Opel Rak 1, 2 and 3
"A deafening roaring and howling begins - behind the vehicle, a Glutgasschweif pricks into the sun-light concrete railway." The "Frankfurter Zeitung" reports on the premiere of the RAK1 on April 11, 1928. Although not all the rockets have been detonated, racing driver Kurt Volkhart has reached 100 in just eight seconds. But the team around Fritz von Opel, Max Valier and the rocket manufacturer Friedrich Wilhelm Sander wants more. Already on the 23rd of May, a missile car will be launched at the Berlin Avus. This time not the former test car RAK1, but its streamlined successor.
An Opel RAK2 in the house "OPEL in Berlin" in Friedrichstrasse, built in 1928. On 23 May 1928 the RAK2 reached a speed of 238 km / h on the Berlin Avus. Although built during the Weimar Republic, the car carries the black and white red of the Empire, which was still popular in conservative circles. The RAK 2 carries 24 instead of 12 rockets in the rear and has 120 kilos of explosives on board. "Enough to blow up a five-storey house," states Hans-Jürgen Schneider in his book "125 Years of Opel - Cars and Technology". Almost the experiment Fritz von Opel, who this time sits behind the wheel, actually tasted his life: When the RAK2 reaches the top speed of 230 km / h, it lifts off at the front. Only at the last moment can he intercept the car.
One month later, on June 23, 1928, the unmanned RAK 3 sets a new world record for rail vehicles in Burgwedel near Hanover at a speed of 256 km / h.