Mercedes rally master Böhringer dies aged 91

| 17 Jul 2013

Former Mercedes-Benz works rally driver Eugen Böhringer died last month.

Born on 22 January 1922 in Stuttgart, Böhringer was a chef and hotelier by trade.

But a bet with friends led him to enter his first local and regional competitions in his own Mercedes-Benz 219 (W05) in the 1950s.

An early achievement came in the form of second place in the Stuttgart Solitude Rally of 1958, a competition he would win in ’59 and ’60.

Böhringer’s victory put him on the radar of Mercedes, which signed him as a works driver.

The large heavy saloons of the day suited Böhringer’s style and he took victories in the 1962 Acropolis Rally and the Liège-Sofia-Liège driving a 220SE (W111).

He won the Greek title again the following year, in a 300SE (W112) along with the Germany Rally and Argentina’s Touring Car Grand Prix (above).

He also mastered the 230SL Pagoda in ’63, powering it to top of the podium on the gruelling long-distance Spa-Sofia-Liège Rally, the Poland Rally and the Acropolis Rally.

After the Spa-Sofia-Liège event Autosport reported: ‘Eugen Böhringer chalked up his second successive victory in this most arduous event, he and Kaiser [his co-driver] putting up a fantastic performance in the beautiful new 230SL to drop just eight minutes in an event of over 93 hours’ duration, which covered more than 3430 miles.’

In ’64 he tackled the Spa-Sofia-Liège marathon again, managing a third-place finish and being presented with a gold trophy in acknowledgement of his accomplishments.

Mercedes withdrew from competition the following year, with Böhringer following the firm’s retirement having contested that year’s Monte-Carlo Rally in a Porsche 904.

He remained close to Stuttgart and motor sport up until 2001, when he joined other drivers in establishing the Solitude Revival association.