Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The 1964 Argentine Touring Car Grand Prix

The Argentine Touring Car Grand Prix, 28 October to 7 November 1964: one-two-three victory for Mercedes-Benz. Ewy Baronin von Korff-Rosqvist and Eva-Maria Falk with their Mercedes-Benz 300 SE (W 112), starting number 609. This female team came third in the overall rankings.
The Argentine Touring Car Grand Prix, 28 October to 7 November 1964: one-two-three victory for Mercedes-Benz. Using the "flying workshop" in the American Cordillera. Eugen Böhringer and Klaus Kaiser (starting number 617) with a Mercedes-Benz 300 SE (W 112). As a team, Böhringer & Kaiser came first in the overall rankings. Team director Karl Kling is standing to the right of the vehicle.
The Argentine Touring Car Grand Prix, 28 October to 7 November 1964: one-two-three victory for Mercedes-Benz. Dieter Glemser and Martin Braungart (starting number 605) with their Mercedes-Benz 300 SE (W 112). The driving team of Glemser & Braungart came second in the overall rankings.
The Argentine Touring Car Grand Prix, 28 October to 7 November 1964: one-two-three victory for Mercedes-Benz. Pilar from 2 in the morning, local time. Eugen Böhringer & Klaus Kaiser start in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SE (W 112). As a team, Böhringer & Kaiser came first in the overall rankings.

Fifty years ago Mercedes-Benz dominated the 8th Argentine Touring Car Grand Prix (“VIII Gran Premio Internacional de Turismo Super Nafta YPF”) with yet another sparkling performance. At the end of the race (which ran from 28 October to 7 November 1964), the model 300 SE “Tailfin” Saloons (W 112) occupied the first three places in the overall rankings. It was the fourth win in a row for the Stuttgart-based brand in this prestigious long-distance competition, which was considered to be the toughest road race in the world at the time. Previous winners included Walter Schock and Manfred Schiek in 1961, the female team of Ewy Rosqvist and Ursula Wirth who pulled off a spectacular victory in 1962, and Eugen Böhringer and Klaus Kaiser who secured 1st place in 1963 – a feat which they repeated in 1964.
Eugen Böhringer crossed the finish line of the Argentine Touring Car Grand Prix on 7 November 1964, beaming victoriously. This was the second time that the Mercedes-Benz rally driver had won this, the toughest long-distance race in the world at the time, together with his co-driver Klaus Kaiser. Böhringer led a triple victory for the luxury Mercedes-Benz 300 SE Saloon (W 112), following six stages covering a combined distance of 4,779 kilometres. This was even the fourth consecutive victory for Mercedes-Benz in this race, officially known as the “Gran Premio Internacional de Turismo Super Nafta YPF”.
The start on 28 October 1964 was marked by great expectations and stiff competition: would the German brand with its strong “Tailfin” saloons be able to come out on top again over the route described as the “track with a thousand bends”, as it had done in the three preceding years?
The success story began in 1961, when Walter Schock and Manfred Schiek triumphed in their Mercedes-Benz 220 SE. The same vehicle was driven to victory a year later by the female team of Ewy Rosqvist and Ursula Wirth. Then, in 1963, Eugen Böhringer and Klaus Kaiser crossed the line in 1st place in a 300 SE, spearheading a quadruple victory for the “Tailfins”.
At the end of October 1964, four near-standard Mercedes-Benz 300 SE vehicles started the race in Buenos Aires. The only modifications made to the cars used in the race involved the installation of larger fuel tanks and changes to the engine characteristics as well as the transmission or final-drive ratios. The 300 SE had proved itself as a racing vehicle. In the 1964 season alone, Eugen Böhringer won the ADAC International Six-Hour Race at the Nürburgring and the Macao Touring Car Grand Prix in this car.
