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Veloce Publishing
November 14, 2019
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Motorsport > Browse Books
Two Summers – The Mercedes-Benz W196R Racing Car

Two Summers – The Mercedes-Benz W196R Racing Car
Limited Edition of 1500 Copies

By Robert Ackerson
About the Author

V4751 • 25x25cm • 192 pages • 200 pictures

ISBN: 978-1-845847-51-7

£ 75.00 Postage + P&P (eBook prices vary, and delivery is free)

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Chapter Titles Sample Text


• Details the designing and developing of the W196R
• A tribute to Karl Kling’s contributions to the development and testing of the W196R
• Explores the design and features of the W196R’s 8-cylinder engine
• Details Alfred Neubauer’s successful signing of Juan Fangio and Stirling Moss
• Includes the full story of the W196 victory of the in its debut race – the 1954 French Grand Prix
• Dramatically captures the exciting press debut of  the W196R in 1954
• A portrait of the skill and courage of legendary Grand Prix drivers
• Complete results of all Grand Prix races in 1954 and 1955
• Includes a balanced review of the W196R’s defeat in the 1954 British Grand Prix
• Page after page of great racing stories and photographs


This book explores the Mercedes-Benz W196R’s historic roots, development, and racing. Also its triumphs, struggles and disappointments, as well as the spirited challenges from Maserati, Ferrari, Gordini and Lancia. Accompanying the text are hundreds of photos sourced from the legendary Daimler Archives, as well as stunning new artwork.


‘Two Summers’ offers a fresh, revealing and highly personal window into the culture of Grand Prix racing as it was during the 1954 and 1955 championships. The core of this book is devoted to individual portraits of the twelve races that comprised the 1954-55 seasons in which the W196R participated. Of those races, Fangio won seven and Moss won two. 
With its carefully-crafted observations and conclusions, given added drama by its richly-detailed illustrations, there are numerous examples of the energy and dynamic nature of these racing seasons – not the least being abundant evidence that Fangio was indeed the ultimate master of the art and science of racing a Grand Prix automobile, and that the W196R was the instrument with which he honed his skills. This book captures the decisive moments when victory – hanging in the balance – was tilted towards Fangio by his own steady hand on the wheel and iron discipline.
The W196R’s racing days may be long gone, but it remains a shining star of Mercedes-Benz’ participation in motor sport heritage events world wide.
It’s this timeless appeal of the W196R that gives this book its vitality, charm and enduring attraction.

Independent Reviews

Fast-paced prose builds the excitement as the Germans battle the Italians.

Auto Express

… where this book really scores is in its superb photographs.


… compelling, lively evidence of the W 196 R’s dominance and, specifically, that Argentine five-time F1 world champion Juan Manuel Fangio deserves an exalted place in the pantheon of drivers.


The core of the book is devoted to individual portraits of the twelve races that comprised the 1954-55 seasons in which the Mercedes W196 R participated. With its carefully crafted observations and conclusions, and add drama of richly detailed illustrations, this book captures the energy and dynamic nature of these racing seasons…
Mercedes Owner

There is so much to enjoy in the text, but the beauty of this book is in the glorious pictures.
Motor Sport

… looks at Mercedes' legendary two-year assault on Grand Prix racing with new vigour, supplemented by plenty of stunning images from the Daimler archive.
Classic Driver (UK)

No collector can afford to miss it ... a volume to be treasured.
Motor Cycling Club (MCC)

There can [...] be no doubt about the quality of this highly enjoyable book, with compelling words that will keep the reader entertained from cover to cover and an excellent choice of photographs from the best sources for images of Mercedes-Benz history. Readers of The Bulletin are going to have real difficulty deciding where to spend their Christmas present book tokens this year but ‘Two Summers’ will surely be near the top of the pile!
VSCC Bulletin

Additional Information

This book captures the interaction between the great cars and great drivers that made the 1954 and 1955 Grand Prix seasons a memorable and treasured age for racing enthusiasts.

Text and illustrations transform the reader into a first-hand witness to the ebb and flow of racing success, defeats, disappointments and moments of exhilaration that were the core of the great 1954-55 seasons.

Vividly expresses the enduring appeal of each Grand Prix of the 1954-55 racing seasons. Recollections from the participants, and the drama of the race reports of the world’s most experienced motorsport journalists, combine with photographs from the world renowned Daimler archives to enable readers to experience the tensions, emotions, triumphs and disappointments that have earned this era a very special and spectacular status in Grand Prix history. 


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