Biography: Rudolf Caracciola (1901 - 1959)

Stuttgart, Oct 19, 2011
Born: 30 January 1901 in Remagen, Germany
Died: 28 September 1959 in Kassel, Germany
“Rainmaster”
Rudolf Caracciola was born on 30 January 1901 in Remagen. As a boy he was fascinated by cars, gathered first experience at the wheel of an “elderly 16/45 Mercedes” during the First World War and made up his mind to become a racing driver. When still a trainee at the Fafnir-Automobilwerke in Aachen, he started in the 1922 Avus race in Berlin (fourth in class) and the Opelbahn race in Rüsselsheim (winner). After a scuffle with an officer of the Belgian occupying forces, Caracciola left Aachen and became a Fafnir representative in Dresden. In 1923, he won the Berlin ADAC (the principal German automobile club) race driving an Ego.
In 1923, Caracciola joined Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft as a car salesman at its Dresden sales outlet. He was allowed to enter races with the current Mercedes 6/25/40 hp racing car. The successes he notched up included victory in the touring car class of the 1923 ADAC Reichsfahrt (German Reich) rally. In 1924, he was winner in his class on several occasions and secured overall victory in the Teutoburger Wald (Teutoburg Forest) race. That was the year he also met his future wife, Charlotte, nicknamed Charly.
In 1925, Caracciola won eight races at the wheel of the Mercedes 24/100/140 hp. In 1926, he won the German Grand Prix in a Mercedes eight-cylinder racing car. It was in this race that he first drew attention to his brilliant driving skills in adverse weather conditions; the victory was a textbook lesson in fingertip control by the “Rainmaster”, as he later came to be known. The prize money gave Caracciola economic security. He married Charly and in January 1927 opened up a Mercedes-Benz agency in Berlin, although he continued to compete in races.
In 1927, Caracciola won the race in which the new 26/170/225 hp Mercedes-Benz S model racing touring car premiered at the Nürburgring race track. That year he also went on to chalk up eleven overall and class wins. In 1928, Caracciola won five races in the successor model, the Mercedes-Benz SS, and he continued his winning form in the new racing tourer, the 27/180/250 hp SSK model. With the SSK he also opened the 1929 race season for Mercedes-Benz in the Monaco Grand Prix (third place). Caracciola won the International Tourist Trophy in Ireland in a Mercedes-Benz SSK in pouring rain at an average speed of 117.2 km/h.
Winner in Italy
Caracciola finished the 1930 Mille Miglia first in his class. The following year he won the race, the first foreign starter ever to do so, in a 27/240/300 hp Mercedes-Benz SSKL racing sports car. After a 16-hour drive from Brescia to Rome and back he and co-driver Wilhelm Sebastian finally crossed the finish line on 13 April 1931 as winners, posting an average speed of 101.1 km/h. In 1931, Caracciola also won the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring – another rain-affected race – and again captured the title of European Sports Car Hillclimb Champion.
When Mercedes-Benz withdrew from racing, Caracciola went to Alfa Romeo. In the 2.6-litre monoposto he won the German and Monza Grand Prix and the 1932 Eifel race. He became European Racing Car Hillclimb Champion and International Alpine Champion. Then in 1933 Caracciola and Louis Chiron set up the independent “Scuderia C.C.”, but he suffered a serious accident during practice for the Grand Prix of Monaco. This forced him to pull out of his racing appearances for the entire year. That winter his wife was killed in an avalanche.
Daimler-Benz signed Caracciola again for the 1934 season. For the new 750-kilogram formula the Stuttgart company launched the W 25 racing car, the first Silver Arrow. At the Italian Grand Prix on 9 April, Caracciola was still troubled by the effects of the injuries sustained in his accident; in first place after 59 laps, he let Luigi Fagioli replace him at the wheel, and Fagioli brought the victory safely home. At the Spanish Grand Prix on 23 September, Caracciola managed a second-place finish. New competition for Mercedes-Benz arrived in the form of Auto Union. These two racing departments would dominate the championship in the coming years.
