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Hitler's Grand Prix Hero

In 1938 a handsome young English aristocrat wins the German Grand Prix. Garlanded in a giant laurel wreath he mounts the podium and gives the Nazi salute, not once, but twice. “I wish it had been a British car” he whispers down to his friend.

In 1930’s Britain, motor racing was a pastime for the privileged. Dick buys an ERA car becoming part of the best team in Britain but certainly not in the world. That honour belongs to Germany.

Hitler’s super-cars, the ‘Silver Arrows’ outclass all comers. Dick impresses Mercedes’ boss, who invites him to Germany. Despite the fact that Dick is English, he is approved by the Fuhrer.

At a spectacular opening at the Berlin Motor Show, Dick is introduced to Adolf Hitler. “I doubt if Cecil B De Mille could have done it much better himself” says Dick of the display.

He realises he is ensnared in the German propaganda machine. Admiring of the Germans’ achievements and even Hitler himself, Dick is no Nazi. He contemplates returning to England but meets Erica, a beautiful young heiress to the Mercedes fortune and aristocratic too. They fall in love. Dick will stay in Germany.

1938. The Berlin Grand Prix is the biggest event on Mercedes calendar. Dick is given strict instructions not to finish first but he has other ideas.

He marries Erica in London in December 1938 despite war clouds gathering, followed by an Alpine skiing honey moon. Only Bogart and Bergman could have outshone this glamorous couple.

They make plans to flee Germany using Dick’s participation in the Belgian Grand Prix as cover. But the conditions are wet. On the final lap, leading, he hurtles into a tree. An unconscious Dick is pulled from the blazing car. He dies of his injuries some hours later having regained consciousness once to say: “I am sorry. I wanted to be the best. ”.

An enormous wreath arrives at his funeral in London. It is from Herr Hitler.

A Co-production between RS Productions and Vita Nova Films.