Tag Archives: Daimler

Check Tug Glance Dab – Mercedes 18/100 Spare

The 1914 Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France, was to be run over 20 laps of a 23 mile road course around Lyon.

In preparation for the race Mercedes sent their engineer Louis Vischer with two of their 1914 18/100 Grand Prix challengers to check the suitability of the cars to the conditions.

Mercedes 18/100, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Today’s featured 18/100 is one of those cars built with a 4 1/2 litre / 274 cui 4 four cylinder engine with a conservative single cam shaft operating four valves per cylinder designed by Paul Daimler and Fritz Nalliger.

This engine could turn at a maximum 3,000 revolutions per minute, RPM, double that achieved by any previous Mercedes.

Mercedes 18/100, Goodwood Festival of Speed

As well as spurning twin cam shafts as successfully used by Peugeot to win the 1912 and 1913 Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France, Mercedes unlike Peugeot also relied on brakes operating only on the rear wheels to slow the 18/100 which weighed a minimum mandated 1,100 kgs / 2425 lbs.

Because of the length of the track the car carried two spare tyres and a jack in case of punctures while out on the circuit. Mercedes were the first team to ever employing a strategy of scheduling a mid race pit stop regardless of the conditions

Mercedes 18/100, Eddie Berrisford, Goodwood Festival of Speed

In 1914 Mercedes became the first team to ever employ a strategy of scheduling a mid race pit stop for all of it’s cars regardless of the condition of the tyres.

Note although this car was a team spare today it carries the #41 BIS as used on the fifth team car driven by Belgian Theodore Pilette who is reported as having started the 1914 Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France with an already broken four speed gearbox which lasted only the first hour of the seven hour race before failing completely.

Mercedes 18/100, Eddie Berrisford, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Today this car is part of the Collier Collection and is seen with the collections chief restorer Eddie Berrisford at the wheel at Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Highly esteemed motor sport historian Doug Nye noted in the July 2014 edition of MotorSport that when sitting alongside Eddie at an event held in Lyon to celebrate the centenary of Mercedes 1-2-3 victory in the 1914 ACF GP he had to check the fuel pressure was at least 1 kg/sq cm and if not tug at the fuel pump “like an exasperated Dutchman at a slot machine”, act as a living rear view mirror, as there of course there was none, by glancing over his shoulder, then give two dabs on a foot operated oil pump that lubricated the the cam shaft and top end of the engine and all while being dug in the ribs by Eddie’s left elbow and all while hanging on with his right arm clinging on to the seat ledge behind the driver.

After completing his pre race tests Louis Vischer recorded that ” … the prospect of victory is there, given a skilled handling of the car.”

Thanks for joining me on this Check, Tug, Glance, Dab, edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another Citroén. Don’t forget to come back now !


Aero Engined Rennwagen – Mercedes 20.1

Confusingly in 1913 there was a French Grand Prix run at Amiens where Mercedes were absent and a Grand Prix de France run at Le Mans where the Mercedes cars finished in 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th places.

Mercedes 20.1, VSCC, Loton Park,

To the best of my knowledge today’s featured car listed in event programmes as a Daimler Mercedes Rennwagen GP was not one of the 1913 Grand Prix de France team cars.

Mercedes 20.1, David Biggins, Chateau Impney

David Biggins’s car is shown in the same programmes to have been built in 1913 and I believe the 7,247 cc / 442 cui motor dates from 1914.

Mercedes 20.1, David Biggins, VSCC, Prescott

The six cylinder DF80 was originally designed for aircraft applications, but Paul Daimler had the idea of turning the engine back to front and installing it in the 28/95 model first seen in 1914.

Mercedes 20.1, David Biggins, VSCC, Loton Park,

After the 1914-18 hostilities Max Sailer won the 1921 Targa Florio with a 28/95 a model which remained in production until 1924.

Mercedes 20.1, VSCC, Loton Park,

If one enters the registration number LL4535 into this linked website one discovers that the car is officially registered a Mercedes 20.1.

