By Karl Ludvigsen. Titanic motorcars that blazed a trail of speed before and
after the Great War, the Blitzen Benzes were the fastest man-carrying machines
of their era. Officially certified as the fastest cars in the world from 1909
to 1919, the 200-horsepower Benzes were winners in races and hillclimbs
throughout Europe and America. For the first time the storied feats of the six
Type RE Benzes and their colorful owners and drivers are brought vividly to
life in this lavishly illustrated book.
One of the most evocative names ever bestowed on an
automobile, “Blitzen Benz” came to express the ultimate in power and speed. The
car itself, with its sharp-tailed body, aggressively beaked radiator and
colossal exhaust pipes, still stands as an unrivaled icon of velocity on land.
Karl Ludvigsen weaves an engrossing saga of the men and machines of the era —
founder Karl Benz and why he was not keen on racing — a talented Belgian who
designed a great German engine — how a choleric and driven French racer
inspired the first 200 PS Benz — stunning new world records set in 1909 and
1910 — marrying the Benz with American racing hero Barney Oldfield— why the
four-passenger model was fastest of all the Benzes at Brooklands.
Rare period images bring the Blitzen’s exploits to life —
shattering records with “Wild Bob” Burman —record-breaking at Brooklands with a
In his work Ludvigsen clarifies for the first time the tangled careers of these
great cars. He concludes his narrative with the exciting revival of several of
the Type RE Benzes, alive again to give a hint of the immortal achievements
that made these the most daunting and respected racing cars of their time.
Well-known for his award-winning authorship and journalism,
Karl Ludvigsen is a former editor of Car and Driver and an
acknowledged expert on German cars and racing. He has worked at senior levels
for GM, Fiat and Ford. In London he ran a leading motor-industry management
consultancy. His Ludvigsen Library (www.karlludvigsen.com)
is a world-renowned source of car and racing photography and information.
- 255mm x 255 mm
- 170 pages
- 197 pictures