Monday, June 30, 2014

The Mercedes 240D, 1974

Mercedes-Benz models 200 D, 220 D, 240 D and 240 D 3.0 in Sindelfingen (114/115 model series), 1974

59 kW (80 hp) signified a quantum leap in 1974: The five-cylinder diesel engine on board the Mercedes-Benz 240 D 3.0 produced such an output, making the model series 115, commonly known as the “Stroke/8”, the torquiest and fastest diesel-powered passenger car in the world. The diesel engine combined strong driving power with impressive economy. At the same time, the 240 D 3.0 was the first series-production car with a five-cylinder engine.
Five-cylinder diesel engines were not a totally new phenomenon 40 years ago - they had already proven successful in trucks and as stationary devices. Their use in a passenger car placed Mercedes-Benz in the headlines and assured the company of a pioneering role in the field of engine technology, however. The new engine accelerated the 240 D 3.0 from 0 to 100 km/h in 19.9 seconds, with a top speed of 148 km/h (automatic: 20.8 seconds, 143 km/h). This performance made the 240 D 3.0 the undisputed leader in the field of diesel-powered cars at the time of its press launch. “With its refined character, smooth running and economy (10.8 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres), the latest diesel-powered vehicle from Mercedes will appeal to a new and broad range of customers,” predicted the press announcement, claiming: “With the 240 D 3.0, driving a diesel has become even more attractive.” From a present-day perspective, the car undoubtedly paved the way for the continuing success of the company’s diesel cars.
One more cylinder for added output
Mercedes-Benz developed the OM 617 engine in response to the fact that the four-cylinder diesel engines used in passenger cars to date had reached their limits in terms of output. The need for more cubic capacity from which to coax more hp came up against the limited space available in the engine compartment. Tests conducted by Mercedes-Benz with a six-cylinder engine revealed it to be too long, too heavy, and too expensive. Five cylinders appeared to represent the ideal compromise.
The engineers developed the five-cylinder in-line engine OM 617 for use in series-production cars on the basis of a 2.4-litre OM 616 engine. The latter’s proven characteristics were retained, but the five-cylinder engine was provided with a new Bosch injection pump which was connected via oil ducts to the engine’s oil circuit and was thus maintenance-free. A mechanical governor replaced the pneumatic governor which was customary for the smaller diesel engines. This benefited driving comfort – the 240 D 3.0 with manual transmission revealed virtually no load alteration effects, and with automatic transmission gear-changing was substantially smoother in the partial load range.
The five-cylinder in-line engine’s increased cubic capacity of 3,005 cc produced an output of  59 kW (80 hp) at 2,400 rpm. The press reporters also welcomed the additional output: “This added power provides a very pleasant boost in practice. [...] To put it bluntly: The 240 D 3.0 is the first diesel car that can keep the pace in fast traffic without hindering other vehicles,” wrote “Auto Zeitung”. And “auto motor und sport” commented: “Despite the higher gearing, the 15 hp more in comparison to the 240 D provide the 3.0 with a pace that will also be to the liking of drivers who are not sworn diesel fans.”
Innovative starting technology: a turn of the ignition key was all it took
Operation of the car also boasted innovative features: the use of a pneumatic stopping mechanism rather than the mechanical variant of the 2.4-litre engine enabled the new engine to be switched off with the ignition key. The engine of the 240 D 3.0 was also started up by turning the key, as opposed to the previous practice of pulling a lever: when the driver turned the ignition key, the pre-heating process was initiated and an indicator lamp went on. After a short time, the indicator lamp duly went off again, and the engine could be started up in the normal manner with the key. Very much the norm today, this mode of operation was valued as a convenient innovation in 1974, after which it successively became established for all diesel cars from Mercedes-Benz and other makes.
Mercedes-Benz also used the five-cylinder diesel engine in other vehicles, such as light-duty vans, and from 1978 in the S-Class 300 SD (model series 116), which was intended for export to the USA; the turbocharged engine in the S-Class had an output of 82 kW (111 hp) at 4,200 rpm.
In June 1976, the C 111-II D experimental car caused a stir: for the purposes of testing the high-performance diesel engine, the unit in this sports car employed turbocharging and a charge air cooler to attain an output of 140 kW (190 hp). On the test track in Nardò/Italy the C 111-II D clocked up spectacular speeds. Four drivers broke 16 world records in the space of 60 hours – 13 for diesel vehicles and 3 for motor cars covering all types of engine. The average speed on the test run was in excess of 250 km/h – and Mercedes-Benz demonstrated that a diesel is also capable of sprinting.
The “Stroke/8” model series: setting new standards in the premium middle-class category
The original “Stroke/8” model line comprised six models: the four four-cylinder models made up the model series 115, while the two six-cylinder models were allocated the model series 114. They also featured a coarser-meshed radiator grille as a distinguishing feature. The most notable engineering design feature of the new model series was to be found under the luggage compartment: the so-called “diagonal swing axle”. This new axle offered substantially improved handling characteristics in comparison to the previous models, without compromising on ride comfort. Overall, the model series 114/115 marked a great step forward and set standards for the later generations of the premium middle-class category from Mercedes-Benz – the present-day E-Class.
Production of the 240 D 3.0 model between 1974 and 1976 totalled 53,690, while overall sales of the W 115 model series stood at 945,206 diesel vehicles.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Red Brick Reunion, Oxford Ohio Porsche Event, June 28, 2014

