[Prelude] Caracciola’s Over-Blown 1930

Racing Daydreams - Caracciola, Bookies' Notice

I had settled down and was set to write something about the 1930 Ulster TT. How Caracciola’s Mercedes was excluded from the race at scrutineering… but it appears to run a bit deeper. So, instead, I have questions. Perhaps someone may be able to pull the answers from their bookshelf?

The context is; Caracciola arrived in Belfast to defend his 1929 TT win aboard a Mercedes-Benz SSK nominally entered by Malcolm Campbell, German manufacturers having agreed in this period not to enter any works racing teams. This car may, or may not, be identical to the one on which Rudi won the 1930 Irish Grand Prix at Phoenix Park, Dublin. It is said to be identical to the car on which Caracciola famously contested the 1930 24h du Mans.

Racing Daydreams - Rudi Caracciola, 1930 Irish Grand Prix
1930 Irish Grand Prix

Upon inspection at scruitineering in Belfast by Hugh McConnell and his team, the SSK was found to be outside homologation – in modern parlance. The supercharger was larger than specified in the thirty certified cars that Mercedes had produced. Consequently, Caracciola was excluded from the meeting. The more I read, the more it appears that ‘all hell broke lose’… and rumbled on for weeks & months.

There is a more to say about this, and a lot more to research, but first I have a couple of questions.

Rhetorically – we are looking at the Le Mans car, that famously battled Birkin and the works’ Bentleys, being illegal?

More pertinent – before I put a ton of time into this, has anyone already looked into it? Karl Ludvigsen? Chris Nixon?

Let me know what you think… especially if you have ‘the expensive Mercedes books’.

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