Huschke von Hanstein

3/1/1911 - 5/3/1996

Record updated 14-Apr-08

Charismatic head of Porsche's racing department in the 1950s, Huschke von Hanstein was a successful motorcycle racer who switched to cars, winning the Mille Miglia in 1940.

Huschke von Hanstein
Baron Fritz Huschke von Hanstein was trained as a lawyer and became one of the best men in motorbike racing before World War II.

He raced at Le Mans and in 1937 he was partnered by Anne Cécile Rose-Itier. Later that year she was romantically rescued by von Hanstein after getting lost in the desert during the Rallye of Morocco.

His greatest triumph came when, in 1940, he won the Millia Miglia for BMW. The 1940 Mille Miglia was run as the Gran Premio Bescia delle Mille Miglia. It consisted of 9 laps of a triangular 167-kilometre circuit between Brescia, Cremona and Mantua. Huschke was driving one of five BMWs entered with Walter Bäumer. Bäumer's involvement was a late decision; von Hanstein was originally to have been partnered by Count Giovanni Lurani, but after a fast test session Lurani declared that von Hanstein was mad and refused to sit in the car with him! Baumer, clearly made of sterner stuff, lasted almost the whole distance until von Hanstein stopped the car and sportingly insisted that they should swap seats to give Bäumer the honour of crossing the finish line. Tragically Bäumer died one year later.

After the war he continued his racing career successfully. In 1949 he raced in the German 500cc F3 series in a Condor. He came 2nd at Leverkeusen followed by a win at the Grenzlandring. He took another second at Feldbergrennen in a Monopoletta in 1950.

He joined Porsche in 1950 selling the few cars they made at the time to his aristocratic friends and royal acquaintances. Eventually he became the head of the Porsche racing and PR department.

In 1960 he won the European Hill Climb Championship’s GT category.

In the 70s and 80s von Hanstein was president of the German Automobile Club's sports section.