Petermax Müller

Born : January 21 1912
Deceased : March 29 20002

Biography Petermax Müller

Petermax Müller was born in Potsdam (Germany)  on January 21, 1912. His father owned a shipyard. Müller attended high school before completing an apprenticeship as an automobile salesman at Brennabor-Werke in Brandenburg. After his apprenticeship, Müller started working as an automobile dealer. In 1937 he began selling the Auto Union brands DKW, Wanderer and Horch in Potsdam. Later he opened a showroom in Berlin-Steglitz too.

In the pre-war years of 1938/39, Petermax Müller’s passion for racing ensprouted. He literally had “gasoline in his blood” and successfully demonstrated this on the racetrack. As early as 1938/39, Petermax Müller took part in the Monte Carlo Rally in a DKW sedan. During the war years, Petermax Müller had to temporarily put his profession and passion for racing on hold. After the Second World War, he fled to Velpke near Helmstedt. In the hallway of his refuge, he converted an old Wehrmacht bucket into a sports car and competed in the Braunschweig Stadtpark race for the first time as early as 1947. 

Petermax Müller’s Eigenbau’s (self-built cars)

Petermax Müller "Eigenbau"
Petermax Müller “Eigenbau”

Between 1946 and 1949, he built a total of six racing cars from components stored at the Volkswagen factory. Petermax Müller built every single one of them win his hallway. He entered the cars in races as a “VW Eigenbau”. Müller trimmed the VW engine,  originally equipped with 25 hp, to 50 hp by means of minor technical modifications. In a similar way, he brought up the power of a Porsche 356 engine to 40 hp. With this engine, Petermax Müller achieved a top speed of 168 km/h. This was to be the prelude to a long and successful racing history. Nowadays,  the Prototyp Museum in Hamburg has one of the Petermax Müller ‘Eigenbau’ cars on display.

At the same time, Müller set up his car dealership in Hanover in the early 1950s. In 1952, Porsche entrusted him with the brand’s general agency for Lower Saxony. This Porsche dealerships in Hannover still exists today.   In 1948 and 1949 Petermax Müller crowned himself German champion in the 1100cc sports car class. By 1951 he had won 60 races. Müller also drove in the Maschseerennen in 1949, the only race ever held in Hanover.

In 1949 the team of Petermax Müller, Helmut Polensky, Huschke von Hanstein and Schweder set out on their goal to establish national and International nonstop records using the 1086cc engine. The proceedings would be brought to and end after 34 hours due to an accident, but they had broken a total of 17 national time and distance records.

Petermax Müller's record car after the crash
The team had to abandon the record run after a crash

World records and Liege-Rome-Liege

In 1951, he covered 11,000 kilometers in 72 hours in a Porsche 356 GMünd SL in Monthléry/France, together with Huschke von Hanstein, Richard von Frankenberg, Walter Glöckler and Herman Ramelow . This corresponded to an average speed of 152.35 km/h, including driver and tire changes as well as fuel stops – an almost unbelievable achievement for those times. In 1952 and 1954, the record-breaking driver took part in the Monte Carlo Rally and the Liège-Rome-Liège long-distance race. Müller started in the Le Mans 24H in 1953 and 1954. In 1972, Petermax Müller won the team prize for the best team in Monte Carlo and was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit in 1984.

1952 Liege-Rome-Liege Petermax Müller - Heinz Schellhaas finish 2n in class
1952 Liege-Rome-Liege Petermax Müller – Heinz Schellhaas finish 2n in class


Pictures courtesy unknown