini’s attempts in Italy to try and support an Italian challenge was interesting and brave, but could not cope with the might of the German effort. 1938 saw even more astounding record breaking attempts by streamlined cars which began to look more and more ‘other worldly’. The 1938 W125 record car was now putting out a massive 736 bhp and had raised speeds to 433 kph, or 270 mph.
The following year saw Mercedes take the pursuit of speed two steps further. Always based on the principle of an immensely powerful engine in as light a chassis as possible, there were on-going attempts to reduce drag and improve air penetration. The 1939 W154 was another V12 with twin superchargers, but this time it was a 3-litre machine. Its 468 bhp saw Caracciola achieve 400 kph.
In the same year, with war edging closer still, a further development from Mercedes was the T80, featuring a supercharged 4-stroke V-12 with direct injection and charged air cooling. This bizarre machine would produce 3500 bhp from its 44,500 cc and had a proposed top speed of 650 kph. It was going to be the fastest car ever seen. It never ran as the war saw the entire world change, and many people thought they would never see Mercedes Benz again.
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The Post-War Years and Mercedes Resurgence
While motor racing resumed fairly quickly after WWII, technical innovation was a bit slow. In grand prix racing, Alfa Romeo picked up where they had left off in the voiturette class and was dominant through the late 1940s.
But the 1950s saw a real resurgence of interest in what was now being referred to as aerodynamics rather than just streamlining. There were experiments in this decade which just couldn’t have happened later as particularly safety regulations tightened up. As in the pre-war period, designers recognised that open wheel configuration was always going to account for considerable drag. All-enveloping bodies were tried as before, with some very novel designs appearing.
The significant aerodynamic developments in this decade probably had their roots in the immediate pre-war thinking of people like Neubauer and Uhlenhaut at Mercedes. They had started wind tunnel testing in the late 1930s, and when the company reappeared in racing in 1952, they frightened the life out of the opposition. Mercedes had not been ‘big’ in sports car racing, so when the 300SL appeared at the Mille Miglia and Le Mans in 1952, the motor racing and automotive world was staggered. The 300SL bore the looks of some of the pre-war streamlining efforts, but this car had been very well thought out, using a very lightweight but strong and stiff chassis. With the engine at 50 degrees the front was low and flat. The shape and contour was very efficient and had a notably low drag coefficient of 0.25. The lines were very smooth….streamlined, yes as there was little drag, but aerodynamic as well which gave good road holding. A win at Le Mans and 2nd at the Mille Miglia made it clear that Mercedes was back.
It was an even bigger shock when the company announced that it was coming back to grand prix racing as well. The intention was to build a chassis capable of taking a ‘conventional’ open wheel style body and a streamlined, fully enclosed body. As development progressed there would be a ‘short’ wheelbase and a ‘long’ wheelbase car, and as it turned out the streamlined body always worked best on the longer wheelbase format. It also appears that there was at least one chassis which was a ‘medium’ wheelbase, somewhere between the other two.
The W196R made its maiden appearance at the French Grand Prix at Reims on July 4, 1954. To say that the audience was stunned would be putting it mildly. It was known that Mercedes was going to appear but very few were ready to see a grand prix car the likes of which had not been witnessed before. The Daimler design team had gone to enormous lengths to get the car right, and it was a superb package with a tilted straight-8 on fuel injection with a desmodromic valve system. Immensely detailed calculations had been made to assess which body type would be quicker at each circuit.
Three cars appeared at Reims for Fangio, Karl Kling and Hans Herrmann, the first two leading the grid. They simply went away from the field causing most of the Ferrari and Maserati engines to blow up in a vain attempt to keep up. Herrmann’s engine also expired but it had been an amazing return to racing.
The potential weakness in the streamlined car appeared immediately at Silverstone, where Fangio drove his Reims car and Kling was in chassis five with a streamline body, as the new open wheel body was not complete. As Silverstone was a former airfield circuit with the corners marked by large oil drums, the driver’s ability to judge the corner precisely was reduced…and a number of dents appeared on the silver cars. Though Fangio was on pole, it was the Ferraris of Gonzales and Hawthorn which won with Fangio fourth and Kling seventh.
At the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, three of the streamlined cars had been re-bodied with the open wheel body for Fangio, Kling and Lang, while Herrmann did his best to cope with a fully enclosed body at the Ring. Fangio won.
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The streamliners reappeared at Monza for Fangio and Kling, with Herrmann in a conventional car. Fangio again disappeared into the distance to win, with Herrmann fourth, while Kling crashed when an oil pipe broke and squirted oil in his face as he entered the Lesmo curve. In September there was the Grosser Preis von Berlin, a non-championship round, at the daunting banked Avus circuit. Three streamliners appeared and Fangio, Herrmann and Kling led a fairly small grid. They were much faster than anyone else, though a heroic Jean Behra latched onto the pack, passed Fangio and even held second place for one lap before the poor Gordini gave up. Kling won his only F1 race.
