Mercedes T80: 3.000 CV Nazi pride for a speed record that never came

Let us in situation. We’re in Nazi Germany in the 30s, a nation that wanted at all costs to prove its superiority over the world. Adolf Hitler was obsessed with sports and technical achievements , and for the 30 million marks fed a battle for land speed records, which had as rivals Auto Union and Mercedes. The Mercedes T80 have taken the final land speed record in 1940 , but even reach the record attempt.

Foyer: Rekordwoche, boundless motorized crazy

The know-how generated in the fields of mechanics and aerodynamics was really valuable.

As I said before, Hitler was obsessed by the achievements of Germany. His friend and pilot Hans Stuck convinced him to create a program subsidized by the state in order to break speed records. With millions of available frames, it was pumping money into Auto Union and Mercedes , which manufactured from racing cars aimed at achieving the highest possible speed vehicles. Soon both companies were embroiled in a bitter struggle over 400 kilometers per hour .

I will remember we were in the mid-30s of last century. With completely aerodynamic bodies – developed in just months, with the first wind tunnels – these experimental vehicles reached speeds of stroke in “Rekordwoche”. One week in 1937, dedicated to speed records, using the straight path of several newly released Autobahn. The straight path had the double function of serving as a makeshift airport, incidentally.

Attempts to record the life of the famed 1938 Bernd Rosemeyer Auto Union was charged.

In January 1938 Auto Union and Mercedes turned a very powerful streamliner racing car on a piece of Autobahn between Frankfurt and Darmstadt. The Mercedes W125 – with 736 horsepower and a fully faired body – Rudolf Caracciola managed to reach 432.69 km / h top speed. A record on public roads which even today still stands . Benrd Rosemeyer was not so lucky: his Auto Union was destabilized and went off the track at over 400 km / h. Obviously, he died on the spot.

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Mercedes T80 : the black bird Hitler

The death of Rosemeyer not intimidated Hitler, they glorified him as a hero of the Reich. Hans Stuck convinced the Führer that Germany had to snatch the world land speed record. Hitler seemed like an excellent idea, because the record was played between Britain and the United States. Hitler wanted to show the world that and Sir Malcolm Campbell and Bluebird were contenders for Germany . He injected a tremendous amount – for the time -. 600,000 frames Daimler, responsible for developing the project

Daimler got down to work, with the help of a designer and engineer first class. A certain Ferdinand Porsche. Together with Porsche, Mercedes created a giant tubular chassis on which you installed the engine of a Messerschmitt Bf-109 fighter combat. The DB-603 propeller was a V12 invested 44.5 liter, supercharged by a giant compressor. While developing 1,750 hp engine on the plane, he managed to squeeze quite Daimler preposterous figure of 3,000 CV (at 3,200 rpm) of her womb.

Hitler wanted to paint the black T80 , and cover emblems of III Reich.

Only the engine weighed a ton, so it was decided to create a machine of three axes, two rear and one front. Each of these axes was footwear with experimental tires designed for speeds never before seen on earth. The giant Mercedes T80 was bodied as if it were a plane, following similar techniques. Aerodynamics were key , so it was equipped with two massive wings to give downforce and two tails, a flat bottom and a fully fairing cockpit.

More than cabin interior should say, because it was more like a plane than a car. Measured 8.24 meters long , 3.20 meters wide and 1.74 meters high. However, only he weighed 2,896 kilos, a featherweight when you consider that the Daimler engine in her womb weighed 920 kilos. The “Black Bird” – as he named Hitler – would have participated and razed in 1940 Rekordwoche , if Germany had not started World War II by invading Poland in September 1939.

Had he succeeded, he would still have the speed record for piston-engined vehicles.

The T80 have tried to break the world speed record on a 10 km stretch of Autobahn Dessau (currently the A9), 25 meters wide with a paved median. The target speed was ambitious and many claim that it would have been possible: 750 kilometers per hour . The Railton Special John Cobb had reached 595 km / h in Bonneville in August 1939, and should exceed this speed Reich handsomely. But the conflict prevented its release, and the project was parked in full.

The idea of ​​Hitler would have been televise the record of T80 global level: the car would have been painted black, and show both the eagle and the swastika, symbol par excellence the Nazi regime. The war intensified to end the conflict Alamnia and the engine, which was mounted on a hunting worn by the German military industry was dismantled. Surprisingly the car was not destroyed and remains with Daimler until today. It is stated in the Mercedes Museum Stuttgart.

The motor V12 44.5 liters of developing 3,000 hp at 3,200 rpm with the help of a compressor.

would have been an impressive record and many say it would have remained until today. Currently, the land speed record in a vehicle powered by a conventional engine is the Railton Mobil Special. The same car that Germany would beat in 1939 returned to defend his record in 1947, reaching a top speed of 647 km / h. When the Railton broke the record, he exceeded three tons and had 2,500 hp. Yes, we have come to the same conclusion.

But sometimes, ambition has limits. And Hitler’s case may be an example of excessive ambition more relevant history. Anyway, it’s an interesting story that we wanted to share with you.

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Source: Kolumbus | Old Machine Press | Wikipedia
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