John von Neumann

Born : December 16 1921
Deceased : December 24 2003

Biography John von Neumann

John von Neumann was born in Vienna just a few years after World War I. Viena is the capital of Austria and at that time, where Max Hoffman, later becoming Porsche importer in the USA, had an automotive showroom. John von Neumann had a strong interest in cars from his childhood and he spend many hours in the Max Hoffman’s showrooms.

In 1939 the von Neumann family moved to the USA to escape from the growing political tension in Europe, tension that finally would set the world in fire with the World War II. The von Neuman family migrated first to Canada and later to New York City where they set up a shop. Just 2 years later,  December 7th 1941, John von Neumann was obliged to join the US Army in order to keep his American citizenship. It was during his army years that John von Neumann learned to know German cars, especially the ones manufactured by Volkswgen.

After the war, John von Neumann completed college in New York City to continue his education at the Los Angeles University. At that time, the car culture was exploding in southern California. John von Neumann met Roger Barlow, the owner of “International Motors” and they seen became close friends. Together with Taylor Lucas, they founded the Californian Sports Car Club for the purpose of organising competitive driving events. 

John von Neumann in Porsche 550
John von Neumann in Porsche 550

In 1948 John von Neumann starts his own business : Competition Motors

After having worked as a salesman for a year at International Motors, John von Neumann left the company and started his own business in 1948. Competition Motors was born and would write an important part of the southern Californian car history, especially when it comes to Porsche and Ferrari.

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