Scuderia Ferrari - Alfa Romeo Tipo B (1934)           Mercedes Benz W25 (1934)


Ferrari (2016) Mercedes (2016)


F1 in 2016. Another clash between Mercedes and Scuderia Ferrari. Did you know when the Ferrari and the Mercedes teams first raced each other? It was in 1930, 86 years ago!

The next year, during the Great Depression, Mercedes-Benz withdrew from motor racing.
But on July 3rd 1934 high up in the misty Eifel mountains near the German-Belgian border the teams were ready to meet each other once again. What happend after that is told on this site.

This is a site dedicated to Grand Prix racing in the 1930s, an era most famous for the dominance of two manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz with their "Silberpfeile", the Silver Arrows, and Auto Union with their "Silberfische", the Silver Fishes.

But with these pages I have wanted to show that motor racing in the thirties was much more than that.
I have wanted to show why this era sometimes has been called the Golden Era of Grand Prix racing.

It was a time of immense technical progress and development.
It was a time of some of the most spectacular cars and magnificent races ever seen.
It was a time when 300,000 spectators could come to a GP race.
It was a time of some of the greatest drivers ever: Nuvolari, Rosemeyer, Caracciola, Varzi, Wimille, Chiron...
And then it was the time when Voiturette racing made its comeback.

Voiturette racing? What was that?

In those days Voiturette racing was the "little brother" of Grand Prix racing. It has its equivalent nowadays in the Formula 3000 or Indy light series. Voiturette races had enthusiastically been organized parallel to the Grand Prix races in the era before the First World War. Then Voiturettes made a comeback in the early twenties only to be incorporated into Grand Prix racing as the racing formula changed.

In the early thirties the Voiturettes made a new comeback, slowly at first but as the Germans started to dominate Grand Prix racing, more and more people started to show interest in the Voiturettes, first the privateer drivers but later also the major Italian manufactures and finally also the German teams.
After the Second World War the Voiturettes took over the racing tracks. Gone were the German Grand Prix monsters and as new racing rules were developed in 1946 the existing Voiturette cars were made the backbone of future racing.
The new rules were later to be known as ... Formula 1 !

If you are totally unfamiliar with the 1930s racing you can start by taking a look at three of the most famous races to have a taste of the era:

The French GP 1934       The German GP 1935       The AVUS race 1937



© 2016 Leif Snellman - Last updated: 20.03.2016