In 1935, after a long race in sweltering heat, Caracciola won the Grand Prix of Tripoli. This was followed by victories in the Eifel race (16 June) and at the Grand Prix of France (23 June), Belgium (14 July), Switzerland (25 August) and Spain (22 September). A second-place finish in the Grand Prix of Barcelona (30 June) and third place in the German Grand Prix (28 July) rounded off the year. In 1935, he was European and German racing car champion. Mercedes-Benz won 9 out of 14 grand prix events that season, with Caracciola accounting for 6 of them.
His string of successes came to an end in 1936. Although Caracciola opened the season with a victory in Monaco (13 April) – in poor weather he once again demonstrated that his reputation as “Rainmaster” was entirely justified – the redesigned W 25 with short wheelbase increasingly caused problems. “ Caratsch” posted his best results subsequent to Monaco at the Grand Prix of Tunis (17 May, winner), Barcelona (7 June, second) and Tripoli (10 May, fourth). At the German Grand Prix, Caracciola and co-pilot Luigi Fagioli could manage only fifth. The star of that season was Bernd Rosemeyer, who won the European championship for Auto Union.
In 1937, Caracciola returned to the pinnacle of European motorsport. The 750-kg formula was extended for another year, and Daimler-Benz developed the new W 125 racing car specifically for this season. In the monoposto Caracciola secured his second European Championship title. His racing successes that season included victories at the German (25 July), Swiss (22 August) and Italian (12 September) Grand Prix and the Masaryk Grand Prix of Brno (26 September). In addition, Caracciola notched up successes in the international Eifel race (13 June, second place), the German Hillclimb Grand Prix (1 August, third place), in Monaco (8 August, second place) and the Donington Grand Prix (2 October, second place). He was European Champion and also secured the title of German Road Racing Champion.
In the open-formula Avus race in Berlin on 30 May, Mercedes-Benz competed with different vehicle concepts, including three W 25 fitted with aerodynamic fairings. Caracciola won the first race of the competition driving one of these streamlined cars. He married Alice Hoffmann that year.
Record-breaking runs into new dimensions of speed
In January 1938, record-breaking attempts were back on the agenda. Over past years, Caracciola had set several records on autobahns (motorways) and oval circuits. This time on the Frankfurt–Darmstadt autobahn he attained a speed of 432.7 km/h. To this day it is the highest speed ever attained on a public road. It was a record marred by tragedy, however, since his friend and rival Bernd Rosemeyer would die in an attempt to break Caracciola’s record in an Auto Union car.
A new formula was drawn up for the 1938 races that limited displacement to 4.5 litres without supercharger and 3 litres with supercharger. Daimler-Benz designed the new W 154 racing car for this “3-litre formula”; it developed a maximum output of 453 hp from its V12 engine. In 1938, Caracciola won the Coppa Acerbo (14 August) as well as the Swiss Grand Prix (21 August). He placed second or third in the Grand Prix of Pau (10 April, with Hermann Lang, second), Tripoli (15 May, third), the French Grand Prix (3 July, second), the German (24 July, with Hermann Lang, second) and Italian Grand Prix (11 September, with Manfred von Brauchitsch, third). Now 37, Caracciola won the title of European Champion for the third time and consolidated his reputation as the most successful racing driver of the era.
In the Grand Prix of Tripoli, for which Daimler-Benz specially developed the 1.5-litre voiturette W 165, Caracciola took second place behind Hermann Lang – a double victory for the Silver Arrows. But the premier racing car of the season was the redesigned W 154, with which Caracciola won the German Grand Prix on 23 July. In 1939, he was German road racing champion; however, the European title that year was captured by the promising young talent, Hermann Lang.
Alice and Rudolf Caracciola lived through the Second World War in their adoptive country Switzerland. Caracciola was intent on racing in America after the war ended. However, in 1946 his car crashed during practice for the Indianapolis 500. In 1952, he actively resumed racing and finished the Mille Miglia in fourth position in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. But a serious accident during the Grand Prix of Berne in 1952 put an end to his career for good. Caracciola was dependent on a wheelchair and crutches for a long time afterwards.
In 1956, he was given responsibility for the sale of Daimler-Benz cars to Americans and Britons stationed in continental Europe. Aged just 58, Rudolf Caracciola died in Kassel on 28 September 1959. A monument was unveiled in Remagen to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth in 2001, and the banked curve at the Nürburgring was named after him.
