The spark plug whisperer
August Bamminger, head of the Bosch racing service
There was one man who simply had to be at every major car and motorcycle race between 1911 and 1957: August Bamminger, head of the Bosch racing service and the “spark plug doctor”.
At home on the race tracks
For him, there was no journey too long to support drivers with technical advice in major car and motorcycle races such as the German Grand Prix on the Nürburgring, the Carrera Panamericana in Mexico, or the Argentine Grand Prize. Bamminger felt at home on the sidelines, between the loud vehicles with their intoxicating emissions, where he and his Bosch race team would watch the daredevil drivers squeeze every last drop out of their vehicles’ engines. Whenever one of them broke down or smoke billowed from a race car, the man from Bosch was there to help.
The passion for engines
Right from the start, Bamminger’s career path seemed like destiny. In 1909, at the age of 21, he joined Bosch as a mechanic and earned a reputation as a “spark plug doctor” during races prior to the first world war. In 1920, he was promoted to head of Bosch’s workshop in Prague, later becoming the head of the Bosch racing service in 1938, one year after its founding. His always calm, fatherly nature and the cigar perched almost intrinsically in the corner of his mouth made him a true original who embodied a passion for cars right up until his retirement in 1957.
I have been working in the Corporate Archives of Robert Bosch GmbH for 18 years. I am responsible for the historical photo and art collection, picture editing and event organization. Furthermore I am writing and reappraising the history of Bosch in France, Benelux, Italy and Turkey. After studying art history, I was in charge of the photo and film collection of the Stuttgart City Archive, among other things.