1936 Auto Union Typ C Pilot: Bernd Rosemeyer Team: Auto Union Race: 1st place in the German GP of 1936 Minichamps - 400360004 (diecast)
In the Europe of 1936, world politics began to interfere with everyday life. The political climate was very unstable, and dark times loomed in the horizon. In motorsports, Grand Prix racing became a corporate affair, with no place for privateer teams. One of the reasons for that was Germany’s Nazi party, which wanted to promote itself through motorsports. That being so, both Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz benefited, with the former dominating the 1935 season. Auto Union’s previous Typ B car was no match for Mercedes’ W25, so a replacement was in order for 1936. And that came in the form of the new Typ C, introduced in the Monaco GP in April. The car started well, finishing in second and third places.
The new Typ C was the evolution of the Typ B, but with almost the same structure. The engine was a supercharged V16 with 6005 cm³ and 32 valves. Even with the improvements, the car’s 520 hp were still very hard to tame. Still, the Zwickau manufacturer was on the right track, with a good result on the car’s debut. However, it wasn’t only in the engineering department that Auto Union made improvements. In late 1934 they hired 25-year old Bernd Rosemeyer. And just like the new Typ C, the young pilot proved to be an asset, dueling for the lead right on his second race. Unfortunately though, he got very sick at the end of the season and was hospitalized for six weeks. Nonetheless, despite doing an incomplete season he finished the AIACR European Championship in seventh place.
For 1936 Rosemeyer was back in form, and began to dominate the European circuits. So for the 1936 Großer Preis von Deutschland (1’04” film) to be raced at Nürburgring in July, he was the favorite. Mercedes showed up with five W25C, while Auto Union came with five Typ C. And things were hot from the beginning, with Rudolf Caraciolla lapping the circuit 29 seconds (!) faster than the track record. A total of 20 cars started the race, and Rosemeyer took the lead on the second lap. In fact, his Typ C #4 was going so fast that he broke the track record on that lap. From then on, to the delight of the 350,000 spectators, the Typ C #4 was up front all the way to the final 22nd lap.
A month before that German GP Rosemeyer won the Eifelrennen, also raced at Nürburgring. That race, under abysmal weather and fog, earned him the nickname Nebelmeister – “master of the mists”. The July win may not have been as spectacular as the Eifelrennen race, nonetheless it proved that Bernd Rosemeyer was a fearlessly good pilot. Without a doubt he’s one of the greatest pilots ever, and a personal racing hero of mine. I count myself lucky to get my hands on Minichamps’ model of his Typ C #4, which is just as good as my Typ C #14. Basically it’s the same model but with different numbers. However, since this is one of the Nebelmeister’s cars, it becomes very dear one to me.