This 356 has to be one of the sharpest examples I have ever seen. 

A Viper Green 911 Targa

 A cloudy, humid day in Oxford, Ohio. Attendance not on the level of former P2O events, energy not nearly as vibrant and vendors few and far between.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Mercedes C111

Three generations of the Mercedes-Benz research car C 111: C 111-II, 1970 (in the middle), C 111-I, 1969 (on the left), the first prototyper version of the C 111-I (on the right).

Mercedes-Benz C 111 experimental vehicle with V8 engine (1970)
Mercedes-Benz presented the C 111 at the International Frankfurt Motor Show IAA in September 1969. With its extreme wedge shape and gullwing doors, the research vehicle had a glass-fibre-reinforced plastic body and was powered by a three-rotor Wankel engine with an output of 206 kW (280 hp). This futuristic sports car could reach a speed of up to 270 km/h. The following year, a revised version of the C 111 was shown at Geneva – but now with a four-rotor Wankel engine delivering 257 kW (350 hp). This version of the C 111 could accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 300 km/h. It was this second version of the research vehicle that served as the basis for a V8 variant of the C 111 containing the M 116 series engine (147 kW/200 hp), which Mercedes-Benz engineers and technicians used for the purposes of comparison with the rotary-engined sports car. Despite numerous orders, the C 111 remained an experimental vehicle and never entered series production. Mercedes-Benz instead went on to develop a series of record-breaking vehicles based upon it: the C 111-II D (1976) and the C 111-III (1977-1978, both with a five-cylinder diesel engine) and the C 111-IV (1979, V8 petrol engine with turbocharging).
Technical data – Mercedes-Benz C 111 with V8 engineProduction period: 1970
Cylinders: V8
Displacement: 3,499 cc
Output: 147 kW (200 hp)
In contrast to the other C 111 vehicles that Mercedes-Benz constructed with the rotary engine invented by Felix Wankel (six with a three-rotor engine in 1969 and six with a four-rotor engine in 1970), this C 111 has a rear-mounted reciprocating engine. When building the prototype in 1970, Mercedes-Benz engineers in Sindelfingen implanted a 3.5-litre, V8 production engine into a second-generation C 111 chassis to enable direct comparisons to be made with the four-rotor Wankel engine. This V8 engine was first used in 1969 in the luxury Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 3.5 (W 109) and 280 SE 3.5 Coupé and Cabriolet (W 111) models, and also delivered a sporty driving experience in the 350 SL (R 107) launched in 1971.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Mercedes-Benz W 196 R and 1954 French Grand Prix

French Grand Prix in Reims, July 4, 1954. Runner-up Karl Kling (start number 20) at the wheel of the Mercedes-Benz W 196 R Formula One racing car with streamlined bodywork.
On 4 July 1954, Juan Manuel Fangio and Karl Kling won the first race contested by the new Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows.

French Grand Prix in Reims, July 4, 1954: Juan Manuel Fangio, who was to win the race, at the wheel of the Mercedes-Benz W 196 R streamliner (start number 18), next to him Karl Kling (start number 20), and behind them Hans Herrmann (start number 22).

Reims started a glorious era in the history of Mercedes-Benz motor racing in 1954 and 1955.

On 4 July 1954, Mercedes-Benz marked its return to Grand Prix racing after the Second World War with a double victory in the French Grand Prix. At the wheel of the new Mercedes-Benz W 196 R, Juan Manuel Fangio won the race in Reims ahead of his team colleague Karl Kling. With this triumph in the Champagne region, the racing department in Stuttgart once again wrote motor racing history – exactly 40 years after the triple Mercedes victory in the 1914 French Grand Prix in Lyon. On the same day, Germany also won the football World Cup in Berne.

Only fractions of a second lay between Juan Manuel Fangio and his team colleague Karl Kling when the Argentinean crossed the finishing line on the Reims circuit in first place on 4 July 1954, at the Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France (ACF): Fangio and Kling achieved a glorious double victory for the completely new Mercedes-Benz W 196 R. They were followed by Robert Manzon (Ferrari) in 3rd place, who was more than one lap behind after 61 laps. This double victory demonstrated the superiority of the new Silver Arrow constructed in accordance with the rules for the new 2.5-litre formula, which was making its first racing appearance on the fast circuit in the Champagne region. It was with this magnificent success that the Stuttgart-based brand heralded its return to Grand Prix racing after a 15-year absence – and it was a magical moment of great historical significance, because it was exactly 40 years before, on 4 July 1914, that Mercedes achieved the legendary triple victory in the Grand Prix de l’ACF in Lyon.
This race later became known as “The miracle of Reims”, by way of association with the football World Cup title won by the German national team on 4 July 1954 and known as “The miracle of Berne”.
The victory in the Grand Prix de l’ACF was no isolated achievement, however, as it ushered in a whole new era in motor racing: both in 1954 and 1955, Mercedes-Benz was to dominate the Formula 1 Grand Prix scene with the W 196 R. In 1954, Juan Manuel Fangio, who won the Formula 1 driver’s world championship in both years, drove the Mercedes-Benz W 196 R to victory in the French Grand Prix, the German Grand Prix (Nürburgring), the Swiss Grand Prix (Bremgarten), and the Italian Grand Prix (Monza). Even before Mercedes-Benz returned to Formula 1 with the W 196 R, the 1951 world champion had commenced the 1954 season by winning the Grands Prix in Argentina (Buenos Aires) and Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps) for Maserati.
Successful return to Grand Prix racing
When the war ended in 1945, the very first priority for the then Daimler-Benz AG was to rebuild destroyed plants and resume production of commercial vehicles and passenger cars. In the light of this, a return to motor sport was not high on the agenda. In the first few years after the war, the former works drivers, mechanics and engineers from the racing department spent their time repairing ordinary passenger cars – no easy task in the immediate post-war environment, and one which called for considerable talent for improvisation, which the motor sport employees had developed in their years of working in the pits at racing events.
The company’s first excursion into post-war motorsport came in September 1950, when Karl Kling entered a Mercedes-Benz 170 S in the ADAC Six-Hour Race for sports and touring cars at Nürburgring. In 1951, Mercedes-Benz then competed in two races in Argentina with the W 154 Grand Prix racing car from the 1930s. Real success, however, only came with the 300 SL racing sports car (W 194) presented in 1952, with which Mercedes-Benz won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Carrera Panamericana, for example. The success of the 300 SL encouraged the decision taken in 1953 to re-enter Grand Prix motor racing for the 1954 season, and to create a completely new racing car for the purpose.
The W 196 R complied with the Formula 1 race rules applicable from 1954. It was powered by a naturally aspirated 2.5-litre engine which already developed a high output and torque at low engine speeds. The M 196 R eight-cylinder in-line engine consisted of two four-cylinder blocks with a central power transfer. It was installed with an inclination to the right to lower the car’s centre of gravity. It was initially equipped with four Weber twin carburettors. However, the decision had already been taken to replace these with a mechanical direct-injection system from Bosch, which promised a higher output and better fuel economy – this was ready for action just before the first race in Reims.
The valve timing was an unusual feature of the M 196 R: rather than rely on spring pressure, and also to ensure reliability at high engine speeds, the engine’s breathing apertures were not only opened by rocker arms, but also (positively) closed by them (“desmodromic”). The overall concept ensured uniform power delivery over the entire engine speed range, and made the 1954-season engine developing up to 188 kW (256 hp) very robust.
Debut with a streamlined body
The streamlined body of the W 196 R came as a major surprise in Reims: the cars were completely clad in an aerodynamically optimised skin of lightweight magnesium, which also enclosed the wheels. This variant was very advantageous on high-speed circuits such as Reims. On circuits with numerous bends, however, the second variant of the W 196 R with a conventional body and exposed wheels proved more successful.
The new racing car was based on a lightweight spaceframe like that of the 300 SL racing sports car of 1952. The rods in this structure were particularly designed for high tensile and compression strength, providing maximum stability with a low weight – the complete spaceframe weighed only 36 kilograms. The suspension was likewise sophisticated, featuring double wishbones and a single-joint swing axle with a low pivot point as a state-of-the-art design.
