Eddie Hertzberger

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Eddie Hertzberger
Born (1904-10-17)October 17, 1904
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Died May 2, 1993(1993-05-02) (aged 88)
Occupation Industrialist
Spouse(s) Eleonore Hertzberger-Katz (b. 1917)

Eddie Hertzberger (October 17, 1904 – May 2, 1993) was a wealthy Dutch industrialist and racecar driver. He won the 1936 Frontières Grand Prix for sports cars at Chimay, Belgium, and the 1937 Voiturette race at the same event. He also competed in the 1935 and 1937 24 Hours of Le Mans races. In the twenties Hertzberger also did some boxing, while he did a lot of sailing and skiing throughout his life.

Hertzberger owned cars like a Bugatti Type 57 Stelvio 4-seater, with which he participated in the 12-hour night drive organised by the KNAC (Royal Dutch Automobile Club) in September 1926, the MG Magnette K3, a 4.5 litre Bentley and an Aston Martin. He restricted his racing to England, France, Italy and Belgium, with motor racing in the Netherlands virtually non-existent, and Jews not allowed to participate in motor racing in Nazi Germany.

At Monthléry, Hertzberger managed to break some speed records in his K3. He also started in the Mille Miglia and at Le Mans. He quit racing in 1938 after getting married, although he made a surprise appearance at Zandvoort in 1953.

Hertzberger was the first and only Dutch Grand Prix winner until Carel Godin de Beaufort won the Spa GP in 1959.

Personal life[edit]

Hertzberger owned a successful clothing factory in Rotterdam. The factory, including his Bugatti Stelvio #57519 which was parked inside, was completely destroyed at the outbreak of World War II during the bombardment of Rotterdam that prompted the surrender of Holland to the Nazis. Hertzberger escaped the Netherlands through Belgium and France to Switzerland, where he stayed for more than a year. Later he travelled through Vichy France to reach Spain. In Madrid Hertzberger became a member of the intelligence service of the Dutch government, which was based in London during WWII.

After the war, Hertzberger rebuilt his factory and lived both in the Netherlands and New York. Later he moved to Switzerland, where he died in 1993.

His wife, Eleonore Hertzberger-Katz (born 1917), wrote a book about their hazardous journeys, which was reprinted in Dutch in June 2003.

Eddie Hertzberger's granddaughter Gwendolyn also races. She currently competes in Formula Renault.

Major career victories[edit]