By: Hartmut Lehbrink .
To write an encyclopedia of Mercedes racing drivers is, in essence, to compile a who’s who of the four-wheeled sport. No wonder when, from the very beginning of motor racing, the products of Daimler, Daimler-Benz, and their two predecessors, the world’s oldest auto manufacturers, have been subjected to the ultimate tests on road and track.
Many of the men who drove these cars – Christian Lautenschlager, Rudolf Caracciola, Manfred von Brauchitsch, Hermann Lang, Karl Kling – displayed a dogged loyalty to the marque. This was in many cases coupled with a remarkable hometown allegiance. The lives of Lang, Walter Schock, Eugen Böhringer and many others were firmly rooted in the soil of Stuttgart. In the 1930s and again in the 1950s, the Swabian dialect, along with English and Italian, was part of the idiom of the race track. Along with a host of private drivers, there were also stars from every corner of the world making guest appearances behind the wheel of Mercedes race cars. Examples included Italians Luigi Fagioli and Piero Taruffi, Britons Dick Seaman, Stirling Moss and Peter Collins, the great Argentinean Juan Manuel Fangio, as well as the two Germans Hans Herrmann and Count Berghe von Trips, each of whom spent a very brief intermezzo with the Stuttgart marque – and this is to say nothing of our own era’s jet-set of international motor racing mercenaries.
Featuring 300 photographs, old and new, this is a comprehensive and fascinating compendium of the men and women who have driven for one of the world’s most important and successful racing teams.