Sunday, August 31, 2008

A look at the beauty and art of LeMans competitors, 1937 Adler Rennlimousine Competition Coupe

1937 Adler Rennlimousine Competition Coupe
Winning its class at LeMans in 1938, and 7th overall, this 1937 front wheel drive German car is from the Adler company that made cars from 1900 to 1957. They later became part of Auto Union.

In 1996 it was an award winner at the Pebble Beach Concours D'Elegance. Temporarily owned by the Blackhawk Collection and shown at the 2001 Meadow Brook Hall Concours d'Elegance http://www.mbhconcours.org/ , it has now found a home in Jay Leno's Big Dog Garage. http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/your_garage/cars/7363.shtml

Jim, who discovered the car in Southfield, Michigan wrote this on the H.A.M.B.

"I've got one for all of you guys that might qualify as the rarest. It's a 1937 Adler Streamliner that raced at Lemans in 1937 and 1938.

It was also used to "inspire" the 1963 split window Corvette. When I first saw it in a shed in Southfield Michigan I thought it WAS a 63 Vette. GM stole the design for the 63 vette.

The owner went to the 60 or 61 Michigan state fair in this car and a exec for GM was there and gave him his card and asked him to bring it to the GM Vandyke design center. He thought they were going to buy it so he had someone follow him over there. When he got there they had him pull it on the cobblestoned turntable. There were three camera's on tri-pods around it and they spun the car around a few times and told him thank you for coming by. He was PISSED that they led him on and did not buy it.

It sounded pluasible since the design was SOOO close. A few years later I had met David Holls at a car show and asked him about the 63 Vette story. He invited me to his home, when I went there he had an extensive library and a binder on the Adler (and several on the Vettes) which included some of the pictures from the cobblstone turntable that Rubin had told me about!

I asked about Rubins claim that the 63 vette was taken from this car and he said that my answer was in the clay model prototype pics. He said to check the dates on all of the "older" style clay model pics, then look at the clay model pics of the clay Vettes the next few weeks AFTER the day the Adler was on the turntable. After comparing it became obvious that the designs changed radically right after Rubin's visit with the Adler. So I asked David directly WAS the split window Vette design taken from this car. He looked at me with a smile and shook his head yes, but at the same time said "absolutely not"!!

The car did also turn out to be a Lemans Race car just as Rubin had said it was. It raced in 1937 and 1938 and won it's class and came in 7th overall in 1938. Adler was the only Jewish owned car manufacturer in pre-war Germany and were some of the first cars to go down the autobahn in a big ceremony with Hitler present, so who knows. .. First closed car, and first streamliner, and first wind tunnel designed car to race at Lemans (designed by the same man who designed the Chrysler Airflow) and the first woman to drive at Lemans.

the Blackhawk Collection had it restored at the prison resto shop in Arizona.They tell me that the car is now in a private collection in Europe. I still have a letter from Baron Fristz Hueske Von Hanstein who raced it with Madamme Annie Iteire in 1937. He tells me about them being blackflagged for improper fueling and him then having to "console" Annie in her tent for hours and hours."
_______West Peterson, EditorAntique Automobile (AACA) http://forums.aaca.org/f169/1937-adler-rennlimousine-competition-272656.html

2 comments:

  1. I thought that Hupmobile was pretty ... and then I saw this. Wow ... just Wow.

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  2. I bet that was what Jay Leno said!

    ReplyDelete