Alwin Springer 1983 (c) Fred Heinzler

Born February 8 1943

Biography Alwin Springer

Alwin Springer was born in Essen (Germany) in 1943. Essen was a target for heavy bombing in wartime, because of its location in the industrial Ruhr environment. Soon after his Alwin’s mother gave birth to him, his father went missing in action. Alwin Springer doesn’t even remind him. This event influenced Alwin’s life and made him make the decision to see the world. At the age of 22, after six years of apprenticing in the automotive, electrical and mechanical fields, Alwin set of for Canada.

Little did he know he would end up in the world of motorsports. At that point, he even showed no interests in racing. But in Canada, Alwin Springer got involed in racing, first with a Porsche, later with a McLaren. It was not that much the racing on its own that attracted him. In motorsports, everything has go quick, making decisions too. And especially that challenged Alwin Springer.  After his trip to Canada, Springer returned to Germany. He went back to school, and finished his master’s degree in auto mechanics. 

Vasek Polak

Vasek Polak Sr. (first row, right), with staff and crew, including Elliot Forbes-Robinson, Vasek Polak, Alwin Springer, Arnold Wagner, and driver Hans Widmer, with three Porsche 917s in Hermosa Beach CA, 1973 (C) Vasek Polak Collection

In 1969, Vasek Polak was looking for a man to look after his racing stable. And Polak had a huge trist in the talent of Alwin Springer and hired him. At first, they did some club racing, mainly with the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS. In 1971, Vasek Polak acquired a Porsche 917, and started competing in Can-Am racing, with Milt Minter and later Jody Scheckter.  Alwin Springer remembers there was hardly a crew involved. Springer, 1 helper, the racer  and a flatbed truck. That was the crew.  They left in May for the start of the racing season, and returned in October. It was quite a vagabond lifestyle, and his married life and the birth of his children forced Springer to abandon after 3 years. 

ANDIAL

Alwin Springer keeps an eye on the competition while a mechanic works on the car

Alwin Springer left Vasek Polak to form an independent automotive service business  with Arnold Wagner and Dieter Inzenhofer. Put the first names of the 3 founders in good order, and you get ANDIAL, the name of the new business. Beginning in 1975, Springer made Andial a major player with such Porsche racers as Jim Busby, Peter Gregg, Rob Dyson and Al Holbert. In a five-year period from 1984, Holbert and others driving Porsche’s 962 GTP car won 50 IMSA races with engines tuned by Andial’s Springer.

Porsche Motorsport North America

In 1989, Al Holbert who was head of Porsche Motorsport in America at the time, died in a plane crash. The factory approached Alwin Springer to replace Holbert. Springer started on a consulting basis in 1990, and as from 1997 he became a full-time employee of Porsche Motors. Springer sold his part of shares in Andial to his 2 co-founders Inzenhofer and Wagner.

At the age of 60, Alwin Springer decides to retire early. He wants to enjoy life and spend time with his wife, his children and grand-children. Furthermore has Springer discovered a new hobby, writing computer-software. He and his wife yolanda spend lots of time travelling. Springer recalls : ‘I’ve seen many beautiful places during my professional travels. Now it is time to visit them, and enjoy them to the fullest.’

Alwin Springer’s time line

Education High School & Vocational/Trade Schools
  Auto Electrician Apprenticeship with Diploma
  Auto Technician Apprenticeship with Diploma
  Auto Technician Apprenticeship with Diploma
  Master Degree in Automobile with Diploma
October 1965 Moved to Toronto, Canada
Oct 1965 – Oct 1968 Technician at VW/Porsche Canada in Toronto
Mar 1966 – Nov 1968 Started in racing as a part time technician with Porsche 550 Spyder
Feb 1969 Moved to Hermosa Beach, California
Mar 1969 – Dec 1973 Chief Technician at Vasek Polak Racing fielding Porsche 911C-production,
904, 906, 907, 908 in Club Racing events and 917 normally-aspirated and
917 turbo for the 1971 – 1973 Can-Am series.
Jan 1974 – Mar 1975 Technician at Vasek Polak Porsche/Audi – Hermosa Beach, Calif.
May 1975 Founded with Arnold Wagner and Dieter Inzenhofer – ANDIAL
Road & Racing
June 1975 – Dec 1996 Established ANDIAL as the leading USA independent Shop for
Porsche street automobiles and the most successful Porsche
racing engine rebuilt facility.
1976 – 1996 ANDIAL based Porsche engines won numerous long distance race wins
and IMSA Championships with 911 Targa, 911 RSR, 934 Turbo,
934½ Turbo, 935 and 962.
1982 – 1983 ANDIAL built their version of the Porsche 935 Moby Dick race car
and won the 1983 Daytona 24 hour event in 1st place (Preston Henn
Swap Shop Entry) with Bob Wollek, A.J. Foyt and J.C. Ballot-Lena.
Dec 1989 – Dec 1996 Consultant for Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA)
Dec 1996 Transferred ANDIAL shares to Dieter and Arnold
Jan 1997 – Feb 2004 President of Porsche Motorsports North America in Santa Ana

Pictures courtesy Christian Floring and Vasek Polak Collection