Sunday, January 31, 2010

Type 80

We all know the Types 60, 64K10, 166, 82E but what about the Type 80?

This was the vehicle developed to break the land speed record prior to WWII. Although it is a Mercedes-Benz race car, the body is by Porsche, with a target speed of 600 km/h (373 mph).
By late 1939, when the project was finished, the target speed was now an eye watering 750km/h (465mph). The land speed record attempt was planned to take place on German soil and Hitler envisioned the T80 as another propaganda triumph of German technological superiority. The attempt was set for January 1940, although the outbreak of war prevented the T80 run.

By 1939 the T80 was completed at a cost of RM 600,000 and was powered by a massive 44.5 litre, Daimler-Benz DB 603 inverted V12 motor, derived from the DB 601 which powered the Messerschmitt Bf 109. The DB 603 was the third generation prototype and tuned to an amazing 3000hp running on a mixture of methyl alchol (63%), benzene (16%), ethanol (12%), acetone (4.4%), nitrobenzolo (2.2%), avgas (2%) and ether (0.4%) with methanol water injection for charge cooling and boost pressure.
The powerful engine ran the two rear axels for maximum traction, at a weight of 2.7 ton and 8 meters long this is a beast and needed all 3000hp together with the aerodynamics to attain the projected speed of 750 km/h.

The vehicle had been unofficially nicknamed Schwarz Vogel (Black Bird) by Hitler and was to be painted in German nationalistic colours complete with German Adler (Eagle) and Hakenkreuz (Swastika). But with the beginning of WWII the engine was removed and the T80 put into storage.

The T80 survived WWII and now resides in the Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart, so if you plan on visiting the new Porsche Museum, the Mercedes-Benz museum is only a few kms down the road.
While you are there also be sure to check out the 300SLR, another famous Le Mans racer.

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