Mercedes 20.1, David Biggins, VSCC, Loton Park,

Using the registration number and Mercedes 20.1 manufacturer name one discovers from the DVLA Vehicle Check site that the car or some part there of was first registered in the UK on 19th January 1921.

Mercedes 20.1, VSCC, Loton Park,

The detail shots of this car were taken at Loton Park while the most recent shot with David Biggins at the wheel was taken at Chateau Impney with the remainder taken at Prescott.

Thanks for joining me on this “Aero Engined Rennwagen” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a mid range Citroën. Don’t forget to come back now !


Prinz Heinrich – Austro Daimler 85hp

Nine years after Eduard Bierenz was appointed Daimler’s representative in Austria the Austrian Daimler Engine Society was founded to assemble cars with parts from Stuttgart on the site of Eduard Fischer’s engineering works located at Wiener-Neustadt, a course of action which made Daimler the world’s first automotive multinational.

Austro Daimler Prince Henry, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

From 1902 to 1905 Gottlieb Daimlers son Paul was in charge of the technical department which was devising new models including an 8hp compact vehicle and 30 hp armoured vehicle, after Paul was recalled to Germany to take over the position left by Wilhelm Maybach. Ferdinand Porsche became the technical director at Daimler’s Austrian subsiduary.

Austro Daimler Prince Henry, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

Under Porsche’s guidance the subsidiary was rebranded Austro Daimler in 1906 and by 1909 had become financially separated from it’s parents involvement.

Austro Daimler Prince Henry, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

In 1910 the Porsche designed Austro Daimler 22/86 hp gained the attention of the press when Ferdinand drove one to win the prestigious Prinz Heinrich Trails ahead of team mate Eduard Fischer and the example driven by Count Heinrich Schoenfeld that was privately entered by Austrian Fritz Hamburger.

Austro Daimler Prince Henry, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

The three Prinz Heinrich team cars were built on a chassis as used on Austro Daimlers 1909 Prinz Heinrich Trial attempt although built a little narrower than the standard 22/86 model, while the motor was an all new 5715cc / 4 cylinder design with shaft driven overhead cam for the inclined valves that sat in a hemi head.

Neumann and Neander were responsible for the slippery body which with the 86hp motor and fastest gearing could be powered up to 88 mph, the example seen here at Goodwood Festival of Speed is owned by Ferdinand Porsche’s ancestors the Piëch family.

Thanks for joining me on this “Prinz Heinrich” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a chain driven car from France. Don’t forget to come back now !


Minimum Weight Restricted Bore- 1908 Mercedes Grand Prix

The very first Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France run at Le Mans in 1906 was run to a maximum weight of 1000 kgs / 2204 lbs and maxiumum fuel consumption formula which encouraged manufacturers to put large engines into flimsy chassis, the winning car was a 90hp 13 litre / 793 cui Renault with shaft drive to the rear wheels driven by Ferencsz Sziz.

Mercedes Grand Prix, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

For the 1907 Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France run at Dieppe the maximum permissible weight restriction was abandoned but the 9.4 miles per gallon maximum fuel consumption was retained, this much shorter race run over a single day was won by 1906 second place finisher Felice Nazzaro aboard a chain driven 16.5 litre / 1006 cui FIAT ahead of the 1906 winner Ferencsz who was again driving a Renault.

Mercedes Grand Prix, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

In 1908 the Automobile Club de France ran it’s Grand Prix on the same course at Dieppe but for vehicles that weighed a minimum of 1100 kgs and a maximum cylinder bore of 155 milimeters / 6.1 inches for 4 cylinder motors or 127 mm / 5 inches for 6 cylinder motors, no one built a six cylinder car for the race.

Mercedes Grand Prix, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Mercedes turned to Paul Daimler to conceive it’s 1908 Grand Prix challenger in the absence of William Maybach who conceived the 1907 Daimler Grand Prix challenger before leaving Daimler to form his own company with his son Karl.

