100 years ago, Opel made history by winning the first race at the Avus circuit, in Berlin, Germany, opened in 1921. Avus is not a name, but an acronym for THEcar-Verkehrs-und Ubungsstraße or Road Traffic and Car Training, Opel celebrated great events there.

Straight ahead, vying for space

Fritz Adam Hermann Opel was a German businessman, grandson of Adam Opel, founder of Adam Opel AG. He was known for his demonstrations on rocket-powered vehicles, including motorcycles, which earned him the nickname Rocket Fritz.

Right from the start, the number 14 Opel would win the race

In the planning phase of the song, in 1907, a double function was predicted for the Avus cycle. On the one hand, it was intended to be an important part of the transport network in Berlin; on the other hand, it would serve as a race track. The design was not good for this purpose. It consisted of two straight ranges, each about nine kilometers long, connected at their ends by two wide channels. The song was more suited to tests of endurance than to overcoming conflicts.

Can you imagine all this elevation?

Between 1937 and 1967 the North Curve was more elevated, in fact, completely elevated, 43º, as seen in the picture. There have been many accidents, some with fatal consequences.

Avus circuit (image: Wikipedia)

All of Germany eagerly awaited the first race, scheduled for September 24, 1921. Sixteen racing cars from nine manufacturers were on the circuit in front of more than 200,000 spectators. To handle this crowd, no fewer than 65 ticket offices were set up around the roundabout.

The pioneers ran without safety equipment

Fritz von Opel competed with the Opel 8/25 hp, which had a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. He did very well, and won after completing seven laps of the race, in a time of 1 hour, 4 minutes and 23 seconds, which corresponded to an average speed of 128.84 km/h. The second was Georg Klöble, running for NSU.

Thin tires, but cars were already very fast at that time …

The Avus served as a platform for speed records and rocket-powered vehicles, among other events. Today, its former route is part of the Bundesautobahn 115 highway. After World War II Avus settled in West Berlin. His glory lasted between September 24, 1921 and April 26, 1998.