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Wilhelm Herz

Wilhelm Herz

German motorcycle racer
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro German motorcycle racer
Countries Germany
Occupations Racing driver Motorcycle racer Racing automobile driver
Gender male
Birth 18 January 1912 (Lampertheim)
Death 5 January 1998
The details

Wilhelm Herz (18 January 1912, Lampertheim, Grand Duchy of Hesse – 5 January 1998) was a motorbike racer and land speed racer. He started his career in 1932 with DKW and went over to NSU in 1939. He ran races on national and international courses like the Berlin AVUS, Grenzlandring, Helsinki, Hockenheimring, Hohenstein-Ernstthal, Isle of Man, Monza, Nürburgring, Schleizer Dreieck, Schottenring and Solitude. He gained his international reputation through numerous world records on two- and four-wheeled vehicles. He set a motorcycle record in 1951 on the Munich - Ingolstadt motorway and repeated it at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah in 1956. In this instance, he was the first person to ride a motorbike over 200 mph (320 km/h).

From 1954 until 1992, he was manager of the Hockenheimring which he led to international importance, especially because of the Grand Prix for motorbikes and Formula One. Wilhelm Herz was honoured for his merits in the field of motorsports by former German President Theodor Heuss who presented him the Silbernen Lorbeer in 1952 and in 1972 he received the Order of Merit by later Chancellor Dr. Helmut Kohl. The city of Hockenheim honoured his merits concerning the Hockenheimring by presenting him with the Goldene Verdienstmedaille.

In 2006 Heinz Herz, son of Wilhelm Herz, was presented by BUB Enterprises (maker of BUB Seven streamliner) with a replica of the Delphin III, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the world record 1956 in the course of the International Motorcycle Speed Trials, sanctioned by the FIM and the AMA, on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

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