Rudolf Caracciola – a racing career for
Mercedes-Benz
1901
  • 30 January: born in Remagen (Rhineland-Palatinate), Germany
1922
  • June: Avus race, Berlin, in 6 hp Fafnir (4th and winner in class)
  • July: Opelbahn race, Rüsselsheim, in 6 hp Fafnir (1st place)
1923
  • 3 April: Berlin Stadium race in 4 hp Ego (1st place)
  • 11 June: Job with Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) as salesman at Dresden office
  • 4 July: Baden-Baden Automobile Tournament in a 6/25/40 hp Mercedes (2nd place)
  • 5 July: ADAC Reichsfahrt (German Reich) rally in a 6/25/40 hp Mercedes (1st place)
1924
  • 25 May: Teutoburgerwald (Teutoburg Forest) race in a supercharged Mercedes 1.5 litre (1st place)
  • 10-19 August: ADAC Reichsfahrt in a supercharged Mercedes 1.5 litre (1st place)
1925
  • 24 July: Kniebis (Black Forest) hillclimb in a 24/100/140 hp Mercedes (1st place)
  • 15-16 August: Freiburg hillclimb and flat race in a 24/100/140 hp Mercedes (1st place, touring cars)
1926
  • 16 March: Teutoburgerwald race in a 24/100/140 hp Mercedes (1st place, factory drivers)
  • 30 May: Herkules hillclimb in a 24/100/140 hp Mercedes (1st place, sports cars)
  • 9-13 June: Baden-Baden Automobile Tournament in a 24/100/140 hp Mercedes (winner in sports car and touring car categories)
  • 19-28 June: South German Rally in a 24/100/140 hp Mercedes (1st place, sports cars)
  • 11 July: German Grand Prix in a Mercedes 8-cylinder racing car (1st place)
  • 22 July: Grand Prix of Europe and Grand Prix of Guipúzcoa (North Spain) in a 24/100/140 hp Mercedes (2nd place)
  • 7-8 August: International Klausen Pass race in a Mercedes K (1st place, sports cars)
1927
  • January: Opens Mercedes-Benz dealership in Berlin
  • 19 June: Inaugural race at the Nürburgring in a Mercedes-Benz S (1st place)
  • 23-30 June: Kartellfahrt (cartel race) of the AvD automobile club in a 8/38 hp Mercedes-Benz (without penalty points)
  • 5-9 July: Baden-Baden Automobile Tournament in a Mercedes-Benz S (winner in sports car category)
  • 6-7 August: International Freiburg Speed Record Festival in a Mercedes-Benz S (3rd and 1st place)
  • 13-14 August: Klausen Pass race in a Mercedes-Benz S (winner in sports car and touring car categories)
  • 25 September: Teutoburgerwald race in a Mercedes-Benz S (1st place, sports cars)
1928
  • 15 July: German Grand Prix at Nürburgring in a Mercedes-Benz SS (1st place, with Christian Werner)
  • 29 July: Gabelbach race in a Mercedes-Benz SSK (1st place)
  • 5 August: ADAC race at Schauinsland in a Mercedes-Benz SSK (1st place/racing cars)
  • 26 August: Chamonix hillclimb in a Mercedes-Benz SSK (1st place)
  • 10 September: Salzberg race (1st place, racing cars)
  • 16 September: Semmering hillclimb (1st place, racing cars)
1929
  • 16 April: Monaco Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz SSK (3rd place)
  • 19-23 June: Baden-Baden Automobile Tournament in a Mercedes-Benz SSK (winner in racing car category)
  • 7-12 August: International Alpine Rally in a Mercedes-Benz Nürburg (1st place)
  • 17 August: International Tourist Trophy in Belfast in a Mercedes-Benz SSK (1st place)
1930
  • 12-13 April: Mille Miglia in a Mercedes-Benz SSK (winner in class)
  • 12 July: Shelsley–Walsh hillclimb in a Mercedes-Benz SSK (1st place, sports cars)
  • 18-19 July: Irish Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz SSK (1st place)
  • 9-10 August: Klausen Pass race in a Mercedes-Benz SSK (1st place, sports cars)
  • 24. August: Mont Ventoux hillclimb (France) in a Mercedes-Benz SSK (1st place)
  • 8 September: Grand Prix of Monza in a Mercedes-Benz SSK (2nd place, sports cars)
  • European Hillclimb Champion 1930
1931
  • 12-13 April: Mille Miglia in a Mercedes-Benz SSKL (1st place)
  • 17 May: Hillclimb near Rabassada/Spain in a Mercedes-Benz SSKL (1st place)
