Goggomobil in Motorsport

Records in different series

Already before the Second World War, the fascination in motorsport had brought many Germans to the racetrack where Auto Union was engaged in thrilling duels with Mercedes. Names such as Nuvolari, Bernd Rosemeyer and Rudolf Carraciola were on everyone's lips.
This was not forgotten by the people after the war, despite many hardships. No sooner after the most necessary arrangements were made, people began again to be interested in racing. In 1946, the first post-war race in the vicinity of Freiburg was held. At this time, many home grown constructions were conceived and entered in the race. Often pre-war cars were rebuilt. For example, using the old BMW 328 sports cars, the legendary Veritas racing cars were created.

However the bulk of the population could not afford those sporting ambitions. Therefore, motorcycle racing was much more widespread. From their racing series emerged great race drivers.
The German automotive industry at the time dealt with the development of small cars which allowed the aspiring generation to move from the motor bike to a car.
In motor racing, the classes up to 400, 500 and 700 cc were formed for these cars. Thus even for these small vehicles promising comparison fights on track were possible. The individual displacement classes however changed several times over the following years.
In Austria, already in 1955, the Goggomobil was known for its sensational racing successes. The Goggomobil's main sales rep in Vienna, Maximilian Königer recognized immediately that the special climbing ability and good road holding of the Goggomobil would be an asset in his country with its many curves and steep mountain passes. In Austria, you only could sell a vehicle, if it had demonstrated its abilities in the famous Austrian long-distance races through the most difficult mountain terrains.
Königer sent some drivers with the little robust vehicle to the Tauernring in the Alps, to an Alpine journey in the mountains and around lakes. First, with the engineer Hermann Bauer, later also with Stefan Pavesic and the engineer Leopold Wolf, the drivers entered in their Goggomobils every major competition in the category of touring cars up to 500cc. The competition recognized the threat and sent the best drivers to compete in the race. But the Goggomobils won everything and set one class record after another. From April to August of 1955, they entered in 11 hill climbs and walked away with gold, silver and bronze medals.
Because of this enormous showing, in 1956 the organizers of the Alpine Rally shortened the maximum travel times for this hill climb so much that further success of the small vehicles was in doubt. But the Goggomobil drivers were up to the challenge. Four vehicles entered with drivers Bauer, Pavesic, Weißkirchner and Loisl Wiener. Over 25 high mountain passes had to be mastered. The best known were the Grossglockner, Hohentauern Pass, Steirischer Seeberg, Gaberl Pass, Klippitz Thörl, Pfaffensattel and Niederalp. The driver negotiated roads with slopes of 18 to 29%. The Turracher Höhe is the steepest mountain pass with even 32%. With their 300cc engines, they all made it in the new shortened time limit and helped their average speeds by making up a lot of time on the downhill portion by using power slides. Therefore it was no surprise that most of the more powerful sports cars could barely keep up with the agile Goggomobil. Of the 47 vehicles which started, only 22 arrived at their destination, and 10 without any penalty points. Three of these 10 gold medals were awarded to the drivers of the Goggomobils, plus two Silver Edelweiss awards to Pavesic and Wiener for the hill climbs event. They drove 1,480 km without any breakdown and were therefore the most successful automotive brand.
Loisl Wiener came from motorcycle racing and tried his first race on four wheels in 1955 with the Goggomobil. His wife, Antoine accompanied him as his co-driver. The friendly couple from Linz became immediately very successful. In 1956 Loisl Wiener was awarded the Austrian Alpine Rose Cup for the best showing in the six international hill climbs. The second place, the Silver Alpine Rose, went to Karl Jungmayer from Geiselhöring with his 300cc Goggomobil.
Loisl Wiener with his wife won many medals and special prizes racing in the Austrian Alps, which he knew like the back of his hand. Later he switched to the larger GLAS vehicles, until he was killed in a tragic accident in the mid sixties.
Karl Jungmayer already started to race in 1950 on DKW motorcycles. In 1951 Hans Glas appointed him as an authorized Glas dealer and he began by selling Goggo scooters. After the start of production of the Goggomobil 1955 he left racing on two wheels for good and switched to the Goggomobil. He was known as a swashbuckling daredevil from 1950 to 1960 and was one of the best German sport and rally drivers. In the research and development department at GLAS, he found his co-driver Walter Reisinger, who raced with him from one success to another.
In a bitterly cold winter four Goggomobils started at the XIII ADAC winter rally from Bad Neuenahr to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and arrived after 1,500 km and an almost non-stop 30-hour drive in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. On route, which saw many breakdowns, they passed dozens of much more powerful touring and sports cars. These were held to a much slower speed to keep them in the icy weather from landing in a ditch. This had no effect on the four Goggomobil drivers (Robert Stamminger from Nürnberg, Karl Jungmayer, Helmut Rentschler and the lady in the team Madelaine Jay) and they finished without any penalty points.
In the hill climb on the following day, on the snowy and icy Eibseestrasse was Karl Jungmayer the fastest in its class. Vehicles with much larger displacement engines were only a few seconds faster.
After this event, all participating cars were parked for the night and the following morning, in minus 15 degrees F, they were asked to start the engine and to drive 10 yards. From the 81 participating cars, 32 needed more than three minutes and some had to be push started. Stamminger required 37.4 seconds and Karl Jungmayer 45.6 seconds. The third stage of this event was an ice slalom on the Eibsee Lake, Rentschler won the class before Jungmayer. In the overall standings Jungmayer and Stamminger had to share the gold medal for the class win and Madelaine Jay received the bronze medal.