A total of four vehicles, all painted light blue with white roofs designed for tropical climates, set off from starting line of the Argentine Touring Car Grand Prix. Dieter Glemser and Martin Braungart had the number 605, Hans Herrmann and Manfred Schiek’s car bore the number 607, Ewy Baronin von Korff-Rosqvist and Eva-Maria Falk started with the number 609, and Eugen Böhringer and Klaus Kaiser – the eventual winners – drove the car with the number 617.
A total of 268 vehicles entered this, the 8th Touring Car Grand Prix involving six stages. Every two days of racing was followed by a day of rest. After only the first stage of 781.5 kilometres, all four Mercedes-Benz vehicles were already at the top of the rankings, with Eugen Böhringer setting a new record with an average speed of 181 km/h. At the same time, 91 vehicles were already out of the competition due to accidents or technical defects.
The start of the second stage, which was 731.9 kilometres long, became a celebration of the Mercedes-Benz rally cars. The “Tailfins” from Stuttgart also raced through the finish line in quick succession. Through stages three (729.4 kilometres), four (630 kilometres), five (the longest section of the race at 961.1 kilometres) and six (945 kilometres to the finish line), the route of the Touring Car Grand Prix led the competitors west and north, before turning back east to Buenos Aires.
Eugen Böhringer and Klaus Kaiser won the race with an average speed of 138 km/h, having overcome steep mountain passes, tight bends and seemingly endless scree-strewn slopes. The rally cars trailed long plumes of dust behind them as they drove along many of the unsurfaced roads.
While the car driven by Hans Herrmann and Manfred Schiek pulled out during the sixth stage, the three other Mercedes-Benz 300 SE vehicles drove on to achieve the brand’s last major victory for that era of motor sports. The 1964 Argentine Touring Car Grand Prix marks the end of an outstanding period in which “Tailfin” saloons used by the work plants achieved numerous victories in touring car rallies and long-distance races. Supported by team manager Karl Kling and the Argentine Mercedes-Benz Champion Juan Manuel Fangio, the vehicles with their characteristic profiles once again showed the outstanding performances they could help their drivers to achieve in that autumn 50 years ago.
The Mercedes-Benz vehicles at the 1964 Argentine Touring Car Grand Prix
Mercedes-Benz 300 SE rally car (W 112, 1963)
As a rally and touring car, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SE dominated the long-distance competitions from Argentina to Europe in 1963 and 1964. Like all Mercedes-Benz cars used in rallies in this era, the large “Tailfin”  saloons were very closely based on the respective series production vehicles. Daimler-Benz AG highlighted this fact at the time as a selling point for the series-production models. The saloons did undergo modifications, however, according to their intended use. Measures here included the reinforcement of chassis elements, enlargement of the fuel tank, and adaptation of the engine characteristics, for example by changing the fuel injection system or lowering the compression ratio; the transmission and final-drive ratios were also modified.
Technical data of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SE rally car (W 112)
Period of use:    1963-1964
Cylinders:           6/in-line
Displacement:  2,996 cubic centimetres
Output:                154 kW (210 hp)
Top speed:        over 200 km/h

