Jaroslav Juhan

Date of birth : October 31 1921
Deceased : September 28 2011

Biography Jaroslav Juhan

Vaclav Jaroslav Juhan was born on 13 October 1921 in Prague, where he spent his teenage years. After the end of the Second World War he took part in car races and was an importer of Italian cars and buses. In 1951 he left his homeland for political infighting. He emigrated to the Republic of Guatemala – where he built an automobile import for various Italian brands.

In 1953 Juhan became an official importer of Porsche sports cars. To make the Porsche brand known among young South American automotive enthusiasts, he decided to participate in a race with a Porsche 356. With a Porsche 356 1500 Super 1953 in Guatemala, he went to the “Carrera de Pacifico” at the start. He won this race right away and ordered out two copies of the new 550 Spyder racing car. In 1953 he started at the “Carrera Panamericana” in Mexico and took the lead on the second lap in the 1.6-liter sports car class. Despite a promising position but had to give up Jaroslav Juhan on the seventh section with a technical defect.

Carrera Panamericana

A year later, Juhan started as a Porsche factory driver in the “Carrera Panamericana” a. The entire race developed into a duel between him and Hans Herrmann, who was considered the top driver of the factory teams. After 3077 kilometers, Hans Herrmann and Jaroslav Juhan crossed the finish with a difference of  only 36 seconds. This success inspired Ferry Porsche, in the future to provide all 4-cam powered Porsche sports cars to bear the name “Carrera”. The success of  the “Carrera Panamericana” in 1954 was followed by the 1,000 km race from Buenos Aires.  Juhan also ended the race as the class winner and fourth overall.  Jaroslav Juhan was a member of the factory team at the 1955 Le Mans 24H. Together with a helmet Gloeckler, he ended the French endurance classic on the 6th position. At the wheel of a Porsche 550 Spyder, he took 1st Place in the sports car class up to 1500 cc, 4 Place overall at the 1955 Buenos Aires 1000KM.

After his race career

Despite these impressive achievements of Jaroslav Juhan was always an amateur in his own words. He took part in races in order to promote the cars and to make the selling process somewhat easier. Its automotive trade flourished in Guatemala, but the increasingly unstable political situation developed into an ever greater risk. Jaroslav Juhan 1961 left his wife Denise and Guatemala and settled in Switzerland. As a businessman, Juhan had since worked in various fields. He always stayed in contact with Porsche and other racers. In many races Jaroslav Juhan was a welcome guest and welcomed by  Ferry Porsche and Huschke von Hanstein. No wonder he remained faithful to Porsche : Well into old age Jaroslav Juhan drove a Porsche 928 S4.