Mercedes Grand Prix, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Paul did not stray far from William Maybach’s idea’s, but did build a much lower car which improved the the handling.

Mercedes Grand Prix, Martin Viessmann, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

The car had a 2.7 meter / 106″ wheel base with a 1.4 meter / 55″ track, it was powered by a 12.8 litre / 780 cui motor that produced 135hp at just 1400 rpm, the rear wheels were driven through a 4 speed gearbox chain drive, despite a top speed in excess of 100 mph the foot and hand brakes operated only on the rear wheels.

Mercedes Grand Prix, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Three cars were built for the 1908 French Grand that were to be crewed by Willy Pöge, Otto Salzer, Christian Lautenschlager and their respective mechanics.

Mercedes Grand Prix, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Otto set fastest lap of the race at over 78 mph but retired on the third lap with a broken wheel, Willy came home 5th over 36 mins behind the winner Christian who on his last set of 100psi Michelin tyres came home over 8 mins ahead of a pair of 150hp Benz’s that finished 2nd and 3rd.

Mercedes Grand Prix, Martin Viessmann, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

All three cars were sold after the 1908 Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France, one of them was tuned to produce 180hp and recorded a speed of over 107mph over the flying kilometer during the Ostend Speed week with the bearded Belgian Camille “Le Diable Rouge” Jenatzy at the wheel.

President and CEO of the family German Heating System company bearing his name, and former sponsor of Niki Lauda’s hat, Martin Viessmann is seen at the wheel of one of the Mercedes Grand Prix cars that is the sister to the one driven to victory by Christian in the 1908 Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France.

Thanks for joining me on this “Minimum Weight Restricted Bore” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be looking at a Zeppelin powered Belgian car. Don’t forget to come back now !


Classic Competition Cars – Classic Motor Show NEC Birmingham

Today’s blog is all about some of the classic competition vehicles at last weekends Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

Rosemary Smith,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

A couple of weeks ago I went to a talk at which Rosemary Smith, winner of the 1965 Tulip Rally driving the Hillamn Imp above, was to be the guest of honour, unfortunatley she had a fall and so could not make it so it was great to see her on her feet again at the Classic Motor Show despite the fact that some of her bones were still on the mend.

MG B Roadster,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Rosemary drove a Ford Cortina Lotus on the 1968 London to Sydney Rally and finished 48th six places behind Jean Denton who drove the MGB GT Roadster seen above in need of some tlc, who finished 42nd.

Discovery Beetle,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Among the taller vehicles at the show was the road legal Gulf liveried Discovery Beetle, above, built on a shortened 1996 Land Rover Discovery chassis and fitted with a 300 TDi which being lighter and more aerodynamic than a standard Discovey goes well on the road and is perfect for off road trials.

Cooper Daimler T87,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Having acquired a 1966 Cooper T81 formula one car and fitted it with a 7.2 litre / 440 cui wedge engine for hill climbing Martin Brain acquired a 1967 Cooper T87 Formula 2 chassis and had it fitted with a 2.5 litre / 152 cui Daimler hemi V8, more commonly found in the SP250 and V8 250 Daimler models, for hill climbing on tracks with tighter corners. The car was rescued from a Swedish Museum in 2011 by Gillian Goldsmith better known as a successful equestrian and car racer Gillian Fortescue-Thomas who has since competed with the Cooper Daimler as has her daughter Samantha.

Gould NME GR61X,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Powered by a 650 hp Nicholson McLaren Engines (NME) 3.5 litre / 213 cui development of the Cosworth HB Indy car engine the Gould NME GR61X is the most successful car ever to compete in British Hill Climbing with Scott Moran claiming 133 wins and Roger Moran claiming a further 16 and Alex Summers 8 since the cars first appearance in April 2005.

