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Women and Cars - The Story of an Underestimated Liaison Daredevilry, inventiveness and prejudice - An amusing ride through 130 years of automotive history
A 45 minute documentary for ARTE
They love classic race tracks, demanding rallies or the great adventure. They love speed, challenge and risk. They love cars.
What hardly anyone knows today: women have been at the forefront of automotive history from the very beginning: as race drivers, adventurers, businesswomen and engineers. Today, they are hardly known. But it is precisely the history of motorsports that holds some of the most dazzling - female - personalities of the last 130 years: behind the wheel, in the workshop, in the business.
It is the German Bertha Benz who is the first person ever to cover a longer distance by car. The automobile's triumphant advance around the world is thanks to the Frenchwoman Louise Sarazin, a daring entrepreneur who helps the new, revolutionary German invention achieve its breakthrough. In Germany, Amalie Hoeppner was the first German to receive a license to drive in Leipzig in 1909. In 1923, the Austrian Olga Frühwald wins a race against prejudice and later founds a resistance group against the Nazis in her driving school. There's Clärenore Stinnes, who decided to drive around the world after her racing career. Or Sophie Opel, who first led her husband's company to success.
There are countless fantastic stories about the early female pioneers of motoring. Even today they sound adventurous - at the time they were revolutionary. It's no surprise that the handful of women who made it behind the wheel of a car were exceptional. So many obstacles were put in their way that they absolutely needed qualities such as assertiveness, perseverance, courage and independence. This is still the case today.