CONSTRUCTORS: AFM (ALEX VON FALKENHAUSEN MOTORENBAU)

Name: AFM (Alex von Falkenhausen Motorenbau)

From a famous Bavarian military family, Alex von Falkenhausen was drawn to automobile engineering and in the 1930s played an important role in the development of BMW's 328 model with engineers Alfred Boning, Fritz Fiedler and Ernst Loof. The 328 was the dominant sportscar in Europe in the late 1930s and won the Mille Miglia in 1940 in Brescia. Immediately after the war Von Falkenhausen set up shop in Munich and began tuning pre-war 328s. Some were converted into single-seaters and in 1948 Von Falkenhausen decided to build his own cars, using the BMW 328 engine. The F2 AFM appeared for the first time in 1949 in the hands of Hans Stuck Sr but his only major result that year was third at the Grenzlandring. In 1950 Stuck continued with AFM and won a heat of the Autodromo GP at Monza beating the Ferraris of both Ascari and Fangio. Other cars were raced by Fritz Reiss, Karl Gommann, Willi Heeks and even Manfred Von Brauchitsch. Victories were few and far between but Heeks won an East German race at Dessau. Development continued in 1951 with Stuck beginning development of a lightweight V8 engine designed by Richard Kuchen. There were new customers and some success with Reiss winning at the Riemer airfield and Stuck at Grenzland.

Stuck continued with the Kuchen development in 1952 but there was little success. Stuck struggled on in 1953 but the cars were becoming less competitive and with the end of F2 that year the marque faded away.

von Falkenhausen continued to work with BMW and became technical director of the company's sporting programs. He designed the successful engines which helped BMW to dominate touring car racing in the 1960s and 1970s and recruited many of the engineers who went on to produce the famous BMW turbo engines in the 1980s. He retired in 1975, handing over the technical directorship of BMW Motorsport to Paul Rosche.

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