Mercedes-Benz 12-cylinder W 25 streamlined record-breaking car, 1936

Autumn 1936: Mercedes-Benz sets new speed records

372.102 km/h (231.213 mph) with the power from twelve cylinders

A new record-breaking vehicle with a streamlined body and fully faired wheels as well as a likewise new V12 supercharged engine rated at 453 kW (616 hp): thus equipped, Rudolf Caracciola, the 1935 European Grand Prix champion, set out in autumn 1936 to break records for Mercedes-Benz. His mission was a successful one. On 26 October 1936, the racing driver recorded a record speed of 372.102 km/h (231.213 mph). And on 11 November 1936, he set a new world record of 333.489 km/h (207.220 mph) over 10 miles with a flying start. In total, Caracciola bettered five existing international Class B records for vehicles with between 5 and 8 litres displacement and set one new world record.Mercedes-Benz 12-cylinder W 25 streamlined record-breaking car, 1936

Stuttgart. Record runs over various distances with both standing and flying starts had been a fixed part of the annual racing calendar since 1934 and the then-introduced 750-kilogram racing formula. They served as proof of technological expertise and were attentively followed by the public. In 1936, the year of the Olympic Games in Berlin, Daimler-Benz, the inventor of the automobile, celebrated its 50th anniversary. Traditionally committed to the concept of competition, the company additionally brought out a sensational record-breaking car in the autumn. Its strongest competitor, Auto Union, was just five years old.

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