Veritas Scorpion

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Veritas was a West German post World War II sports and race car company, located in the village of Hausen am Andelsbach, near Sigmaringen, Baden-Württemberg, later at Meßkirch and Muggensturm and moved finally to the Nürburgring.

The company was founded by Ernst Loof, Georg Meier and Lorenz Dietrich who initially re-built and tuned pre-war BMW 328 cars using components supplied by a customer, turning them into BMW-Veritas cars. The first car was used in 1947 by its owner Karl Kling to win at Hockenheim and subsequently become the 1947 German 2-litre champion. After only a few cars were made, following an objection from BMW, the cars became simply known as Veritas.

Their first prototype racer was built in a corner of BMW's Allach factory, which was being used for Vehicle maintenance by the allies. Disallowed from building any sort of new car or engine in the American Zone of Occupation, the project moved to the French zone, and the team concentrated on what it knew best, the Type 328, with its unique overhead-valve six. Using its own lightweight steel tubular frames and used 328 engines supplied by its customer, the new racers came together. The new cars were named Veritas-BMW, the first portion of which was taken from the name of the Roman god of truth. The light alloy body, fabricated by Kurt Frick, carried a close resemblance to BMW's pre-war racing cars, which boasted excellent aerodynamics. With this car, Karl Kling won multiple German two-litre championships. About 22 Veritas RS were built, using modified 328 engines. They compiled an excellent competition record. In 1948, the company relocated to Meßkirch in Baden and re-incorporated as Veritas Badische Automobilwerke GmbH.

The first Veritas to be made for normal road use was made in 1949 with the launch of the Komet coupé which was little more than a racing Veritas RS made street legal. It was followed by the more civilised 2+2 Saturn coupé and Scorpion cabriolet, both being styled by Ben Bowden. The Scorpion and Saturn were both built on a 2600mm wheelbase, and featured fully-independent front suspension with upper and lower control arms, longitudinal torsion bars, and telescopic shock absorbers. The rear drive and suspension comprised a deDion axle with triangular links, longitudinal torsion bars, and telescopic shock absorbers. Steering was by rack-and-pinion. Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drums. The engine was a BMW 328 of 1988 cc with overhead valves operated by a quite effective system of transverse rocker arms that gave the motor the appearance of having overhead cams. The five-speed transmission was of the company's own design. Electrics were 12-volt, unusual for the day.

Veritas contracted with Karosseriebau Spohn of Ravensburg to clothe these chassis. Spohn had built elegant auto bodies for such prestigious chassis as Bugatti, Steyr, Mercedes Benz, and Maybach through the 1920s and 1930s. However, compared to some of the coachwork that emerged from Spohn in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the Veritas Scorpion and Saturn would have to be described as mainstream and conservative. Spohn was something of a visionary, even if those visions were sometimes borrowed, such as those taken from General Motors' daring concept cars of the same era. Spohn was especially entranced with the huge, squared-off tailfins first seen on GM's Buick LeSabre show car of 1951, and incorporated those fins into his C90, a rather bizarrely-styled sports car. Spohn specialized in customizing the rather mundane post-war Buicks, Fords, and Pontiacs often driven by US military personnel stationed in Germany. Many of those also wound up with outsized tail fins. Spohn continued its adventurous ways, including construction of Germany's first post-war fiberglass-bodied cars, until it closed its doors in the late 1950s.

The company moved to larger premises in Muggensturm in 1949 but were badly under capitalised. New cars were designed using a 1998 cc engine designed Eric Zipprich and built by Heinkel. Over 200 orders were received for the new car but there was not enough money available to buy the components and production came to a halt in 1950 and the company continued in operation until 1952 by making new bodies for Panhard cars.

Ernst Loof moved to the Nürburgring in 1950 where he rented the old Auto Union workshops and set up a new company Automobilwerke Ernst Loof GmbH and started a new range of Veritas cars at first with the Heinkel manufactured engine and saloon or cabriolet coachwork by Spohn. Money quickly ran out however and the final bodies were fitted with Ford or Opel engines. The number of cars made at the Nürburgring is estimated as between 6 and 20.

By In 1953 the firm was absorbed by BMW, the company that had spawned it. Best estimates are that Veritas produced no more than 78 cars in all.

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