How Ferrari brazenly spied on GDR racing cars

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How Ferrari brazenly spied on GDR cars

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German-German racing history: At the Avus race in July 1951, Paul Greifzu was in front of Toni Ulmen in a Veritas Formula 2 racing car with a self-built BMW.

Source: Prototype car museum

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The Vertias Meteor Formula 2 car in the museum’s exhibition rooms.

Source: PROTOTYP automobile museum

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Start of the 1.5-liter racing sports car at the Eifel race in June 1953. Arthur Rosenhammer (139) from the EMW racing collective is in the lead ahead of Helmut Glockler (131) in the Porsche 550 Spyder.

Source: PROTOTYP automobile museum

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Reckless men in quick boxes. Hans Roth on AFM and on the other side …

Source: Prototype car museum

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… GDR pilot Edgar Barth on EMW.

Source: PROTOTYP automobile museum

How Ferrari brazenly spied on GDR racing cars-ferrari

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13 racing cars are presented in the Hamburg exhibition.

Source: Prototype car museum

An exhibition on German motorsport history before the Wall was built shows 13 wonderful cars. Races became propaganda battles and there were no limits to increasing performance.

NGerman-German comparisons were explosive not only at the Olympic Games, but also in motorsport. Drivers and racing cars from East and West competed against each other on the Nurburgring, in Hockenheim and on the Berlin Avus as well as in Dessau, at the Leipzig city race, on the Sachsenring, the Schleizer Dreieck or the Dresden Autobahn spider.

With the first joint presentation of racing cars from FRG and GDR painted throughout in the German racing color silver, the Museum Prototyp gives insights into these eventful years: into the world of hobbyists and pioneers, into new brands such as Veritas and AFM and Formula 2 self-builds Pre-war engines from BMW.

But the sleek Rometsch Porsche is also honored, the streamlined AWE of the Eisenach GDR racing collective, the Scampolo miniature racing cars or Formula Junior cars from Melkus and SEG with three-cylinder two-stroke engines from Wartburg.

These GDR cars also drove in the west

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In the GDR it dominated the streetscape, the Trabant 601. The car with the duroplastic body was also exported to western countries.

Source: Company photo / Autodrom archive

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The Trabant 601 was built between summer 1964 and April 30, 1991 a total of 2,818,547 times. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, vehicles were squandered on the used car market at ridiculous pricesert, collector prices have long been paid today.

Source: Company photo / Autodrom archive

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The historical starting point of the P 601 was the P 70, of which only 40,000 were made between 1955 and 1959. It was first followed by the P 50, which was first given the nickname Trabantheld. Then came the well-known Trabi.

Source: Company photo / Autodrom archive

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Cars of the Wartburg brand should also find customers in the West, as this advertisement shows.

Source: Company photo / Autodrom archive

How Ferrari brazenly spied on GDR racing cars-Source Company photo Autodrom archive

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The longest-built Wartburg was the 353, which was manufactured between 1966 and 1988.

Source: Company photo / Autodrom archive

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The first Wartburg was the 311, which was built for ten years from 1955 – including as a station wagon, coupe, convertible and pick-up. In western foreign countries came the variant-rich and foNice cars look better than other GDR cars, but it too had a rather rough two-stroke engine under the hood.

Source: Company photo / Autodrom archive

Pre-war greats such as Hermann Lang, Paul Pietsch or Hans Stuck, the new star Karl Kling, BMW technology guru Alex von Falkenhausen (AFM) or GDR greats such as Edgar Barth, Paul Greifzu, Ernst Klodwig and Rudolf Krause were the winning drivers on the slopes of those years and Siegfried Seifert in appearance.

Smuggled Porsche 356 cylinder head

In the GDR, motor sports on four wheels started much later than in the West. While the Federal Republic of Germany awakened motorsport from its compulsory break with the Ruhestein hill climb near Freudenstadt in the Black Forest on July 21, 1946, in the east it took until September 4, 1949, before 100,000 on the former record route on the Leipzig-Berlin autobahn near Dessau Spectators at the first road race for cars and motorcycles the engines roared.

