Contemporary style: The digitally colorized photo of Fritz von Opel with the RAK 2 on the Berlin Avus Track.

The Record-breaking RAK 2
Run in Living Color


Click here to download the RAK 2 photograph!


It’s easy!

Open the photo in the correct screen resolution for laptop, desktop computer, or smartphone. Right-click the photo and select ‘Set as desktop background’ from the shortcut menu. And then you’re done!

We selected a very special desktop image for the end of the year – a freshly colorized photo of the RAK 2 together with Fritz von Opel. When press photographer Walter Gircke captured this moment of celebration, the grandson of the company’s founder had just reached a speed of 238 km/h on 23 May 1928 at the Avus Track in Berlin behind the wheel of the rocket-powered racer. The black and white photograph has been a part of the Opel archive ever since. Leif Rohwedder took it upon himself to breathe some new life and color into the scene in time for the 90th anniversary of the event. “We were inspired by colorist Marina Amaral,” explains Rohwedder, who is in charge of Visual Communications in the Opel Press Office. Brazilian artist Amaral began colorizing historical photos several years ago, leading the way in what turned into a worldwide trend.


Serious research

Plenty of historical research went into the RAK 2 colorization process. “We had to figure out, for example, the original color of the clothing the people were wearing when the photograph was taken,” explains Rohwedder. Newspaper articles of the time reported that Fritz von Opel was wearing a blue leather jacket and white pants. The hats worn by some of the spectators indicate that they were police officers. “At that time, police wore dark blue uniforms, so that was one more detail we were able to iron out,” explains Rohwedder, who assembled the puzzle piece by piece. After completing his research, Rohwedder turned to photographer Axel Wierdemann for assistance. Wierdemann’s detailed digital work restored the original color. Opel first published the finished photograph in a press release and is now making it available for download here.

January 2019

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