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Blitzen Benz Brighton Beach Follow Up – Another 200 HP Benz Race Car?

This is a follow-up article with new information to add to last Monday’s July 31, 2017, post: “Bob Burman and the Blitzen Benz at Brighton Beach.” The earlier report contains photos of the first occasion where “Blitzen I” and “Blitzen II” were together at a race meet according to a Daimler Company historical accounting of the six 200 h.p. cars.

To further clarify the facts about the Brighton Beach races, review researcher Tin Indian’s comments to the earlier article which also point out that there were two meets. The first on Monday 2, 1912, was shortened due to rain and the second held on the following Saturday the 7th.

Historian Ariejan Bos has also sent in three separate reports below published in “The Motor World” and “The Automobile” which provide more information and the details about a crash caused by Burman with one of the Benz racing cars during the second race meet.

One thing to keep in mind here is some of the cars mentioned in the period press reports were owned by the Ernest Moross “traveling racing circus” promoted by William Pickens. Both were shady characters, and the races were scripted and rigged. Secondly, most race results in the press at the time were inaccurate due to the rush to meet deadlines; many reporters phoned in their story and when printed the facts were often inaccurate. In most of the races a “new record” was set and if the races lasted two or more days another faster “record” would be set each day.

The lead photo courtesy of Alan Ballard appears to show a 200 h.p. racing car that Daimler Benz mentions in its historical accounting of the famous automobiles: “The third Benz 200 h.p. car built was completed in 1912. Fritz Erle was the man at the wheel as the new car limbered up for the Gaillon Hill Climb in France on October 6, 1912.”

Enlargeable view of  “The Motor World” September 5, 1912, issue above which tells of Bob Burman winning the Remy Brassard 3-mile race at a time of 2:45.94 driving the “Blitzen” Benz after passing Henri Hickman driving a Mercedes on the home stretch, Joe Grennen finished third in a Benz. Rain shortened this Monday Labor Day race meet which was continued on the following Saturday 7, 1912.

“The Automobile” September 9, 1912, issue tells of Burman in the new “300 h.p. Jumbo” Benz setting a 47.85  one-mile “record” that was faster than his run the previous year in the “Blitzen” Benz 48.62. Burman won the first heat of the Remy Brassard race with a time of  2:46. In the second heat Kyle in the White won at 2:57 after a Burman and Hickman collision. The “300 h.p.” was promotor Will Pikins’ hype as the car was one of the six 200 h.p. models built.

And finally, “The Motor World” September 9, 1912, issue tells of the 47.85 one-mile record run and in the same sentence combines the one-mile run with the Burman and Hickman collision which “The Automobile” report of the same date lists as occurring in the Remy Brassard second heat race.

2 responses to “Blitzen Benz Brighton Beach Follow Up – Another 200 HP Benz Race Car?

  1. Great research….Gotta think my common sense response is that all four amateur pictures, taken by my casual fan at the starting line, under what appears to be similar weather conditions were likely photographed on the same day trip to the track….

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