Fangio’s first race in the W 196 R
Racing manager Alfred Neubauer had appointed three drivers to his team: Juan Manuel Fangio, Karl Kling and the talented young Hans Herrmann. They thoroughly familiarised themselves with the car, above all during test drives on the Hockenheimring circuit. On 21 June 1954, their participation in the Grand Prix race in Reims was confirmed by telegram, and just one day later the team commenced its training activities on the circuit. “Our new Grand Prix formula cars [...] are really a delight,” racing manager Neubauer commented on the power and reliability of the W 196 R in Reims. And even before the actual race, Fangio secured a special prize of 50 bottles of the best champagne for himself with an average lap speed of over 200 km/h.
However, there was also a downside to the high speeds achieved by the Silver Arrows on the long, drawn-out bends in France: “Our cars are guzzling 35 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres. That is more than we expected,” racing manager Neubauer lamented. Auxiliary tanks were promptly installed that had been personally fetched from Stuttgart overnight by Rudolf Uhlenhaut in his 300 SL (W 198). This meant that the racing cars had no need to stop and refuel during the Grand Prix. Together with chief designer Fritz Nallinger, Uhlenhaut as head of passenger car testing at Mercedes-Benz had a decisive influence on the development of the W 196 R. At the end of July 1954, the brilliant strategy of racing manager Neubauer even made it onto the cover of the current affairs magazine “Der Spiegel” with the heading “If you refuel, you lose”.
From pole position to a double victory
On 4th July 1954, Louis Wagner opened the proceedings for the French Grand Prix with a lap of honour. In 1914, Wagner was one of the three Mercedes racing drivers to achieve the triple victory in Lyon – coming in 2nd place after 752.6 kilometres. The Frenchman was given enthusiastic applause by the spectators as he rounded the circuit in Reims in a Mercedes-Benz 300 S Convertible.
Fangio and Kling had secured the first and second places in the starting lineup during qualification, while Hans Herrmann started from the third row. A total of 21 racing cars were at the starting line for this 41st Grand Prix de l’ACF, representing Ferrari, Gordini, HWM, and Maserati besides Mercedes-Benz. The race was to cover 61 laps of 8.3 kilometres.
When the race started at 2:45 p.m., Fangio (start number 18) and Kling (start number 20) took the lead while Hans Herrmann (start number 22) worked his way forward at high speed and even managed a lap record (2:32.9 minutes, corresponding to an average of 195.463 km/h). From the 11th lap all three W 196 R cars were actually in the lead, but in lap 17 Hans Herrmann was forced to retire with engine damage.
The two remaining Silver Arrows fought an exciting duel at the head of the field. By mistake the German radio commentator Reiner Günzler even announced victory by Kling in the 60th lap, however there was one lap still to go, and Fangio won the race after 506.4 kilometres with a lead of just half a length. In subsequent races in the 1954 and 1955 seasons, the French Grand Prix was followed by five more double victories plus four single victories. This was a total of ten victories in only 13 Grand Prix races, rounded off by second, third, and fourth places.
The winning Mercedes-Benz car in the 1954 Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France in Reims
Mercedes-Benz 2.5-litre streamlined racing car W 196 R (1954)
In 1954, Mercedes-Benz returned to Grand Prix with a completely newly developed racing car. The W 196 R complied with all the conditions of the new Grand Prix formula of the CSI (Commission Sportive Internationale): 750 cubic centimetres displacement with supercharger or 2,500 cubic centimetres without, no restrictions on fuel composition. The W 196 R developed 188 kW (256 hp) from a displacement of 2,496 cc at 8,260 rpm (for the next season the engineers increased its output to 213 kW/290 hp). The streamlined version was used for the debut appearance in 1954, as the circuit allowed very high speeds. After this a second variant with exposed wheels followed. The spaceframe of the W 196 R was light and sturdy; the chassis had a torsion-rod suspension and a new single-joint swing rear axle as well as turbo-cooled Duplex drum brakes. For its power plant the engineers chose an eight-cylinder in-line engine with direct injection and desmodromic (positively opened and closed) springless valves, which made high engine speeds above 8,000 rpm possible. In 1954 and 1955, Juan Manuel Fangio went on to become Formula 1 world champion in the W 196 R.
Technical data of the Mercedes-Benz 2.5-litre streamlined racing car W 196 R
Period of use: 1954-1955
Cylinders: 8/in-line
Displacement: 2,497 cubic centimetres
Output: 188 kW (256 hp) to 213 kW (290 hp)
Top speed: more than 300 km/h
The protagonists from the Mercedes-Benz racing department in the 1954 Grand Prix de l’ACF in Reims
