At the wheel

One day someone will write an article on Furtwängler and the motor car. He came to it relatively late, in the early 1930s, after taking driving lessons notably from Gilbert Back, a violinist with the Berliner.​

However that may be, his first car was worthy of his celebrity: a Horch convertible — a brand even more select than Mercedes — the 830 model, equipped with a 3 litre V8 engine and styled by Gläser of Dresden, like the one below.

He did not keep it long. Taking Richard Strauss back after a rehearsal (Elektra?), and deep in a discussion, he forgot about the traffic, mixed up the pedals and ended his trip in a luxury car in a parking space that turned out to belong to… the Crown Prince! Strauss never again set foot in a vehicle driven by Furtwängler, who subsequently downgraded his pretensions, driving a DKW and even a Volkswagen ‘Beetle’!

With thanks to Klaus Kramer of the Horch Club, Zwickau

5 June 2019

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