Monday, October 13, 2014

Building a Fuel Cell Infrastructure in Germany

Automobile manufacturer Daimler and gases and engineering company The Linde Group will team up with oil and gas companies TOTAL, OMV, Avia and Hoyer this year to significantly increase the number of hydrogen fuelling stations in Germany. To this end, the two companies are investing around EUR 10 million in ten fuelling stations each. On 29 September, the first of the Daimler- and Linde-initiated public fuelling stations for fuel-cell vehicles was officially opened at a TOTAL multi-energy fuelling station on Jafféstrasse in Berlin-Charlottenburg. The following locations have been earmarked for additional stations by the end of 2015:
  • Geiselwind, Bavaria, on the A3
  • Fellbach, Stuttgart region
  • Ulm
  • Karlsruhe
  • Neuruppin, Brandenburg, on the A24
  • Cologne-Bonn Airport
  • Berlin city centre (upgrade of the existing fuelling station at Holzmarktstrasse)
  • Greater Munich area
  • Greater Nuremberg area
  • Greater Stuttgart area
  • Stuttgart-East
  • Leipzig, in the vicinity of the A14
“We are pleased to be driving this expansion of Germany’s H2 fuelling network,” comments Dr Andreas Opfermann, Head of Clean Energy & Innovation Management at Linde. “We are making a valuable contribution to the successful commercialisation of fuel-cell vehicles while supporting initiatives like the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) and ‘H2 Mobility’.”
“There is no question that fuel-cell technology is reaching maturity. From 2017, we are planning to bring competitively priced fuel-cell vehicles to market. So now is the time to build a nationwide fuelling infrastructure. The aim is to enable motorists to reach any destination in Germany in their hydrogen-fuelled vehicles. This initiative is a huge step forward on the journey to a truly nationwide H2 network,” states Professor Herbert Kohler, Vice President Group Research & Sustainability and Chief Environmental Officer at Daimler AG.
Negotiations on the details and construction of the remaining seven refuelling locations with additional partners are at an advanced stage. The National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW) is supporting the project as part of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology National Innovation Programme (NIP).
Linde already secures half of the hydrogen for existing CEP fuelling stations from “green” sources, and it will power the 20 new stations with fully regenerative hydrogen. The gas is obtained from crude glycerol – a by-product of biodiesel production – at a dedicated pilot plant at Linde’s gases centre in Leuna. The certified green hydrogen obtained in this way produces far fewer greenhouse gas emissions than conventional methods. Linde also has other sustainable sources at its disposal like bio natural gas and water electrolysis using wind-generated electricity, as part of the ‘H2BER’ project for example.
From 2017, Daimler AG plans to bring mass-produced competitively priced fuel-cell electric vehicles to market. To speed up technology optimisation and minimise investment costs, the company formed an alliance with Ford and Nissan at the start of 2013 for the joint development of a drive concept. Experts reckon that in 2018, well over ten thousand fuel-cell vehicles will populate European roads.
By the end of 2015, the number of Hfuelling stations supporting this growing fleet in Germany is set to reach 50 with the support of the Federal Ministry for Transport along with partner companies and organisations (see http://www.now-gmbh.de/en/presse-aktuelles/2014/50-h2-refuelling-stations.html). Furthermore, the ‘H2 Mobility’ initiative, which Daimler, Linde, TOTAL and OMV are also part of, agreed last year on a detailed plan of action to expand the network to around 400 stations by 2023.
In July this year, Linde opened the world’s first small-scale production facility for hydrogen fuelling stations in Vienna.

Fuel Cell Cars: the Mercedes B

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL is in customers hands in Europe and the US already since 2010.

With more than 300,000 kilometers, a B-Class F-CELL from the current fuel cell electric vehicle fleet of Mercedes-Benz has achieved a continuous running record under normal everyday conditions. The world's unique and still running test show that fuel cell cars are reliable even under extreme stress and over several years. For this achievement, Daimler AG was honored with the "f-cell Award 2014" and therefore was, for the third time, convincing with its developments in the field of fuel cell technology in the competition for the Fuel Cell Innovation Award. "The test is a step in the direction of series-ready application of the fuel cell drive train", says the jury comprising of experts from economics, science and politics.
Produced under series production conditions, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL has already been in day-to-day use with customers in the European and American markets since 2010. Today, the total mileage of the Daimler fuel cell fleet, which now numbers more than 300 vehicles, including numerous research vehicles, reaches far more than 9 million kilometres. Based on the current and pending results, the Mercedes engineers expect to identify further potential for optimization, which will flow directly into the development of the next generation of fuel cell electric vehicles. The company has the clear objective to develop a common drive train in cooperation with Ford and Nissan and to bring competitive fuel cell electric vehicles in large numbers on the streets by 2017. Pressing ahead, Daimler is thus working on market preparation - and is involved in several initiatives, such as H2 Mobility, for the build-up of a hydrogen infrastructure. "We have clearly demonstrated that the fuel cell electric drive is ready for the road," says Prof Herbert Kohler, Vice President Group Research and Sustainability, Chief Environmental Officer of Daimler AG. "The last hurdles we will overcome in intensive cross-industry and cross-border teamwork."
The f-cell award is given for the fourteenth time by the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Protection and Energy Sector Baden-Württemberg and the Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation (WRS). Donated by the state of Baden-Württemberg, the Innovation Award honors application-oriented developments around the fuel cell topic. Its aims are to honor outstanding developments in one of the most interesting fields of technology of the new century and to stimulate further innovation.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mercedes Benz Autonomous Vehicles Tested in California