Stirling Moss joined Fangio, Kling and Herrmann for 1955 and they swept virtually all before them. The streamlined cars only ran at Monza, where Taruffi joined Fangio, Moss and Kling. Mercedes had by this time announced that they were leaving racing. Fangio led Taruffi home, with Castellotti 3rd in a Ferrari and Behra 4th in a streamlined Maserati 250F. This was the last race for the grand prix cars.
Of course, the lessons that had been learned in the development of the W196R had been successfully applied elsewhere, mainly in the further development of the 300SL but especially in the 300SLR. This car was very much based on the grand prix car and Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson had their historic Mille Miglia victory in a 300SLR. The cars were also dominating the Le Mans 24 Hour before Levegh’s terrible crash forced the cars’ withdrawal, and contributed to the Mercedes-Benz decision to retire from racing and concentrate on production cars. They would, however, return.
In later years, as aerodynamic knowledge and experience increased, streamlining remained an element in the production of a rapid overall package. The C111 project was an example of Mercedes continuing with their record braking tradition, as were experiments with production cars such as the 190E. However, it would be the streamlined W196R that would remain in the memory of most motorsport fans, especially those who saw those great cars at work.
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A Streamliner for Today – One Man’s Dream
There have been many attempts over the years to recreate the automotive glory days of the past. Some of these have been very successful, and some have been complete failures. The ‘anti-replica’ battle raged for many years, and it has recently begun to subside, as many of the great cars for road or racing have either disappeared or gone into hiding, some being far too valuable to risk on the race circuit.
Motor racing regulations, especially in regard to historic cars, have changed in the last several years. It is now completely acceptable for cars with no race history or which were built yesterday to reasonably original specifications to receive ‘historic papers’. Some people do this purely to increase the value of their property, others do it because it’s the only way to go historic racing in something that had its roots in the past….and some do it for other reasons. The future is likely to see races with re-creations like the Streamliner that can be used competitively at reasonable expenditure.
Not long ago, I ran across a UK and US-based German art dealer by the name of Hermann Sommersell who had brought his remarkable Streamliner recreation to one of the many UK shows. I am one of those people for whom the W196 has always stood out as a very special machine, and meeting him was the start of an interesting journey. Hermann explains how it came about:
“The “lares et penates” of travel in my paternal grandparent’s household were motor cars made by Mercedes-Benz. Amongst some of the general life instructions given to the boy were: ‘Ladies First’ closely followed by ‘only ever buy the best’. And as far as cars were concerned, Daimler-Benz made the best cars.
There are happy childhood memories of journeys in Mercedes cars standing in front of the passenger seat, holding on to the grab handle and looking out over an endless bonnet with a large star in a perfect circle on top of the radiator.
When a Mercedes was disposed of by my Grandfather, uncle ‘Kitty’ was dealing with the cleaning of the car and getting it ready for the new owner. Invariably, the final act was an almost ritual blow with the flat of his hand to break off the rigidly attached star on top of the radiator cap. This star then joined a number of similarly damaged others that were suspended from a row of nails in the room formed by the empty space underneath the main staircase.
Inevitably my first car had to be a Mercedes and it was a battleship-grey model 170 S-D. These early Diesel cars were incapable of exceeding 100 kph, and it took an eternity for the schoolboy in a hurry to reach the mediocre top speed. Since it was such hard work to regain lost speed, the brake pedal was used only very sparingly, teaching me all manner of unorthodox methods to avoid losing momentum.
From these mundane beginnings over the many intervening years there have always been a number of Mercedes motor cars in my collection. These ranged from a W123 model 300 TD estate workhorse to the “Grand Mercedes” 600 and covered virtually almost all other models in between.
For many years my Mercedes cars have been looked after by the David Bothen workshop in Bottrop, Germany. Some years ago he found himself with a single owner, low mileage W124 model 300E-24 that proved to be impossible to sell. Because this car was in such a perfect condition, I eventually agreed to buy it. The unusual dog-leg five-speed Getrag gearbox made it initially rather difficult to use, but after some practise this relatively innocuous, ordinary looking Mercedes model turned out to be the most enjoyable and probably the best of the breed that I ever had the pleasure of owning.
The fun ended in a staged accident forced on me by professional criminals, cruising around London without stop lights to find another victim. Although my responses were quick, one front wing was slightly crumpled in the minor collision. I drove the damaged car home but the insurance company decided to write it off. Because it was such a superb car, I bought it back from the insurance company and stored it for a while.
