Car Engineer of the Century

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The Car Engineer of the Century was an international award given to the most influential car engineer of the twentieth century. The election process was overseen by the Global Automotive Elections Foundation.

The winner, Ferdinand Porsche, was announced at an awards gala on December 18, 1999 in Las Vegas.

The selection process[edit]

The process for deciding the Car Engineer of the Century started with the list of candidates below.

The candidates
Name Notable for
Béla Barényi Daimler-Benz passive safety work
Walter Owen Bentley Innovative solutions
Karl Benz Credited with creating the world's first purpose-built motor car in 1886
Marc Birkigt Hispano-Suiza H6
Ettore Bugatti Bugatti cars
Colin Chapman Lotus Cars radical and innovative technical solutions
Gottlieb Daimler Pioneer of internal-combustion engines
Rudolf Diesel The diesel engine
William Edwards Deming Revolutionised car production with statistical process control
Henry Ford I Motor car pioneer, entrepreneur and industrial visionary
Dante Giacosa Fiat innovator
Walter Hassan Engine innovator at Coventry Climax and Jaguar
Nicolas Hayek Father of the MCC Smart car concept.
Alec Issigonis The innovative packaging of the Mini
Vittorio Jano Motor car innovator
Spencer King Conceived the luxury all wheel drive SUV concept with the Range Rover
Frederick Lanchester Car pioneer founder of the Lanchester Motor Company
Hans Ledwinka Pioneered an advanced backbone chassis configuration and paved the way for the Volkswagen Beetle with Tatra
André Lefèbvre Citroën cars
Harry Mundy Engine innovator with Coventry Climax, Lotus and Jaguar
August Otto Credited with creating the first useful four stroke engine
Ferdinand Porsche Automotive innovator and creator of Volkswagen.
Frederick Henry Royce The engineering genius behind Rolls-Royce
Rudolf Uhlenhaut Mercedes-Benz cars
Gabriel Voisin Automotive and engine innovator
Felix Wankel Perfected the rotary piston engine concept with NSU

The next step was for a jury of 132 professional automotive journalists, from 33 countries, under the presidency of Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, to reduce the list to 5, which they did, and the result was announced in November 1999. Finally the 5 were ranked by the jury and the overall winner was selected.

See also[edit]


  • "Dr Porsche is Car Engineer of the Century". 1999-12-31. Retrieved 2006-04-29.