"Classic archive footage" Autosport
"The racing action is utterly glorious" Octane
"Sure to please" Auto Express
"Remarkable" Classic and Sports Car
As the shadow of impending war fell across Europe in the late 1930s, the might of Nazi Germany arrived in Britain to demonstrate the dominance of the so-called ‘master race’ and launch a revolution in motor racing.
The legendary 1937 and 1938 Grands Prix at the Donington Park circuit have been the subject of numerous books and articles, but now you can actually watch and hear the ‘thunder in the park’ in extraordinary archive footage unearthed by Duke.
This essential programme features the films of producer Geoffrey Fairrie, which, while they may be short, are absolute gems.
The arrival of Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union in Britain created a stir among fans and competitors, and the awesome performance of these world-beating cars left everyone who witnessed the 1937 Grand Prix stunned. One year later the German teams were back and, despite a new and powerful Italian Maserati, no one could challenge the might silver machines of the Fatherland.
The entry list for both reads like a who’s who of pre-war racing – Rudolf Caracciola, Herman Lang, Richard Seaman, Prince Bira, Manfred von Brauchitsch, Hermann Muller and many more. Plus, of course, there are the iconic cars, including the W125 and W154 of Mercedes and Auto Union’s D and C types, as well as ERA, Delahaye, MG and other famous marques.
The excellent footage, including much from 1938 in colour, shows the cars power sliding through corners and launching into the air over jumps, at speeds of up to 200mph! Famous names, including Redgate, the Melbourne Hairpin and the Craner Curves are all here, even if they look just a little different to today.
Watch Bernd Rosemeyer take his Auto Union to what would prove to be the German ace’s final win and Tazio Nuvolari fight off the charging Mercedes drivers Lang and Seaman to secure a second British victory for Auto Union.
There is early slow motion camerawork allowing you to watch these glorious machines as legendary drivers guide them around the challenging Donington track, and the evocative roar as the Silver Arrows thunder in the Park.