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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Legends of Motorsport: Bernd Rosemeyer | Hagerty Media

Picture a 20-something biker slaloming his motorcycle between overhead trolley piers while standing nonchalantly atop its saddle. That's how Zora Arkus-Duntov-the then-future patron saint of the Corvette-met Bernd Rosemeyer in 1931 when the two worked at competing Berlin motorcycle shops. The fearless Rosemeyer won the first time he raced his 250cc Zundapp motorcycle and a [...]
https://www.hagerty.com/media/motorsports/legends-of-motorsport-bernd-rosemeyer/
15 REPLIES 15
Flashman
Instructor

It's a bit scary to see a guy racing with a cloth "helmet", leather gloves, and an oxford dress shirt.
TeutonicScot
Intermediate Driver

Rosemeyer was an interesting case study. He had tremendous talent and was by far the most successful racer in the horribly handling Type-C. He had no preconceived notions about how the car was supposed to handle, having next to zero experience driving a car prior to racing for the Auto Union team, so he just adapted and figured that was normal. He was the only German driver to win the Vanderbilt Cup, in 1937 at the old Roosevelt Raceway on Long Island. Unfortunately, his career was forever tainted by being a member of the NSKK as were most German drivers at the time and later the SS, which used him and his wife as show ponies for the Nazi party.
OldRoad
Instructor

Photo of the Auto Union Streamliner was far ahead of it's time and was the shape of things to come.
RSHMottoGuzzi
Pit Crew

Not sure why you would want to promote a article on a member of the SS and Nazi Party. He may of been a great race car driver but what the SS accomplished was death to millions of people!
drhino
Instructor

The article should have included information regarding his ties to the Nazi Party; but the story of his racing career is certainly worth presenting here. Denying history doesn’t make it go away. Not learning from it is dangerous.
Solosolo
Intermediate Driver

BLM don't believe you.
YesDear
Pit Crew

He was ordered by Himmler to join the SS. Any man who cared for his family in Nazi Germany did as he was told.
CJinSD
Advanced Driver

I can't see it having been that much easier to be a public figure in Nazi Germany who rejected Hilter than it is now to be a public figure in the US who doesn't support Biden, and for exactly the same reasons.
CarlJensen
Pit Crew

Great historical article! Nicely done.
wdb
Intermediate Driver

Two. Hundred. And. Twenty. Miles. An. Hour. In the open-wheeler. On tires that were known to simply disintegrate at high speeds. Good God Gertie. Politics be damned, that is an achievement.

I never until now knew about the side skirts and underside subtleties of the speed record cars. It's amazing and very very sad how much is lost when humans make war on a large scale.
Tinkerah
Technician

Yikes. My open wheel car is terrifying at 100 MPH and it's got modern radial tires and four wheel discs. In hindsight it seems tragedy was always going to be the outcome.
js100
Intermediate Driver

Although Rosemeyer was not in the race, as the new AU car was not completed. The 1938 Pau Grand Prix was won by René Dreyfus, who was Jewish, driving a Delahaye 145, beating the Mercedes team. The SS spent the whole occupation of France looking for the racecar, which had been cleverly hidden outside of Paris, with the intent of destroying the evidence of German failure. The tiny Delahaye racing effort was funded by an American woman to add further insult to German dominance.
shakingthrough
New Driver

The book Faster by Neal Bascomb tells that story very well, and there is a fair amount dedicated to discussions about Caracciola and Rosemeyer. I also highly recommend Tracks - Racing in the Sun by Martini which is the story of European racing in the 1930s and the influence of the politics of the day.
Charlie
Intermediate Driver

I have been a fan of his for a very long time, as he was one hell of a driver and had the very best equipment available at the time. I also have been a Porsche junkie since the early 1960's, and am not surprised that Rosemeyer's Auto Unions were powered by Porsche power.
SAG
Detailer

These are the 'history events' that shouldn't be_
neglected / forgotten.
In these times, it's all about "Tech". _____Who cares
Over the last 40 years, I can count: 8 / Formula_1 drivers that are worth their Mark