Cars, people and events in this week’s Motoring Milestones include: the Weinermobile, German Grand Prix, Studebaker, James Hunt, Terrorvision and the Mongol Rally
90 years ago this week, Otto Merz, Rudolf Caracciola, and Willy Walb, all driving Mercedes-Benz K tourers, sweet the first three places in the touring car race preceding the Grand Prix of Europe in San Sebastian, Spain in the first racing event for the new Daimler-Benz AG firm [18 July 1926]…..The Studebaker Model ES Big Six Custom Sedan was introduced – the car was marketed as the ‘President’, the marque’s first usage of this name [23 July 1926]……80 years ago this week, the
The first “Wienermobile”, an automobile shaped like a hot dog used to advertise Oscar Mayer products, created by Oscar’s nephew, Carl G. Mayer, rolled out of General Body Company’s factory in Chicago, Illinois [18 July 1936]. The cost of the promotional vehicle was 5000 dollars. The drivers of the “Wienermobile” are known as Hotdoggers and are still on the road today……The 1934 DeSoto ‘Winged Goddess’ mascot was patented by designer Herbert V. Henderson [21 July 1936]……70 years ago this week, the first post-war speed event in Germany took place at Ruhestein. Hermann Lang, driving a 2-litre BMW, which had been built for the substitute Mille Miglia on a closed circuit in 1940, won it [21 July 1946]……50 years ago this week, the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort was the third in succession to be won by Australian driver, 1959 and 1960 world champion, Jack Brabham in his Brabham BT19 [24 July 1966]. Brabham lapped the field on his way to his second Dutch Grand Prix victory to add to his win in 1960. British driver, 1962 world champion Graham Hill finished second in his BRM P261, himself a lap ahead of the rest of the field. Reigning world champion Jim Clark took his first podium finish of the year in his Lotus 33…… 40 years ago this week, James Hunt was involved in a first corner crash at the British Grand Prix [18 July 1976] that brought out the red flags. Hunt drove his damaged car back to the pits, but did not complete a
full lap of the track to do so, instead driving through an access road on the Cooper Straight. The officials declared that, since he had not been on the circuit when the red flag was waved, Hunt would not be allowed to take part in the restart. This news led to much angry feeling amongst the British crowd, who chanted Hunt’s name until the stewards, fearing crowd trouble, announced that Hunt would be allowed to take the restart. Hunt duly won the restarted race. Immediately after the race, the Ferrari, Tyrrell and Fittipaldi teams protested the inclusion of Hunt’s car. In September, two months after the event, a decision was reached and Hunt was disqualified, giving Niki Lauda the race win……20 years ago this week, the tour bus carrying members of the band Terrorvision inadvertently ran over sleeping festival fan Daniel Duffy as he lay in his tent, breaking his hip [21 July 1996]……10 years ago this week, a proposal to build a new toll motorway called the M6 Expressway, from the end of the existing M6 Toll up as far as Knutsford in Cheshire, was abandoned due to excessive costs and anticipated construction problems [20 July 2006]. ….The Mongol Rally, run as a charity event, began [22 July 2006] with 167 cars setting off from London. 117 teams made it to Ulan Bator in Mongolia….. the following day, the 654-foot Singapore-flagged Cougar Ace, a cargo ship carrying 4,813 cars from Japan to Canada, began tilting [23 July 2006] to its port side late at night hundreds of miles off Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. 23 crew members were rescued the next day. The ship was owned by Tokyo-based Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and listed on its side for several weeks before being righted. 4,703 of the cars were new Mazdas valued at about $100 million. After a year of planning Mazda scheduled all the cars for complete reduction to scrap in Portland, Ore.