German rationality

With the valuable support, depth of knowledge and illustrative talent of Prof. Massimo Grandi

Photo credit: Some images are taken from the book Asi Service "Quando le disegnava il vento" by Massimo Grandi.

Until just before the Second World War, Adler was a leading German car brand that covered various market segments. Its renown was based on its long history in the field of mobility, which dated back to 1886, when it produced bicycles, before moving on to motorized tricycles and then cars.

The 1936 racing version of the Adler Trumpf was clearly designed and built for aerodynamic efficiency. Sporting a small 1500 or 1700 cc engine, it was perfect for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Of the three entered in the 1937 race, one came sixth overall and first in the 2.0 class

It boasted German quality and remarkable technical vision, as shown by the fact that its most successful model, the Trumpf, was unveiled in the early 1930s in 1932 to be precise. The Trumpf was offered in several versions. The initial two- or four-door sedan and cabriolet versions were joined a few years later by a sport model.

The Trumpf created in 1932 had classic lines, but was nevertheless highly innovative with its front-wheel drive and independent four-wheel suspension. This is the model from which the sport version was developed

The front-wheel drive and independent four-wheel suspension underlined the vehicle’s innovative content, which became particularly apparent in 1936, the year that brought the unveiling of the sport version, created for endurance races like Le Mans. In this case, unlike their French counterparts, which were designed to be esthetically pleasing, the Trumpf sport models were built mainly to be efficient, and with their 1500 or 1700 cc engines, they were certainly that.

The distinctive wing-like lines of the body and the teardrop shaped interior make this car unrecognizable compared with the old-fashioned-looking original model

The car’s lines, inspired by Paul Jaray’s patent and based on the principle of car bodies designed with an aerofoil section shape and teardrop-shaped interior, proved perfect for the French track’s long straights. Of the three Adler Trumpf Rennlimousines entered in 1937, one came sixth overall and first in the 2.0 class.

Side view and aerial view of the Adler Trumpf Rennlimousine

For the record, another of them (race number 35) was driven by a woman, Anne-Cécile Rose Itier, who, three years earlier (in 1934), had made her first appearance at the 24 Hours, in an MG Midget. As a manufacturer, Adler produced as many as 25 different models, but did not return to car making after the war ended. It tried producing motorbikes, but that did not last long.

Anne-Cécile Rose Itier, who drove an Adler Trumpf Rennlimousine in the 1937 24 Hours of Le Mans, was one among the first women to compete in this race