Rare Book Review: Auto Union Album 1934-1939 by Chris Nixon
Despite recent denials by Audi, there seems to a lot of pointers that suggest it wouldn’t be unreasonable for the Auto Union marque to make a return to grand prix racing. Mercedes are in the ascendency, Stefano Domenicali is on board for a ‘non-F1’ project, Audi have enjoyed a long run of success in Le […]
Despite recent denials by Audi, there seems to a lot of pointers that suggest it wouldn’t be unreasonable for the Auto Union marque to make a return to grand prix racing. Mercedes are in the ascendency, Stefano Domenicali is on board for a ‘non-F1’ project, Audi have enjoyed a long run of success in Le Man with an annual budget probably hitting north of €200m for their LMP program. Can the lure of racing against the Mercedes tri-stars be enough to re-kindle the German Silver Arrows battles of the 1930’s? For a fantastic step back in time to that era of grand prix racing, look no further than Chris Nixon’s “Auto Union Album 1934-1939”.
This hardcover contains a compilation of lots of rare B&W photos of the 1934-1939 period of grand prix racing dominated by Mercedes and Auto Union. It ironic that a book containing rare photos is now also rare itself.
Nixon’s book covers the 1934-1939 period with start of the Silver Arrows era with Professor Ferdinand Porsche’s V16 P-Wagen Auto Union (Stuck, Momberger) and the V8 Mercedes W25 (Carriciola, von Brauchitsch, Henne, Fagioli) for the 1934 season. Photos are included of the P-Wagen at the Avus, Nurburgring, Klausenpass Mountainclimb, Monza and Brno.
For 1935, photos include Varzi testing the Auto Union at Monza, Avus (Alfa Romeo P3), Rosemeyer at the Effiel GP, Fagioli at the French GP and Carriciola at the Italian GP.
1936 includes Auto Union crashes at Monaco, Tunis but the line up of 5 Auto Unions at the Nurburgring is a reminder that grand prix teams have in the past fielded more than 2 cars on the grid!
A large chunk of the book is dedicated to the 1937 season. There are some interesting shots of the both Auto Union and Mercedes’ streamliner racers and the presence of Hitler’s soldiers at the races.
The main appeal of the book is easily the impressive collection of archival photos. The photo resolution of the side profile photos of the P-Wagen are fantastic considering these were taken in the 1930s. Also the book uses thick grade glossy paper to add to the quality. There is the occasional double page photo – some of these include the Mercedes pit at the 1935 French GP, Auto Union streamliner and Kautz in the 1937 C-type. Even though photos of the Silver Arrows cars feature heavily, the book still includes photos of the Bugattis and Alfa Romeos.
All in all, its hard to fault this book if you are enjoying studying photos and history of 1930’s grand prix racing.
Wow Factor or Money shot: Han Stuck power sliding the P-Wagen at the Klausenpass. Super rare photos – Carriciola testing the Auto Union at Monza! An Achille Varzi signed photo of him driving the Auto Union at the Coppa Acerbo. Dick Seaman’s mangled W25 at Coppa Acerbo in 1937.
Suitable for: Silver Arrows fans and F1 historians