A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.
But he grew old—
This knight so bold—
And o’er his heart a shadow—
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.
And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow—
‘Shadow,’ said he,
‘Where can it be—
This land of Eldorado?’
‘Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,’
The shade replied,—
‘If you seek for Eldorado!’
— Edgar Allan Poe
Dr. Simeone discussed how Germany always produces at least one great race car every decade. The National favorites from the 1920s, 1930s, 1950s, and 1970s were featured in this Demo Day Event. They were all great international winners of their time.
- 1927 Mercedes Benz S-Type Sportwagen, the brainchild of Ferdinand Porsche while he was working for Mercedes Benz,
- 1937 BMW 328, der erfolgreiche deutsche Sportwagen,
- 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing, the race car of the street,
- 1970 Porsche 917 LH, the car that inaugurated Porsche’s wins at Le Mans in 1970 and 1971.
Perhaps the greatest and most successful sports racing cars of all time were made by Alfa Romeo, particularly if one takes history back to the 1920s:
1925 Alfa Romeo RLSS:
These cars became popular luxury sporting models for individuals like Benito Mussolini who indicated that his car had a “magnificent engine” and the Aga Kahn said of his RLSS “a most interesting and enjoyable journey in one of the most excellent cars I have ever ridden in.”
1934 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Mille Miglia Spyder:
Consistent winner in the grueling Mille Miglia, both in the hands of privateers and the great Scuderia Ferrari drivers, these cars simply could not be beaten.
1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900A
Clearly, the most advanced sports car of the last half of the 1930s with double overhead cams and valves, two superchargers, a transaxle, independent four-wheel suspension adjustable from the seat, and a magnificent styling. Automotive experts believe that these cars could not be beaten on the track or on the road.
2015 Alfa Romeo 4C
Could Alfa Romeo bring back its glorious days?
It is not always the biggest engine or the fastest car that wins the race. Certain cars regularly beat the bigger models because of their maneuverability and balance in road races.
The Simeone Museum demonstrated a quartet of cars that did surprisingly well against their larger competitors:
- 1913 Mercer Raceabout, with a relatively small 4.9 liter engine.
- 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS, whose special instruction booklet insert was a convenience to Alfa’s English speaking customers.
- 1934 MG K3 Magnette, which was capable of sustaining 6,000 RPM.
- 1954 Austin Healey 100-4 BN1, capable of great pulling power, so much so that the American versions have the first gear blocked out.
Celebrating Caracciola, Nuvolari, Moss, Ruby and their cars:
- 1934 MG K3 Magnette, which “drivers found a magnificent car to handle while viewers marveled at its grace. It was certainly the high point for the marque car known to make voiturettes rather than take-all-comers racer.”
- 1956 Maserati 300S, with “a spotty racing history that was however superior to any post-War Maserati sports car racing in the big leagues. “
- 1967 Ford MK IV , driven by Denny Hulme and Lloyd Ruby, this J8 car set the 1967 Le Mans top speed record at over 224 mph, the record equaled by Mario Andretti before his accident in that race.
- 1927 Mercedes Benz S-Type Sportwagen, the original S-Series!
From the mid-1930s to mid-1950s, the French passion for sports car racing led to the development of some landmark sports cars which were successful during their short history of dominance. The three French cars presented here represent the only victories for French cars in their greatest race: Le Mans!
1937 Bugatti Type 57G Tank
1936/48 Delahaye 135s/175S
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupe