Gustav Otto Ludolf Heine

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Gustav Otto Ludolf Heine (January 7, 1868 – April 23, 1959) was the owner of a successful piano business (Heine Piano Company) in San Francisco, which was formerly his boss's (Bruenn Piano Company). He was born near Boizenburg in the German grand duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin on January 7, 1868.

He moved to Napa Valley, possibly in 1873, with his parents and seven siblings. By the time he was sixteen years old, he moved to San Francisco getting a job sweeping floors at the Bruenn Piano Company. He was soon trained as a piano tuner, and within two years became partner at Bruenn. After a disagreement, Heine forcefully became owner of the company. He also sold pianos made by other manufacturers under his name, his pianos may say Cleveland and San Francisco.

Gustav Heine built a series of automobiles. Some sources claim some examples pre-dating 1900. He did built some in 1904–06 from his workshop on Main street. The 1906 earthquake and fire destroyed both his workshop and piano store over on Union Square. He used his cars in relief efforts in the city, transporting people out of the city, carrying supplies like fresh milk and water, and even the dead for burial. In 1907–08 he built some more cars with larger engines, these being featured in the San Francisco Auto Show in 1907. His car building activities were on hold until 1921 when he built the Heine-Velox. The vehicle had a Weidly V-12 engine. Although advertised at the time for $25,000, Heine never seemed to seriously want to sell the cars. Around six were built. The best known example was in Harrah's collection for years. Recently this was acquired by a hotel in Alaska that did a thorough restoration and is now on display. Another was given to a relative, who eventually used it as a chicken coop. This example may have been restored recently, and was last seen on display in China. Two more examples were in the Cars of the Stars collection, but nothing is known of their current location. A restorer in Kentucky has one listed in his shop currently undergoing restoration, but no information is available on it. He died on April 23, 1959 in at his estate in Sunol, California southwest of San Francisco across the San Francisco Bay in Alameda County.

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