Go Back to Marques and Men PageHell Spezial

Austrian car of 1954, from the Vienna workshop of Franz Hell. Very much in the Cooper mould, it used Fiat Topolino front suspension, a double jointed swing axle and JAP power. It was certainly well prepared – note the machine turning all over the aluminium bodywork, and the piping on the seats.

It is claimed that two chassis were built, one for Austrian sports car champion, Kurt Koresch and one for bike racer, Ernst Kussin, but so far we have no evidence of the latter being raced.

Koresch had been racing a Veritas sports car with considerable success. He probably debuted the Spezial at the Baden bei Wien Trabrennplatz (trotting track), 31st October 1954 – which was also the first event to achieve a full grid of Formula III cars. Interestingly, the car appears in the programme as simply “SRM”, although we know it is the same car – perhaps it first ran with an SRM motor before being upgraded to JAP for 1955?

Either way, the car was well-suited to the dirt tracks, winning the first race at Baden, against the Cooper Mk VIIIs of both Kurt Ahrens and Adolf Lang. It was less effective on tarmac, but could still beat Kurt Kuhnke’s Cooper Mk VII. In 1957 Josef Walla purchased one of the cars.

 

 

 

 

 

Kurt Koresch being pushed to the grid, Bäderpreis von Österreich on 15th May 1955

 

One of the cars hanging in the Prototyp Museum, Hamburg. The plaque attributes the car to Otto Mathé but, other than being Austrian, we have no evidence to confirm or deny this.

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