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One Hundred Years Since the BlitzenBenz Set Records

It set half-mile and kilometer speed records at Brooklands

The car set multiple records in 1913 and 1914

It is amazing that the car is now so old that major milestones in its history are now over a century old. This is exactly the case with the famous BlitzenBenzBlitzen-BenzBenz Blitzen-BenzGermany, 1909 > 19117 photos
that set half-mile and kilometer speed records at England’s Brooklands circuit on December 22, 1913.

Hornsted's car was specially modified with a new radiator and full-length exhaust

Hornsted's car was specially modified with a new radiator and full-length exhaust

© photo courtesy of: Mercedes-Benz
Lydston Granville Hornsted was the British representative for BenzBenzBenzGermany, 1882 > 192650 models
104 photos
1 video
at the time and used a Benz 200hp to set multiple speed records at Brooklands in 1913 and 1914. The cars used a 21.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine to make the tremendous power for the time.

In early 1913, Hornsted went to Benz headquarters in Mannheim to commission modifications to his Benz 200hp. The new version had a modified radiator, detachable wind deflector and full-length exhaust.

The uprated car went to Brooklands in November 1913, but Hornsted was not able to set his first record until December 22.

In his original December run, Hornstead managed 113.8km/h over 804.67m (a half-mile) and 118.8km/h in the standing kilometer.

He returned on January 14 to reach 196.38km/h (122.05mph) in two miles with a flying start.

On June 24, 1914, Hornsted came back to Brooklands to set the first record that would still be recognized today. He covered a mile at an average speed of 199.71 km/h (124.12mph), and new rules required him to set times coming and going and take the average. This is the same way record times are set today.

In 1914, Hornsted returned the car to Mannheim for maintenance and improvements, but the outbreak of World War I meant that he never retrieved the car. After the war, Mercedes added new bodywork and raced the car in the 1921 inaugural race on the AVUS track in Berlin.

Benz built six BlitzenBenz 200hp cars from 1909 to 1912. 

1312 cu in
Top Speed
132 mph
Maximum power
200 hp @ 1600 rpm
Fuel consumption (combined)
annual ownership cost




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