Kurt Hitke

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Kurt Hitke
Kurt hitke.gif
Kurt Hitke
Born 1 December 1889
Dresden, Germany
Died 23 February 1979(1979-02-23) (aged 89)
Miami, Florida

Kurt Hitke (1 December 1889 in Dresden, Germany – 23 February 1979 in Miami, Florida) was an American racecar driver.

Hitke was born in Leipzig, Germany, and worked from an early age in a blacksmith shop. During the outbreak of World War I, Kurt was working on a German merchant ship which was in Western Hemisphere waters. Consequently, Kurt stayed in the United States as it was impossible for the ship to return to Germany due to British naval superiority. Kurt became one of the two best known racing drivers in the country, being second only to Eddie Rickenbacker who later became America's leading World War I ace and still after headed the Eastern Airlines. In addition to Kurt's driving abilities, he was an outstanding automobile mechanic and is credited with inventing the first straight eight motor which later was used very successfully by the Packard Motor Company and others. Kurt's interest was largely in racing automobiles and both the Roamer and the Kenilworth, which he designed, were considered outstanding in the early Twenties.

A naturalised American by the time of his racing days, Kurt later ran an insurance company in Illinois.

Indy 500 results[edit]