"If you wanted to race in the GDR, there was only the possibility of building one yourself," says Siegfried Seifert, now 95, who drove almost 100 races in the 1950s and 1960s. He started in the 1100 racing car class with an old VW chassis and engine.

When the Trabi started in the Monte Carlo Rally

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In 1957 a pilot series of 50 Trabants was built. The series began in the summer of 1958 at the VEB automobile plant in Zwickau.

Source: Getty Images

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However, cars were not a matter of course in the GDR. Many citizens had to wait up to 14 years for a car – but that does not mean that the streets in the GDR were emptyaren. For example, this photo shows everyday traffic on Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse in Berlin.

Source: picture-alliance / Berlin_Pictur

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Only a few people know today that there was even a motorsport scene in the GDR.

Source: Wolfgang Kiebling

How Ferrari brazenly spied on GDR racing cars-Source Company photo Autodrom archive

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Trabis and Wartburgs took part several times in the legendary Monte Carlo Rally from 1968 to 1973.

Source: Wolfgang Kiebling

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In contrast to the competition, the participants from the GDR not only had to have driving skills, but also a lot of improvisation.

Source: Wolfgang Kiebling

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The vehicles could not be overheard with their rang-tang-tang-tang. At least in terms of engine power, the rally Trabis differed from the production version: it performsen 46 instead of the usual 26 hp.

Source: Wolfgang Kiebling

To increase performance, he would have had to get hold of Porsche cylinder heads, but they were unaffordable for him. Seifert had a friend in West Berlin who supplied him with a Porsche 356 cylinder head.

“We took the S-Bahn over there – luckily it was winter – and took the 356 head under a winter coat to the east. With that I went to our design workshop at Sachsenring, put it on their table and said: I need such people. Then they started to construct and draw – and then we tried to pour it. "

State racing collective of the GDR

But the West also apparently wanted to benefit from the know-how of the other side. Ralf Klodwig, son of the GDR star Ernst Klodwig, tells another nice anecdote: In 1953 Ferrari and Maserati secretly took photos of his father’s mid-engine monoposto at the Nurburgring, as it was faster than the eventual winner Ascari in the winding swallowtail section on Ferrari. "But we only had 110 hp, the Ferrari 190. The secret lay in the sloping rear wheels, which significantly improved the road holding."

Fire free for the old sports car treasures

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Not everyone immediately finds out which car is so fiery here: It’s a BMW M1 (1978-81), ten of which are good for the spectators at the Oldtimer Grand Prixe show offered. Every now and then, when switching gears, there was a splash of unburned gasoline, which then ignited on the hot exhaust – worth seeing and hearing.

Source: Stefan Anker

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The BMW M1 competed in the revival of the German racing championship 1972-81. 36 cars started here, from the Ford Escort to the Corvette everything was there, the averageAverage speeds varied greatly, however: from 101 to 159 km / h.

Source: Stefan Anker

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A value worth millions races through the Mercedes-Arena: The Bugatti T51 from 1931 achieved an average speed of 113 km / h during the race.

Source: Stefan Anker

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It became brutally loud when the Formula 1 racing cars of the 1970s and 1980s competed. And you could also see how incredibly fast these cars are. The winner drove his fastest lap in 1.38.723 minutes, which is only around five seconds more than the fastest lap in the 2013 Formula 1 race.

Source: Stefan Anker

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The track record with an unbelievable 1.13.306 minutes is still held by Michael Schumacher, whose first world champion car from 1994 was also shown at the Oldtimer Grand Prix. It but did not take part in the races.

Source: Stefan Anker

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The sensitive racing cars from the past need a lot of maintenance and care, so the pit lane is busy even at night.

