Category Archive 'Mercedes Benz'

23 Mar 2020

How a Jewish Driver Funded by an American Heiress Beat Hitler’s Silver Arrows

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The Delahaye 145 that Dreyfus drove in the 1938 Pau Grand Prix.

“In the 1930s, Adolf Hitler funded the most powerful racing program in the world. An American heiress, a Jewish driver, and a struggling French automaker banded together to defeat them on the racetrack.” Road and Track.

In 1933, the newly-elected leader of Germany, Adolf Hitler, announced that the Third Reich would dominate the Grand Prix. After the government poured funds into Mercedes and Auto Union, their top drivers Rudi Caracciola and Bernd Rosemeyer swept the field in their supercharged Silver Arrow race cars.

A woman named Lucy Schell decided that something had to be done—so she launched her own racing team. A dazzlingly fine driver in her own right, Lucy had cash to spend, reasons of her own to challenge the Nazis, and the will to claim her place in a world dominated by men. For a car, she chose the most unlikely of manufacturers: Delahaye. Managed by Charles Weiffenbach, the old French firm was known for producing sturdy, staid vehicles, mostly trucks. Racing seemed like a path to save the small company. For a driver, Lucy recruited René Dreyfus. Once a meteoric up-and-comer, he had been excluded from competing on the best teams in the best cars, all because of his Jewish heritage.

Triumph over the Nazis promised redemption for all of them. If it was to happen, the opening race of the new formula Grand Prix season in 1938 would provide their best chance.

— excerpted from the new book Faster: How a Jewish Driver, an American Heiress, and a Legendary Car Beat Hitler’s Best.

RTWT

30 Jan 2017

Peter Fonda’s Certainly Sold Out

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Hat tip to Vanderleun.

01 Sep 2013

“Adolph”

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Three students —- Tobia Haase, Jan Mettler, and Lydia Lohse– at the Film Academy in Ludwigsburg, Germany — shot a commercial, disavowed by Daimler Benz, exploring the idea of dramatically advancing Mercedes safety technology.

20 Jun 2013

Ain’t That a Shame?

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Slightly used motor and transmission of C250 Mercedes Benz

Jack Baruth, at The Truth About Cars, seemed just as broken-hearted as I am, but is just a trifle more tastefully discreet at concealing his feelings.

The writing-about-writing crowd is abuzz with discussion about the rather unusual death of Buzzfeed/RollingStone/Gawker writer Michael Hastings. Mr. Hastings, whose name is never mentioned in the press without the immediate mention that he was “the fearless journalist whose reporting brought down the career of General Stanley McChrystal”, died in a single-car accident in Los Angeles yesterday morning. This in and of itself is not unusual, but the circumstances of the crash and its aftermath won’t do anything to quiet the conspiracy theorists who are already claiming that the military-industrial complex found a way to cap the guy. …

Mercedes-Benz USA is no doubt sweating bullets over this one. An eyewitness report says that Mr. Hastings was driving at an excessive rate of speed down a suburban street when his car “suddenly jackknifed” and hit a tree “with the force of a bomb”. The Benzo, which by the wheels and quarter-panel appears to be the relatively prosaic but cheerfully stylish C250 four-cylinder turbo coupe, proceeded to throw its powertrain out of the engine bay, immediately catch fire in a manner typically reserved for episodes of “Miami Vice”, and burn its driver until said driver was charred beyond recognition. …

Mr. Hastings’ aggressively Democrat-friendly storytelling has the Internet already considering the idea that his death was engineered somehow. I can’t say it’s totally unlikely. As noted above, the reported (and videotaped) behavior of the C250 was not in line with what we’d expect. On the other hand, surely it’s expected that a respected, mature writer on non-automotive topics won’t be barreling through a suburb so fast that any tree he hits will cause his car to burst into flames, right? We’ll keep an eye on this to see what, if anything, develops.

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Michael Yon adds:

Michael Hastings was killed in a car crash in Los Angeles. The single car accident happened at about 0425. He crashed into a tree and was burned beyond recognition. He was 33.

Mr. Hastings was the war correspondent whose Rolling Stone article led to the firing of General Stanley McChrystal, who at the time was the top General in Afghanistan.

Although Hastings was widely read, no serious war correspondents took him seriously, or at least not the ones I know. … Hastings was like an undisciplined hitman with a pen and license to kill. One of his gonzo articles damaged the career and reputation of Lieutenant General Bill Caldwell, for no cause. My sense was that he picked fights with key people mostly to draw attention. Though Hastings was not respected among war correspondents, it is sad to see a man die so young so horribly. Just why he crashed into a tree at 0425 remains unknown. No doubt the conspiracies will begin to fly.

New Joke: What do you call a metrosexual Rolling Stone attack dog journalist’s explosive collision with an LA palm tree? A good start.


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