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. Dr. Ing. h.c. F.
Hans Mezger was born on November 18, 1929 in Ottmarsheim, a small village near Ludwigsburg on the outskirts of Stuttgart. The youngest of five children, his parents ran a country inn. Art and culture were very important to the Mezger household. From an early age, aeroplanes and flying also fascinated the young Hans, and he occasionally undertook a trip to Kirchheim/Teck with a group of gliding enthusiasts from his neighbourhood.
In the midst of his childhood, the Third Reich and Second World War emerged. On April 18, 1945, just three weeks before the end of the war, the 15-year-old Hans Mezger only escaped being enlisted by a stroke of luck and a faked medical certificate from a German commander. Eventually, Mezger continued his grammar school studies in Besigheim through the 6th grade, then followed by German A-levels in Ludwigsburg. "In 1946, I experienced my very first car race. It was at Hockenheim where old pre-war race cars lined up, along with Hans Stuck, whom I photographed with my old camera," Hans Mezger described his first motorsport experience immediately after the Second World War.
Hans Mezger decided to study mechanical engineering at the Technical University, now the University of Stuttgart. However, at this time the universities were very crowded because the young men who had returned from the war were given preferential treatment for admission. Hans Mezger used the university requirement for a twelve-month internship to practise numerous stages such as machining, welding, model making and a few weeks in the grey cast iron and aluminium foundry. "At that time I was riding a motor scooter, an NSU Lambretta. Apart from my brother’s 250 cc DKW it was my first and last motorised two-wheeler. I rode the Lambretta until 1960, when I bought my first car, an old and quite worn-out 356. It was not until years later that I came into contact with motorised two-wheelers again, when in the late 1970s it became necessary to develop new motorcycle engines for Harley-Davidson.”
After graduating in 1956 at the time of the German economic miracle, there was a veritable flood of job offers. “There were 28. But
Things then began happening one after the other. Hans Mezger gained his first experience with the four camshaft engine Type 547, developed a formula for calculating cam profiles and became part of
Design of the 911 engine and head of "Race car design"
His career included designing the world-famous “Mezger engine” for the 901 and 911 in the early 1960s. In 1965 Mezger was promoted to head of the department for race car design initiated by Ferdinand Piëch. This department was the key to a new quality and dynamism in motorsport for
From the 917 to the TAG turbo for Formula 1
But perhaps the most outstanding project took off in 1981 when Ron Dennis and his McLaren racing team set out in search of a powerful turbo engine for Formula 1. In the end,
Always closely connected to
His commitment to
Career and highlights at
1956–1960 Technical calculation department in the design department.
Responsible for valve control of all engines, among other things.
1960–1962 Move to the
Collaboration in engine and chassis design.
1963 Design of the 901/911 engine. Responsible for design and
further development of all racing engines.
1965 Design and project management of the Ollon-Villars Spyder.
Management of the newly established department for race car design.
1966–1970 Design of the 910, 907, 908, 917, 2-litre
four-cylinder engine for the 914 production sports car.
1971–1973 CanAm race cars 917/10 and 917/30 with turbocharging.
1974–1976 Design, development and further development of six-cylinder turbo engines and the Type 935 and 936 race cars.
1977–1978 Development of the water cooling and four-valve concept for the Type 935 and 936 six-cylinder turbo engines.
1977–1980 Design of the four-cylinder engine for Harley-Davidson. Development of the Indy engine based on the Type 935/936. Further development of the 935/936 race cars and engines.
1981–1982 Development of a 2.65-litre engine based on the 935/936 for Group C (956/962).
1981–1987 Design, overall project management and further development of the "TAG-
1987–1988 Design of the Type 2708 Indy 2.65-litre engine.
1990 Design of the Type 3512 12-cylinder Formula 1 engine
Honours and awards
1974 The Starley Premium Award (GB) for the best automotive presentation of the year on the
1984 Behind the Scenes Award (USA) for the development of the TAG
1984 Trofeo Colin Chapman (I) for the development of the TAG
1984 Prince Metternich Prize (D) for outstanding technical achievements in motorsport.
1984 Trophée de L'Exploit (F) for the development of the TAG
1984 Caschi d'Oro (I) for winning the Formula 1 Constructors' World Championship (presented to McLaren).
1985 Prof. Ferdinand-
1987 Médaille Spéciale (F) for the development of the TAG
Further information and pictures for journalists and media representatives can be found on the
© 2020 Dr. Ing. h.c. F.
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