Auto Union’s Silberpfeile

After I found that old Grand Prix racing video I posted a few days ago, I stumbled upon this. This one is exclusively about Auto Union’s Silver Arrows. Almost 42 minutes long, the footage is pretty good. Yet, being quite old, it is far from the “movies quality” we’re currently used to. And of course, the race noises and tires screeching dubbed over the scenes are not exactly high quality…🙄 Even so, pretty nice for the Silberpfeil fan.

Golden Age of Grand Prix Racing

Though this has been on YouTube for many years, I first saw it last night. The original documentary is pretty old (80s, perhaps?), so the video quality is far from what we expect today. Even so, it’s a delightful 49 minutes about the Golden Era of Grand Prix racing. The last third part of the film is almost solely about the Silberpfeile, which of course was the best part in my opinion. In fact, this was the first time I saw color footage on the Silver Arrows. All in all, a very nice documentary about the Silberpfeile and something on their predecessors.

Books – Against Death and Time

“Against Death and Time: One Fatal Season in Racing’s Glory Years” – Brock Yates

Originally published in 2004, I got this book around 2006 or 2007. It was a gift from my friend Jeff, a fellow moderator at DiecastXchange, at the time the biggest 1:18 diecast forum on the web. Back then I was an avid 1:18 collector, trying to build a focused collection 🙄. I wanted to stick to Le Mans and Silberpfeile, and just a few road cars, yet in 1:18 those themes were scarce. And books like this didn’t help either. Brock Yates tells a great story about the 1955 Indy 500, and Bill Vukovich’s tragic accident. He also talks about the 1955 Le Mans tragedy and the aftermath. For both cases, it was VERY interesting to see how much a pilot’s safety (and life) was important. Or better said, how little that mattered. He also writes about the death of James Dean, in the last part of the book. However, being honest, that part was subpar compared to the rest. Being blunt, he could have stopped at Le Mans.

Even so, all in all a good book. To the point that I branched my 1:18 collection into vintage Indy racecars 😣. Despite the James Dean part, it’s a very good book. However, I looked it up at Amazon and it’s out of print. If you get a chance to get one, even if you’re not into Indy, it’s a good way to understand a little how racing was done in the 50s. Oh, Brock Yates also wrote “Enzo Ferrari: The Man and The Machine”.

Gold. Pure gold…

The video above is about John Wyer’s Gulf Porsche 917 team. With interviews with Pedro Rodriguez, Jo “Seppi” Siffert and John Wyer himself, it focuses on the JWA team in 1970. The video, 33 minutes long, covers all the 1970 championship races, from Daytona to Zeltweg. The most interesting part is John Wyer’s take on the team’s performance on each race. In the end, a delightful half hour that will please any vintage gearhead.

Whatchamacallit? Käfer, Fusca, Beetle or Vocho? And is it Bus, Kombi or Pão-de-forma?

At first Volkswagen just called their two most popular models the Sedan and the Transporter. However, with the years that changed, especially when these models began to be exported and manufactured in other countries. And both of them received many different local nicknames. Interestingly, with time, and in some markets, VW adopted that nickname as the models’ official name. To the best of my knowledge, I don’t know of no other car with so many names. And I’m talking about official names, of course.

When I began to look into this, I was honestly surprised to see all the variations. Over here I listed a few of them, with a brief history of how it all started.

Porsche Design

When you speak of Ferdinand Porsche, two things come to mind. First, and undoubtedly, is the 911. It came from the 356 and the relationship is there to see. And if you’re a petrolhead, the second thing that comes to mind is obviously the Beetle. Who actually first designed the Käfer is debatable, yet Porsche’s importance to the genesis of the car is unquestionable.

So why is there a tank in the picture above? That tank was officially called Panzerjäger Tiger (P) 8.8 cm PaK 43/2 L/71. It was an assault gun/self-propelled anti-tank gun (a “tank destroyer”) that came out in 1943. Yet, it was more popularly known by it’s nickname, the Ferdinand (later on called the Elefant). It was called that because it was designed by Ferdinand Porsche. Oh yes, at the time, Porsche had ties with the Nazi government. I for one like to know history, good or bad, so I thought it would be interesting to share this little detail.

Daytona 1970: the 917’s finest hour?

As most have surmised by now, I’m a Le Mans nut (duh). Yes, the 24 Heures du Mans is THE greatest car race of this mud ball we call Earth. No questions asked. PERIOD. However, some times, very rarely in fact, some races come very close to that title. And one such race was the 1970 24 Hours of Daytona. John Ficarra of VINwiki tells the story of how the Porsche 917 came to fame at Daytona in 1970. The video is about 16 minutes of pure joy. Watch. Now.

PS: I absolutely need to get that 917 #2 winner 🧐.

T80: another video

Last week, Scarf And Goggles published a very nice video on the Mercedes’ Blackbird. It has a different perspective than B Sport’s video (I showed it on April 3rd), and with different footage. So if you have an interest in LSR cars and/or the Silver Arrows, be sure to watch this one too.

By the way, Scarf And Goggles has some VERY interesting on vintage LSR cars.

T80: Mercedes’ LSR monster

A couple of days ago, totally by accident, I stumbled upon this video. Well, it was in my YouTube suggested videos, however under the “Classic cars” label. Since it wasn’t on the front page, I almost missed it. Fortunately, that night I clicked on the “Classic cars” tab and to my surprise I saw a new video on the T80. Since the car never actually raced (when WWII started Mercedes had to halt the project) there’s not much information about it. Info is scarce and footage is even rarer. Even so, B Sport managed to unearth a lot of details and even some images that I’ve never had seen before. With that, if you have an interest in vintage LSR cars or motorsports engineering, this is a very interesting video.