Fritz Huschke von Hanstein

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BMW 328 "Mille Miglia", driven by Adolf Brudes at Nürburgring, 1976
The 1940 Mille Miglia winning BMW, with streamlined top
Huschke von Hanstein in 1981, demonstrating a Porsche 804 at Nürburgring

Fritz Sittig Enno Werner von Hanstein (3 January 1911 – 5 January 1996), nicknamed "Huschke von Hanstein",[1] was a German race driver who from the 1950s served as Porsche's public relations manager and chief of the racing department of Porsche.[2]

Biography[edit]

Hanstein was born in Halle, German Empire, to a Prussian noble family which originated in the Eichsfeld. His father Carlo von Hanstein (1875–1936) was a Prussian Army officer and Junker.

In the late 1930s, "Huschke" drove a BMW 328 sports car. As he had joined the SS, his car was fitted with SS rune number plates (SS-333).[3] In 1940, he together with Walter Bäumer won the Mille Miglia on a BMW 328.[4]

As a result of World War II, Hanstein's family's possessions were lost in socialist East Germany. In June 1950, he married Ursula von Kaufmann (1916-2005) on the Nürburgring race track. Hanstein joined Porsche, then a small sports car manufacturer, serving as a kind of ambassador especially to foreign markets like France, which were rather difficult for Germans at the time. Due to his aristocratic background and diplomatic skills, he succeeded both in selling cars as well as passing technical inspections before races, like at the 24 hours of Le Mans where he led Porsche 356 to class wins.

In 1956 Hanstein drove a Porsche 550 Spyder all the way to Sicily to enter in the Targa Florio, for which he hired Umberto Maglioli. The experienced Italian did most of the driving in the long distance race across the mountains, scoring Porsche's first major win. Hanstein led the Porsche racing teams until the middle of the 1960s, when Porsche decided to let young engineers like Ferdinand Piech take over. Without Hanstein's aristocratic skills, the Porsche team promptly ran into trouble at 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans due to misunderstandings with the French.

Huschke von Hanstein, the so-called "racing baron", continued to serve as representative in German and international automobile organizations. He died in 1996 in Stuttgart.

Bibliography[edit]

  1. ^ According to a document of Stuttgart's police dated 24 October 1956, he officially adopted "Fritz-Huschke" as first name
  2. ^ The Racing Baron Huschke von Hanstein - Under the patronage of his wife, Ursula von Hanstein, the Auto & Technik MUSEUM SINSHEIM dedicated a special exhibition to their late honorary member Huschke von Hanstein. Von Hanstein won worldwide recognition and respect as a racing driver, PR-manager, and chief of the racing department of Porsche as well as a functionary in German and international organizations. On exhibit are cars and motorbikes with a special relation to Huschke von Hanstein. Furthermore, show cases showing plaques and badges, posters, cups and other memorabilia commemorating the racing baron – among them e.g. also his first crash helmet. [1]
  3. ^ "BMW 328 of SS member Huschke von Hanstein". Img32.imageshack.us. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  4. ^ Traum-Duo im BMW 328 - Huschke von Hanstein und Walter Bäumer [2] (German)

External links[edit]

This article incorporates information from the revision as of 2008-07-05 of the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.