The good racing successes did not escape the GLAS factory. But since extra funds were very scares, it was decided not to participate with a factory race team. In late 1956, the factory wrote in the customer magazine "Goggomobil" that they were distancing themselves from entering a factory team in the competitions, because they did not want to compete against their customers. Thus they used the successes for free advertising. The robustness, reliability and maneuverability of the vehicles were repeatedly shown off. Especially the hill climb prowess was mentioned over and over again.
This also was recognized by Karl Jungmayer and he cavorted from then on with Walter Reisinger in the Austrian Alps. His favorite track was the hill climb at the Grossglockner Mountain. In 1958, during a night-stage at the International Alpine Rally, he had a special experience. In dense fog that night they grazed a rock and the car did no longer respond to steering input. Without further ado, Jungmayer ripped off the guide plate and his co-driver had to squat in the foot well and hold the steering linkage with his fists. With one headlight left, they raced up to the Edelweiss Peak, then back down again to Heiligenblut. During the steep descent they always tried to make up time with their 400 sedan and attempted even in the tightest corners to overtake other vehicles. Uphill Reisinger was able to hold on the steering linkage, but downhill he had difficulties. In one of the corner it then happened: the Goggomobil suddenly stood completely crossways. To use the brakes was impossible and to accelerate would not have done any good.
On the left was a 300 meter steep drop-off - to the rescue came a marker stone, which broke from the impact. The front wheels of the Goggomobil were hanging over the abyss. First Walter Reisinger crawled onto the back seat, then Karl Jungmayer got carefully out of the car. Together they pulled the car back onto the road and continued the race. They still won a silver medal. The next day they visited the crash site again. The concrete post had fallen the 300 meter down the mountain and both returned with pale faces. In the meantime, a new steering linkage was on its way from Vienna. The parts reached the team during the next stage of the race. Just before the Thuracher Höhe Jungmayer and Reisinger left the track by making a right turn into a side street . The Goggomobil was lifted up onto a stone. While Walter Reisinger installed the steering linkage, Karl Jungmayer ran to the next control point and to get his time card punched with the promise "we'll be here soon." Then they continued with full steam.
In 1958 Loisl Wiener and Erich Werunsky won the Austrian Alpenrose Cup and Karl Jungmayer won the silver Alpenrose. Also Loisl Wiener had already won the Tauernring rally three times and was given the highest award the "Tauernring in gold with diamonds." In addition, he became with his Goggomobil 400 the Austrian national champion in the touring car class up to 500 cc. Karl Jungmayer was given by the Minister of Transportation the award for best foreign driver.
The large number of trophies, gold and silver medals which were awarded to all the successful privateers in Austria would fill a lot of pages.
On May 11th, 1958 the first Rossfeld hill climb took place in Germany. On the only a few years previously completed mountain road, 66 vehicles of all classes competed on the 6 km long route, with slopes between 8 and 12%. As expected, the Goggomobils again proved its outstanding hill climb ability. Particularly impressive was the driving performance of Karl Jungmayer, who with his Goggomobil T400 with a time of 6:46:3 minutes won the 500 cc class. He left the new Steyr-Puch behind him and was faster than the cars of the 750 cc class. He drove an average of 53 km / h. The comparison with Hans Stuck driving a BMW 507 with an average speed of 80 km / h for this powerful sports car is certainly quite impressive.
One could see Karl Jungmayer and Walter Reisinger not only on hill climbs, but also on the racel track. The 7.2 km long Hockenheimring served in 1959 as the second venue for the 12-hour endurance race for small cars. In addition to the race, where mechanical defects quickly come to light, also fuel consumption was rated. By 5 o'clock in the morning 30 vehicles, in classes 400, 500 and 700 cc roared off with a flying start. The team Jungmayer / Reisinger won with the Goggo Coupe 400 its class, having turned 160 laps or 1,238 km in an average speed of 104.7 km / h. Doing their fastest lap a 107 km / h, they were faster than the next higher class.
But not only in the Alps were Goggomobils represented in racing. Also in many other regions were the small agile vehicles successful. So won the Luxembourg GLAS dealer René Schmitz with his co-driver Jos Galet in a Goggomobil 300 the first place in the class up to 750 cc at the over 800 km long Tour of Luxembourg for 4 consecutive years, from 1956 to 1959.
Racing at this time was still a tuff man's game. There were no safety rules in these classes. If you look at the pictures from this era you can see the driver usually competing in their street clothes. A helmet or roll bars were still not common. Much less fire-resistant underwear. But sometimes you can see, probably for practical reasons, a driver with a jumpsuit. Karl Jungmayer stated that the engines always corresponded to the production car. Experiments with fellow professionals to make the vehicles more quickly most of the time failed and even made the cars slower. Only the intake ports were polished.
Most cars were driven under their own power to the races. There was no money for trailers. The drivers had seldom factory support, and just drove for "the fun of it." Karl Jungmayer derived in the late fifties a device for his Mercedes, which let him tow his Goggomobil on one axle. He told us that he and Walter Reisinger once on a winter day with ice and snow could not make it up a hill with this rig. Without much ado Walter Reisinger climbed in the Goggomobil, started the car and with the added powered axle they made it up the hill. Seeing this, passing people marveled and immediately said:... "Take a look at this, a Goggo is pushing a Mercedes up the hill! "
At the end of the fifties there was less and less of the Goggomobil in racing. The large Goggomobil, which was later renamed the Isar had made his debut in 1957 at the IAA. Production started in 1958 and soon many race drivers switched to the larger displacement model or halted their racing career. Thus also Karl Jungmayer stopped racing in 1960 and took care of his ever-growing automotive dealer ship.

The ownership of the shown pictures, to the best of our knowledge, had been researched. On some images, however, the ownership could not be determined. Should therefore be rights asserted, please send a message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.