Sunnyvale, CA – As one of the first automobile manufacturers permitted to do so, Mercedes-Benz has been testing autonomously driving automobiles on public roads in the US state of California since September. In addition, the company will from now on also use Concord Naval Weapons Station (CNWS), the largest test bed site in the US, for further testing of its future technology.
"We can use the test site in Concord, California, to run simulation tests with self-driving vehicles in a secure way, including specific hazardous situations", explained Dr Axel Gern, head of autonomous driving at Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America, Inc. (MBRDNA). "Taken in conjunction with the results of our test drives on public roads, these tests will help us with the ongoing development of our autonomous cars." The focus of research nevertheless continues to lie on the tests undertaken in a real-life environment, he emphasized.
The auto manufacturer was able to provide impressive proof of the viability of autonomous driving in today's complex urban and inter-city traffic already last year: In August 2013 the Mercedes-Benz S 500 INTELLIGENT DRIVE, a new-model S-Class equipped with near-production-standard technology, drove fully autonomously the 100 km distance between the German cities of Mannheim and Pforzheim, following the historic route taken by Bertha Benz.
Since mid-September of this year Mercedes-Benz, as one of the pioneers of autonomous driving, has also held the official license from the US state of California to test self-driving vehicles on public roads. The additional testing opportunities provided by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority at the CNWS site will enable the company to expand significantly the scope of its research activities.
The test site in the south-west of the US features a network of surfaced roads resembling an urban grid plan, making it an ideal location for testing autonomously driving vehicles in surroundings that are as close to real life as they can be. For security reasons the testing ground, which is operated by the US Navy in conjunction with the City of Concord and the Contra Costa County Transportation Authority, is not accessible to the public. With a test area covering 2,100 acres, the CNWS site is currently the largest and most secure test bed site in the US.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pit & Paddock, a book from Auto-Archives

We are Auto-Archives: Automotive & Motor sport library and research center, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization, located in Denver, Colorado. Within the depths of our archives we have well over 100,000 images from photographers Peter Darley, Ian Catt, William Taylor, and the Motor Racing collections of Classic Team Lotus and the Polygon Gulf Collection. With our massive collection of never published historic motor racing images, we felt that the best way to share such an impressive array of motor history is by highlighting a special group of Peter Darley images and presenting them in a fantastic 12x12-inch, large format book 'Pit & Paddock.' No point of having a massive archive of motor history if no one gets to see and enjoy it. 

Who is the photographer:
Peter Darley along with his trusty Nikon became hooked on motor racing first by racing a Mini Cooper in the UK back in the 60s, and then by travelling to as many races as he could. Living near so many circuits, he photographed many great races, at many great circuits, and in doing so he visually chronicled an incredible golden period of motor sport in the 60s & 70s. 

What is the book about:
The large format, 256-page hard back book will feature over 200 images from the Auto-Archives library, all taken by Peter Darley in the 1960s and 70s. The selected images give the reader a behind the scenes insight at race meetings found at paddocks and pit areas throughout Europe. These unique never before seen images portray a world that is long gone. 

We felt that by crowd-funding using Kickstarter, was the most effective method to gather funds to publish the book and to spread the presence of Auto-Archives to everyone.

Most important part, YOU:
We only have 15 days and counting to publish never before seen photographs of 60s and 70s motor sports. We need your support! Share Pit & Paddock with as many people as possible. Please share our project with your faithful readers on your blog, Facebook page, Twitter or newsletter. The book is our first undertaking to spread Auto-Archives mission “To be a world leader in the archiving of historic automotive & motor racing research materials." However, If you share our enthusiasm, do give your support in the form of a pledge which depending on the reward level, you will receive some great gifts (books/prints/Dan Gurney & Sir Jackie Stewart autograph prints) to cherish and share. 

From everyone here at Auto-Archives, thank you for reading this email. If you have any questions, comments or would like to further help our Kickstarter project contact us at library@auto-archives.org or call at 303.933.2526. Keep in touch with our progress via Twitter: @auto-archives, Facebook page: Auto-Archives Library. Visit us at www.auto-archives.org.


Jo Taylor
Marketing Director (Volunteer)

WWW.AUTO-ARCHIVES.ORG a 501(c)3 not-for-profit
“To be a world leader in the archiving of historic automotive and motor racing research materials.”

A tale of two Jaguars: the cars of Carolyn and Robert Shinkle

Carolyn's father, Erving Beauregard, was a dear friend and colleague of mine at the University of Dayton. Robert has a 1959 XK-150 in the garage that he is working on -- we can't wait to see it at a future cruise-in!