Opened in 1921 just outside of Berlin the Automobil-Verkehrs- und Übungsstraße (AVUS or Automobile traffic and training road) circuit is the oldest freeway in Europe when open to the public and also used as a motor racing circuit until 1998. The track consisted of two 9 km long, parallel straights connected by a 180 degree curve at each end. The North curve was rebuilt in the 30s with a surface of red bricks and had a banking of 43 degrees. The track transitioned into a low vertical wall and any driver unfortunate enough to go over the wall could expect to fly off into oblivion. It was not long before the cure became known as the "Wall of Death".
On the straights the cars could reach 380 km/h while the North curve could be taken with 180 km/h. Hermann Lang, the Mercedes driver would remark that when taking the North Curve he could see the red bricks from the left side of the cockpit in his Mercedes streamliner and nothing but sky to his right.