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Obituary Paul Ernst Straehle: I don't look down over a star, I drive a Porsche

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Obituary Paul Ernst Strähle
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E s followed with various co-drivers lots of smaller and larger rallies in the At home and abroad, and Paul Ernst Strähle rarely came home without a trophy; in his class he won almost at will.

Strähle won class victories at the Mille Miglia

In 1954, the Beetle, which had long been nicknamed 'Dapferle' and had a Porsche engine and brakes under the reseda green cover, was on the scene Mille Miglia to Italy. There he tactically foolishly blocked the Fiat works team in training and was transferred from the series class to the big boys in the prototype class before the race. That didn't help against the fast Swabian, who inspired the Italians to respect the little Beetle with a class win up to 1300 cc and third place up to 1500 cc.

Shortly afterwards, he switched to a Porsche 356 and continued to win ; He responded to an offer from Mercedes racing director Alfred Neubauer with the words: 'I don't look down over a star, I drive a Porsche.' Neubauer was stunned: 'Nobody has told me that yet.' In 1957, the 356 Carrera with the legendary registration number WN-V2 came into the house, with which Strähle won its class at the last Mille Miglia in 1957 and achieved 14th place overall against the overpowered Ferrari and Maserati.

Two years later, he and the Frenchman Buchet celebrated perhaps his greatest triumph: overall victory in the grueling Liege-Rome-Liege rally. All in all, the list of his greatest successes alone comprises several A4 pages, including second place in the Targa Florio, several class wins in the 1000 km race at the Nürburgring, numerous mountain prizes and several speed records in Monza. In addition, Strähle won the title of German automobile champion in 1955, in 1956 he was second in the European Rally Championship and in 1958 German rally champion.

Resigning from retirement - triumphs with the Strähle team

With all this, the bustling Strähle never lost sight of day-to-day business as a VW and Porsche dealer and finally retired from motorsport in 1963. In order to declare his resignation three years later and to return with the Straehle team. By 1973 he celebrated 31 overall victories with the drivers Bauer, Steckkönig and Schmid; In 1986 Joachim Winkelhock took the crown in the 944 turbo-Cup, in 1988 and 1989 Roland Asch.

Paul Ernst Strähle also took the wheel of his beloved 356 again a long time agoCarrera, this time at classic car races and rallies. And collected trophies again as always, including at the Silvretta Classic, the Ennstal Classic and the Kitzbüheler Alpenrallye. In the classic car scene, the cozy Swabian character was welcome and could easily entertain a table party with his adventures - for example how he ran out of road with the Liege-Rome-Liege on an unpaved gravel pass and he and his co-driver Herbert Linge and the 356 over the slope commuted: 'We had to wait until help came - if someone had got out, we would have fallen into the abyss.'

Paul Ernst Strähle died on October 27 at the age of 83 in Schorndorf.


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