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90th birthday of Eugen Böhringer: & # 34; Accelerate a lot, brake little! & # 34;

Hardy Mutschler
90. Birthday of Eugen Böhringer
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A at the wheel of a racing or rally car, he always had a simple recipe for success, says Eugen Böhringer:' Accelerate a lot, brake little! ' With this motto, the Mercedes factory driver, who was born in Stuttgart on January 22, 1922, got quite a long way: in 1960 he drove in the Rallye Monte-Carlo in the 220 SE (tail fin) with co-driver Hermann Socher in second place behind his teammate Schock /Moll. The following year, the son of a former Daimler employee and hotelier wins the Poland rally, celebrates several class wins and comes second in the European rally championship.

European Rally Champion 1962

In 1962, Böhringer won the Acropolis Rally and the Poland Rally, finished second in the Monte Carlo Rally and the Germany Rally and fifth in the Midnight Sun Rally and is European rally champion at the end of the year. In 1962 he was also at the top of the podium in a 220 SE at the grueling Liège-Sofia-Liège rally. The rally leads over 5500 kilometers across half of Europe, there are no breaks, and it is not uncommon for the driver or co-driver to fall unconscious from the car during time controls. For such exertions, Böhringer always has his magic drink on board: milk with plenty of dextrose and a good shot of rum. In 1963 he wins the Liège-Sofia-Liège for the first time, this time with a 230 SL Pagoda. Out of 120 cars that started, only 20 (!) Made it to the finish line.

Also successful on the circuit

On the circuit, too, the fast Swabian with the grumpy sense of humor was difficult to keep up: 1964 he wins the touring car Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, and from the 24 Hours of Spa he emerges as the moral winner together with Dieter Glemser. Due to longer pit stops, Böhringer had lost a lot of time in the 300 SE, which he made up especially during the night with sensational lap times. Three quarters of an hour before the end of the race he was leading by three laps when the left front wheel hub broke and he had to go to the pits. Replacement must be obtained from outside the box, which does not conform to the rules - Böhringer will be disqualified. He is close to tears, Juan Manuel Fangio, who happens to be present, only manages to comfort Böhringer with difficulty. Fangio was also happy to be a guest in the 'Höhengaststätte Böhringer' in Rotenberg, as well as the legendary race director Alfred Neubauer and the entire team of drivers at the time.

Birthday party inMercedes-Benz Museum

His former racing colleagues insisted on appearing in large numbers for their 90th birthday on January 22, 2012 in the Mercedes-Benz Museum. Among the well-wishers were Böhringer's former co-drivers Klaus Kaiser and Rolf Knoll, as well as team mates Dieter Glemser, Eberhard Mahle, Rolf Moll and Walter Schock. The Swede Ewy von Korff-Rosqvist, who won the Grand Street Prize in Argentina in 1962 (Böhringer won the following year), flew in specially from Stockholm. Also among the well-wishers: the former Silver Arrow driver Hans Hermann and Herbert Linge, who won the most trophies for Porsche, but also drove a Mercedes twice in between. There were of course plenty of gifts, perhaps the most appropriate from Mercedes-Benz Classic boss Michael Bock: a basket with the ingredients for Böhringer's magic drink. Böhringer thanked him and at the age of 90 he still knows what should be done: His biggest thank you went to 'the mechanics and engineers who made the victories possible almost half a century ago.'

Today, Böhringer mostly likes the Sitting in a wheelchair, but the storyteller has not lost its grim charm. Nor has the joy of driving fast: Anyone who sees a Smart in the Stuttgart area who is moving to the limit can almost be sure that a broadly grinning Eugen Böhringer is behind the wheel - hopefully for a long time.


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