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”.
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.
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 at the Bosch archive for 17 years. I am responsible for the collection of historical photos and fine arts, picture desk and event organization. Furthermore I write articles and work on the history of Bosch in France and in Turkey. After my studies of art history I established the archive of artists at the “Akademie Schloss Solitude” in Stuttgart and ran the photo- and film collection of the municipal archive of Stuttgart.