Rudolf Heydel, a test driver for Horch, was young,humorous, cheerful and popular at the Auto Union factory. He passed the young drivers test at the Nürburgring in November 1935 and the team decided to give him a second testing opportunity in Italy in early 1936
The Auto Union team arrived at Monza with two race cars. The machanics were having fun with Heydel in the pits while Hans Stuck and Rudolf Hasse did their laps. Stuck stopped at the pits and Heydel, wearing his light blue cap, took over the car. Stuck reported everything was okay with the car and gave Heydel some advice, cautioning him on the two dangerous chicanes. Heydel waved to the mechanics and drove off on a planned 10 lap run.
For two courageous laps, the sound of the German machine could be heard echoing around the whole Monza park. Suddenly there was a thump in the distance; a loud and eery noise and then silence. The mechanics rushed to the available car (one Horch and one Wanderer) and drove towards the accident
They saw the torn up hay bales at the chicane, but no race car in sight. Some 50m further up there were black skids marks on the road. The car had gone through a hedge on the left side of the circuit, hit some tree roots which hurled the car into the air and then hit a concrete wall upside down. The driver was ejected and came to rest 10m into the forest, around 200m from the chicane. Heydel's head injuries had proved instantly fatal and the car was burned out.
Auto Union B
All photos and information displayed on this website is the property of the original copyright holders. We do not claim ownership of, nor seek profit from, any data held on this site.
Images displayed on this site are reproduced under the Fair Use policy for archival purposes only. Publication of any images hosted on this site is not permitted without express consent of the original copyright holders.
Please file copyright claims or credit requests to: email@example.com