Saturday, 19 August 2017
DKWs at the 1959 Monte Carlo Rally
Fausto Meyrat and Robert Meyer in their Auto Union 1000. Note they're wearing goggles on account of the broken windscreen, having rolled the car. Being powered by a two-stroke engines, DKWs (and Saabs) were quite capable of being put back on their wheels and continuing without a skipping a beat. For four-stroke engined cars that would have been game over.
The 1959 “Rallye Monte Carlo” was held from the 19th to 24th January 1959. There were 350 entries in total, 321 starters and 119 finishers. Starting cities were Glasgow, Scotland; The Hague, Belgium; Munich, Germany; Paris, France; Rome, Italy; Stockholm, Sweden; Warsaw, Poland and Athens, Greece.
That year saw a massive entry from Auto Union DKW – traditionally a strong team in the Monte – with consistently strong placings since 1954, with an entry of no less than 20 cars. 16 cars finished; 13 within the time limit. This stood in contrast to the other big entries – Jaguar for example entered 21 cars and only 8 cars finished the race within the time limit.
Although DKW’s came third overall in the 1956 and ’58 Rallye Monte Carlo (there was no event in 1957), the highest placing for 1959 was a Class win for Siegfried Eikelmann and Hans Wencher who also came 7th overall.
Siegfried Eikelmann and Hans Wencher – class winners (under 1000cc) and 7th overall in the ’59 Monte Carlo Rally
The F91 of Michel Grosgogeat and Pierre Biagini came 11th overall. This team had been rallying with great success since 1952 and had been driving in a DKW F91 since 1956 (they previously drove a Panhard Dyna).
Entries came from all over Europe. Here are the Dutch team for the ’59 Monte - L. P. M. C. de Schutter and P. H. M. Hendrick.
Pat Moss, wife of Grand Prix driver Stirling Moss, ran 10th in an Austin A40, beating all the Austin-Healeys!
Overall, the outright winner of the 1959 rally was a Citroen DS19
By Brendan Odell
I'll be posting up more of Brendan's DKW rallying stories shortly, including the 1954 European circuit and DKW rallying in Africa. Look forward to it!