Juan Manuel Fangio
Born on 24 June 1911 in Balcarce (Argentina)
Died on 17 July 1995 in Buenos Aires (Argentina)
The five-times Formula One world champion from Argentina came to international motor racing relatively late in life. It was only after the Second World War that Juan Manuel Fangio came to Europe, competing in his first Grand Prix in Reims (France) in 1948. In 1951, the Argentinean driver became World Champion for the first time at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo. When Mercedes-Benz returned to Grand Prix racing with the W 196 R in 1954, Alfred Neubauer engaged Fangio for his works team. The son of Italian immigrants continued his series of successes with the new Silver Arrow: he went on to win the opening Grand Prix race in Reims on 4 July 1954. Both in this season and in 1955, Fangio became Formula One world champion driving a Mercedes-Benz. He also achieved respectable successes in sports car races driving the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR (W 196 S), such as his victory in the 1955 Eifel race at Nürburgring and 2nd place in the 1955 Mille Miglia, in which the Argentinean drove with no co-driver. After Mercedes-Benz withdrew from motor racing at the end of the 1955 season, Fangio raced for three further seasons for Ferrari (1956 World Championship) and Maserati (1957 World Championship). Fangio, who owned a dealership for Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Buenos Aires from the mid-1950s, became president of Mercedes-Benz Argentina S.A. in 1974.
Karl Kling
Born on 16 September 1910 in Gießen
Died on 18. March 2003 in Gaienhofen by Lake Constance
Karl Kling, born in the town of Giessen, made his début in motor sports shortly before Second World War, racing occasionally for Mercedes-Benz at touring car events. After 1948, he became German Sports Car champion three times. Kling achieved his first great successes for Mercedes-Benz with the 300 SL (W 194) racing sports cars. Among these, his victory together with co-pilot Hans Klenk in the 1952 Carrera Panamericana will remain unforgotten. Upon Mercedes-Benz’s return to Grand Prix sport in 1954, Kling was part of its successful driver team along with Juan Manuel Fangio, Hermann Lang and Hans Herrmann. Kling, dubbed by Alfred Neubauer “Gentleman at the wheel”, won numerous excellent placings for the Mercedes-Benz team. For example, he achieved 2nd place behind Fangio in the very first Formula One race Mercedes-Benz entered, the 1954  French Grand Prix in Reims. In 1956, Kling succeeded Alfred Neubauer as head of the sports department. He continued to occasionally take part in competitions himself, In 1959, for example, he won the Rallye Méditerrannée–Le Cap from Algiers to Cape Town and back, and in 1961 the Algiers–Central Africa Rally from Algiers to Lagos and back. After his retirement he continued to collaborate with the Mercedes-Benz Sports division as a consultant.
Hans Herrmann
Born on 23 February 1928 in Stuttgart
Mercedes-Benz racing manager Alfred Neubauer engaged 25 year-old Hans Herrmann to race in the 1954 season with the Daimler-Benz AG works team. In the Swiss Grand Prix in Berne on 22 August 1954, Herrmann drove to 3rd place in a Mercedes-Benz W 196 R, and in the AVUS race in Berlin on 19 September 1954 he also finished third (in a triple victory for Mercedes-Benz). 1954 and 1955 saw Herrmann taking part in a total of eight Formula One races and one racing sports car competition for the Stuttgart-based brand. At the Monaco Grand Prix he was badly injured in a training accident. This ended Herrmann's involvement in the Mercedes-Benz Formula One team, as the brand withdrew from Formula One racing at the close of the 1955 season. In the following years Herrmann participated in sports car competitions, both in Formula 2 and Formula 1. In the 1960s, he took part in occasional touring car competitions driving Mercedes-Benz cars. He ended his racing career in 1970, driving a Porsche to victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Alfred Neubauer
Born on 29 March 1891 in Neutitschein (Czech Republic)
Died on 21 August 1980 in Stuttgart
Born in Nový Jič, Moravia (Neutitschein/Czech Republic), Alfred Neubauer was the driving force behind the motor racing activities of Mercedes-Benz as racing manager from the 1920s to 1955. Originally an automobile officer in the Austrian army, Neubauer first worked as head of the running-in department for Austro-Daimler in Wiener-Neustadt (Austria). In 1923, he moved to the driving department of Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft in Untertürkheim and took part in a number of races as a driver – among others in the Targa Florio in Sicily. In 1926, he made his first appearance as racing manager for Mercedes-Benz. In this capacity he made a decisive contribution to the numerous victories of the “S” series supercharged vehicles – among other things through the development of strategies and techniques for communication with the drivers. The triumphs of the Silver Arrows in the years 1934 to 1939 and 1954 to 1955, as well as in the sports car races in 1952 and 1955, were all achieved under Neubauer’s direction