  • 31 May: Königsaal–Jilowischt hillclimb (near Prague) in a Mercedes-Benz SSKL (1st place)
  • 7 June: Eifel race in a Mercedes-Benz SSKL (1st place)
  • 19 July: German Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz SSKL (1st place)
  • 2 August: Avus race in a Mercedes-Benz SSKL (1st place)
  • 16 August: Tatra hillclimb race (Slovakia) in a Mercedes-Benz SSKL (1st place)
  • 30 August: Mont Ventoux hillclimb in a Mercedes-Benz SSKL (1st place)
  • 20 September: Drei Hotter hillclimb (Hungary) in a Mercedes-Benz SSKL (1st place)
  • European Hillclimb Champion 1931
1932
  • 17 April: Monaco Grand Prix in an Alfa Romeo (2nd place)
  • 22 May: Avus race in an Alfa Romeo (2nd place)
  • 30 May: Eifel race in an Alfa Romeo (1st place)
  • 16 July: German Grand Prix in an Alfa Romeo (1st place)
  • 7 August: Klausen Pass race in an Alfa Romeo (1st place)
  • 4 September: Mont Ventoux hillclimb in an Alfa Romeo (1st place)
  • 11. September: Grand Prix of Monza in an Alfa Romeo (1st place)
  • European Hillclimb Champion in racing car category 1932
  • International Alpine Championship 1932
1934
  • 5 August: International Klausen Pass race in a Mercedes-Benz W 25 (1st place)
  • 19 August: German Hillclimb Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 25 (2nd place)
  • 9 September: Italian Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 25 (1st place)
  • 23 September: Spanish Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 25 (2nd place)
  • 28-30 October: Speed marks set in Hungary in a Mercedes-Benz record-breaking car
  • 10 December: Speed marks set on Avus course in a Mercedes-Benz record-breaking car
1935
  • 12 May: Grand Prix of Tripoli in a Mercedes-Benz W 25 (1st place)
  • 16 June: Eifel race in a Mercedes-Benz W 25 (1st place)
  • 23 June: French Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 25 (1st place)
  • 30 June: Grand Prix of Barcelona in a Mercedes-Benz W 25 (2nd place)
  • 14 July: Belgian Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 25 (1st place)
  • 28 July: German Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 25 (3rd place)
  • 25 August: Swiss Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 25 (1st place)
  • 22 September: Spanish Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 25 (1st place)
  • European Champion 1935
  • German Champion 1935
1936
  • 13 April: Monaco Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 25 (1st place)
  • 10 May: Grand Prix of Tripoli in a Mercedes-Benz W 25 (4th place)
  • 17 May: Grand Prix of Tunis in a Mercedes-Benz W 25 (1st place)
  • 7 June: Grand Prix of Barcelona in a Mercedes-Benz W 25 (2nd place)
  • 26 July: German Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 25 (5th place)
  • 26 October: Record runs on Reichsautobahn Frankfurt am Main–Heidelberg
  • 11 November: Record runs on Reichsautobahn Frankfurt am Main–Darmstadt
1937
  • 9 May: Grand Prix of Tripoli in a Mercedes-Benz W 125 (6th place)
  • 30 May: International Avus race in a streamlined Mercedes-Benz (1st in first run)
  • 13 June: International Eifel race in a Mercedes-Benz W 125 (2nd place)
  • 25 July: German Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 125 (1st place)
  • 1 August: German Mountain Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 125 (3rd place)
  • 8 August: Monaco Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 125 (2nd place)
  • 22 August: Swiss Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 125 (1st place)
  • 12 September: Italian Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 125 (1st place)
  • 26 September: Masaryk Grand Prix of Brno (Czechoslovakia) in a Mercedes-Benz W 125 (1st place)
  • 2 October: Donington Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 125 (2nd place)
  • European Champion 1937
  • German Champion 1937
1938
  • 28 January: Record-breaking runs on Reichsautobahn Frankfurt am Main–Darmstadt
