Mercedes and Auto Racing in the Belle Epoque, 1895–1915


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About the Book

The history of the Mercedes provides the thread for this book that narrates the early history of automobile racing. The sport had its origins in Paris, and French marques and the Automobile Club de France dominated the early scene. But in 1901 a foreign troublemaker emerged, the Mercedes. This German machine was to play a leading role, its career and evolution becoming an image of the whole period. The individuals who built and drove these early racers laid the foundation of a new industry, conceived the modern, high-performance engine, and gave magic to a series of thrilling races.
This richly illustrated history answers many questions from this time. Early chapters discuss the marketing of the original Daimler engine in France, the influence of Emil Jellinek and Wilhelm Maybach, and the great town-to-town and Gordon Bennett races. Later chapters focus on the French Grand Prix, the great crisis of 1909, the voiturette movement, the Mercedes and Benz successes in America, and the role of Ernest Henry in the development of the revolutionary Peugeot. Final chapters describe the career of the 4.5-litre Mercedes and its impact on future designs.

About the Author(s)

Robert Dick is a historian in mechanical engineering and automotive matters. He lives in Spicheren, Germany.

Bibliographic Details

Robert Dick
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 371
Bibliographic Info: 314 photos, tables, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014 [2005]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7732-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Preface      1

Introduction      3

1. Scenery      5

2. Meeting Point: Eiffel Tower      9

3. Système Panhard      17

4. Riviérà      28

5. Mercédès      40

6. Roi du Volant      47

7. Simplex      56

8. One-Tonners      64

9. Sixty      77

10. Towards Madrid      87

11. La Coupe Bennett      101

12. Hot Favorite      115

13. Muscle Car      130

14. Grand Prix      147

15. Italian Supremacy      163

16. Apotheosis      179

17. Depression      195

18. Blitzen Benz      202

19. Voiturettes      215

20. Savannah      234

21. Grey Ghost      243

22. Modern Times      251

23. Rivals in Blue      270

24. Test Run      283

25. Tactics      294

26. Oval Tracks      311

27. Wartime      320

Appendix A: Forgotten Cars—and Forgotten Heroes      329

Appendix B: Technical Data      337

Appendix C: Race Results      352

Bibliography      357

Index      359

Book Reviews & Awards

“wonderfully researched and complete…recommended”—Choice; “extraordinary…exhaustive and scholarly research…voluminous detail…clear and crisp and easy to follow…fascinating to devour…wonderful vignettes…delightful…highly recommended”—The Star; “an intriguing era”—Old Cars Weekly; “impressive…excellent”—Classic & Sports Cars; “useful…informative”—The Flying Lady.