Empire Wraith,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Successful Trike hill climber and Empire Racing Cars founder Bill Chaplin called Dutch born Formula One aerodynamicist Willem Toet, most recently at Sauber, to work on the Empire Wraith hill climb challenger which is powered by a 180hp Suzuki GSR K8 motor. This example built at the Empire factory in Stathe Somerset in 2013 is the first of three built to date and is driven by Clive Austin and Chris Aspinall.

Healey Westland,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

In 1948 Donald Healey and Geoffrey Healey drove the Healey Westland above to a ninth place finish on the Mille Miglia, the following year Tommy Wisdom and Geoffrey finished 10th in the same event in the same car.

Marcos Prototype,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

By 1959 former de Haviland aircraft engineer Frank Costin had a CV that included designing the Vanwall Grand Prix challenger that won the inaugural World Constructors Championship in 1958 and subsequent demand for his attention included that of Jem Marsh with whom he founded Marcos Engineering in Dolgellau, North Wales. The prototype Marcos, using the same plywood construction techniques de Haviland used to build the Mosquito fighter bomber the Vampire jet fighter, built in 1959 powered by a Ford 100E engine is seen above awaiting some well earned tlc having disappeared in Lincoln for many years.

Italia 2000GT,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Only 329 Italia 2000 GT’s were built by Vignale and in 1996 Jorg Von Appen had #210, one of five Italia’s he owned converted to race spec to take part in the TR Race series, it survived four races and was recently purchased by the proprietor of Patterson’s Original Pickles.

Porsche 904 Carrera GTS,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

After withdrawing from Formula One at the end of 1962 Porsche built their first tube framed fiberglass bodied sports car which would culminate in the development of the 917 and later 936 models, originally known as the 904 Porsche badged the car Carrera GTS in deference to Peugeot’s ‘digit “0” digit’ numbering system. The GTS seen here was I believe used in competition by Claude Barbier and possibly later by Cyr Febbrairo.

BMW GTP,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

No doubt much to the annoyance of Formula Ring Meister Bernie Ecclestone the manufacturer who supplied the engines for his Formula One Brabham team split it’s efforts in 1986 between Formula One and the IMSA GTP series and invested in four March 86G chassis and fitted them with a 2 litre / 122 cui version of the BMW engine that had powered Nelson Piquet to the World Championship in 1983. A BMW GTP was driven to it’s only victory by Davy Jones and John Andretti in the Watkins Glen 500, while the Brabham BMW team scored on 2 championship points in the worst season for the team up to that time.

Eagle HF89,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Dan Gurney’s All American Racers graduated to the IMSA GTP class in 1989, after claiming the driver’s and constructors’ championships in the GTO division Chris Cord in 1987, the teams all new HF89 was designed by Ron Hopkins and Hiro Fujimori and the following year Argentina’s Juan Manuel Fangio II drove HF89’s to three victories in the Topeka 300, Sears Point 300 with Rocky Moran and Del Mar Fairgrounds Road Circuit in November 1990.

Thanks for joining me on this “Classic Competition Cars” edition of Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Carrera Panamericana challenger. Don’t forget to come back now !


Kick Down Supercharged – Mercedes Benz 36/220

With the merger of Karl Benz’s and Gottlieb Daimler’s companies into the Daimler-Benz company, the first vehicles to appear with the Mercedes Benz brand name appeared in 1926.

02 Mercedes Benz 36 220_2069sc

One of the first new models sold as a Mercedes Benz was the 36/220 for which chief engineer Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Porsche directed the design, the model was first seen in the UK at the 1927 Olympia Motor Show where the 4 1/2 litre Bentley also made it’s first appearance.

03 Mercedes Benz 36 220_2066sc

Among the novel features the 36/220 was powered by a 6 cylinder 6.8 litre / 414 cui motor fitted with a kick down supercharger that only deployed only when the throttle pedal was fully depressed boosting the motors output from “sufficient” to “most effective” as described in one contemporary report.

