This blog will expand on themes and topics first mentioned in my book, "The Automobile and American Life." I hope to comment on recent developments in the automobile industry, reviews of my readings on the history of the automobile, drafts of my new work, contributions from friends, descriptions of the museums and car shows I attend and anything else relevant to those interested in automobiles and auto history. Copyright 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 , 2016, 2017, by the author.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
The Mercedes Benz W 25 Avus Streamliner, 1936
Mercedes-Benz W 25 twelve-cylinder record-breaking car, 1936
The W 25 record-breaking car of the 1936 season was a one-off special model designed on the basis of a standard chassis of the W 25 Grand Prix racing car of 1935. For the first time in the history of car manufacturing, a chassis was provided with a fully streamlined body which also included the wheels and the underside of the car. In the wind tunnel at the Zeppelin plant in Friedrichshafen, the experts analysed the body’s air flow characteristics and optimised its aerodynamics. The resultant record-breaking car acquired outstanding prominence as the pioneer of aerodynamics as a systematically and precisely applied science in automotive design. To power the vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz engineers opted for the proven MD 25 DAB engine, which generated an output of 453 kW (616 hp) in the record-breaking car. This was around 60 kW (82 hp) more than the eight-cylinder in-line engine of the Grand Prix racing car. On 26 October, Rudolf Caracciola set three international records with the record-breaking car in the “B” class (5 to 8 litres displacement) over a 1-kilometre run, a 1-mile (1,609.34 m) run and a 5-mile run (8,046.72 m), each with a flying start. He reached a top speed of 372.1 km/h in these runs. The record-breaking series continued on 11 November. Caracciola set two new class records for the 5-mile and the 10-kilometre runs. Topping off the record breaking attempts was a world record over 10 miles (16,093.44 m) with a flying start: in it Caracciola reached an average speed of 333.5 km/h between two runs in both directions.
Technical data - Mercedes-Benz W 25 twelve-cylinder record-breaking carPeriod of use: 1936 Cylinders: V12 Displacement: 5,577 cc Output: 453 kW (616 hp) Top speed: 372 km/h