Erich Strenger

Born : December 1 1922
Deceased: February 17 1993

Biography Erich Strenger

Erich Strenger was born december 1, 1922 in Bad Cannstatt which is a part of Stuttgart. Nowadays this part of the city is well-known among the Mercedes-Benz addicts, since the MB museum is situated here. But that’s another story.

Erich Strenger was intrested in arts and photography since his youth, so it is clear that after he finished his basic school, he started studying repro-photography. After completion of this studies, he went to the Kunststaatsakademien (Governal Art School) in Stuttgart for an artistic education.
In 1942, 2 years after WW 2 broke out, he was ordered to join the German army. As a mountain trooper he staid in France, Norway and afterwards in Russia where he was taken prisoner. As Prisoner of War, he had to stay in a Russian prison environment till 1949. That’s exactly when he returned to his birth-town Stuttgart.
Soon after his return in Stuttgart he noticed a little sportscar in town, which impressed him a lot and influenced his further life. That was the car of his dreams, a Porsche. Unfortunately for him, at that time, he could not afford a car like that.

How Erich Strenger started working for Porsche

Coincidentally he met Richard von Frankenberg, which at that time was working on the startup of the Porsche Marketing department. Both were attending a Miss Cover Girl election in a movie theater, and they started talking. As you understand the subject was Porsche. This coincidence soon gave birth to the Porsche Christophorus magazines, and lots of brochures and posters designed by Erich Strenger for Porsche.

In 1951 Erich Strenger buys his first Porsche from a friend of him and Richard von Frankenberg. In fact,  Erich Strenger could not afford one at that time , but he decided to go for it. A few hours later he regrets his decision because the car is beyond his financial reach and he calls his friend to cancel the buy. Another few hours later, Erich Strenger realises this red Porsche 356 is really what he wants, and he decides to call back and to tell his friend he wants to buy the car, even though he knows he has to wake up his friend as it is in the middle of the night.

Erich Strenger and Porsche Posters

In 1951 Erich Strenger designs the first poster for Porsche. Later on, the Porsche race leader Huschke von Hanstein orders posters with Erich Strenger to desing the Porsche race victories. Since Huschke von Hanstein wants the posters real quick, Strenger has to work day and night to deliver them in time. Soon at race time he starts listening to the radio, and when he hears Porsche wins the race, he starts designing a poster as he knows Huschke von Hanstein will be ordering one.

Porsche 356 A Carrera brochure Erich Strenger
Porsche 356 A Carrera brochure (artwork by Erich Strenger)

Some time later he even decides to design posters even before races are held. So one day,Huschke von Hanstein calls him in the morning to order a poster, and Strenger just has to put the name of the winning race pilot on the poster. In the afternoon, Erich Strenger visits Huschke von Hanstein and show him the poster. Ofcourse von Hanstein was surprised that designing a poster didn’t take more time, and he started thinking he was paying Erich Strenger too much. Strenger was paid 1000 German Marks for the design of a poster at that time. After that, Strenger wisely decided to wait a bit longer before going to von Hanstein to show him the new designs, as he didn’t want to be paid less. A strategy that worked for Erich Strenger, as he was the principal designer of most of the Porsche posters that would come up to the early 1980s. The graphical talent of Erich Strenger was often shown in the many sales brochures he designed for Porsche as well.

Erich Strenger and his reitrement

In 1987 Erich Strenger retired, after he had been working most of his time exclusively for Porsche. Strenger and his wife Ursula Eberst moved to Mallorca in 1988 , where he found the quitness he always wanted.He finally had time for one of his great hobbies, sailing, and in the quitness of the sunny island he found inspiration for the art he always wanted to make.

February 17, 1993 Erich Strenger passed away after a long illness. Lots of the artwork of Erich Strenger can be seen in the book Erich Strenger, a graphical report by Delius-Klasing.