In my profession as an art dealer I am very interested in the three-dimensionality that is expressed in sculptures. And one of the most voluptuous and elusive sculptured shapes ever created is the Mercedes W196 Streamliner Formula One car of 1954/1955.
Numerous discussions with panel beaters and chassis builders eventually came to fruition. A fully surfaced computer model of the Streamliner was created with help of the “Catia V5” computer design program, which is in standard use in the automotive industry.
During their active race use, the Mercedes Rennabteilung incorporated any number of changes dictated by the needs of a particular race. This means that there is no such object as an “original” or archetypal Streamliner. Starting with the long-wheelbase measurement of about 2,400 mm, I chose the most appealing elements amongst the many body variants that were built in a highly idiosyncratic fashion. What eventually emerged is my personal interpretation of the Streamliner shape. This design incorporates all the elements that define this racing car, but my Streamliner is no copy or replica but an interpretation of a theme that exists as a stand-alone design.
Once the project got under way, many friends were willing to invest their time and energy in helping me to make a car that is not only exceptionally good fun to drive but also aesthetically pleasing. Because it looks right without being a copy, Mercedes-Benz World at Brooklands decided to exhibit the Streamliner for the Mercedes-Benz 125-year anniversary display in 2011. When it is not used for my purposes, it continues to be exhibited at the Brooklands facility in a prime position right next to the main entrance because it is a major crowd attraction.”
So what is the W196 Streamliner? What started out as a dream and aspiration of a lifelong enthusiast for the model turned into a personal challenge, and subsequently into the seed of a potentially significant business venture.
Sommersell commissioned the building of, in simple terms, a triangulated chassis largely based on the original design from specialist chassis builder Ian Mockett of Northampton. The design brief was to house the 3-litre straight six engine, gearbox, final drive and rear suspension from a standard Mercedes-Benz W124. The professionally built result is a chassis that not only looks mechanically like the ‘real thing’ but actually feels and drives very much like the great machine from 1954 with a perfect weight distribution of 50:50.
The powder-coated tubular space-frame chassis has a single central seat, and was based on factory specifications with a 2400 mm wheelbase. It has a typical racing car type double wishbone independent front suspension with rack and pinion steering. The rear suspension is a modified factory multi-link unit and the final drive ratio is one of the many things a prospective owner can decide for himself. There is a fifty-litre aluminium fuel tank, but a fuel cell can be fitted. For now, 15” chrome wire wheels with stainless steel spokes are fitted. These are currently being updated to a 16-inch specification with the original lacing pattern.
The modified Mercedes-Benz inline six cylinder 24-valve DOHC engine with KE-Jetronic fuel injection fits it neatly into the engine compartment and is redlined at 7,000 RPM. The W124/R129 engine (type M104.980.RS) is in many respects similar in layout and overall appearance to the original straight-eight, 2.5 desmodromic valve engine of 1954…so it looks right. It has cylinder specific ignition timing, variable valve timing and under-piston cooling jets. The Streamliner also has a clever dual purpose road and race exhaust system with a cockpit lever to open or close the system. The Streamliner emits a raucously glorious bellow and bark when it is run on the side exhaust pipes only.
The body was built at Streamline Panels and Assemblies Ltd. at Brackmills in Northampton. The connection between the names is an interesting coincidence, because Streamline Panels is a division of Richard Westley’s Fablink Ltd. based in Brixworth, and Westley himself is a very enthusiastic supporter of the project.
The hand-beaten aluminium body is approximately 1/10th larger than the original 1954 car, and the design is a re-interpretation of the best lines of the famous Fangio-driven car. In period, the competition department were interested in the dynamics of streamlining but knew little about down-force. Hence, they created perhaps a dozen different streamline bodies in the attempt to get it right. Some were downright ugly. What emerges here from the co-operation between Sommersell and the panel beater Frank Nicholls is a fine blending of good looks and function.
Alongside many design details, the cockpit has its own set of beautiful instruments carefully designed by Phil Lemon which give a superb period feel. There is a chronometric rev counter with tell-tale, oil pressure and water temperature gauges and a low fuel warning light. The steering wheel is a large original period Mercedes-Benz three-spoke cast aluminium piece of sculpture, and the driver climbs into a check-cloth upholstered seat…just like the original.
So what is this car like to drive? As I evolved from ‘an interested journalist’ to a ‘hanger-on’ to now the team test and development driver, it’s been a fascinating trip. First, the car always has a big impact on people seeing it especially for the first time. At the 2011 Classic Motor Show at the NEC, it sat on the M-B Owners Club stand, and had a non-stop line of onlookers, many asking if it was, indeed, the Fangio car.