  • 10 April: Grand Prix of Pau in a Mercedes-Benz W 154 (2nd behind Hermann Lang)
  • 15 May: Grand Prix of Tripoli in a Mercedes-Benz W 154 (3rd place)
  • 3 July: French Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 154 (2nd place)
  • 24 July: German Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 154 (2nd place, with Hermann Lang)
  • 14 August: Coppa Acerbo in a Mercedes-Benz W 154 (1st place)
  • 21 August: Swiss Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 154 (1st place)
  • 11 September: Italian Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 154 (3rd place)
  • European Champion 1938
1939
  • 8-14 February: Record-breaking runs on Reichsautobahn at Dessau
  • 7 May: Grand Prix of Tripoli in a Mercedes-Benz W 165 (2nd place)
  • 21 May: International Eifel race in a Mercedes-Benz W 154 (3rd place)
  • 23 July: German Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 154 (1st place)
  • 20. August: Swiss Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz W 154 (2nd place)
  • Pan-German Champion 1939
1952
  • 3-4 May: Mille Miglia in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL/W 194 (4th place)
  • 18 May: Grand Prix of Berne in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL/W 194 (retired due to accident)
1956
  • Caracciola takes over sales of Mercedes-Benz cars to British and American soldiers stationed in Germany
1959
  • 28 September: died in Kassel (Hesse), Germany

Media

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  • 30262
    French Grand Prix, July 3, 1938: Triple victory for the Mercedes-Benz W 154 racing cars (Manfred von Brauchitsch – Rudolf Caracciola – Hermann Lang).
  • 47566
    International Eifel race on the Nürburgring, May 21, 1939. Rudolf Caracciola (Start number 12) finished in third place in a Mercedes-Benz racing car  W 154.
  • R8306
    Italian Grand Prix in Monza, September 9, 1934. The winners Rudolf Caracciola / Luigi Fagioli.
  • 20275
    French Grand Prix, July 1, 1934. The race driver who started for Mercedes-Benz (from left): Manfred von Brauchitsch, Luigi Fagioli and Rudolf Caracciola.
  • 20437
    German Grand Prix on the Nürburgring on July 15, 1934: Rudolf Caracciola and his Mercedes-Benz 750-kg formula racing car W 25.
  • 28030
    Doube victory at the Italian Grand Prix in Livorno, September 12, 1937. The winner Rudolf Caracciola and Hermann Lang, who finished in second place.
  • 35743
    German Grand Prix on the Nürburgring, July 23, 1939. From the left: Hermann Lang, racing director Alfred Neubauer and Rudolf Caracciola, who was to win the race.
  • C31400
    Rudolf Caracciola (1901-1959)
  • R1864
    Swiss Grand Prix, Bremgarten, August 26, 1934. Rudolf Caracciola and his Mercedes-Benz formula racing car W 25 during the starting preparations.
  • U98559
    Coppa Acerbo near Pescara, August 14, 1938. From left: racing director Alfrad Neubauer, Rudolf Caracciola and Rudolf Uhlenhaut.
  • U63435
    The Swiss Grand Prix, 21 August 1938. From the left: Rudolf Uhlenhaut, Manfred von Brauchitsch (3rd place), winner Rudolf Caracciola, John Richard Beattie Seaman (2nd place), director Max Sailer and race manager Alfred Neubauer.
  • 20650
    Italian Grand Prix in Monza, September 9, 1934. The winner Rudolf Caracciola at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz formula racing car W 25 with start number 2.
  • 21793
    Tripolis Grand Prix, Mellaha, May 12, 1935. Luigi Fagioli, who finished in third place, with start number 10 and Rudolf Caracciola (start number 26), who was to win the race, both in Mercedes-Benz W 25.
  • 22017
    Start of the International Eifel race on the Nürburgring on June 16, 1935. Start number 7: Manfred von Brauchitsch. Start number 5: Rudolf Caracciola, the winner. Start number 6: Luigi Fagioli, who finished in fourth place.
