Ernst Vogel

Born :  March 1st 1926
Deceased : November 29 1990

Biography Ernst Vogel

Ernst Vogel was born March 1st 1926 in Stockerau. After his studies at the local gymasium, Ernst Vogel serviced the Germany Army during WW II. Ernst Vogel was taken prisoner by the Americans. After a short imprisonement, Ernst Vogel joined the company his grandfather erected : pump factory Vogel. In 1965 Ernst Vogel became the CEO of the company, after the death of his grandfather. 

It was from his uncle that Vogel inherited the passion for motorsports. In 1948, Ernst Vogel drove his first race on a Puch motorbike and finished 2nd right away. His parents didn’t even know about the sportive exploits of their son. Vogel had to pause his motorsport career between the end of June 1949 and end 1950 after a severe crash in traffic.

Start of the International streetrace Baederpreis Austria 1954 :Ernst Vogel (12) Otto Mathé (20) , Josef Jeser (16) and Harry Merkel (28)

Next to his motorsport career, Ernst Vogel studied at the academy to become a composer.  After another crash, with some major damage to his leg as a result, Ernst Vogel changed his motorbike for a race car in 1954, a Porsche 356 1500 Super.  Louise Piëch however gave a twist at the race career of Ernst Vogel. She decided to buy a Porsche 550 Spyder, and to have it raced by an Austrian driver.  Louise Piëch had noticed the succesful rides of Ernst Vogel in the Porsche 356 1500 Super, so she decided to give him the opportunity to take the wheel of the red Porsche 550 Spyder.  His first taste of a Porsche was in one of the early prototype 550s where he was victorious in his debut race at the Circuit d’Opatija track in Yugoslavia.  

At the 7th and last Gaisberg testruns, predecessor of the Gaisberg hillclimbs, that took place October 2nd 1955, Vogel came at the start in a Porsche 550 Spyder of Porsche Salzburg.  Immediately he drove a new record-time with a time  of 5:53,9  and an average of91,6 km/h)

1959 Wurzenpass Bergrennen - Ernst Vogel - Porsche 718 RSK
1959 Wurzenpass Bergrennen – Ernst Vogel – Porsche 718 RSK

In 1959 Ernst Vogel ran a record time at the Rossfeld Hillclimb in a Porsche 718 RSK Spyder In 1958, he particpated in several races, with an impressive  result. First overall in Yugoslavia and first-in-class at both Zeltweg and Innsbruck in Austria in only five starts:

May 15, 1958      Flugplatz Wien Aspern, Austria      2nd overall              
June 15, 1958     GP Circuit d’Opatija, Yugoslavia     1st overall            
August 15, 1958  Gaisberg Hill Climb, Austria           8th overall
August 17, 1958   Flugplatz Zeltweg, Austria              1st in class
October 5, 1958   Innsbruck Flugplatz, Austria           1st in class

Declined to become a factory pilot

in 1959 was third in the European Hill Climb Championship, leaving notorious racers like Edgar Barth, Wolfgang graf Berghe von Trips, Heini Walter and Sepp Greger behind, even though Vogel only participated in 3 of the 6 races. That succes was enough for Huschke von Hanstein to offer him a contract as a factory driver.  However , Vogel considered he could be both a professional factory racer, and a businessman. Ernst Vogel decided to decline the proposal Huschke von Hanstein made. 

Pictures courtesy unknown