1935 BMW 315 in style of Veritas 2000 RS
Chassis no. 48904
•Rare post-war German sports car
•Based on a BMW 315 Roadster
•Restored in the 2000s to current specifications
•FIA and FIVA papers (2015)
•Registered in Holland
An intriguing fusion of pre-war mechanical components and post-war style, the BMW-based Veritas dates from the late 1940s, a period when the scarcity of readily available competition cars led to the creation of numerous interesting 'specials'. BMW's 328 had been the outstanding sports car of the late 1930s, and its powerful 2.0-litre six-cylinder engine was the power plant of choice for many an independent constructor.
Veritas was founded in West Germany by Ernst Loof, Georg Meier and Lorenz Dietrich, who had met in Paris during the war. They discussed plans to develop a new competition car as soon as hostilities ceased and built their first in 1947 using components supplied by a customer. Two of them, at least, had considerable competition experience, Meier having won the 1939 Isle of Man TT for BMW while Loof had managed the factory's Mille Miglia effort in 1940. Loof owned one of the works 1940 Mille Miglia cars – the Dr Wunibald Kamm-inspired aerodynamic coupé – and so was well acquainted with the latest in sports car racing technology. However, the occupying Allies forbade German manufactures from building engines larger than 1,000cc, hence Veritas had no option but to use rebuilt pre-war units. However, BMW objected to the use of their name on the cars and after only a handful had been completed the name was changed to simply 'Veritas'.
Right from the start the Veritas Rennsport was competitive, winning the German 2-Litre sports car championship three years on the trot from 1947 to 1949. There was also a single-seater spin-off, the Meteor, which looked strikingly similar to a pre-war Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix car and was entered by Loos in Formula 2 events. Good though it was, the BMW 328 engine was getting long in the tooth and Loos knew that to stay competitive he would need something more modern. A new single-overhead-camshaft power unit was commissioned from Heinkel, but development of this potentially more powerful engine was hampered by insufficient funding.
When the restriction limiting German drivers to domestic races was lifted for 1950, the Veritas began winning abroad, and when the Drivers' and Manufacturers' World Championships switched to Formula 2 for 1952 and '53, pending the introduction of the 2½-Litre Formula 1, it gave Veritas the opportunity to compete at the highest level. With one or two exceptions, Veritas entries were confined to the German Grand Prix, with Fritz Reiss' 7th place in 1952 the best result. Veritas production petered out soon after and today this short-lived marque rates as little more than footnote in the history of BMW. It is estimated that no more than 50 Veritas competition cars were built.
The example offered here was produced by BMW in 1935 and started life as a Type 315 Roadster. The earliest documentation dates from 30th December 1953 when the car was registered in Holland as 'PP-05-26' (still valid). In September 1956 the BMW was owned by Mr C Lagerwij, while the oldest surviving photograph of '48904' dates from the late 1950s/early 1960s and shows the car fitted with a locally built roadster body. From 1964 onwards the car was owned by a Mr van Dijk of Amsterdam, passing in 2006 from him to the well-known and highly respected BMW and Veritas collector and restorer, Andries Jans from Apeldoorn.
Mr Jans then completely restored the car to Veritas 2000 RS specifications using only BMW parts. The body was removed and is now fitted to another Type 315 in Germany, while the 1.5-litre (Type 315) engine has been overhauled and enlarged to 2.0-litre (Type 328) specifications. The engine has been tested and delivers a healthy 125bhp (see dynamometer printout on file). A Volvo gearbox is fitted presently for easier driving, while the original Type 315 gearbox is included in the sale.
In 2006, '48904' was the only Veritas selected for display at the special 'Gemeinsam Gegeneinander' ('together against each other') exhibition at the Prototyp Museum in Hamburg, Germany. This exhibition showcased the design, production and development of racing cars in occupied post-war Germany, both East and West. This rare and desirable German sports car is offered with FIA and FIVA papers (2015); Dutch registration papers (1953); current Dutch registration papers; restoration photographs and owner's notes'; and a copy of the book, 'Die Veritas Story'.
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