EMW R1/53 Intertyp
The creation of the East German nation infused with all the politics of a socialist nation whereby everything becomes unified and a matter of national pride would lead to an undesired split and the rise of a national automotive company known by the initials of EMW.
The negotiations between American, British, French and Soviet delegations would break down in Berlin. The Soviet's dream of a wholly unified Germany would be lost, so too a number of its talented drivers and engineers as they fled to the West.
One sport that has always had a strong national interest throughout the world would have to be motor racing, especially in the years immediately following the end of World War II. And with East Germany losing a large number of its talented drivers and engineers to the West, the new socialist nation needed something whereby it could hang its hat and use for propaganda reasons to lift up the Eastern state. This was not an easy venture for the nation in the years immediately after World War II.
The end of the war pretty much meant the end of German production and trade. Many of the nation's cities had been badly bombed. Those that had managed to survive were badly restricted either politically, or, materially. Therefore, much of the racing scene in either East or West Germany after the end of the war would be privateers and small manufacturers trying to stem the tide until Germany manufacturing could get back on its feet. While West Germany had Mercedes-Benz, AFM, Veritas and BMW, East Germany only really had privateer builders and racers and BMW. And in all reality they wouldn't even have BMW.
Heinrich Ehrhardt established an early automobile production plant near Eisenach in the late 19th century. The company would initially build French Decauvilles and would even build race cars before 1905. After changing names, the plant would be used to build cars and lorries in the years immediately after World War I.
By the late 1920s, the factory would be sold to BMW and the plant would specialize in engines and motorcycles. Out of this plant would come the successful BMW 3XX series, including the famous 328.
At the end of World War II, the factory would be held by American troops though in the Soviet sector. This would enable the plant to escape destruction and would be an opportunity the young socialist nation would need. In those immediate years after World War II, the production plant would resume building 3XX series BMWs. This would continue right on through when the Soviets finally took control of the factory in early 1946.
One final battle would ensue. There would be a fight over whether the BMW name could be used for the cars being produced at the Eisenach factory considering its location in the East German nation. It would be decided that BMW would remain a factory name of West Germany and East Germany would have to change the name of its company. Rather reluctantly, and without much imagination, the name of the company would change to EMW (Eisenacher Motoren Werke). Showing their dislike for the lawsuit and the ensuing discussions about the matter, all that would be done to distinguish themselves would be to change one letter in their name and to redesign their logo somewhat. In fact, the only real change in the logo would be the addition of a star and changing of the colors from blue and white to red and white.
As everything of East Germany was focused on the state, an official state racing team would be founded that would be called Rennkollektiv ('racing collective'). The whole effort would have the backing of the state. Therefore, industrial and material supplies would be directed toward the effort. This would be the reason for the DAMW name to be added to the project.
In 1953, the Rennkollektiv would become part of the EMW company and would be moved nearer to the Eisenach plant. After a couple of wins at the hands of Edgar Barth at Halle and at the Sachsenring, the Rennkollektiv would focus on making changes to its Formula 2 car for the 1953 season.
The collective would focus on a few major areas of the car to make it even better. The overall design of the car would remain the same from the 1951 and 1952 design. The rather blunt nose with the oval-shaped radiator inlet would remain as the overall design of the car was certainly rather good. However, the handling and stability of the car would be the greatest focus of the group.
On the front suspension, upper wishbones would be added to the transverse leafspring design in order to relieve the leafspring of its need to act as the car's suspension as well. This added stability to the front of the car. More stability would be needed at the rear. Overall, the rear suspension would be simply stiffened as it would still retain a high degree of similarity to the BMW 328's old live axle.
The bodywork of the car remained quite smooth. On the top of the engine cowling remained the air inlet for the carburetors feeding air to the BMW-based 2.0-liter, longitudinally-arranged 6-cylinder engine. For the 1953 season, engine power would be increased in the engine to around 135hp. This was well short of the 150hp+ the Ferrari 500 and Maserati A6SSG would have.
Besides the upgrade in power, very little else would change on the car. The offset driver positioning would remain with the fuel tank seated just to the driver's right. This meant the rear end of the car remained low behind the driver's shoulders. The offset design made the car capable of being used in sportscar racing as well. All that would need to be added to the car would be headlights and some motorcycle-like winged fenders in order to conform to the regulations.
Overall, the car's design remained relatively clean. Besides the air scoop for the carburetors, the bodywork leading to the cockpit, the single-piece windscreen and a couple of small mirrors, there was very little in the way of obstructions to the airflow over the top of the car.
The body would remain wide to accommodate the ability for two passengers. The engine cowling would feature cooling louvers down one side and the positioning of the fuel tank meant the car had a much for even weight distribution, even as the fuel was consumed.
Even heading into the 1953 season the car had proven itself to be quite competitive winning a couple of races the season before. However, there were other cars that posed a great challenge. Therefore, the team would make the changes in an effort to become the dominant players in the East German Formula 2 Championship. They would certainly achieve that goal.
With the exception of a retirement due to magneto troubles at Karl-Marx-Stadt, the first round of the championship, Edgar Barth would go undefeated. Barth would earn four-straight victories after the rare retirement at Karl-Marx-Stadt. At Dessau, Barth would come across the victor with Rudolf Krause in 2nd place. At Halle, it would be more of the same. Barth would take the victory. And though Hans Stuck would finish in 2nd place, Krause would actually finish 2nd because of the fact Stuck was not East German. At Dresden and at the Sachsenring, it would be more of the same. Barth would ride the updated car all the way to his second consecutive East German title.
Where the car struggled was in those races that took place on West German soil. Against the best of the west, the team would manage a 5th place in the Eifelrennen. In the Avusrennen and the German Grand Prix back at the Nurburgring, EMW would suffer early retirements.
The mass migration of racers and talented engineers to the west would cause East Germany to somewhat pull in its borders. Instead of really thinking about races outside of the nation it would become the focus to have its own championship, or, stop focusing on motor racing altogether. Whatever the team's future, the EMW-DAMW 52/53 Intertype would not be the car that would take the team there. That car was on its way.Sources:
echtel. 'Phoenix from the Flames, Part 7: EMW', (http://www.forix.com/8w/df2-emw.html). 8W: The Stories Behind Motor Racing Facts and Fiction. http://www.forix.com/8w/df2-emw.html. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
Diepraam, Mattijs. 'The BMW-Derived Specials that Appeared in War-Struck Germany', (http://www.forix.com/8w/germanf2.html). 8W: The Stories Behind Motor Racing Facts and Fiction. http://www.forix.com/8w/germanf2.html. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
'Race Index: Formula 2 1953', (http://www.formula2.net/F253_Index.htm). F2 Register. http://www.formula2.net/F253_Index.htm. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
'1953 Non-World Championship Grands Prix', (http://www.silhouet.com/motorsport/archive/f1/nc/1953/1953.html). 1953 Non-World Championship Grands Prix. http://www.silhouet.com/motorsport/archive/f1/nc/1953/1953.html. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
'1952 Non-World Championship Grands Prix', (http://www.silhouet.com/motorsport/archive/f1/nc/1952/1952.html). 1952 Non-World Championship Grands Prix. http://www.silhouet.com/motorsport/archive/f1/nc/1952/1952.html. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Eisenacher Motorenwerk', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 2 October 2011, 00:40 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Eisenacher_Motorenwerk&oldid=453453013 accessed 6 December 2011
By Jeremy McMullen