Source: Stefan Anker

How Ferrari brazenly spied on GDR racing cars-Source Company photo Autodrom archive

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The McLaren M1A from 1965 is still waiting for care here – as in the 24-hour race at the Nurburgring, several teams have to share the garages at the Oldtimer Grand Prix. As The McLaren shows that mechanics are important for success …

Source: Stefan Anker

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… himself: The former US racing driver Augie Pabst had his mechanic’s name written on the body.

Source: Stefan Anker

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Nothing works in motorsport without tireless helpers, which is why the tap before the start is an important gesture: the mechanic wishes success, the driver thanks him for it the work done.

Source: Stefan Anker

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And sometimes the best preparation is of no use. This 1956 Maserati 250F 2524 didn’t really want to go during the race, and so did its Spanish driver …

Source: Stefan Anker

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… Joaquin Folch was at a loss. However, the car was not sent back into the race – it’s not really about economically countable points, you risk that historicallymaterial is not unnecessary.

Source: Stefan Anker

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Most of the cars held out well and there was really good motorsport on offer. Due to the different performance levels of the cars, there were many overtaking maneuvers see.

Source: Stefan Anker

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And of course historic racing cars like this Lotus Mk IX from 1955 are simply a feast for the eyes.

Source: Stefan Anker

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Austin Healey may not have built any classic beauties, but the English sports cars (here a 3000 Mk I from 1961) are always eye-catching and unique – and in this oneIn this case, even faster than Porsche.

Source: Stefan Anker

How Ferrari brazenly spied on GDR racing cars-Source Company photo Autodrom archive

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A Chevron B8, built in 1969, is chasing around the corner. The brand comes from England and has been building racing and sports cars since 1965. Its history is changeable, but it still exists.

Source: Stefan Anker

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This 1967 Lola T70 Mk III spun off the track and the driver took the car towards the tire wall. But it cannot stay here, therefore …

Source: Stefan Anker

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… now happens what every participant avoids as much as possible: the crane truck comes and lifts the car off the track.

Source: Stefan Anker

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Car racing costs money, but you can also artificially increase the price: In the pit lane of the Nurburgring, the liter Super Plus cost 2.159 euros – around 50 cents more than the one Surroundings.

Source: Stefan Anker

How Ferrari brazenly spied on GDR racing cars-Source Company photo Autodrom archive

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Hilmar Porgann from Minden does not have any fuel on offer, but he converts historic gas pumps into pieces of furniture, which then serve as cupboards. This idea also has its price: 3500 euros per column.

Source: Stefan Anker

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In return, this young woman shows an inexpensive souvenir – you only need ten euros and a little humor. Because actually the saying on the T-shirt is true at allt not.

Source: Stefan Anker

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Humor is certainly also in demand when painting a Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 RS in pink. and then name each part after the anatomy of a pig – the car is a Reverence to the famous Porsche 917/20, which competed in a similar design at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1971 and went down in motorsport history as “the pig”.

Source: Stefan Anker

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Still life at the start: the Ferrari Dino 246 is still connected to the external starter battery, the 290 hp six-cylinder is about to start and the race can beginn.

Source: Stefan Anker

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Despite all the history: A little high-tech is also allowed – like this driver of a Maserati TecMec from 1958, some pilots at the Oldtimer Grand Prix had GoPro cameras on theirsn cars attached to record the race.

Source: Stefan Anker

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A highlight was the evening race on Saturday, which started around 8.30 p.m. and lasted not 30 minutes like most other competitions, but an hour. So came a little Le Mans mood – also because 53 cars had registered for this race.

Source: Tom Linke / AvD

Especially the functionaries and politicians in the GDR saw car races as a propaganda fight at the beginning of the 1950s. It should be about proving the efficiency of socialist industry against the capitalist West. That is why the state racing collective was brought into being at the end of 1950 in Berlin-Johannisthal. "It used all of the engine and chassis parts from the old BMW 328," remembers Frieder Radlein, designer and works driver at Melkus.

In April 1951, a socialist Formula 2 racing car started on the Halle-Saale loop for the first time. According to Radlein, the R 3/55 collective racing car on display from 1956 ran so well “that you could definitely compete against the Porsche works car at the time.” The key data: 137 hp from 1.5 liters, a feather-light weight of 500 kilograms and one Top of 235 km / h.