  • 22021
    French Grand Prix in Montlhéry, June 23, 1935. The winner Rudolf Caracciola in a Mercedes-Benz formula racing car W 25.  Manfrd von Brauchitsch finished in second place.
  • 22180A
    Double victory at the Grand Prix of Barcelona, Montjuich-Park, June 30, 1935. Rudolf Caracciola (start number 2) in a Mercedes-Benz formula racing car W 25. Caracciola finished in second place behind the winner Luigi Fagioli.
  • 22226
    International Eifel race on the Nürburgring on June 16, 1935. The winner Rudolf Caracciola at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz racing car W 25.
  • 22230
    Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Franchorchamps. July 7, 1935. The winner Rudolf Caracciola (start number 2) in a Mercedes-Benz 750-kg formula racing car W 25.
  • 22366
    Swiss Grand Prix, August 25, 1935. Three Mercedes-Benz formula racing cars (W 25) at the pit stop: Hermann Lang with the start number 42, Rudolf Caracciola (who was to win the race) with the start number 10 and Manfrd von Brauchitsch with the start number 8.
  • 27506
    Swiss Grand Prix, Bremgarten, August 22, 1937. Rudolf Caracciola, who was to win the race, with start number 14 in a Mercedes-Benz W 125.  In the fore: Bernd Rosenmeyer (start number 8) and Hans Stuck (start number 10), both in Auto Union.
  • 28125
    Double victory at the Italian Grand Prix in Livorno, September 12, 1937. The winner Rudolf Caracciola (start number 2) and Herman Lang (start number 6), who finished in second place, both in Mercedes-Benz formula racing cars W 125.
  • 30481
    Swiss Grand Prix near Bern, August 21, 1938. The Mercedes-Benz W 154 racing cars took the lead immediately after the start in heavy rain and drove towards a triple victory. The winner was Rudolf Caracciola (on the right) followed by Richard B. Seaman and Manfred von Brauchitsch.
  • 1172881
    9 February 1939. Record-breaking attempts on the Dessau - Bitterfeld Reichsautobahn. Rudolf Caracciola in the Mercedes-Benz W 154 12-cylinder record-breaking car (version for standing start).
  • R2459
    Rain champion: Rudolf Caracciola won the 1936 Monaco Grand Prix at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz W 25.
  • 27406
    German Grand Prix at Nürburgring, 25 July 1937. Soon after the start in the south bend, the field is led by Hermann Lang with starting number 16 and the subsequent winner, Rudolf Caracciola, with starting number 12, in the Mercedes-Benz formula racing car W 125. Behind them are Bernd Rosemeyer and Hans Peter Müller, both in Auto Union, followed by Manfred von Brauchitsch (second place), also in a Mercedes-Benz W 125.
  • R5682
    Record set on the Autobahn between Frankfurt am Main and Darmstadt, 28 January 1938. Rudolf Caracciola in the Mercedes-Benz twelve-cylinder W 125 record car in front of the Zeppelin aerodrome in Frankfurt am Main. At a speed of 432.7 km/h over one kilometre with a flying start, Caracciola sets a world speed record on public roads that will last for almost 80 years.
  • 20476
    International Klausen Pass Race on August 5, 1934. Rudolf Caracciola wins on his Mercedes-Benz W 25 750-kg formula racing car.
  • 809427
    International Tourist Trophy near Belfast, 17 August 1929. Rudolf Caracciola wins in a Mercedes-Benz SS racing touring car.
  • 30483
    Swiss Grand Prix near Bern on August 21, 1938. The Mercedes-Benz W 154 racing cars took the lead immediately after the start and headed for a triple victory. The winner was Rudolf Caracciola (photo) ahead of Richard B. Seaman and Manfred von Brauchitsch.
  • 32605
    Tripoli Grand Prix, 7 May 1939. Rudolf Caracciola takes second place in the Mercedes-Benz W 165 behind his teammate Hermann Lang, who wins Tripoli for the third time in a row – this time in the 1.5-litre W 165 racing car, which has been redesigned from scratch.
  • D86294
    “Rudolf Caracciola achieves new records for Mercedes-Benz”. Advertisement from 1938. The brand achieved a speed of 432.7 km/h on a public road with the record-breaking W 125.
  • 794136
    Alfred Neubauer and Rudolf Caracciola
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