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The 30's

The emphasis in motorsport changed in the 1930’s with the entrance of the German brands Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union. With financial support from the National Socialist regime in Germany and outstanding German designers and drivers, German brands almost completely dominated in this era.


Racing cars first achieved engine power ratings of 500 horsepower in 1937 and top speeds exceeding 300 km/h, with records exceeding 400 km/h even being clocked. There were as yet no run-off areas, protective clothing and cockpits, and fatal accidents were a common occurrence.


28 January 1938: Rosemeyer and Caracciola are in Frankfurt, Germany, both vying to break the speed record. It is a windy day, and hoarfrost has formed on the track. Despite this, Caracciola climbs into his car and reaches an unbelievable 432.7 km/h over the course. Rosemeyer immediately wants to challenge this, but Caracciola warns him of increasing winds. Rosemeyer is travelling at a speed of about 430 km/h when a gust of wind catches his car. He overturns several times. The 28-year-old breaks his neck, and death comes instantly.