Racing driver Edgar Barth impressively demonstrated the potential of the beautiful Spider at the 1955 Eifel Race on the Nurburgring. In the sports car class up to 1.5 liters, it drove an average of 120.8 km / h, faster than Wolfgang Seidel’s Porsche 550. In practice, Barth beat the best time of Porsche driver Richard von Frankenberg (Porsche) from the previous year by 16.5 seconds in 10: 39.1 minutes.

Wartburg sealed the end

After a final meeting with Porsche on the Avus and a race in Dessau, the development of racing cars from Eisenach was stopped and the collective dissolved in April 1957. The world-class GDR road racing history ended because the racing department tied up capacity and money, but the racing cars had nothing to do with the Wartburg, which was now produced in the factory. Edgar Barth then switched to Porsche, for which he won the European mountain championship three times, among other things.

Five self-made products for Formula 2, which was announced again in 1948, are represented in the exhibition – one even with an engine behind the driver. Ernst Klodwig from Aschersleben went against the trend. Inspired by an Auto Union Type D that he gave his sons as a toy car in the 1940s, he planted the six-cylinder in the rear of his monoposto.

With this self-built mid-engine, Klodwig was regularly among the top three at national races on the Avus or at the Nurburgring.In 1952 and 1953 he took his car – the poster for the exhibition features a scene from the steep curve of the Avus. Also participated in the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.

After 17 years, the "racing cardboard" is ready

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Take a 25-ton chunk of sandstone and a good deal of stamina: From 1997, for 17 years, the master stone sculptor and restaurator Carlo Wloch worked on his Trabant 601. The stone sculpture was finished just in time for the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago.

Source: dpa

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The sculptor created the object in his workshop in Pankow in the original size of the famous GDR car. The nameplate is also reproduced in great detail.

Source: dpa

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Because of racing cardboard: While the original with the thermoset body is lightweight, the Stein-Trabi weighs 12.7 tons. For the anniversary, he should attend a publicLich accessible place on the wall strip – exactly where is not yet certain.

Source: dpa

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Carlo Wloch put 6000 working hours into the stone Trabant. At first he was helped by trainees. The fine-tuning is due solely to his talent.

Source: dpa

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The Trabant P 601 is considered to be the car of the unity. On this historical recording, long Trabi queues formed on November 7, 1989 when entering Bavaria Border control point Schirnding (Bavaria).

Source: dpa

The AFM 48 Intertyp from 1948, on the other hand, comes from the Munich engineer and racing driver Alex von Falkenhausen. It was a two-seater sports car with removable fenders and headlights. This changeability made it possible to use the AFM in street races as well as in Formula 2.

The Intertype was also flexible when it came to the engines. In addition to the 328 BMW engine, a 1.1-liter Fiat unit or a 1.5-liter engine made up of various BMW components were also used. The most powerful variant, however, was the 2.0-liter six-cylinder of the 328. The engine developed 140 hp and accelerated the aluminum racer, which weighed only 625 kilograms, to around 200 km / h.

Flying scraps in the entry-level class

A Scampolo from West German production was groundbreaking in the small racing car class. It was conceived by Walter Komossa from Recklinghausen. The name "Scampolo" (Italian for scraps of fabric) said it all: the little formula racers were flying scraps: the vehicles were cobbled together from scraps and individual parts. The coarse mini-racers were mostly powered by DKW two-stroke engines with superchargers.

Programs and lists of results are named by a total of 28 drivers on “Scampolos” over all years and racing events. Up to seven participants started in individual races.

