Photography: Sachsenring 1953 - Greifzu Eigenbau

Written by Super User | Thursday, 21 February 2013 19:53

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As a follow-up to formfreu.de's excellent blog on a motor museum in Suhl, Germany I have dug out a photo of the Greifzu Eigenbau which features prominently in the museum's collection. This photo was most certainly taken at the Sachsenring in the Eastern part of then divided Germany in 1953, purely on the basis that I acquired a batch of photos from this event in a box marked 'Sachsenring 1953'. Though, result sheets and the numbers on the cars point to an altogether different race. What is certain though is that the car on the photo was built by Paul Greifzu on the basis of a tired pre-war BMW 328 according to Formula 2 'regulations' of the time. Greifzu, after a couple of incredibly succesful seasons, he was seen as a national hero taking on the capitalist West-German opposition, died in 1952 at a race in Dessau in this car. The car miraculously survived though and was rebuilt. It ran a couple of races in 1953 driven by Rudolf Krause including a race at the Sachsenring on 6 September. Sadly it is intensly difficult to verify my claim as official result lists are very difficult to find, bear with me, there's more to come.

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Spotted: Two Commie cars in London

Written by Kurt | Sunday, 07 October 2012 23:13

london-eastgermancars-ddr-wartuburg-trabant

I guess it's not everyday that one can spot two East German cars in a row in the very heart of Central London, but I happened to stumble onto two of these dapper Germans right there. There they were, in a rather tatty condition, the blue one a Trabant and the other one a rather less obiquitous Wartburg 353 Tourist. It made for a great contrast with the hugely expensive red-brick mansion blocks just behind it (FYI you probably can't even get a 1 bedroom property there for under £500,000). I wonder who's the owner of the cars, does he live there? It did say resident permit holders only on the parking sign, so I guess the owner is one and the same person. So who could it be, someone rich to live there and mad enough to drive around in these cars, a banker with a great sense of humour perhaps? A rich marxist? Some dazed university professor (this bit of London happens to be riddled riddled with universities)? A former East German ambassador? Well, I guess we'll never know. Though, do enjoy the photos (that I sadly had to take with my awful camera phone).

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Photography: The 1969 Italian Grand Prix

Written by Kurt | Saturday, 08 September 2012 11:28

1969 monza GP - There they go, Stewart, Hill, Rindt, Courage

With the 2012 Italian Grand Prix underway this weekend, it's a good time to look back at a previous edition of this traditional F1 race. With Hamilton and Alonso being particularly strong this weekend, the 1969 edition saw Jackie Stewart and Jochen Rindt go head to head. It was in this race that Jackie Stewart claimed his first F1 title with three races still to go by finishing first. It wasn't a walk in the, admittedly beautiful, Royal Villa of Monza park for Stewart though, the first 4 drivers finished within a second of one another. Rindt crossed the line just 0.08 seconds after Stewart while Frenchman Beltoise and New Zealander McLaren where right on his heels. It is no surprise that this race is the closest 1-2-3-4 finish in GP history with lead changes almost every lap. Best of all we have some photos of this momentous occassion!

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Photography: Racing through Chemnitz in the early 50s

Written by Super User | Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:46

Just imagine: it's a sunday morning in August, the sun's out, you've made yourself a proper breakfast that you'd like to eat in the garden, but oddly enough you feel there's something missing; noise and the smell of burned oil and rubber somehow. If you're like that, then you should've been living in the city of Chemnitz, Germany in the early 50s. Racing there was literally taking place on the doorstep. Just look at these somewhat inconspicuous photos and you'll see what I mean. These were taken in Chemnitz in either 1952 or 1953 during one of the racing weekends held there. There were cars, but also motorbikes partaking in various race sessions. Cars and motorbikes flew through the city at high speeds (on cobbled roads!) without any safety fences or straw bales present whatsoever. Just look at the people in the first photo, the inhabitants of the house could just go and sit in front of their home to see something of the action. In this case some single seater car flying past at probably no more than 5 metres. And what about the sportscar underneath?

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Illuminated rubber

Written by Kurt | Monday, 16 July 2012 21:15

Some inventions turn out to be great, others turn out to be not so great. The Goodyear 'Illuminated Tyre' certainly falls into the last category. It was 1961 when the engineers at Goodyear thought up a system to lit up a tyre made from a single piece of synthetic rubber by mounting various light bulbs on the inner wheel rim. The idea was that customers could choose out of a various, differently, coloured tyres (were any sold at all?). One of those colours was red, as illustrated by the photo underneath. The photo is lightened up with a Goodyear Zeppelin in the background, which makes me wonder; why didn't they illuminate that? Now that would have boosted brand awareness! Granted, the lady in the first photo probably drew quite a crowd as well back in the day..

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