04 Mercedes Benz 36 220_2073sc

Today’s featured example seen earlier this year at the Wheels Festival in Bournemouth was once the property of Renaissance man and proto petrol head Sir Peter Ustinov who’s novelty record “Grand Prix of Gibraltar” drew on his creative wit and ability at car engine sound-effects and voices.

05 Mercedes Benz 36 220_2074sc

This car first registered in the UK on the 31st of December 1927, has recently been restored to it’s original condition by the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.

06 Mercedes Benz 36 220_2067sc

Only 146 36/220’s were built they had a top speed of 110 mph, you can read an entertaining little story about a how a precocious 14 year by the name of Boddy was disappointed to be taken for a test drive in a chauffeur driven 36 220 that only recorded 99 mph on the Barnet By-Pass in 1927 here.

Thanks for joining me on this “Kick Down Supoercharged” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Heck Motor – Mercedes Benz 130 H Cabriolet

After designing the first Nesselsdorfer-Wagenbau, later Tata, Präesident in 1897, patenting the first rear swing axles in in 1903 while working for Adler and designing the first motor with a built in gearbox Austrian Edmund Rumpler founded the first German aircraft manufacturer Rumpler Flugzeugwerke GmbH with August Euler in 1908 which in 1909 gave birth to the Rumpler Luft Verkehr department.

Following the 1914-18 war Rumpler Luft Verkehr was reconfigured as an airline that in 1926 became part of Deutsche Luft Hansa AG.

Mercedes Benz 130 H Cabriolet, Dana Point Concours d'Elegance

Meanwhile Edmund turned his attention to the design and manufacture of automobiles again and well over a decade before the streamlined Tata T77 and Chrylser Airflow went into production in 1934 and designed the sensation of the 1921 Berlin Auto Show known as the Rumpler Tropfen, droplet, Wagen.

It is believed that around 100 of these 5 seat vehicles; with a 36 hp W6 motor mounted ahead of the rear axle, capable of 70 mph, who’s body design was inspired by aerodynamic principles of the day were built. Many served as taxi’s and were immortalised as such in Fritz Lang’s 1927 epic expressionist master peace Metropolis.

Mercedes Benz 130 H Cabriolet, Dana Point Concours d'Elegance

Chief Benz engineer Hans Nibel was so impressed with the chassis design of the Rumpler he convinced Benz to use a virtually unchanged Rumpler chassis to construct their own single seat Grand Prix racing car which was powered by an 80hp 2 litre 122 cui double overhead cam straight six in 1923.

The Benz Tropfenwagen was not a great success and was abandoned after the merger of Daimler with Benz in 1926, Auto Union under the direction of Dr Ferdinand Porsche would be the next team to progress the concept of the mid engined racing car.

Mercedes Benz 130 H Cabriolet, Dana Point Concours d'Elegance

In 1931 Hans Nibel set to work designing a small 4 seat two door car which again was inspired by the Rumpler, but this time he put the 25 hp 1.3 litre / 79 cui 4 cylinder side valve motor behind the rear axle in the heck, hither to boot / trunk with the 4 speed synchromesh transmission in front of both the engine and rear axle.

From 1934 to 1936 130 H (Heck) was sold as a two door hard top saloon/sedan, soft top as seen here or convertible with out the side windows, while the ride was considered good for the passengers the handling was only adequate for contemporary conditions and described as awkward for the driver.

Mercedes Benz 130 H Cabriolet, Dana Point Concours d'Elegance

Nibel had Daimler’s Max Wagner design a new chassis for the more powerful 55hp, but similarly laid out, 150 H 2 seat roadster which had the petrol tank moved from the back as in the 130 H to the front meaning the new model had virtually no storage space, this second model was only offered and sold in limited numbers in 1936.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing these photographs of the Mercedes Benz 130 H taken at Dana Point Concours d’Elegance a few years ago.

Thanks for joining me on this “Heck Motor” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be revisiting this years Monterey Rolex Reunion. Don’t forget to come back now !