Sir Stirling Moss, who drove the original Streamliner in the 1955 Italian Grand Prix held in Monza, has inspected the prototype and will drive the Streamliner when a suitable occasion presents itself.
I have now had a chance to drive it at Brooklands…and on the banking…and the Mercedes-Benz World track, but most of our serious testing has been at the Bruntingthorpe Proving Grounds in Leicestershire. This is a large and fast test facility, and also home of Jetstream Motorsport where Matt Walton with Dave Beasley and his team assist in looking after the car and helping with improvements. But in many ways, Bruntingthorpe is a trip into the past, with a large assortment of vintage and modern aircraft scattered about the site.
The runways are long, and there is a great collection of corners for serious testing.
One of the test sessions was evocatively filmed by the motorsports and rock band photographer and film maker Laurence Baker, who, like me, turned his professional interest into an almost full-time support role for the Streamliner project.
The Streamliner is now producing about 260 bhp so, with a fairly light all-in weight of about 950 kgs, it is pretty quick. I haven’t quite managed the original’s top speed of about 168, but we’re getting there. The five-speed Getrag box is flexible and does a good job handling the impressive torque. What has been amazing, however, is that this is a car that not only looks like it did nearly 60 years ago, but it genuinely feels like a sophisticated period performance machine. It’s capable of four-wheel drifts through medium and fast bends, has sufficient roll to give plenty of feel and can be driven very hard. Yet, it is docile when pottering around, and quite easy to manage at low speeds.
The question arises: is this a road car or a race car? My answer is YES. But that is a bit facetious. The car is now road registered and has an MOT certificate which allows it to be driven in daytime on the road., but an additional lighting system in the development phase. Taking the car up the Jetstream workshop, we have adjusted the shock absorbers, played with the timing, changed tyre pressures and made it go quicker each time. The competition potential is clearly there, and it will be making its competition debut in my slightly shaky hands at the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power in June. There have also been serious enquiries about supplying several cars for a race series in the Mid-East…now that is interesting. And currently sitting at Brackmills is a two-seater Uhlenhaut-Gullwing 300 SLR version progressing towards completion. Even further in the future is a very pretty two-seat version of the Streamliner designed by Phil Lemon that has universal appeal. More on that in time.
Now, it’s back to the future!
For additional information, visit www.streamlinermotors.com or email email@example.com.
[Source: Ed McDonough]
Great article and love the Streamliner Replica. I’m amazed you got it through the UK IVA test – it took me 11 months to get my Maserati A6GCS Replica through, with many changes needed.
Ed Great article and history lesson. Although it was not an Alfa, it is the next best thing. Saw the 300SLR # 722 at Pebble Beach last year plus the Blitzen, really beautiful cars. Thanks for the story behind the cars, what a great read!! Al
Truly Awesome, what a magnificent age to be racing these remarkable cars….Have seen a few at Goodwood.
Excellent article and lovely pictures…
Thanks guys for the comments. It has been a pleasure to be involved in such an interesting project. We made our ‘competition debut’ at the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power just two weeks ago where the car was very well received, and where it put on a good show in the postwar Grand Prix class. It will be on show at the Silverstone Classic and will run again at Shelsley Walsh at the end of July as well as at the new Pentillie Fesitval in August.
Ed – what a fantastic article and I really enjoyed your effort to re-create the spirit of the Silver Arrows. And yes the Uhlenhaut Coupe is just about the best shape ever put into sheet metal.
Somewhere there is a picture of a W196 chassis, complete, with the skin off – this picture gives you a sense of the masterful engineering underneath the “Elektron” bodywork.
anyway well done!
Great piece and lovely pictures – cannot wait to see you both in the flesh at the Silverstone Classic.
Thank you again for a wonderful piece,
I saw this car yesterday at the Pentillie Festval of Speed. What a lovely car, I must confess I was unaware of this recreation, though knew of the originals. Great achievement, MB’s own acceptance of this at their Brooklands facility justifies its creation. The Embericos Bentley tribute, was also at Pentillie, another stunning piece of craftsmanship.
Great you got to see the car at Pentillie. It was a real challenge on that very tight and twisty hill…not what the Streamliner was intended for. I am very flattered to have received the Retro-Speed ‘Man and machines’ Trophy for driving at the event. Ed
Wow,Sterling Moss and Dennis Jenkinson in that Mercedes,too cool.
My late father Dieter Schmitt ended his career with the factory race team in 1955 at the LeMans race crash. He helped build race engines for the W196R. Great article. Nice to revisit those exciting times for race technology.