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Syllabus, The Automobile and American Life, Summer, 2014, HST 344


HST 344  -- Science, Technology and the Modern Corporation: The Automobile and American Life

            Class Meeting: MTWTHF 9:25 - 10:40 a.m., HM 125

            Instructor: John A. Heitmann

            Office: 435HM (x92803).

            Office Hours: By appointment

            Texts:  John Heitmann, The Automobile and American Life (McFarland, 2009).
John Heitmann and Rebecca Morales, Stealing Cars: Technology and Society from the Model T to Gran Torino (Johns Hopkins, 2014).
                        Ben Hamper, Rivethead (Warner, 1991).
Jason Vucic, The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History(Hill-Wang, 2008).

            Grades: The final grade for this course will be based upon two Exams, (60%), and a Final Exam (40%).  The grade scale is as follows: A  94 to 100; A-  90 to 93; B+  87-89; B 84-86; B-  80 - 83; C+ 77-79; C 74-76; C- 70-73.  A similar pattern applies to lower grades.  Letter grades are assigned a mid-point numerical grade. Additionally, attendance can influence your final grade at my discretion: if you miss more than 3 classes, one letter grade will be deducted from your grade; if you miss more than 6 classes, a two letter grade reduction will take place.  Grade averages may be influenced by such factors as trends over the time of the course; for example, how you finish is far more important than how you start. Policies for exams strictly follows History Department Guidelines, and make-ups will only be offered with a valid, documented excuse.

            Attendance at lectures is crucial if you are to expect a good grade in the course, and I want you to be at every class if that is at all possible. On many occasions material presented is not covered in the readings, and so many of the ideas discussed central to the development of modern science are complex and often confusing. Your attitude and what you bring in to the classroom can make the difference between a mediocre offering and a most positive educational experience. 

Cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated and offenses will be punished accordingly. A first offense will result in a failing grade for the exam or paper in question; a second offense will result in a failing grade for the course.
Course Purpose:  It has been said that the automobile is the perfect technological symbol of American culture, a tangible expression of our quest to level space, time and class, and a reflection of our restless mobility, social and otherwise. In this course we will explore together the place of the automobile in American life, and how it transformed business, life on the farm and in the city, the nature and organization of work, leisure time, and the arts. This is a most complex transition that we will study, as the automobile transformed everyday life and the environment in which we operate.  It influenced the foods we eat; music we listen to; risks we take; places we visit; errands we run; emotions we feel; movies we watch; stress we endure; and, the air we breathe.


            The week of:

Week 1/June 23          Introduction; What our cars tell us about ourselves. The car in                                                   everyday life: the automobile age and its contradictions.                                                                        Automotive Pioneers; Putting America on the Road; Henry Ford                                                    and the Model T; The Rise of General Motors; “Master Hands.”

                                                            Reading: Heitmann, Introduction, Chapter 1-3.
Films: “Wild Wheels”; “Horatio’s Drive;” “Automobile Parade;” “Gussle’s Day of Rest.”

Week 2/June 30          Advertising, Styling, Design and the Art of the Automobile
                                                On the Road;
                                                            Reading: Heitmann, chapter 4.
                                                            Film: “Grapes of                                                                                                                                   Wrath;” “Route 66;” “Detour."

July 3  -- Test 1. You will be responsible for writing an essay on Ben Hamper’s Rivethead on this exam.

                                                            No class on Wednesday, July 4

Week 3/July 7         Religion, Sex, and The Car as a Home; The Interwar Years:
The Great Depression, Aerodynamics, and Cars of the Olympian Age.     
                                                            Reading: Heitmann, Chapters 5 and 6.
Films: “Master Hands;” “The Crowd Roars;” “Burn Em’Up Barnes.”

Week 4/ July 14                        World War II:  Detroit, the Arsenal of Democracy;                                                                                      Post-War Industry and Technological Suppression; Chrome                                                               Dreams of the 1950s
                                                            Readings:  Heitmann, Chapters 7 and 8
                                                            Films: “Jitterbugs;” "Tucker;" "Rebel Without a Cause;"                                                                         "Thunder Road;"

July 18 – Test 2. You will be responsible for Heitmann and Morales, Stealing Cars, on this exam.

Week 5/ July 21                        The 1960s; Oil Shock I: Japan, James Bond, and Mobile Lovemaking                                                               
Readings:  Heitmann, Chapters 8 and 9.
                                                            "American Graffiti;"“Goldfinger;”                                                                                                         “Thunderball;” “Bullitt.”


            Week / 6 July 28                       The Automobile World Upside Down, 1980s to the Present.

                                                            Readings: Heitmann, Chapter 10, Epilogue.
                                                            Films: “Gone in Sixty Seconds.” “Fast and Furious;” “The                                                                 Revenge of the Electric Car.”