These 18 cars have won awards

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The Italian car collector Corrado Lopresto is delighted with the Coppa d’Oro, the gold cup at the Concorso d’Eleganza at the “Villa d’Este”. This trophy is the audience award von the first day of the legendary classic car competition, and on the second day, the spectators were weighed in on the Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Spider from 1931 and voted it the winner again (Trofeo BMW Group Italia). The car also won the Trofeo BMW Group Ragazzi, for which only young people up to the age of 16 vote. But the jury’s prize …

Source: BMW

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… The 1956 Maserati 450 S racing car took over. The eleven experts honored the car’s eventful racing history as well as its rarity, design and current condition.

Source: BMW

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At the Concorso d’Eleganza, a brand-new car is also chosen every year – the Maserati Alfieri received the design award for concept studies, again determined by the public. That knapp The five-meter-long coupe was shown for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show in early March; its name is reminiscent of one of the company’s founders who built up their business 100 years ago.

Source: BMW

How Ferrari brazenly spied on GDR racing cars-Source Company photo Autodrom archive

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Each time the Concorso is divided into several classes, class A this time was dedicated to Rolls-Royce because the brand is already celebrating its 110th birthday. Five magnificent cars entereden (including a station wagon!), the winner was the Phantom II Boat Tail, built in 1934 and body by Gurney Nutting. The car …

Source: BMW

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… looks like a boat from the back and has only two seats.

Source: BMW

How Ferrari brazenly spied on GDR racing cars-Source Company photo Autodrom archive

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The general motto of the Concorso this time was "The Great Gatsby", and that is why the class B was called – "Il Grande Gatsby", as the Italians say. The winner was born in 1922aute Hispano-Suiza H6 B. This model is the only Hispano-Suiza that was built as a Sedanca Landaulette: open at the front, closed at the back and with an additional folding roof.

Source: BMW

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The jury and the audience agreed on the victory in class C. Streamlined cars from the 1930s gathered here, and the Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS wasn’t too shit. Not only because Alfa 6C variants often win titles anyway. This car is special in that it was first built as a roadster by Zagato in 1931 and then changed its design. In 1938, coachbuilder Aprile bought the car (for 4000 lire!) And gave it the particularly aerodynamic Speedster shape that is visible today.

Source: BMW

How Ferrari brazenly spied on GDR racing cars-Source Company photo Autodrom archive

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After 2008, the Alfa was extensively restored by its current owner – with the help of the Milan Polytechnic, they even tried to find the original colors using black and whiteto determine b-photos.

Source: BMW

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Class D bears the simple name "Villa d’Este" and brings together timeless Italian sports cars. Here won the Ferrari 250 Europa, built by Ferrari and Pininfarina in 1953. The The car was quickly sold to the US, where at some point it was even fitted with a Chevrolet V8. It wasn’t until 2007, when the Ferrari was back in Europe, that the original twelve-cylinder was found and put back into operation – the restoration of the car was certified by Ferrari.

Source: BMW

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"From St. Tropez to Portofino" – a beautiful title for a beautiful class of car, elegant roadsters from the 50s and 60s. They are reminiscent of the times when the Cote d’Azur was still There was little traffic and long journeys by car were a pleasure. The 1959 built Ferrari 250 GT LWB (for "long wheelbase") won the race. The roadster built by Scaglietti was immediately exported to California, where it went to an 18-year-old. He took part in acceleration races with it and just a year later got another Ferrari: the 250 GT SWB (“short wheelbase”). Today the winning car is maintained in England.

Source: BMW

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The weirdest types of this year’s Concorso competed in class F: "Le Fuoriserie – Unique Flights of Fantasy". Only individual pieces were presented to the jury. The adventurous Fiat Abarth 2000 Scorpione, built by Pininfarina in 1969, was shown for the first time in Japan in 1977 at an exhibition in Tokyo. Shiro Kosaka desperately wanted to own the car, but Pininfarina only wanted to sell if the Japanese would found an Abarth Museum in Tokyo. It actually happened in 1993, the Fiat is still owned by Kosakas today and was back in Europe for the first time since 1977.

