Rolf Sprenger

Born : unknown
Deceased : February 24 2021

Biography Rolf Sprenger

Rolf Sprenger was born in Stuttgart. As a young boy, Sprenger was inspired about the little sportscars that drove in his town. He dreamt of sitting on the passenger seat of a Porsche 356. In his wildest dreams he even dreamt of owning one of those cars. It is an understatement to say that Rolf Sprenger has been a fan of Porsche from his early childhood.

Studies and start of career

Rolf Sprenger studied Mechanical engineering at the Konstanz University of Applied Engineering. He started his career as an automobile test engineer at Bosch in Stuttgart. Bosch sent Sprenger to Simms in London, where he helpded developing fuel injection for Diesels. Afterdeclining a job offer of Mercedes-Benz, and a short period at NSU, Rolf Sprenger joined Porsche in July 1967, at the motor test department in Zuffenhausen

Rolf Sprenger (far left) and the Porsche Customer Repair Service
Rolf Sprenger (far left) and the Porsche Customer Repair Service

After reporting to Hans Klauser, a senior engineer for a short period, Rolf Sprenger seemed to have impressed. The management awarded him with a promotion as manager of the ‘Werksreparaturabteilung’ at the age of only 28. His main responsability was the support and fulfillment of special wishes of Porsche customers. It was Ferry Porsche himself who assigned Rolf Sprenger to assist customers from all over the world regarding special wishes and questions. Later in his career at Porsche, Sprenger worked together with members of the senior management, like Ernst Fuhrmann, Peter W. Schutz

The birth of the Porsche Exclusive department

The experience of bringing the special needs of customers to reality satisfied Sprenger to the most. He convinced the Porsche management to start a department just with that purpose. In 1978,  the special requests department officially saw the daylight. From then on, special modifications and conversions to series produced cars happen here. The ‘special order department’ later evolved into what we now know as the ‘Porsche Exclusive program’. 

Rolf Sprenger talking to Ernst Fuhrmann
Rolf Sprenger talking to Ernst Fuhrmann

During his career at Porsche, Rolf Sprenger has been involved in the development of limited series cars, special edition models and sports cars made to the measure suit for Porsche customers. Some examples are the Porsche 993 Speedster of which only 2 cars are built.  Ferdinand Alexander “Butzi” Porsche  received one of them for his 60th birthday in 1995. The other went to American actor Jerry Seinfeld. Hard to believe you can go even rarer. But years earlier, in 1983 to be precise, the team of Sprenger built a one-off street legal Porsche 935. This project started from a Porsche 930 Turbo, commissioned by a Saudi businessman by the name of Mansour Ojjeh. Porsche did not disclose details about the original price tag but it is believed Mansour Ojjeh paid the equivalent of three brand new 911 Turbos.

Eberhard Mahle , Rolf Sprenger, Wolfgang Porsche
Eberhard Mahle , Rolf Sprenger, Wolfgang Porsche at the Porsche Rennsport Reunion in 2011

Strong connection with Porsche even after his retirement

After his retirement, Rolf Sprenger remained closely involved with Porsche. He served as a specialist for vintage cars. Porsche often asked assistance to Sprenger when it came to restorations. Furthermore a close friendschip existed between the Porsche family and Sprenger.  To maintain contact with his former colleagues and friends, he kept on visiting shows like the Strähle Swap Meet, or events like the Porsche Rennsport Reunion. And ofcourse, Sprenger showed up at the Porsche Race Car Classic Event, organized by late Steve Heinrichs. Heinrichs and Sprenger are the authors of the Porsche Carrera bible.

Pictures courtesy Porsche AG and Vintage Race Photography