            Final Exam, July 31, in class. You will be responsible for Vucic, The Yugo, on this exam. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Mercedes-Benz W25 Silver Arrows: Race Statistics, 1934-1939

The Mercedes-Benz W 25 Grand Prix racing car
1934 season
Eifel race (Nürburgring), 3 June 1934
Win (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
Kesselberg race, 17 June 1934
2nd place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
German Grand Prix (Nürburgring), 15 July 1934
2nd place (Luigi Fagioli)
5th place (Hanns Geier)
International Klausen race (Klausen pass), 5 August 1934
Win (Rudolf Caracciola)
Coppa Acerbo (Pescara), 5 August 1934
Win (Luigi Fagioli)
6th place (Ernst Henne)
Swiss Grand Prix (Bremgarten), 26 August 1934
6th place (Luigi Fagioli)
10th place (Rudolf Caracciola)
11th place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
Italian Grand Prix (Monza), 9 September 1934
Win (Rudolf Caracciola/Luigi Fagioli)
Spanish Grand Prix (San Sebastian), 23 September 1934
Win (Luigi Fagioli)
2nd place (Rudolf Caracciola)
Masaryk Grand Prix (Brno), 30 September 1934
2nd place (Luigi Fagioli)
6th place (Ernst Henne/Hanns Geier)
1935 season
Monaco Grand Prix (Monte Carlo), 22 April 1935
Win (Luigi Fagioli)
Tripoli Grand Prix (Mellaha), 12 May 1935
Win (Rudolf Caracciola)
3rd place (Luigi Fagioli)
Avus race (Berlin), 26 May 1935
Win (Luigi Fagioli)
5th place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
Eifel race (Nürburgring), 16 June 1935
Win (Rudolf Caracciola)
4th place (Luigi Fagioli)
5th place (Hermann Lang)
French Grand Prix (Linas–Montlhéry), 23 June 1935
Win (Rudolf Caracciola)
2nd place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
4th place (Luigi Fagioli)
Penya Rhin Grand Prix (Barcelona), 30 June 1935
Win (Luigi Fagioli)
2nd place (Rudolf Caracciola)
Belgian Grand Prix (Spa-Francorchamps), 14 July 1935
Win (Rudolf Caracciola)
2nd place (Luigi Fagioli/Manfred von Brauchitsch)
German Grand Prix (Nürburgring), 28 July 1935
3rd place (Rudolf Caracciola)
5th place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
6th place (Luigi Fagioli)
7th place (Hanns Geier)
Swiss Grand Prix (Bremgarten), 25 August 1935
Win (Rudolf Caracciola)
2th place (Luigi Fagioli) 
6th place (Hermann Lang)
Spanish Grand Prix (San Sebastian), 22 September 1935
Win (Rudolf Caracciola)
2nd place (Luigi Fagioli)
3rd place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
1936 season
Monaco Grand Prix (Monte Carlo), 13 April 1936
Win (Rudolf Caracciola)
Tripoli Grand Prix (Mellaha), 10 May 1936
3rd place (Luigi Fagioli)
4th place (Rudolf Caracciola)
9th place (Louis Chiron)
Tunisian Grand Prix (Carthage), 17 May 1936
Win (Rudolf Caracciola)
Penya Rhin Grand Prix (Barcelona), 7 June 1936 
2nd place (Rudolf Caracciola)
6th place (Louis Chiron)
Eifel race (Nürburgring), 14 June 1936
5th place (Hermann Lang)
6th place (Louis Chiron)
German Grand Prix (Nürburgring), 26 July 1936
5th place (Luigi Fagioli/Rudolf Caracciola)
7th place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
Swiss Grand Prix (Bremgarten), 23 August 1936
4th place (Hermann Lang/Luigi Fagioli)
The Mercedes-Benz W 125 Grand Prix racing car
1937 season
Tripoli Grand Prix (Mellaha), 9 May 1937
Win (Hermann Lang)
6th place (Rudolf Caracciola)
7th place (Richard Seaman)
Avus race (Berlin), 30 May 1937
Win (Hermann Lang)
5th place (Richard Seaman)
Eifel race (Nürburgring), 13 June 1936
2nd place (Rudolf Caracciola)
3rd place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
6th place (Hermann Lang)
9th place (Christian Kautz)
Vanderbilt Cup (New York), 5 July 1937
2nd place (Richard Seaman)
Belgian Grand Prix (Spa-Francorchamps), 11 July 1937
3rd place (Hermann Lang)
4th place (Christian Kautz)
German Grand Prix (Nürburgring), 25 July 1937
Win (Rudolf Caracciola)
2nd place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
6th place (Christian Kautz)
7th place (Hermann Lang)
Monaco Grand Prix (Monte Carlo), 8 August 1937
Win (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
2nd place (Rudolf Caracciola)
3rd place (Christian Kautz)
5th place (Goffredo Zehender)
Coppa Acerbo (Pescara), 15 August 1937
2nd place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
5th place (Rudolf Caracciola)
Swiss Grand Prix (Bremgarten), 22 August 1937
Win (Rudolf Caracciola)
2nd place (Hermann Lang)
3rd place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
6th place (Christian Kautz)
Italian Grand Prix (Monza), 12 September 1937
Win (Rudolf Caracciola)
2nd place (Hermann Lang)
4th place (Richard Seaman)
Masaryk Grand Prix (Brno), 26 September 1937
Win (Rudolf Caracciola)
2nd place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
4th place (Richard Seaman)
Donington Grand Prix (Donington), 2 October 1937
2nd place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
3rd place (Rudolf Caracciola)
1938 season
German Mountain Grand Prix (Grossglockner High Alpine Road), 23 August 1938
2nd place (Hermann Lang)
3rd place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
The Mercedes-Benz W 154 Grand Prix racing car
1938 season
Pau Grand Prix (Pau), 10 April 1938
2nd place (Rudolf Caracciola)
Tripoli Grand Prix (Mellaha), 15 May 1938
Win (Hermann Lang)
3rd place (Rudolf Caracciola)
French Grand Prix (Reims), 3 July 1938
Win (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
2nd place (Rudolf Caracciola)
3rd place (Hermann Lang)
German Grand Prix (Nürburgring), 24 July 1938
Win (Richard Seaman)
2nd place (Rudolf Caracciola/Hermann Lang)
Coppa Ciano (Livorno), 7 August 1938
Win (Hermann Lang)
Coppa Acerbo (Pescara), 14 August 1938
Win (Rudolf Caracciola)
Swiss Grand Prix (Bremgarten), 21 August 1938
Win (Rudolf Caracciola)
2nd place (Richard Seaman)
3rd place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
10th place (Hermann Lang/Walter Bäumer)
Italian Grand Prix (Monza), 11 September 1938
3rd place (Rudolf Caracciola/Manfred von Brauchitsch)
Donington Grand Prix (Donington), 22 October 1938
2nd place (Hermann Lang)
3rd place (Richard Seaman)
5th place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
1939 season
Pau Grand Prix (Pau), 2 April 1939
Win (Hermann Lang)
2nd place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
Eifel race (Nürburgring), 21 May 1939
Win (Hermann Lang)
3rd place (Rudolf Caracciola)
4th place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
8th place (Hans-Hugo Hartmann)
Vienna “Höhenstraßen” race (Vienna), 11 June 1939 
Win (Hermann Lang)
3rd place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
Belgian Grand Prix (Spa-Francorchamps), 25 June 1939
Win (Hermann Lang)
3rd place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
German Grand Prix (Nürburgring), 23 July 1939
Win (Rudolf Caracciola)
German Mountain Grand Prix (Grossglockner High Alpine Road), 6 August 1939
Win (Hermann Lang)
4rd place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
Swiss Grand Prix (Bremgarten), 20 August 1939
Win (Hermann Lang)
2nd place (Rudolf Caracciola)
3rd place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
Belgrade Grand Prix (Belgrade), 3 September 1939
2nd place (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
The Mercedes-Benz W 165 Grand Prix racing car
1939 season
Tripoli Grand Prix (Mellaha), 7 May 1939
Win (Hermann Lang)
2rd place (Rudolf Caracciola)