Source: BMW

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When a brand like Maserati turns 100, it doesn’t have to fight long to get its own category at the “Villa d’Este”. And there was au about the winning carLittle discussion: The V4 Sport from 1929 not only has a beautiful Zagato body (since 1934), but also has one of the few 16-cylinder engines in automotive history under the hood. 305 hp from a four-liter displacement made it an incredible 246 km / h – which regularly overwhelmed the tires.

Source: BMW

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Class H was dedicated to the “Gentleman Drivers”, or as the Italians say, the “Piloti per Diletto”. Amateurs who took part in races or rallies with their sports cars, howeverr also curled up with it to an evening party. Scaglietti’s Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France won here and has an interesting sporting history behind it, including a GT class win at the last Mille Miglia race in 1957. The car was brand new at the time.

Source: BMW

How Ferrari brazenly spied on GDR racing cars-Source Company photo Autodrom archive

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A size too big for gentleman drivers are usually the real racing cars, and this category also includes the Maserati 450 S from 1956, which in the eyes of the jury is not nur its class, but dominated the whole Concorso as the most valuable, most beautiful and most interesting car. Only ten of them were built, as Maserati withdrew from motorsport in 1957 after Juan Manuel Fangio had won his fifth world title on a Maserati. The 450 S was caught between the chairs, because although Maserati built it, there was no support from the factory for the races. Between 1959 and 1962 the car competed in various teams.

Source: BMW

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There are 50 cars to choose from at the Concorso d’Eleganza, and there are not quite that many prizes, but you can still win some small extra trophies. The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost from 1908, for example, the best unrestored pre-war car was – in fact, very impressive, which can be achieved with careful care and maintenance.

Source: BMW

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Such a price is also available for post-war cars, this time the Hudson Italia Prototype H01 from 1953. The car was supposed to compete against Corvette and Ford Thu in the 1950snderbird, but the customer interest was limited because the price was set too high. So the Hudson Italia never went into production.

Source: BMW

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The 1936 Lancia Astura Type 233 from Pininfarina received the prize for the “most sensitive restoration”, and there was also one …

Source: BMW

How Ferrari brazenly spied on GDR racing cars-Source Company photo Autodrom archive

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… an award for the most elegant Rolls-Royce: Silver Cloud III Drophead Coupe, bodied by Mulliner in 1963.

Source: BMW

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The 1965 Shelby American 427 Competition Cobra was named the show’s best auto icon, and the …

Source: BMW

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… Mercedes 300 SL Alloy from 1955 (sports version with a light aluminum body, only 29 pieces) won the interior design award.

Source: BMW

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Of course, the Hispano-Suiza H6 B, with its crew completely clad in Gatsby style, had to win the award for the best appearance of car and occupants, and …

Source: BMW

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… then there was still a prize left for another Maserati: the A6GCS Berlinetta from 1953 is now considered the car with the “most exciting design”. Finally …

Source: BMW

How Ferrari brazenly spied on GDR racing cars-Source Company photo Autodrom archive

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… The only trophy that cannot be discussed: This 1958 Mercedes 300 SL Roadster had made the longest journey on its own – its GermanThe owner brought it from Stuttgart to Lake Como.

Source: BMW

Another Formula Junior from 1960 comes from the workshop of Heinz Melkus from Dresden, with a tubular space frame, the three-cylinder Wartburg two-stroke engine and the four-speed “Ketten Wartburg” transmission. Five chassis were created from this 180 km / h counterpart to the English Cooper.

A Veritas RS 2 liter from 1949, a Lorenz 1.1 liter built in 1951 and the beautiful Rometsch-Porsche Spyder of the West Berlin racing community with a VW chassis, a Porsche works engine, a gearbox mounted in front of the engine like the Porsche 356 and elegantly designed by Friedrich Rometsch and flat-shaped light metal pontoon body round off the lovingly constructed exhibition.

Together against each other – automobile racing in the FRG and GDR between the end of the war and the building of the wall in FRG and GDR between the end of the war and the building of the wall, special exhibition car museum prototype, Shanghaiallee 7, Hamburg. Until March 15th. Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission: 13.50 euros (adults, children 8.00 euros.

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