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Great Road Song: Grandpa's Advice

Thanks to Ed Garten!

Grandpa's Advice
Grandpa’s Advice by Adie Grey and Dave MacKenzie
© Hey Baby! Ditties, ASCAP
Verse 1 
I remember Sunday drivin’ in my Grandpa’s car
Old songs on the radio; the smell of his cigar
Everybody d’ honk at him because he’d drive so slow
He’d just laugh and tell me, “Kid, here’s something you should know”

Chorus 1
They’re all jerks,
When you’re out here on your own
Just assume that everybody else is half-asleep or stoned
They’re all jerks,
And not a one knows how to drive
So you gotta pay attention to make it home alive
I’ll give you my philosophy, I guarantee it works
Repeat it after me, kid,
They’re all jerks.

Verse 2
He said, “They’ll let any fool with money buy himself a car
And you can get a license here, however dumb you are
Oh they all turn into hotrods when they slide behind the wheel
When you get old enough to drive, remember here’s the deal:”
Repeat Chorus 1

Verse 3 
Twenty-five years later, I’ve got children of my own
And I do all the driving between school and work and home
Sometimes on the weekends we head out for the beach
Now with the kids strapped in the backseat now it’s my turn to teach
So every time I’m cut off by some wise-guy in a truck
Or some hero in a sports car whose gotta push his luck
I don’t get scared or angry, I just sing this little song
It always cheers me up to hear my children sing along

Chorus 2
They’re all jerks
When you’re out here on your own
Just assume that everybody else is drunk or on the phone
They’re all jerks,
Not a one knows how to drive
So you gotta pay attention to make it home alive
I’ll give you my philosophy, I guarantee it works
Repeat it after me, kids,
They’re all jerks
I said Repeat it after me, kids,
They’re all jerks